Archive for Whales

“Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel” – In Stores June 2015

Elephants, Homepage, Whales on January 27th, 2015 No Comments

In a world where we usually measure animals by human standards, I take us into the inner lives of animals themselves; witnessing their profound capacity for perception, thought and emotion; showing why the word “it” is often inappropriate as we discover who they really are. Weaving decades of observations of actual families of free-living creatures […]

Return of a Native: Reflections on the 38th Voyage of the whaling ship Charles W. Morgan, July 11, 2014

Fish, Fishing & Fishermen, Whales on December 21st, 2014 No Comments

By Patricia Paladines & Carl Safina The first whale was spotted at around 11am. We approached it with the quiet stealth afforded by a light wind in our sails. To the best of our knowledge the animal could not imagine or have any concern that a wooden whale-hunting ship was nearing its magnificent, enormous body. […]

Tags: ,

Whales win one: Will Japan abide by ban?

Whales on April 24th, 2014 1 Comment

Previously posted on On March 31 the World Court in the Hague ruled that Japan’s “scientific” whale-hunting was baloney. It ordered Japan to revoke its “scientific research” permits to all its ships, effectively tying Japan’s fleet to the dock and silencing the cannons and exploding bombs that are the way whales die nowadays. Japan […]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Listening to Sperm Whale Sonar

Dolphins, Whales on December 12th, 2013 2 Comments

By Carl Safina Amazing. A few years ago in the Gulf of California, we found ourselves surrounded by a pod of female sperm whales sleeping peacefully like massive logs in a calm sea. One, followed closely by a seemingly protective companion, had a baby so new that it still trailed an umbilical cord as it […]

Tags: , , , , , ,

What Are Killer Whales Saying?

Whales on November 11th, 2013 No Comments

People who are listening to the killer whale calls in my previous posting are asking whether we have any idea yet of the meaning. Answer: not as language, but we do know some things. What we don’t know: We don’t know if they have words or language. We think they have signature calls (names) and […]

Tags: , ,

Whale Whisperer Don Pachico Mayoral is Gone

Whales on November 3rd, 2013 1 Comment

Don Pachico Mayoral, the first man to make physical contact and develop friendly relationships with some of the gray whales of Baja, Mexico, is gone.  A stroke took him on Tuesday, October 22, 2013. He was 72.  I met Don Pachico on the shore of San Ignacio Lagoon a couple of years ago while filming […]

Tags: , , , , , ,

Killer Whale Calls

Mystery and Grace, Travels, Whales on October 22nd, 2013 7 Comments

The following audio was recorded in early October in Haro Straight off San Juan Island in Washington.  There were about 20 whales or so – if you close your eyes, you can picture the backdrop of a jungle just as easily as the ocean. A hydrophone was used to capture the sounds, and although it […]

Killer Whales in Washington State: Serial Problems By Carl Safina

Salmon, Whales on October 5th, 2013 5 Comments

We were just chatting in Ken Balcomb’s kitchen when out of the computer speakers’ white-noise static came a single whistle that stopped all conversation. They were coming! Moments later the kitchen was full of squeals, squeaks, whoops, buzzes—. At the windows with our binoculars, we confirmed that a familiar group of “resident” or fish-eating killer […]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Kitchen Killer Whales By Carl Safina

Whales on October 3rd, 2013 3 Comments

I was just standing on researcher Ken Balcomb’s kitchen porch looking out at Haro Strait, from Washington toward Vancouver Island, Canada, watching killer whales going by. Cool enough, but these were not the usual “residents” who hunt salmon. They were “transients;” mammal eaters. One way we knew: We’d been listening to the nearby hydrophones set […]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

They Left Us—Bones

Whales on June 11th, 2012 2 Comments

In the Arctic north of Norway, the beach at Gåshamna, Svalbard is strewn with the debris of old whalers, and the bigger-than-dinosaur bones of the great whales. We pick our footing carefully around the wood and iron, around the shacks. We don’t want to damage the ruins. We walk around whale jawbones the size of […]