November 2019 E-Letter
Whale News From Around The World (and Exciting Turtle News)

OCTOBER 24 : There was another sighting today, a single vaquita in the midst of fishing boats.

Vaquita Marina Attempts to Survive
Vaquita Marina ( Phocoena sinus)
Photo by Save The Whales

Si x vaquita marinas have been sighted off the coast of Mexico. The sighting raises hope that the world’s smallest porpoise may not go extinct. Scientists estimate there may be as few as 30 vaquitas left. Its numbers plummeted originally because they were trapped in the gillnets fisherman used for catching shrimp. But then the Chinese Cartel moved in. Their sole purpose was to catch the totoaba, a fish valued by the Chinese for its swim bladder. The bladder, although there is no scientific proof for this belief, is used for medicinal purposes. A single bladder can fetch $20,000-$80,000 per kilogram.
In spite of efforts by the Mexican government, the Mexican Navy, U.S. observers and Sea Shepard, vaquita numbers have been seriously depleted. It never had high numbers, estimated at (3,000) since it was discovered in 1954 by the late University of California Santa Cruz professor Kenneth Norris. We remain hopeful for another sighting. Help the vaquita by signing the Petition.

“To see a live vaquita is a relief and shows that we must continue to protect the species," said Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho, head of the Mexican Vaquita Research Program.
Species Finally Identified
Beaked Whale ( Berardius minimus)

For a long time, a whale which has been talked about by local whalers in Hokkaido, Japan (and was mentioned in earlier publications), has now been confirmed as a new whale species, Berardius minimus . It was called Kurotsuchikujira (black Baird’s beaked whale) by the local Hokkaido whalers. The whales shared characteristics of B. bairdii (Baird's beaked whale) and were classified as belonging to the same genus Berardius .
However, a number of distinguishable external characteristics, such as body proportions and color, led the researchers to investigate whether these beaked whales belong to a currently unclassified species. "Just by looking at them, we could tell that they have a remarkably smaller body size, more spindle-shaped body, a shorter beak, and darker color compared to known Berardius species," explained Curator Emeritus Tadasu K. Yamada of the National Museum of Nature and Science from the research team.
Beaked whales prefer deep ocean waters and have a long diving capacity. This makes them hard to see and to understand adequately. The Stranding Network Hokkaido, a research group founded and managed by Professor Takashi F. Matsuishi of Hokkaido University, collected six stranded unidentified beaked whales along the coasts of the Okhotsk Sea. "There are still many things we don't know about B. minimus ," said Takashi F. Matsuishi. "We still don't know what adult females look like, and there are still many questions related to species’ distribution, for example. We hope to continue expanding what we know about B. minimus ."

This study was conducted in collaboration with multiple institutions.
Illustration from National Museum of Nature and Science, Hokkaido University

Rare Olive Ridley Sea Turtle
Nest Discovered on O'ahu
(Stock Photo)

I magine their astonishment when a couple vacationing on the Hawaiian Island of O'ahu discovered a nest of sea turtles under their beach blanket and, to add to the excitement, found out that it was a nest of extremely rare Olive RIdley sea turtles ( Lepidochelys olivacea ) .
Ben Zitney and Sarah Wager found about 30 baby sea turtles emerging from a nest right under their blanket.They ended up contacting NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Lindsey Bull and Alexandrea Reininger, NOAA scientists, joined them at the area where they had been sitting on the beach. After a few minutes of digging, they found 72 eggs, 64 of which had successfully hatched. They also rescued two hatchlings that were stuck at the bottom of the nest. When released, they crawled into the sea.
Locating a new nest allowed NOAA researchers to evaluate how many eggs successfully produced hatchlings, as well as the potential cause of eggs that did not. It was important data to collect for sea turtle population modeling and trend analyses.

New Products in Whale Store
L ong Sleeve Black
Unisex Long Sleeve Black Organic
Whale Tail Tee with Save The Whales printed down one sleeve.
All tiles are 6″x6″ and are made by a 30-year-old family business in the USA.
Bracelets symbolize the importance of ridding the oceans of discarded fishing gear that trap marine life.
Want to Give a Donation?
Make a contribution to Save The Whales via Monterey Gives! and the best part is you don't have to live in Monterey, or even close, to have your contribution be a prorated match by Monterey Gives! Please share with others who may want to contribute. 
Donate by December 31, 2019, because this means more money will support our mission to preserve and protect the ocean and its inhabitants.
Save The Whales, 1192 Waring Street, Seaside, CA 93955