Sunday, August 18, 2019
The skye times mobile
Long finned pilot whale similar to those that stranded on Skye


The tragic beaching of a pod of whales on Skye has been used to help scientists learn how underwater synthetic noises affect marine life.

Staff from the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme worked with scientist Maria Morell to study the inner ears of dead whales, including long finned pilot whales that died in a mass stranding on Skye.

Twenty-two whales got into difficulties in shallow water on Brogaig Beach in June 2015.  Despite efforts from volunteers and coastguard personnel, seven of the animals died or had to be euthanized - including a female and her unborn calf.  

The team said there was "an urgent need" to develop methods for assessing the impact of high-intensity sonar and other sounds' on whales and dolphins.  During the study, scanning electron microscopy was applied to the inner ears, detecting acoustic trauma and damage caused by over-exposure to noises.  

The report has been published in Scientific Records and can be read here.  



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