Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata)

Species >> Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata)

Muscle serves a wide variety of mechanical functions during animal feeding and locomotion, but the performance of this tissue is limited by how far it can be extended. In rorqual whales, feeding and locomotion are integrated in a dynamic process called lunge feeding, where an enormous volume of prey-laden water is engulfed into a capacious ventral oropharyngeal cavity that is bounded superficially by skeletal muscle and ventral groove blubber (VGB).

The objectives of this study were to report the results of recent analyses of environmental toxicants in Washington marine mammals and evaluate the evidence for pollutant-related effects in marine mammals. In the last eight years, samples of close to 100 marine mammals from Washington State have been analyzed for concentrations of the chlorinated hydrocarbons: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and 2,2-bis- (p-chlorophenyl)-1,1-dichloroethylene (DDE).

Recommended guidelines for sampling and analyzing marine mammal tissue for chemical contaminants in Puget Sound are presented in this chapter. The guidelines are based on the results of a workshop sponsored by the Puget Sound Estuary Program (PSEP) and written reviews by representatives from most of the organizations that fund or conduct studies of marine mammals in the sound (Table 1).

Nine species of marine mammals commonly occupy the transboundary waters of British Columbia and Washington (BC/WA). Individuals of all species move across this international border. Of the four pinniped species common to these waters, harbour seals are the most numerous and the only one that breeds in the transboundary area. Approximately 27,000 harbour seals occur in the transboundary area, and the population has been increasing at 5-15% per year.

From 9 to 22 August 1998, the U.S. Geological Survey conducted seismic surveys in the Pacific Ocean just off Los Angeles to investigate earthquake hazards. Details on the purposes and specifications of the equipment used are described below.

In March 1998, the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with a number of other government and academic institutions, conducted seismic surveys in the greater Puget Sound area to investigate earthquake hazards. The project was named SHIPS (Seismic Hazards Investigations in Puget Sound) and was conducted from 10 to 24 March 1998. The surveys consisted of measuring responses to a towed array of 12-16 air guns with a total volume of 5,500-6,500 cubic inches.

Cascadia responded to 81 cetacean strandings of at least 11 species during the grant period. These documented the post UME rate of mortality in gray whales which showed low levels of mortality in the years immediately following a major mortality event in 1999-2000 but which was slightly elevated above average in 2005 and 2006. We documented a continued occurrence of fin whale mortalities related to ship strikes.