News-in-Transition

12 February 2017

Volunteers pour water on pilot whales during a mass-stranding at Farewell Spit in New Zealand on February 11, 2017 (Photo by AFP).

 - Over 600 whales have been stranded on a New Zealand coastline over the past two days, with half of them dying despite rescue efforts to refloat them at sea.

The crisis began Friday when a pod of 416 pilot whales became stranded on Farewell Spit in Golden Bay and the situation deteriorated when another pod of 200 whales joined them at shore late Saturday.

From the outset, rescuers waded into neck-deep water to keep them at sea, even defying a shark threat. However, Department of Conservation (DOC) officials decided on Friday night to leave the whales overnight as efforts to refloat them during darkness turned too risky.

Over 300 whales died before the rescuers and volunteers converged at the coastline on Saturday. The rescuers formed a human wall to guide the survivors out to the sea and prevent the other whales from coming to shore.

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28 September 2014

 - We know: Beginning a series on current ocean news seems like a bleak proposition. Between the expanding garbage patches and relentless rise of warming seas, positive stories aren't exactly growing on trees. So we've gone to the trouble to net you 36 whole reasons to be excited about the future of the high seas—including magic-seeming plastic removal tech, more facts confirming the radness of sharks, and (of course) a cute baby seal video.

1. After learning about the harmful effects of ocean-borne plastic, a group of fifth and sixth grade students persuaded Dunkin' Donuts to phase out the use of foam cups. These kids are superheroes.

2. The Vermont Sail Freight Project is ditching oil to deliver fresh produce and other goods from Vermont to New York by sailboat. Not bad for a landlocked state.

3. California stepped it up yet again for the climate to ban micro-beads cosmetics and keep them out of the ocean.

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