LONG-FINNED PILOT-WHALES DIE-OFF IN THE ALBORAN SEA
(Wednesday, 25th April 2007)
In the last months, the number of pilot-whales, Glopicephala melas, stranded on the SE coast of the Iberian Peninsula (Gibraltar Strait, Murcia and Valencia Community) and Balearic Islands has been higher than usual. Several diagnostic analyses of tissues from six animals were carried out in order to establish the cause of the mortality. The associated pathologies and molecular evidence were compatible with a morbillivirus infection. Consequently, scientists and competent staff of the Ministry of Environment of Spain convened in Madrid on 16 April 2007 in order to set up an emergency protocol to anticipate any eventual die-off. In addition, standardized methods for necropsies and tissue sampling, as well as coordination procedures were approved.