﹙廖鴻基﹚:「鯨」艷記

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1996 / 10月

文‧廖鴻基



當一小群、一小群的熱帶斑海豚,像哨兵般以共頻共振游在漁船前方時,我們心緒沸騰起來──這一趟沒有白來。

這是一個由漁民及學術單位合作的海上鯨豚調查計劃,小組成員除了學術單位助理、研究生及有興趣於生態攝影的朋友外,還有一位擁有怳C年捕魚經驗的船長。

在盛暑的七、八月,設備簡陋的小漁船上,沒有休息艙,沒有完善的設備……,但每個人對鯨豚的喜愛,大過豔陽的烤曬、大過波浪的巔簸,大家從暈船、曬傷的折磨中走過來,又得學習在搖晃不定的甲板上站穩腳步抓穩鏡頭,尤其得適應鯨豚在水波裡的快速矯捷……。

這期間,老船長學會鯨豚的辨認,也學會了如何觀察牠們的各種習性,最重要的是深切感受到過去捕魚生涯裡和鯨豚間不曾建立的珍貴情誼;學術單位的工作成員則藉由這個計劃,觀察到除了「海洋世界」及擱淺死體外活生生的野生鯨豚。我們粗簡克難的踏出一小步,卻也是台灣島嶼解脫封閉、將視野延伸入海的一大步。

感謝台大動物系周蓮香研究室及自由時報、晨星出版社、洄瀾傳播公司,在經費及各方面提供的協助,這計劃的第一步才得以順利完成。但在這台灣海域中徜徉的鯨豚究竟有多少?洄游慣性為何?面對的生態環境之改變大不大?對牠們的影響是什麼?太多太多的問題需要更長遠的時間觀察記錄。我們打算繼續進行整年度的海上調查工作,所需的經費及設備,我們正在努力尋求各方的支援與協助。

攝影者簡介

楊世主:鯨類研究工作者,曾任國科會、農委會海洋研究相關計劃之研究助理。

廖鴻基:海洋文學作家,曾獲得一九九三年、一九九五年時報文學獎,著有《討海人》一書。

潘進龍:漁津六號船長、資深專業漁民、海上經驗怳C年。

p.39

飛旋海豚

像海面上的一群飛鳥,嘴喙細長,身材嬌小,多變的飛旋動作,是牠們獨有的行為特色。

楊世主

p.40

熱帶斑海豚

身上的斑點,隨著年齡漸趨明顯,牠們愛在船前潛游,

通常在一、二次試探後,一小群一小群地和船隻同頻共振,也因如此沒有戒心,常遭漁船捕殺。

楊世主攝

p.41

瓶鼻海豚

海洋世界常見的表演明星,

台灣海岸的瓶鼻海豚顯得粗壯、勇猛、機伶。

廖鴻基攝

p.42

弗氏海豚

背藍灰、腹部白、短鼻,胸鰭、背鰭及尾鰭均較小,

從眼部至肛門有一顯著黑色帶,年齡愈大,黑帶愈寬。

潘進龍攝

p.43

花紋海豚

體粗壯、頭鈍,吻不明顯,俗稱「和尚頭」,

身上之淺色似刮痕般之紋采可資判別年齡,愈老愈顯灰白。

楊世主攝

p.44

偽虎鯨

鈍頭,胸鰭窄細,配上一身無法挑剔的純黑,

與頂端稍圓的鐮刀狀背鰭,使之猶如神秘高貴的鐵甲武士。

楊世主攝

p.45

虎鯨

在台灣東海岸匆匆邂逅這群旅行者,

牠們主動且善意的友好態度,似乎想澄清「殺人鯨」的惡名,和船隻的親暱距離竟僅在碰觸之間……

廖鴻基攝

p.47

啄鯨

深海的掠食者,猶如鳥嘴般的吻喙,無論潛水長度、深度和游進速度,牠們都遠遠超越我們的能力

及想像。是一種只能遠望的鯨種。

楊世主攝

相關文章

近期文章

EN

Whale Watch

text by Liao Hung-chi /tr. by Phil Newell


When group after group of pantropical spotted dolphins began to swim in front ofour fishing boat, we became very excited-our trip would not be in vain.

This project was a whale and dolphin survey, carried out jointly by scholars and fishermen. Besides having research assistants from scholarly institutions, graduate students, and nature photographers, the group also had a fishing boat captain with 17 years experience.

It was July and August, the height of summer. Our rough and ready vessel had no cabin to rest in, and only incomplete equipment. But everyone, based on their fondness for whales and dolphins, overcame the intense sun and the unsettling waves. We all survived seasickness and sunburn, and learned how to get a firm position on the rolling deck so we could take clear photos. Most importantly, we had to react quickly to the swift movements of these creatures amidst the waves.

In these two months, the old captain learned to tell different species apart, and how to observe their various behaviors. Most importantly, he realized how he had failed to develop friendship with whales and dolphins during his career as a fisherman. As for those from scholarly institutes, through this project they got to see dolphins and whales thriving in their natural habitat, rather than just the corpses or captive creatures (in marine parks) they had seen in the past.

This was a small first step for us, but a giant step in helping the island of Taiwan shed its blinders and extend its perspective to embrace the sea.

I would like to thank Chou Lien-hsiang and her research team at the Department of Zoology at National Taiwan University, the Liberty Times, Morning Star Publishers, and the Hui Lan Cable Broadcasting Company. They provided enormous assistance with funding and other areas to complete the first phase of the project.

But how many whales and dolphins are there, after all, around Taiwan? What are their migration habits? How much is their environment changing? How great an impact is this having on them? There are just far too many questions, and they will require extended observation to answer. We plan to continue with year-round at-sea surveying. We are currently working hard with all sectors to find help to get the necessary funding and equipment.

The Photographers

Yang Shih-chu: A specialist on whales and dolphins, he has worked on research projects with the National Science Council and the Council of Agriculture.

Liao Hung-chi: A marine-literature writer, he won China Times literary prizes in both 1993 and 1995.

Pan Chin-lung: Captain of the Yuchin No. 6, he is a veteran fisherman with 17 years of maritime experience.

p.39

Spinner dolphin

A group of flying mammals skims the ocean surface, with long snouts and small bodies. One of the special features of spinner dolphin behavior is their many twirling mid-air antics.

(photo by Yang Shih-chu)

p.40

Pantropical Spotted dolphin

Their spots become increasingly prominent with age. They love swimming in front of boats; usually after testing things out once or twice, one small group after another will take the same course as the boat. Sadly, it is just for this reason that they are often killed by fishing boats.

(photo by Yang Shih-chu)

p.41

Bottlenose dophin

These are frequently stars of the show at marine parks.

The bottlenose dolphins around Taiwan are stocky, bold,

and dexterous.

(photo by Liao Hung-chi)

p.41

Fraser's dophin

Blue-gray on the back, white on the stomach, with short noses,

these dolphins have relatively small fins and tails. They have a black stripe running from the eyes to anus; the stripe gets wider as they age.

(photo by Pan Chin-lung)

p.42

Risso's dolphin

These powerfully built creatures, with blunt heads and

not readily visible mouths, have the nickname "monk's head."

Along the body are pale-colored marks that look similar to scars from wounds, which get more grey-white with age.

(photo by Yang Shih-chu)

p.44

False killer whale

Characterized by a blunt head and narrow chest, colored a rich, pure black tone, and with a slightly curved sickle-shaped dorsal fin, this creature reminds one of a mysterious and noble knight in armor.

(photo by Yang Shih-chu)

p.45

Killer whale

We met up with these travelers along Taiwan's eastern coast. These creatures have an outgoing and friendly attitude, as if deliberately trying to belie their frightening name "killer whales." They come almost close enough to the ship to touch them. . . .

(photo by Liao Hung-chi)

p.45

Beaked whale

Thieves of the ocean depths, with bird-like snouts, they far exceed our abilities and imaginations in terms of distance, depth, and speed underwater. This type of whale can only be viewed at a distance.

(photo by Yang Shih-chu)

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