Correction — March 19, 2008 The next protest is scheduled for April 12, 2008. The article below states April 18 which is incorrect. 

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Internet group Anonymous today held further protests critical of the Church of Scientology.

The global protests started in Australia where several hundred protesters gathered at different locations for peaceful protests.

In a global speech, the Internet protest movement said Scientology “betrayed the trust of its members, [had] taken their money, their rights, and at times their very lives.” The protesters welcomed the public interest their protests have led to, and claimed they witnessed “an unprecedented flood of Scientologists [joining] us across the world to testify about these abuses.” The group said it would continue with monthly actions.

In a press statement from its European headquarters, Scientology accused the anonymous protesters of “hate speech and hate crimes”, alleging that security measures were necessary because of death threats and bomb threats. This also makes the Church want to “identify members” of the group it brands as “cyber-terrorists”.

Wikinews had correspondents in a number of protest locations to report on the events.

Anonymous states that the next protest is scheduled to take place on April 18, which happens to be the birthday of Suri, the daughter of Tom and Katie Cruise.

Contents

  • 1 Location reports
    • 1.1 Adelaide, Australia
    • 1.2 Atlanta, Georgia
    • 1.3 Austin, Texas
    • 1.4 Boston, Massachusetts
    • 1.5 Brussels, Belgium
    • 1.6 London, England
    • 1.7 Manchester, England
    • 1.8 New York, New York
    • 1.9 Buffalo, New York
    • 1.10 Seattle, Washington
    • 1.11 Sydney, Australia
    • 1.12 Portland, Oregon
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources

Submitted by: Mike P Kaselnak

There are two entities that can double your business in a year with no cost…your clients and CPA’s. If they refer it costs you nothing. If they refer, you will double or triple your profitability…but that is a big IF.

I know of nobody that is getting 3 or 4 referrals month in and month out. Why?

We’ll talk about clients in a future article. Let’s talk about CPA’s and attorney’s today.

Do you have a system to get Professionals to refer to you?

Oh sure, we would maybe take a CPA out to lunch or refer a client or two to an estate planning attorney, in the hopes that they would reciprocate and refer back. However, most advisors do not set up the same type of systematic marketing for professionals that they do for the public with seminars, lead programs, and advertisements.

Smart financial advisors everywhere are beginning to realize the advantages of leveraging referrals from CPAs and attorneys. As an industry, we have allowed them to take advantage of us for years. We have in good faith referred our clients out for tax preparation and legal work. We have ushered client after client out our door and into theirs. We have become their main source of referrals and income. In fact, many CPAs and attorneys would find their income cut in half if it wasn’t for referrals provided to them by financial advisors.

Yet, how often do we see referrals back to us? Rarely. Up to this point all we have done is whined about the unfairness of it all. Enough is enough. Clients regularly ask their CPAs for the name of a good financial advisor and so do attorney’s clients. Do they recommend us? Rarely.

Why don’t CPAs and attorneys want to refer to us?

They give us all sorts of reasons why they don’t refer.

I’m not comfortable

You are just one of the many advisors that refer to me and I don’t want to bite the hand that feeds me

It doesn’t come up

I will next time

And on and on

I believe the reasons they don’t refer back to us is different for CPAs than it is for attorneys. Of course, I am making general assumptions here, but hear me out.

CPAs have big hearts

I know that we think of CPAs as being these robotic, wooden humans that are void of emotions but think about it. CPAs protect their clients. They are almost like mother hens sheltering their broods from the big bad world. They do not want anything to hurt their clients. This is to be applauded.

Unfortunately, many CPAs are not really familiar with what we do for our clients. Since unfamiliarity breeds mistrust, they feel the best way to protect their clients is to recommend for their clients to stay the course…to do nothing.

Yes, maybe our suggestion could save their client taxes…but it might lose them money. Yes, maybe our solution is beautiful to us but it is foreign to them. Yes, we MAY want to help their clients BUT they REALLY want to help them.

It is much more difficult to get into trouble by doing nothing than doing something (as financial advisors, we know the trouble people get into by doing nothing: Paying too much in taxes. Not growing their money enough. Or trying to grow the money too fast and having a portfolio that is too aggressive during a market correction.)

However, to an accountant, we all look like money grubbing salespeople that want to get at their clients wallets to fatten our own bank accounts. They know that a few of us are good but why take the risk. So, just like we tell our kids, they tell their clients, Just say no, to whatever that financial advisor recommends. And God forbid that they would put their clients into the lion’s den by recommending their clients come see us!

Attorneys have big egos

No surprise to most of you. Attorneys always have to be right. They have to be the center of attention. Their egos have to be fed. If you know an attorney, you know that they know everything about everything and would never stoop to having to ask for help from a mere mortal, like a financial advisor. They feel perfectly qualified to give their clients advice on any subject from law to heart surgery to car mechanics to financial planning.

Need I say more?

Same solution works for both problems

So CPAs don’t trust us and attorneys think it is beneath them to refer to us. Two different problems but luckily the same solution works for both problems. In Dr. Cialdini’s book Influence: Science and Practice, he breaks influence down into 6 principles.

Utilizing a simple combination of five of those principles is what works.

Reciprocation You then me, then you, then me…Be the first to give:

– Service

– Information

– Concessions

Authority Showing knowing…Establish position through:

– Professionalism

– Industry knowledge

– Your credentials

– Admitting weaknesses first

Consistency The starting point…Start:

– Small and build

– With existing commitments

– From public positions

– Once you start, deliver on time, every time

Liking Making friends to influence people…Uncover:

– Similarities

– Areas for genuine compliments

– Opportunities for cooperation

Consensus People proof, people power…Unleash people power by showing:

– Responses of many others

– Other’s past successes

– Testimonials of similar others

Build a referral machine

First, what is a machine? It is a device that modifies energy to perform or assist in the performance of a repetitive task. Another definition is a device for overcoming resistance at one point by applying force at some other point. Both of these concepts work well with how to get referrals from other professionals when combined with Dr. Cialdini’s Principles of Influence.

For years we have known the value of dripping on our clients and prospects with newsletters, phone calls and other methods. It is a testament to how well this has worked that more and more entities use these tools.

Have you ever considered a drip program for CPAs and attorneys? Not simply sending them the same thing you send your prospects and clients! That does not make them feel special. If you try to use your client/prospect drip on them it simply seems like you added them as an afterthought…that you don’t even look at them as professionals but just as some other sucker.

Feed Their Need!

By creating a systematized drip designed specifically for CPAs or attorneys you will give them both what they need.

You will give CPA’s the information they need to determine that you will not hurt their clients…that you only want to help. By having a specialized drip program that leverages all of Dr. Cialdini’s principles, you will effectively influence accountants to begin to refer to you. What should your CPA drip system include?

Reciprocation Give them information about the financial industry that can make their job easier. Not product information but how different tax laws are affecting investments, easier ways to get 1099’s at the end of the year, resources they may not have heard about. Give them heads up about financial scams to look for, etc. Give them success stories about happy clients. And give them referrals.

Authority By doing the above it will also show them that you are a person that knows what’s going on and that they could count on if they have an investment related question.

Consistency By doing these things in a consistent manner, monthly or bi-weekly, they will see that you are here to stay and are reliable (HUGE issue with accountants.)

Liking By including things about your family and your activity in the charitable arena they will begin to know you and your values. They will start to feel like they know you as a friend.

You will give attorneys the information they need to feel important and to feed their ego…

Reciprocation Always genuinely compliment them. Mention other attorneys that have done a great job for your clients. Make them stars. Also, give them information about the financial industry that can make their job easier. Not product information but how different estate laws are affecting investments, information on Medicare or LTC as it applies to legal advice, issues that may affect their clients, etc. Give them success stories about happy clients. And give them referrals.

Authority By doing the above, it will also show them that you are a person that knows what’s going on and that they could count on you if they have an investment related question. This is important to them so that they can have all the answers for their clients.

Scarcity By mentioning attorneys that have done a great job, it will make other attorneys want to be mentioned as well…did we talk about egos earlier?

Consistency By doing these things in a consistent manner, monthly or bi-weekly, they will see that you are here to stay and are reliable.

Liking By including things about your family and your activity in the charitable arena they will begin to know you and your values. They will start to feel like they know you as a friend…and with attorneys it’s all about who knows who.

Does This Really Work?

Nope. Because nobody does it. Yep. Because nobody does it. I take that back. I coach 150 of the top financial planners in the country. These guys are easily in the top 5% in income for advisors. How many of them take the time and effort to create and utilize these professional drip systems? Two, even with me yelling at them monthly to do it!

These two have had terrific success with it. They have had attorneys that they have been referring to for over 10 year without a single referral back hand over 10 referrals in a week within a month of using a professional drip system.

They have gone from being just another broker to someone that is respected and known and invited to speak at their gatherings.

They have gone from relying on the old methods of seminars, leads and ads to getting highly qualified and pre-sold prospects (I hope you already know that when an attorney or CPA refers their client, you have a 99.9% chance of getting the deal.)

Do it?

You know that this works. Why aren’t you doing it? Too hard? Haven’t considered it before? Don’t know how? No one else is doing it. You have a once in a lifetime opportunity to get a strangle hold on the professionals in your town. Don’t blow it.

Few people in the financial industry go after professional referrals aggressively which is baffling. If you asked 100 advisors in what manner they would like new people to come to see them…99 would say referred from an accountant or attorney.

Yes it takes some time to come up with a drip system skewed towards them but don’t you agree it’s worth it? Sit down and think about the Principles of Influence and how you could incorporate them into regular scheduled contacts with targeted professionals in your community. The time spent will put hundreds of thousands into your pockets.

What to Do Next

Don’t let all of the everyday hassles we all face in the financial industry everyday keep your from getting started on the above information today. Remember the difference between urgent and important. It is the important things like putting client acquisition strategies in place that will ensure your profitable practice…not answering the phone that is ringing on your desk right now. TeamingWithClients.com wishes you all the success you deserve.

About the Author: Mike Kaselnak is considered one of the top marketing and sales experts in the financial services industry. He has personally mentored over 300 financial advisors in the past 10 years. These financial advisors saw their average production increase by 62%. Many saw increases of over 300 percent. He writes articles that have appeared in many mainstream magazines and has written the popular report 300 Financial Headlines that sell.

MikeKaselnak.com

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

On Tuesday, Microsoft launched BizTalk Server 2006 R2 with Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) technology in Taiwan. Microsoft Taiwan held a launch seminar with “Pulse the Operations with the Communication of Enterprises” topic and invited hardware and software companies to highlight the integration of RFID, SOA, and EDI with BizTalk Server 2006 R2.

At the press conference, Steven Martin (Director of Product Management for BizTalk® Server Product Group at Microsoft Corp.) mentioned the improvements to BizTalk Server 2006 R2 and the lower costs, which could increase the opportunities for enterprises. Martin also praised Taiwan for having an environment conducive to the development of RFID technology, and suggested that was the reason Microsoft Global Headquarters chose Taiwan as the first location for the product launch.

Aside from seminars and exhibitions, Microsoft Taiwan also welcomed Chang Jung Christian University, Telecommunication Laboratories of Chunghwa Telecom Co., Ltd., Tekho Inc., Formosa Petrochemical Co., Ltd., and Quanta Computer lnc. to introduce their solutions from their earlier integration and show the strength of RFID technologies in Taiwan.

After the launch series in Taiwan, Microsoft Global Headquarters announced that the next launch for BizTalk Server 2006 R2 would be Sydney, Australia on September 13, followed by Chicago, United States on October 2.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tropical Storm Danielle is now a Category 1 hurricane, with winds up to 130 km/h (80 mph). The storm is headed towards Bermuda and forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida expect it to strengthen over the next two days. Hurricane Danielle is the second hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season.

North America is simultaneously threatened by Tropical Storm Frank. The 80 km/h (50 mph) storm in the Pacific Ocean is about 210 km (130 miles) south-south west of Acapulco, Mexico. Mexico has issued a tropical storm watch in the area.

Hurricane Danielle formed near the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of West Africa, being classified as Tropical Depression Six. It then developed into a more organized cyclone.

Meteorologists predict that Danielle will be the first of several storms to form within the next two weeks, as the Atlantic hurricane season is currently at its peak. “There are signs that the Atlantic is acting like it should in August and September. We’re seeing more activity than we did earlier in the season,” said Rick Knabb of the Weather Channel.

Even though the 2010 season seems to be one with low activity, emergency officials are still stressing safety and awareness to residents in hurricane-prone areas. “It only takes one storm to cause a loss of lives and devastating property damage,” Lauren McKeague, Florida Division of Emergency Management, says. Hurricane Andrew was a catastrophic Category 5 storm that came during a year when it was a lower-than-average season.

40 million credit cards compromised

Posted by: in Uncategorized
21
Aug

Saturday, June 18, 2005

MasterCard International announced Friday that multiple instances of fraud have been tracked back to CardSystems Solutions, Inc., a company that processes credit card transactions and other payments. Customer names, banks, and account numbers of up to 40 million cardholders have been exposed, of which about 13.9 million are MasterCard-branded cards, the company said. Visa and American Express cards were also affected.

“The breach appears to be the largest yet involving financial data,” said David Sobel, of the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

CardSystems issued a statement late on Friday that said it learned of the potential breach 26 days ago, but that the FBI told the company not to advise the cardholders nor the public at large. CardSystems also said their statement had been vetted by the FBI.

A spokesperson for the FBI said that the agency had asked CardSystems not to disclose information that could compromise the investigation, but that it had not asked CardSystems to fail to disclose the breach at all.

Michael A. Brady, C.F.O. of CardSystems, told the Associated Press that “we’re absolutely blindsided by a press release by the association,” when speaking of MasterCard’s release. A MasterCard spokesperson said that the company was obligated to inform its customers of the breach.

MasterCard spokesperson Sharon Gamsin said that CardSystems was hit by a virus-like computer script that stole customer data for the purpose of fraud. She said MasterCard does not know how the script got into the CardSystem network.

Sobel said this theft “indicates that this is a shadowy industry where the consumer never really knows who is going to be handling and using their personal information. Presumably, the affected consumers thought they were dealing with MasterCard.” Having a third-party process credit card transactions is common practice in the industry.

Submitted by: Antarip Saikia

Traditional marketing has become less effective and costlier for organizations, which had led marketers to explore the untapped potential of social media. Content marketing, irrespective of the channel used, remains an important medium to attract and ultimately drive customers to buy products and services.

Instead of directly showcasing products and services with the help of content, organizations are providing new perspectives to the audience. With content being the powerhouse, it is important to discover the untapped content marketing distribution channel and utilize it for the companys benefit.

What is Employee Advocacy?

Organizations are yet to utilize their biggest asset their employees. Employee advocacy is the promotion of an organization by its employees. Essentially, brand advocacy enables an organizations people to act as brand ambassadors on social media.

Employee advocacy involves leveraging the employees for positive word-of-mouth marketing on their personal social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. According to Pew Research Centre, an average individual Facebook user has over 200 friends. If 100 employees of an organization shared brand-related content with each of their 200 friends, they could reach out to 20,000 people.

How does Employee Advocacy fuel your Marketing Campaigns?

Advocacy marketing emphasizes on getting employees to spread awareness about the organization and its products and services. More than 80% of shoppers research online before purchasing and advocates can help you build a positive image.

Advocacy marketing can be a beneficial investment to increase your brand awareness as it can improve your brand’s visibility through your employees. It can humanize the organizational image by increasing employee and customer engagement and unify marketing efforts with the help of influencers and referral marketing programs.

Below are more reasons to invest in social media employee advocacy.

Employees help in word-of-mouth promotion:

Customers who are recommended by their peers are more likely to trust your organization. Social media engagement platforms help you win the trust of your customers. The B2B Buyers Survey Report, 2015 reported that Industry Experts (21%) and Peers (20%) are the top two resources for customers to get advice.

Generate greater ROI:

With social media becoming a crucial marketing platform, the B2B marketers have doubled their budgets for it. Though the budgets have been increasing, it is important to make sure the revenue is also earned. Employee Advocacy helps in sharing content cost-effectively, hence boosting the reach of the social media marketing campaigns.

Reach targeted customers:

Meeting sales targets can always be a stressful task. Social media brand advocacy can help you reach targeted audience for each promotion. 72.6% of salespeople using social selling as part of their sales process have outperformed their sales and exceeded quota 23% more often. Such marketing increases the organizations organic web traffic and lead generation.

SOCXO, an ROI-driven employee advocacy platform can boost your marketing efforts organically. You can reach more people by spreading awareness through your employees and get the initial momentum that is required for making your marketing campaign successful.Contact us, and get the best marketing platform for your business.

About the Author: Want to know more about Employee Advocacy or looking for any Employee Advocacy Platform service in Bangalore, Visit our site

socxo.com

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Former Salt Lake City mayor and human rights activist Rocky Anderson took some time to discuss his 2012 U.S. presidential campaign and the newly-created Justice Party with Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn.

Anderson served as mayor of Salt Lake City for eight years (2000–2008) as a member of the Democratic Party. During his tenure, he enacted proposals to reduce the city’s carbon emissions, reformed its criminal justice system, and positioned it as a leading sanctuary for refugees. After leaving office, Anderson grew critical of the Democratic Party’s failure to push for impeachment against President George W. Bush, and for not reversing policies on torture, taxes, and defense spending. He left the party earlier this year and announced that he would form a Third party.

Anderson officially established the Justice Party last week during a press conference in Washington D.C.. He proclaimed “We the people are powerful enough to end the perverse government-to-the-highest-bidder system sustained by the two dominant parties…We are here today for the sake of justice — social justice, environmental justice and economic justice.” The party promotes campaign finance reform and is attempting to appeal to the Occupy Wall Street movement. It is currently working on ballot access efforts, and will hold a Founding Convention in February 2012 in Salt Lake City.

Among other issues, Anderson discussed climate change, health care, education, and civil liberties. He detailed his successes as mayor of Salt Lake City, stressed the importance of executive experience, and expressed his views on President Barack Obama and some of the Republican Party presidential candidates. He spoke in depth about former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, with whom he worked during the 2002 Winter Olympics, and fellow Utahan, former governor and U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Jr..

Contents

  • 1 Background
  • 2 The Justice Party and opposition
  • 3 The GOP race
  • 4 Public policy and the state of democracy
  • 5 Related articles
  • 6 Sources

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Former Salt Lake City mayor and human rights activist Rocky Anderson took some time to discuss his 2012 U.S. presidential campaign and the newly-created Justice Party with Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn.

Anderson served as mayor of Salt Lake City for eight years (2000–2008) as a member of the Democratic Party. During his tenure, he enacted proposals to reduce the city’s carbon emissions, reformed its criminal justice system, and positioned it as a leading sanctuary for refugees. After leaving office, Anderson grew critical of the Democratic Party’s failure to push for impeachment against President George W. Bush, and for not reversing policies on torture, taxes, and defense spending. He left the party earlier this year and announced that he would form a Third party.

Anderson officially established the Justice Party last week during a press conference in Washington D.C.. He proclaimed “We the people are powerful enough to end the perverse government-to-the-highest-bidder system sustained by the two dominant parties…We are here today for the sake of justice — social justice, environmental justice and economic justice.” The party promotes campaign finance reform and is attempting to appeal to the Occupy Wall Street movement. It is currently working on ballot access efforts, and will hold a Founding Convention in February 2012 in Salt Lake City.

Among other issues, Anderson discussed climate change, health care, education, and civil liberties. He detailed his successes as mayor of Salt Lake City, stressed the importance of executive experience, and expressed his views on President Barack Obama and some of the Republican Party presidential candidates. He spoke in depth about former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, with whom he worked during the 2002 Winter Olympics, and fellow Utahan, former governor and U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, Jr..

Contents

  • 1 Background
  • 2 The Justice Party and opposition
  • 3 The GOP race
  • 4 Public policy and the state of democracy
  • 5 Related articles
  • 6 Sources

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

File:BeijingOlimpicGames2008-08-08.jpg

Officials representing the Beijing Olympic Games in China have confirmed that the organizations in charge of the Opening Ceremony for the 2008 Summer Olympics may have faked at least two parts of the production. The ceremony lasted a total of four and a half hours.

It has been revealed that nine-year-old Lin Miaoke, who performed “Ode to the Motherland” during the ceremony, was only a visual effect. A recording of another girl’s voice played throughout the stadium and on the television and radio broadcasts. It is also now known that that some of the fireworks shown on television were computer-generated imagery.

The New York Times reports Lin’s voice was not perfect, and a member of the Chinese Politburo demanded that a more suitable voice was used. Organizers found that voice in seven-year-old Yang Peiyi. Another girl was used in rehearsals, but she was deemed to be too old.

“The reason was for the national interest,” Chen Qigang, the opening ceremonies general music designer, said Sunday during a radio interview. “The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feeling and expression.”

Filmmaker Zhang Yimou, the production’s director, praised Lin at a press conference with Chinese media.

“She’s very cute and sings quite well, too,” he said according to a transcript of the news conference. “I was moved every time we did a rehearsal on this, from the bottom of my heart.”

The initial performer was a ten-year-old girl who was not named in the report and “whose voice was really good,” but Zhang decided that she was too old. About ten girls were auditioned for the role at Central People’s Radio Station in Beijing.

“After the recording, we thought that Lin Miaoke’s voice was not very suitable,” Chen Qigang said during his radio interview with Beijing Music Radio. “Finally, we made the decision that the voice we would use was Yang Peiyi’s.”

During the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, tenor Luciano Pavarotti mimed to a recorded version of the song he was singing. The recording was of him, but the singer, then 70 years old, had problems with a cold and opted to lip sync.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Philippine fishermen, volunteers and authorities with dozens of fishing boats have joined hands in guiding back to sea about 500 disorientated melon-headed whales that were stranded in the shallow waters near the mouth of Manila Bay delta in the Bataan Peninsula.

The gentle mammals were first spotted swimming back and forth and straying very dangerously close (about a mile or 1.6 kilometers) to the shores of the coastal towns of Pilar, Orion and Abucay 135 kilometers northwest of Manila at around at around 4:00 am on Tuesday, said Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Commodore Luis Tuazon and Bataan Governor Enrique Garcia Jr.

The Philippines Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said its has responded to the reported mass “stranding” of whales off Pilar coastal waters in the province of Bataan where the famous and historic Corregidor Island is located.

Using dozens of fishing boats with machines shut down and bare hands, more than 100 village fishermen and volunteers along with BFAR, local police and Philippine Coast Guard personnel have joined the massive rescue. With great difficulty, the emergency team has waded into the chest-deep water, clapping their hands and hitting the surface to guide and drive the whales farther away from the coastal shore to deeper waters.

“The mammals were at first thought to have been dolphins, but experts then identified them as melon-headed whales,” local veterinarian Mariel Flores said. “This type of whale can be easily mistaken for dolphins because of their size and their teeth, which resemble those of dolphins. The mammals have ears that are sensitive to large changes in pressure underwater,” she added.

This type of [melon-headed] whale can be easily mistaken for dolphins because of their size and their teeth, which resemble those of dolphins. If their eardrums are damaged they become disorientated and they float up to the surface.

“It looked like they never wanted to leave. They looked sad,” said Rodolfo Joson, a village councilor. Joson and his son, Joey, a fisherman like him, have rushed home at about 4 a.m. to report the pod sighting. “It was still dark when we waded into the water. The whales were about 200 meters from the shore. The water was up to my neck. We first checked their conditions by playing with them. They did not repel us or leave. They were making hooting sounds,” Joson explained the mass beaching. “It seemed they were running away from waters that they didn’t like. Dolphins are happy and strong creatures. They raced with ships,” he added.

A post-mortem examination has revealed that four dead whales found beached farther up north in Abucay, Bataan, include two adult females, one of which was pregnant, while the other gave birth to a calf that also died, said Dr. Lemnuel Aragones of Ocean Adventure in Subic Freeport who did the necropsy at the Bataan fisheries office in Balanga City.

This is the first time that such large numbers of dolphins had been stranded in the Philippines. “We are trying to come up with a possible explanation to this unusual occurrence. It could be that the dolphins had lost their bearings and inadvertently ended up on the shallow portion of the coast unable to extricate themselves,” said Dr Lemuel Aragones, Associate Professor at the UP Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology.

Dr Aragones, who holds a PhD on Tropical Environmental Studies (Marine Ecology) from Australia’s James Cook University, explained that “the melon-headed whales of the dolphin family have sophisticated navigation systems that operate on a principle similar to sonar instruments used in submarines. Like humans, dolphins also follow a ‘leader’ of their pod. It is possible that the leader of this dolphin [pod] had somehow lost its way. In turn, the leader’s acoustic system, which serves as its guidance system, might have been impaired,” the marine expert elaborated.

Dr Aragones said “BFAR, UPIESM, and the Ocean Adventure Marine Park in Subic started the Philippine Marine Mammals Stranding Network (PMMSN) in 2005 as a response to cetacean strandings or beachings.” She cited the PMMSN training received by BFAR officers in Bataan during Tuesday’s mass beaching. She has asked the government to release funds for marine mammal studies.

The two adults had damaged eardrums, Alberto Venturina, the provincial veterinarian, said. “Dolphins with injured eardrums become disoriented, cannot dive for food and are too weak to swim and just flow with the current. If it’s a sick leader, the animal needs to be identified and taken out of sight of the rest of the pod so the healthy dolphins could be prodded back to sea,” he added.”The two animals were identified as melon-headed dolphins, weighing about 250 to 300 kilograms (550 to 660 pounds),” explained Venturina, adding “the third dolphin was only a month old and measured barely a meter long. Its gender had not yet been determined.”

According to Nelson Bien, head of the Fisheries Resource and Management Division of BFAR Region III, a necropsy by BFAR, the provincial veterinarian, and veterinarians from the Ocean Adventure in Subic Freeport has traced the cause of their death to drowning.

The marine doctors have determined that the marine mammals might have drowned after failing to extricate themselves from the fishing nets or “baklad,” explained Dr. Mundita Lim, director of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). “There were no injuries to their ears, like visible lesions, but the possibility of an acoustic problem or trauma is still there,” Dr Lim explained, saying, “more tests, like analysis of tissue samples and MRI tests will have to be done to see if there were other injuries to the animals not visible externally.”

They are sending tissue samples to the University of Philippines in Los Baños, Laguna for analysis. “If it was something like climate change, then it would be a bigger environmental problem,” Lim added.

A fourth and pregnant one was also found dead in the village of Tortugas in the town of Balanga, Bataan, said Bien, saying they were investigating the incident and would conduct a “water quality and water parameter test” to determine why the dolphins beached to shallow waters. The condition of melon-headed whale found at Talisay River and taken to Ocean Adventure in Subic Freeport has improved amid forced feeding and treatment of its 2 wounds, said Nilo Ramoso, Biologist III, Pawikan Conservation Project.

Dr. Westly Rosario, BFAR Center chief in Dagupan City, has reported that BFAR personnel were also investigating a “problem in the water, probably chemical pollution,” to explain why the dolphins beached and sought shelter in the shallow waters. The dolphins have faced the same direction and their blowholes above water, they seemed to be avoiding something. “The dolphins were behaving in the same way, they have the same action. People were trying to drive them back into the sea but they refused. There could be chemical pollution somewhere which they were avoiding,” Rosario explained.

Dolphins’ disorientation is sometimes caused by the changes in earth’s magnetic field “that cause the dolphins’ navigational mechanisms to go haywire,” Dr. Edgardo Gomez, professor emeritus of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute, said, adding that “it could also be chemicals in the water that affected the dolphins, although this should be proven by water tests.” Philippine marine biologist Rizza Salinas said a possible cause for the stranding of large pods of distressed whales is that there could have been illegal dynamite fishing in the area.

“This is very strange. What is also unusual is they appeared disoriented. I am on my way to Bataan on board BFAR’s patrol vessel. We will look into the situation. Our patrol boats are also on their way to the area. We are also getting experts on stranding,” said BFAR director Malcolm Sarmiento Jr. Sarmiento, explaining that the highest number of stranded dolphins recorded by the BFAR was only 20 to 30. “It’s something unusual. It’s the first time that such a large pod has entered Manila Bay, and is acting strangely,” Sarmiento added.

“Most strandings are caused by seaquakes, heat wave or disturbances at sea. Such disturbances affect the pressure underwater, which subsequently affects the dolphins’ eardrums and sense of balance, leading to their “disorientation.” The creatures then will avoid diving in deeper parts of the ocean and will swim to shallow areas. They came from the north and were headed towards the South China Sea,” Sarmiento explained, adding that the unusual occurrence may have also been caused when the pod could have been following a sick or injured leader.

Sarmiento has appealed to the public not to inflict harm on the dolphins, which are considered threatened species. “Please do not harm the dolphins because they are already endangered. The authorities should also prevent the people who want to inflict harm on the creatures. They should be arrested, if needed.” Melon-head dolphins are considered threatened species — meaning they are likely to become endangered in the future.

“At around 12 noon, the dolphins were finally guided to the open seas, but residents in Hermosa near Mariveles were surprised to see the dolphins near their shoreline, but around 4:30 pm, all the dolphins have left the shoreline and swam towards into deeper waters,” said Governor Garcia.

“The dolphins swam parallel back to Abucay, Hermosa, and Manila Bay before they were eventually herded farther offshore. There are theories that this phenomenon was a result of the Monday night lunar eclipse. The Fisheries Bureau will know after their tests,” Garcia added.

Having suspected the dolphins’ habitat must have been disrupted, forcing them to flee and seek refuge in shallow waters, Senate of the Philippines Majority Leader, Juan Miguel Zubiri on Tuesday asked experts to probe the cause of the sudden appearance of more than 300 electra dolphins near the shores of Pilar town in Bataan province Tuesday morning.

Senator Zubiri wanted the experts to examine the possibility that an earthquake study, involving an undersea experiment using blasting in the South China Sea by the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (L-DEO) – a collaborator of Columbia University – caused the abnormal behavior of the small whales.

Citing an International Union for Conservation of Nature research concluding that the melon-headed whales may have been distracted by the South China Sea study, forcing the dolphins to wander in the shallow waters, Senator Zubiri said that “the earthquake study is a sea floor investigation project in the exclusive economic zone that includes Taiwan, China, Japan and the Philippines for its earthquake research. On top of saving stranded dolphins, we should find the cause for the tragedy in order to avoid them in the future and to be prepared when it occurs again,” he explained.

But according to Erlinton Olavare, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) science research specialist, “no significant event was recorded by their stations in Bolinao, Sta. Cruz and Lubag, near Pilar at the time the dolphins were stranded Tuesday.”

Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Jose L. Atienza, Jr. said Bataan Gov. Enrique “Tet” Garcia on Wednesday confirmed there was dynamite fishing in his province. “I asked him [Garcia] and he confirmed it. He also said he was battling this illegal activity,” said Atienza. “The causes of the acoustic trauma could have been sound waves caused by dynamite fishing or sounds emitted by passing ships or seaquakes,” Gov. Garcia said.

“Dolphins are a ‘cohesive’ group and that they follow where their leader takes them. If the leader of the dolphins was sick, then the animal could have committed a “navigational error” and led the rest of the group to shore,” said the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS).

“The pod of melon-headed whales (dolphins) on Manila Bay were injured by a rather nasty group of more than 120 undersea earthquakes. The swarm started with a small magnitude-4.5 event on December 21, 2008. Things got red-hot on January 3, 2009 when a magnitude-7.6 event erupted near the water’s edge on Papua Island in Indonesia, 700 miles southeast of Davao City in Mindanao. The 7.6 magnitude quake was followed by more than 120 major aftershocks each one capable by itself of inflicting injury on a pod of dolphins,” said Capt. David Williams, a retired marine mammal researcher, a commercial sea captain for 40 years and active whale conservationist.

Capt. Williams explained that whales and dolphins have small air sacs (pterygoid sinuses) that surround each inner ear and help then sense sound direction underwater. A damaged pterygoid air sac results in the loosing of echonavigation and echolocation. “In summary, my Seaquake Theory indicates that barotrauma, as a result of exposure to potent earthquake-induced changes in ambient pressure, solves the centuries-old mystery of why whales and dolphins mass-strand on beaches around the world,” Capt. Williams concluded.

An explosive blast and explosive decompression create a pressure wave that can induce barotrauma. The difference in pressure between internal organs and the outer surface of the body causes injuries to internal organs that contain gas, such as the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, and ear.

According to the Natural History Museum experts, whale and dolphins can become confused, mis-read the Earth’s magnetic fields, fear certain sounds and get lost. Since 1913, it has investigated all strandings, more than 11,000 so far, and it runs the UK Whale and Dolphin Stranding Scheme.

New Zealand‘s Project Jonah has claimed that the largest recorded beach stranding was in 1918 when 1,000 pilot whales were stranded on New Zealand’s Chatham Islands.

The last mass beaching in the Philippines was in 1956 when around 12 sperm whales were stranded in a coastal area in Capiz, amid at least 10 yearly strandings that happened in the country involving only one or two animals that were either sick or dying.

Last January this year, Filipino fishermen have also rescued an endangered sea cow. The fishermen aided the beached sea cow to the deep sea, according to the Worldwide Fund for Nature.

The Melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra; many-toothed blackfish and electra dolphin) is a cetacean of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). As small members of the dolphin group, it is closely related to the Pygmy Killer Whale and Pilot Whale, and collectively these dolphin species are known by the common name blackfish.

The tender mammal can grow up to 2.7 meters (9 feet) and weigh as much as 210 kilograms (460 pounds). With black triangular “mask” on its face, it appears dark gray to black in color, has no discernible beak and its head is shaped like a rounded melon, thus the name. Its primary diet is squid and fish. The Melon-headed whale lives well off-shore in all the world’s tropical and sub-tropical oceans.

At the northern fringes of its range it may also be found in the warm currents of temperate waters. Ordinarily, however, it is found beyond the continental shelf between 20° S and 20° N. The Melon-headed whale is widespread throughout the world’s tropical waters, although not often seen by humans on account of its preference for deep water. It has been found in Ireland, Hawaii and Cebu, in the Philippines.

As social species, they are covered by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 in the United States. In July 2004, between 150 and 200 melon-headed whales occupied the shallow waters of Kauai island in Hawaii for over 28 hours, after which, they were rescued and guided to deeper water. This incident may have been related to nearby United States Navy sonar exercise.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) which includes the melon-headed whales in its Red List of threatened species said that the number of whales involved in mass stranding had increased in the last 30 years.

“The melon-headed whales are likely to be “vulnerable” to loud sounds, such as those generated by navy sonar and seismic exploration. Evidence from stranded whales also has indicated that they may have died after swallowing plastic items. It has been predicted that the whales will be affected by global climate change, but the impact is still unclear,” the IUCN explained.