Lochhead calls for report into deaths of 22 whales
THE unexplained deaths of more than 20 whales along Scotland’s coastline have prompted an investigation by the Scottish Government.
Environment secretary Richard Lochhead has requested a full report to establish the cause of the incidents, including a mass stranding in Fife earlier this month where 22 of 26 long finned pilot whales died.
The move is being led by scientists at the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) which is conducting routine post mortems on the marine mammals.
It follows claims by wildlife groups that recent beachings may have been caused by sonar surveys used to detect locations for offshore wind farms around Scotland’s east coast. Mr Lochhead said: “I hope that by examining and testing the carcasses the SAC will be able to shed light on this concerning issue.”
The stranding at Fife at the start of this month was followed less than two weeks later by the discovery of a dead sei whale on a beach at Elliott near Arbroath. Early investigations there suggested natural causes.
Andrew Brownlow, SAC veterinary investigation officer, said: “There are many reasons why whales come close to shore and strand and we plan to investigate as thoroughly as possible.”
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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