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Saving the Whales

Experts: Well-Trained Rescue Team Needed to Save Stranded Whales that Wash Ashore in Bali.

(9/27/2010) The Jakarta Post reports that scholars and environmental experts have met to discuss how best to rescue the increasing number of whales beaching themselves on Bali's shores.

The meeting of experts took place during a one-day workshop in Bali during which experts examined the eleven cases of whale stranding in Bali over the past two years and how the local people coming to the mammals rescue can be better equipped to affect a successful rescue. Benyamin Khan of APEX Environmental lamented that well-intentioned locals using traditional methods were proving inefficient rescuers that were oftentimes placing the whales at greater risk.

Khan confirmed that thirty-one of the world's remaining 120 species of whales are found in Indonesian waters.

Whales pass through the straits surrounding Bali on their annual north-south migrations. Along the way, the whales face mortal danger due to fishing nets, pollution, oil and gas explosions, and shark predation.

Made Jaya Rathna of the Animal Husbandry Department of Bali's Udayana University said a specialized whale rescue team was needed to respond to emergencies involving the nine whale species that frequent the waters of Bali and Lombok. In all, forty whales have been stranded in Bali's waters over the past ten years. Of that number, only half survived despite earnest efforts to save their lives.