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sydneyst
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 Posted: Wed May 27th, 2009 07:06 am

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Where Are the Whale Sanctuaries?

 visit:

http://www.awcs.org.au/whaleProtection.php

Last edited on Wed May 27th, 2009 07:08 am by sydneyst

sydneyst
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 Posted: Wed May 27th, 2009 07:00 am

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Leading Effort in Whale Conservation:

The Australian Whale Sanctuary
Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) all cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) are protected in Australian waters:
  • the Sanctuary includes all Commonwealth waters from the 3 nautical mile state waters limit out to the boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zone (i.e. out to 200 nautical miles and further in some places)
  • within the Sanctuary it is an offence to kill, injure or interfere with a cetacean. Severe penalties apply to anyone convicted of such offences
  • all states and territories also protect whales and dolphins within their waters
source of map:http://www.environment.gov.au/coasts/species/cetaceans/pubs/sanctuary-map.pdf

Attached Image (viewed 728 times):

auswhalesanctuary.gif

Last edited on Wed May 27th, 2009 07:25 am by sydneyst

sydneyst
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 Posted: Fri May 22nd, 2009 09:36 pm

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Conservation Effort Helping Right Whales

excerpt from NYTimes:
March 16,2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/17/science/17whal.html?_r=1
by Cornelia Dean

....researchers are beginning to hope that for the first time in centuries things are looking up for the right whale. They say the species offers proof that simple conservation steps can have a big impact, even for species driven to the edge of oblivion.

North Atlantic right whales were long ago hunted to extinction in European waters, and by 1900 perhaps only 100 or so remained in their North American range, from feeding grounds off Maritime Canada and New England to winter calving grounds off the Southeastern coast.

Since then, the species’ numbers have crept up, but very slowly. NOAA estimates that there are about 325, though scientists in and out of the agency suspect there may be more, perhaps as many as 400. It has been illegal to hunt the right whale since 1935, when the League of Nations put them under protection. Even so, researchers despaired of ever seeing a healthy right whale population here as long as ship strikes still maimed and killed them and fishing gear strangled them.

But “over the last four or five months there’s been a tremendous amount of good news,” said Tony LaCasse, a spokesman for the New England Aquarium, a center of right whale research. For example:

¶Recent changes in shipping lanes, some compulsory and others voluntary, seem to be reducing collisions between whales and vessels.

¶The Bush administration agreed last year to lower speed limits for large vessels in coastal waters where right whales congregate.

¶Fishing authorities in the United States are beginning to impose gear restrictions designed to reduce the chances whales and other marine mammals will be entangled in fishing lines. Canada is considering similar steps.

¶In December, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spotted an unusually large aggregation of right whales in the Gulf of Maine. A month later, a right whale turned up in the Azores, a first since the early 20th century.
 
¶And last year, probably for the first time since the 1600s, not one North Atlantic right whale died at human hands.
“We are seeing signs of recovery,” Dr. Merrick said. He and others warn that it is far too soon to say the whales are out of danger. Calving seasons are known for their ups and downs.

A single whale in the Azores does not prove the species is recolonizing its old haunts. Not everyone embraces the new shipping regulations. And so far this year, five whales have turned up entangled with fishing gear. Rescuers removed all or almost all of the gear from the five, including one whale freed last week after being successfully sedated for the process, a first.



for more link to:  
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/17/science/17whal.html?_r=1

Last edited on Fri May 22nd, 2009 09:40 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Fri May 22nd, 2009 09:31 pm

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Terrific Video Footage on Right Whales
photo: NY Times

see:http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/17/science/17whal.html?_r=1

Last edited on Fri May 22nd, 2009 09:39 pm by sydneyst

sydneyst
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 Posted: Tue Mar 10th, 2009 03:03 am

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National Geo Special to Air on Blue Whales

see: http://www.sydneysthumb.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=61&forum_id=6

Last edited on Tue Mar 10th, 2009 06:07 am by sydneyst

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 Posted: Sat Feb 21st, 2009 03:42 pm

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Back History on San Juan Orca Population

Last month researchers reported that seven whales from K pod were missing, causing concern about increasing threats to the treasured and threatened mammals from dwindling salmon stocks in Puget Sound and adjacent waters.

Orca dieoff has been attributed to fishery mismanagement as well as destructive land use practices both increasing the toxins into Pacific Northwest estuaries and destroying salmon habitat.  Puget Sound orcas were listed as a threatened species in 2005. 

If the seven orcas are indeed dead, the southern resident population that regularly visits the Sound is now at 83 animals, the fewest since 2003, and down from a recent high of 97 in 1996. (This doesn't include the new babies)

Among the orcas missing since November were the oldest and youngest members of the group, as well as two females in their peak productive years.

The following details were provided on the missing whales:  


L-67, Splash, female, born 1985, mother of Luna, a juvenile killer whale that made headlines in 2001 when he turned up in Canadian waters, missing September 2008;

L-101, Aurora, male, brother of Luna, born 2002, missing summer 2008;

L-111, born Aug. 12, 2008, believed to have lived only a week, missing late August 2008;

L-21, Ankh, female, born around 1950, missing summer 2008;

J-11, Blossom, female, born around 1972, missing July 2008;

J-43, unknown sex, born November 2007, missing later that month, believed to not have survived the winter;

K-7, Lummi, female, matriarch of the pod, born around 1910, missing spring 2008.

Source: Center for Whale Research, Orcas Network

Listen to orcas talking: http://orcasound.net/lk/


http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/Marine-Mammals/Whales-Dolphins-Porpoise/Killer-Whales/Index.cfm

Watch videos of recent orca sightings in Puget Sound: http://www.orcanetwork.org/

http://www.nwr.noaa.gov/Regional-Office/Salmon-Recovery/index.cfm

 

Last edited on Sat Feb 21st, 2009 03:43 pm by sydneyst

sydneyst
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 Posted: Sat Feb 21st, 2009 03:07 pm

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More Pictures of New Baby Orca from Whale Research Center 

see:

http://www.whaleresearch.com/encounter_pages/3_newcalves.html


Whale Research reports that L112 appears to be quite healthy and vigorous.  

Attached Image (viewed 364 times):

orcasl113.jpg

Last edited on Tue May 5th, 2009 01:39 am by sydneyst

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 Posted: Sat Feb 21st, 2009 02:54 pm

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Orca Babies Born to L Pod in San Juans

The Center for Whale Research in the San Juan Islands reports that L pod has a new member, a baby orca , born in January.

The pod with its new addition was spotted last Sunday on the west side of San Juan Island, said Kelley Balcomb-Bartok, the center's director of development and outreach.

The new birth puts the southern resident population - the J, K and L pods - at 87 whales. The new whale belongs to L pod, a family group. One young orca in K pod vanished last fall, and is feared dead, the center has reported. But two calves in L and J pods appear to be doing well.

For More Information: http://www.whaleresearch.com/

 

Last edited on Tue May 5th, 2009 01:23 am by sydneyst

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 Posted: Sat Jan 24th, 2009 10:10 pm

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Secrets of Blue Whale Communication Revealed in Video

John Calambokidis, the noted whale expert, provides the narrative for an engaging video on Blue Whale communication. 

https://events-admin.nationalgeographic.com/events/video-gallery/20/

 

Last edited on Tue May 5th, 2009 01:20 am by sydneyst

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 Posted: Fri Jan 23rd, 2009 08:03 am

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Sperm Whales Beached off Australian Island


The AP is reporting that 45 sperm whales have beached on a remote sand bank off Australia's coast.  Rescuers are pouring water on their parched skin to keep them alive until the next high tide.  Thirty-eight of the whales are reported dead. 

excerpts:

Wildlife officials said the whales had beached Thursday on the bank about 160 yards (150 meters) off Perkins Island on the northwest of Tasmania state, and all but seven had died by the time they were spotted.
The team had determined that the stranded pod, initially reported to be 50, numbered 45, Wren said.

There were young whales among the seven survivors, she said.

The reasons for the beaching were unclear, but Wren said rough sea conditions and the narrow channel that the pod had been navigating between the island and the mainland could be part of the explanation.

Strandings happen periodically in Tasmania, which whales pass on their migration to and from Antarctic waters. It is not known why the creatures get stranded.

Last edited on Mon Jan 26th, 2009 09:18 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Sat Jan 3rd, 2009 09:45 pm

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Japanese Whalers Resist International Pressure: Their Rationale

Why does Japan continue to hunt whales, the sentient warm-blood creatures that are largely endangered throughout the world's oceans. 

In December 2007, the Japanese government, under severe pressure from anti-whaling countries and environmental organizations canceled its whaling operations in the Southern Ocean. This year the fight seems to be heating up again.  

see the following post on Sydney's forum:

http://www.sydneysthumb.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=46&forum_id=5

Under a loophole in the 1986 International Whaling Commission (IWC) ban against commercial whaling, Japan has continued to kill hundreds of whales every year for "scientific research."  The "research" is a thin facade to allow the whaling to continue.  

Once a whale is killed, scientists collect data from the animal's remains on its age, birthing rate and diet; the meat is then packaged and sold. Japan maintains that the research is essential for managing the whale population. Most fishery and marine mammal agency who aren't on the payroll of the whalers dismiss the research as bunk.

Whether the whales are minke or humpback, Japanese whalers and their supporters see whales as a marine food resource.

Japan has cited its long history as a whaling nation and its historic reliance on whale meat for protein as reasons why it should be continued to allow to hunt despite the IWC ban. But Japanese consumption has become so negligible that local governments are encouraging schools to incorporate whale in their lunch programs, while thousands of tons of whale meat remain stockpiled in freezers



Last edited on Sat Jan 3rd, 2009 10:12 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Thu Oct 23rd, 2008 10:39 am

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Blue Whale Sigtings in UK and Ireland

The Daily Telegraph reports a rare and recent sighting of a blue whale off the coast of Ireland. The whale was spotted three times this week off Kerry, with one sighting caught on camera.
 



photo by Ivan O'Kelley 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/09/18/eawhale218.xml

Last edited on Thu Oct 23rd, 2008 10:45 am by sydneyst

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 Posted: Thu Oct 23rd, 2008 10:04 am

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New York Times Reveals Politics in Beluga Fight

 
On October 17 The New York Times reported that a prime consideration of Alaska politicians in opposing the Beluga listing was Anchorage port expansion.

Mayor Mark Begich of Anchorage, a Democrat seeking to unseat Senator Ted Stevens, a Republican, criticized the listing, citing its potential to impede the port expansion and result in “hugely expensive new requirements to Anchorage’s wastewater treatment.” Also opposed to expansion were Senator Lisa Murkowski and Representative Don Young, both Republicans.

Since 2000, the whales have been listed as depleted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The fisheries agency made its decision Friday in response to a 2006 petition from environmental groups. An environmental lawyer in Anchorage, Peter Van Tuyn, said he was pleased and somewhat surprised that the agency had agreed that the whales were endangered.

“I have never seen this agency take any more action than it was forced to,” Mr. Van Tuyn said, “so going through to endangered is great. I think the population is so darn small that they had no choice.”

The fisheries agency said the recovery of the whales was “potentially hindered” by several factors, including mass strandings, in which large groups of whales can be trapped on land during rapid tide changes that affect Cook Inlet; general development; oil and gas exploration; and pollution. The agency said it would “identify habitat essential to the conservation of Cook Inlet belugas in a separate rule-making within a year.”

Last edited on Thu Oct 23rd, 2008 10:08 am by sydneyst

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 Posted: Wed Oct 22nd, 2008 08:16 pm

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Alaska Belugas Listed As Endangered: Palin Rebuked

October 18, Washington DC. Today the National Marine Fisheries Service decided to extend federal protections to the beluga population near Anchorage after their numbers declined nearly 50% in the 1990s. The whales failed to rebound despite a decade-long program to revive the species.

"In spite of protections already in place, Cook Inlet beluga whales are not recovering," said James W. Balsiger, acting director of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The decision followed  a six month postponement of the listing after Sarah Palin, Alaska Governor, opposed an endangered listing on the grounds that "we've actually seen the beginnings of an increase in their population." Palin and the State of Alaska also asserted that the listing would do "serious long-term damage to the vibrant economy of the Cook Inlet area."

On Friday, Palin reaffirmed her position: "The state of Alaska has had serious concerns about the low population of belugas in Cook Inlet for many years. However, we believe that this endangered listing is premature."

Duyring last year's postponement, federal biologists conducted further population surverys and confirmed that the beluga population remained at 375 and showed no sign of increase.

Estimates have ranged from a high of 653 belugas in 1994 to a low of 278 in 2005.

Attached Image (viewed 380 times):

beluga2.gif

Last edited on Thu Oct 23rd, 2008 09:59 am by sydneyst


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