Gulf Restoration Network

United for a Healthy Gulf

Ellis Pickett
Sperm Whales, Oil, & the Gulf of Mexico
Blog -
Thursday, 27 May 2010 09:40

A native population of about 1400 endangered sperm whales live in the Gulf of Mexico year-round. They range from the Florida panhandle to Texas, swimming along the edge of the continental shelf. According to National Geographic, the BP drilling disaster may seriously endanger the long-term survival of this native group.

Whales, like dolphins use sounds to communicate with each other across great distances. They are also very inquisitive and have been observed near oil platforms. Click here for a youtube video of a sperm whale investigating a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) installing oil equipment on the sea bottom.
They also use echo-location to search for food. Their favorite meal is giant squid that live in the dark depths of Gulf canyons. Click here to see amazing photos of a whale feasting on a squid.

The Gulf sperm whale population is also endangered, with a recovery plan that estimates that any more than three mortalities annually caused by intractions with humans (or their oil drilling activites) will threaten the ability of the population to be rebuilt.

Will whales know to avoid the oil slick on the surface or the subsurface oil plumes from the BP well? How will the dispersants affect the whales and their prey?

Click here to learn more about sperm whales interaction with the offshore oil industry.

Ellis Pickett is GRN's Texas Campaign Organizer


BP's Oil Drilling Disaster - Take Action

Recent Posts

Wow. We had the best Saturday with NOLA Brewing for our 6th annual Easter Keg Hunt. The hunt began
Written by Natasha Noordhoff
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
On Sunday, April 20th, the nation marked four years since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the
Written by Steve Murchie
Friday, 18 April 2014
GRN's Steve Murchie speaking to media.Citizens and representatives of GRN and other organizations
Written by Raleigh Hoke
Thursday, 17 April 2014
Black skimmers flying along the beach on Mississippi's Ship Island.Today, the National Fish and
Written by Jordan Macha
Tuesday, 08 April 2014
This is a call for immediate action. Please read below, view the photos, share with your networks,
Written by Jonathan Henderson
Monday, 07 April 2014
Okatibbee Lake is fed by streams receiving water from several permitted discharges from Kemper The
Written by Andrew Whitehurst
Tuesday, 01 April 2014
A cleanup worker gathers oil on the shore of the Texas City Dike, March 24, 2014. Photo courtesy of
Written by Raleigh Hoke
Wednesday, 26 March 2014