Living whale is cut open in search for ambergris

10
1356

Pilot whale laid to rest”. After efforts to save the animal were unsuccessful, the young adult female pilot whale was laid to rest here on the beach.

Andros – The Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation Finds Live-Stranded Pilot Whale with 3-Foot Long Cut in Underside

Abaco, Bahamas – The Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation (BMMRO) responded to the report of a live stranded pilot whale on August 23rd on the beach just north of Crossing Rocks, Abaco.

With the help of Crossing Rocks community members, BMMRO’s team was able to push the 11-foot young adult female whale back out to sea but had to hold it upright so that it did not drown. Two sharks patrolled nearby. During the rescue, BMMRO scientist Dr. Diane Claridge discovered a 3-foot long and 3-inch deep cut on the whale’s underside, deep enough to have cut into the muscle.

Claridge describes her response to the troubling discovery: “Sadly, this type of body mutilation has been observed previously in the Bahamas on a dead dolphin, but I never imagined anyone cutting into the body of a live animal. I was horrified.”

“There is absolutely no doubt that a knife was deliberately used to make this laceration. The cut was too straight to have been caused by rocks or coral, and the skin and blubber is not easily cut into, so it had to be done with some force. Additionally, the location of the cut on the whale’s underside indicated the person was looking for ambergris.”

“As well as completely lacking compassion, the perpetrator was obviously ignorant of both Bahamian law and how to find ambergris.”

It is against the law to harm marine mammals in any way in The Bahamas. Anyone with information regarding who conducted this despicable act should contact the Department of Marine Resources or Marsh Harbour Police immediately.

Ambergris is a substance that sperm whales produce in the stomach to help digest and pass squid beaks. Only sperm whales produce ambergris and not all sperm whales, and no dolphins or any other whale species. Sperm whales defecate the ambergris with the encased squid beaks (occasionally it is vomited instead) and the ambergris floats at sea until is it washed ashore. During its time at sea and on the shore, its chemical properties change due to oxidation. Ambergris is highly valued for its use in the perfume industry, but only after it has oxidised. Ambergris in the stomach or intestines of a dead sperm whale is worth absolutely nothing (and smells awful). Furthermore, a whale’s stomach is not located on its underside but under the ribcage. Mutilating a whale or dolphin is not going to result in finding ambergris of any value but could result in a $5,000 – $25,000 fine and/or up to 18 months in prison.

The appropriate response when someone discovers a stranded dolphin or whale whether alive or dead is to immediately call the Bahamas Marine Mammal Stranding Network (242 366-4155) to initiate the stranding response team. This network consists of 130 members located throughout The Bahamas. Assisting a living whale or dolphin should be done with caution (because they are large animals and may transfer diseases) but helping the animal to breathe and keeping it wet until experts arrive will sometimes save its life.

Despite our efforts to save the pilot whale, she died the following morning. BMMRO conducted a necropsy (an animal autopsy) and samples were collected to determine the initial cause of stranding.

BMMRO scientist, Dr Charlotte Dunn noted: “During the 2-day event more than 20 people from Crossing Rocks, including children, assisted us, doing what they could to try to save this animal. This community support and kindness was uplifting and a great help.”

BMMRO wishes to thank all those individuals from the Crossing Rocks community who came out to help, especially Marcus, Tony, CJ, DeShawn and Antoine; Olivia, Cha, and Dr Bailey from Marsh Harbour, and our interns Ashley and Krystynia.

The Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation (BMMRO) is a non-profit group based in Sandy Point, Abaco whose mission is to promote the conservation of marine mammals through scientific research and educational outreach. To learn more about BMMRO’s research and its outreach programmes, see the following links: www.bahamaswhales.org, and www.facebook.com/bmmro.

  • F S

    ONLY GOVERNOR GENERAL DAME MARGUERITE PINDLING can revoke FRED SMITH’s CITIZENSHIP DOCUMENTS!

  • F S

    ONLY GOVERNOR GENERAL DAME MARGUERITE PINDLING can revoke FRED SMITH’s CITIZENSHIP DOCUMENTS!

  • F S

    I LOVE BP

  • F S

    Had a turtle burger for dinner, it was so tender, never had one before. They have a large turtle farm here that raises sea turtles. They release 10,000 turtles every year into the wild and also raise them for food and other things. This place is a fuckin gold mine, the hotels are slamming with tourist, and the cruise sea is emptied with all the tourist in town; there not affaid to leave the ship like in Nassau; no reason to be afraid here.

  • F S

    Christ almighty I have a solar water heater, didn’t even know, what a pleasant surprise. My neighbors rushed over to help me unload the toilets and treadmill I bought. People are nice and friendly here, the Puerto Rican lady two houses down brought me a banana creme pie as a welcoming gift, God almighty I’ve never experianced such friendliness; thank you my Lord and Master, you have truly blessed me. My Bahamian brothers and sister you must come here to visit, you won’t want to go back to Bahamaland.

  • F S

    Holy shit, there is a town named Hell here…lol…I’m not kidding you. Its named that because of the volcanic rocks in the area. One thing for sure you notice here right way, this place is spotless, I dont see litter anywhere. And there is so much activity, scub diving is the thing here, people are in great shape here. Just bought two white toilet for the plumber to install, now going to buy a treadmill; great stores here too. Alot of beautiful Cuban women here too, I wonder what their all doing here, I didn’t know Cuba allowed them to travel here.

  • F S

    Holy shit, I pulled over to look at my map to see where I’m headed, a other car pulls in back off me. I thought I was going to be robbed, but it was a local seeing if I needed help….lol….no fuckin way….lol! One day here and im loving this place already, my people, you have to visit here.

  • F S

    What a hell of a day I’m having, just had the best conch salad I’ve ever had in my life here at Rum Point, Grand Cayman. This place is slamming with tourism, I’ve never seen anything like it. People jogging, jamming, walking, diving, sailing, singing, people of all races and color here. And everyone seems to be in pretty good shape, the women here are beautiful, this half Bahamian needs to lose 20 pounds to fit in….lol. Oh, and the reason for no razor wire fences and bars on doors and windows is because the murder rate here is 4.7 per every 100,000 in population, that’s unbelievable, something I have to get use to. Listen, I’m enjoying this place more than I imagined, I’ll catch you people later with an update, I’m going to go buy a treadmill and two white toilets; see ya later.

  • F S

    Landed an 1 1/2 hours ago in George Town, Grand Cayman, gas here is $4.41 a gallon. A beautiful quiet evening, Reggie music and Island music can’t be heard from the businesses as I drove from the airport to a house I bought without seeing. Paid $207,314 USD, 900 SQ FT. , 2 Bed, 2 Bath, it’s beautiful, all it needs is two new toilets, their blue in color. I’ve never seen blue toilets before, I hate them, ugly as shit. Who in their right mind would purchase blue fuckin toilets; tomorrow their fuckin history. Your not going to believe this shit, there are no fuckin bars on the windows or doors, no fuckin razor wire fences here and on the driving here I didn’t see any. Tomorrow I’m going to call the realtor to see what’s up with that shit, are we safe, what the fuck is up with that shit. I’m tired, I need to find a fuckin pipe or a big fuckin stick as a weapon just in case. I’m going to report to my people the difference between living here and Abaco and we’ll see for sure if the Bahamian government is fucking you; good night.

  • F S

    I am Fred Smith and I hate the Pindling Family. They can throw me out the Bahamas