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sydneyst
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 Posted: Wed Jun 26th, 2013 02:57 am

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Whale Wars Continue

see Wikipedia for summary of the conflict:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whale_Wars



scenes from ramming in 2013

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdiSpwv531s

Last edited on Wed Jun 26th, 2013 03:04 am by sydneyst

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 Posted: Thu Aug 9th, 2012 12:39 pm

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New Baby Orca in Puget Sound's JPOD

http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2012/08/new-baby-orca-born-to-j-pod/
  Posted by Christine Clarridge



A new baby orca is seen swimming with its mother. The baby is reported to be healthy and spry. The addition to the local J Pod is always a cause for celebration among orca watchers just about everywhere. (Photo courtesy of the Center for Whale Research)

The birth of a baby to a young mother can sometimes cause consternation among  human animals, but not so when it’s in our local pods of orcas.

The report on Monday of a new calf born to the J Pod, one of the area’s “most stable and successful” families, is being hailed far and wide, according to Howard Garrett, director and co-founder of Orca Network.

A picture of the baby, wedged between its mother and grandmother, was posted on the Network’s Facebook page last night and had already garnered nearly 800 “likes” and hundreds of comments in 12 hours.

“There’s a lot of excitement,” said Garrett. “We’re celebrating.”



Research into the endangered Orcinus orca species shows that the mammals are highly intelligent and live in complex and ancient cultures based on descent through the female line, Garrett said. Male and female offspring typically stay with their mothers their entire lives, he said.

Even during adolescence, the mothers seem to “just enjoy their children all the time. They don’t worry about house cleaning.”

The new calf, J49, is believed to have been born on Monday, Garrett said, and the first picture of him or her was taken by Capt. James Maya in the south end of the Georgia Strait, off of British Columbia.

The baby, who will be given another name at about 1 year old, is the first offspring of 11-year-old J37, who is named Hy’Shqa,  and the grandchild of Samish, or J14. J14 has four living offspring. Her mother, J12 is deceased, but her grandmother, the baby’s great-great grandmother, J2, is over 100 years old and still swimming with the pod, he said.

Garrett said that while female orcas are biologically able to reproduce when they are 7 years old, they often don’t until they are about 14.

According to Garrett, the father of J37′s baby  is probably from one of the other pods and the pairing would have been approved by her family, he said.

“The prevailing theory is that the mother or grandmother provides the matchmaking,” Garrett said.

For more information about orcas or the new baby, see the network’s Facebook page.



Last edited on Thu Aug 9th, 2012 12:45 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Sun Jan 1st, 2012 05:49 am

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Sea Shepherd anti-whaling boat damaged by wave
The anti-whaling vessel has been damaged by a wave while chasing the Japanese whaling fleet off Antarctica
The Steve Irwin, seen here in an earlier picture, was making its way through rough seas toward the Brigitte Bardot to escort the stricken boat for repairs. Photograph: Reuters

A conservationist group's boat that was chasing a Japanese whaling vessel off Antarctica was seriously damaged by a giant wave on Thursday, a major setback in the group's ongoing and sometimes violent battle with Japan's whaling fleet, the activists said.

The wave cracked the hull and severely damaged one of the pontoons on the Brigitte Bardot, a scout vessel for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which is chasing the whaling fleet in the hopes of interrupting Japan's annual hunt.

None of the boat's 10 crew were hurt, and the vessel was in no danger of sinking in the icy waters, Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson said.

"It's not going to stop our attempt, but it is a setback because it takes out one of our boats," Watson said by phone from his vessel, the Steve Irwin.

The Brigitte Bardot was chasing the Japanese ship Nisshin Maru in 20-foot (6-metre) swells when the rogue wave smashed into the port side of the vessel, cracking the hull, Watson said. The pontoon was in danger of breaking off, but the boat was not taking on any water, he said.

"The captain there assures me that everything will be fine by the time we reach them," Watson said.

The Steve Irwin, named after the late Australian crocodile hunter, was making its way through rough seas toward the Brigitte Bardot and was about 12 hours away by Thursday afternoon, Watson said. Once there, the Steve Irwin will escort the stricken boat 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometres) to Fremantle, Western Australia, for repairs, and immediately return to the waters off Antarctica to continue chasing the whalers.

Meanwhile, the group's third vessel, the Bob Barker, was left to hunt the whaling fleet by itself on Thursday.

Japan's whaling fleet kills up to 1,000 whales a year, an allowed exception under a ruling by the International Whaling Commission. Japan is permitted to hunt the animals as long as they are caught for research and not commercial purposes. Whale meat not used for study is sold as food in Japan, which critics say is the real reason for the hunts. Each hunting season runs from about December through February.

Sea Shepherd has sent boats to the waters off Antarctica for the past several years in an attempt to thwart the hunt. The two sides have occasionally had violent clashes, including a skirmish in 2010 in which a Sea Shepherd boat was sunk after its bow was sheared off in a collision with a whaling ship.

Last edited on Sun Jan 1st, 2012 05:51 am by sydneyst

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 Posted: Fri Feb 18th, 2011 12:56 pm

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NOAA Wants to Save Puget Sound Salmon for Orcas

Conflicts Heat Up with Fisherman and Tribes




SEATTLE, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- A U.S. environmental agency has rejected a four-year plan for Chinook salmon in Puget Sound because it might not leave enough fish for killer whales.

The problem is that no one is sure how many Chinook the orcas need to maintain a healthy population, The Seattle Times reported Friday. This month, members of the J pod of killer whales, one of three pods totaling under 100 members that comprise the endangered southern resident killer whale community, were spotted off Vashon Island. Their appearance suggests they may spend more time in the Washington state sound in winter than scientists previously believed.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has now asked Washington state and Indian tribes that fish in the area to submit a two-year plan, state officials said. The agency also asked them to join in studies of Chinook and killer whales for the next two years.

Recent studies have also suggested the whales need more Chinook in summer than previously thought. Scientists had also believed they left Puget Sound entirely in the winter, although they did not know where they go.

Fishermen say the NOAA is putting the entire burden on them.

"You can't bring back orcas just on the backs of fishermen," said Joel Kawahara, who fishes commercially in Washington and Alaska. "What about improving habitat? What about the effects of the dams on the Columbia River?"


Read more: http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2011/02/12/NOAA-wants-to-save-salmon-for-orcas/UPI-39031297542100/#ixzz1EJZ5r5J2

Related Stories


 

Last edited on Fri Feb 18th, 2011 01:02 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Sat Nov 27th, 2010 04:35 pm

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Daring Rescue of Whale off Farallones

Humpback nuzzled her saviors in thanks after they untangled her from crab lines, diver says

December 14, 2005
|By Peter Fimrite, Chronicle Staff Writer


One of the divers on the rescue team works on the crab pot lines that held the female humpback whale near the Farallon Islands. The weight of the crab pots was pulling the animal down.Marine Mammal Center photo via Associated Press Credit: Marine Mammal Center

A humpback whale freed by divers from a tangle of crab trap lines near the Farallon Islands nudged its rescuers and flapped around in what marine experts said was a rare and remarkable encounter.

"It felt to me like it was thanking us, knowing that it was free and that we had helped it," James Moskito, one of the rescue divers, said Tuesday. "It stopped about a foot away from me, pushed me around a little bit and had some fun."

Sunday's daring rescue was the first successful attempt on the West Coast to free an entangled humpback, said Shelbi Stoudt, stranding manager for the Marine Mammal Center in Marin County.

The 45- to 50-foot female humpback, estimated to weigh 50 tons, was on the humpbacks' usual migratory route between the Northern California coast and Baja California when it became entangled in the nylon ropes that link crab pots.








Last edited on Sat Nov 27th, 2010 04:40 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Tue Aug 24th, 2010 07:31 pm

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OSHA fines SeaWorld $75,000 in Death of Trainer

from: Washington Post

 

  By Associated PressTuesday, August 24, 2010 ORLANDO -- The federal job safety agency fined SeaWorld Orlando $75,000 on Monday for three violations uncovered while investigating the death of a trainer who was grabbed by a killer whale and dragged underwater in February.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration categorized the most serious violation as "willful," or showing indifference or intentional disregard for employee safety. That citation, carrying a $70,000 penalty, was for exposing workers to drowning hazards when interacting with killer whales.
 
The agency proposes not allowing trainers to have physical contact with Tilikum, the killer whale involved in trainer Dawn Brancheau's death, unless protected by a barrier.

The OSHA report described Tilikum as having "known aggressive tendencies."
Sea World trainers were forbidden from getting into the water with Tilikum because of previous deaths. But the killer whale grabbed Brancheau's long hair as she laid on her stomach on a concrete slab in three inches of water. The cause of death was drowning and traumatic injuries.

The second citation, deemed serious, was for failing to install a stairway railing system next to the stage in Shamu Stadium. That citation carried a $5,000 penalty.
The third citation, which did not carry a penalty, was for failing to have weather-protected electrical receptacles at the stadium.

SeaWorld spokesman Fred Jacobs said the park will contest the citations. "SeaWorld disagrees with the unfounded allegations made by OSHA today," Jacobs said in a statement.

Last edited on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 07:34 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Tue Aug 24th, 2010 02:58 am

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Help Animals Imprisoned by SeaWorld

from PETA
https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2945



In aquariums, dolphins and other sea animals routinely die prematurely of stress and other captivity-related causes, and SeaWorld has an abysmal record. But it's not just animals who are dying as a result of this industry: Human injuries and deaths are also common.

The most recent death of yet another trainer at SeaWorld did not have to happen, and this is not the first time a trainer has been seized, thrown against the walls of the tank, and held down to drown.

The intelligent, social ocean animals kept in the pitifully small tanks at SeaWorld are denied everything that is natural and important to them. In the wild, they swim up to 100 miles a day in the open ocean, but captured dolphins are confined to small tanks where the reverberations from their own sonar bounce off the walls, driving some of them insane. Some of these animals were violently captured from their homes, many are forced to learn circus-style tricks, and according to whistleblower tips from trainers, withholding food and isolating animals who refuse to perform are common training methods.

The only thing that people learn from visiting a SeaWorld theme park is how miserable life is for animals held there. Children see mere shadows of animals, defeated beings who are not behaving as they should and cannot do what nature intended for them. And these parks teach all the wrong lessons: that it is acceptable to imprison animals; to deprive them of freedom of movement and thought; to forbid them the chance to establish their natural territory and explore; to breed and separate them as we, not they, please; and to let them go insane from loneliness.

You can help the animals imprisoned by SeaWorld today. Please take a moment to write to the Blackstone Group—the company that owns Sea World—and ask that it immediately set in place a firm and rapid plan to release the animals to sanctuaries that can provide them with a more natural environment.

Please keep all correspondence polite, as anything less will hurt our efforts.
Send this message to:
  • Hamilton James

Last edited on Tue Aug 24th, 2010 03:00 am by sydneyst

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 Posted: Tue Jul 6th, 2010 01:43 pm

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IWC Delays Action of Legalizing Whaling

Dear Christine (and Friends of Sydney's Thumb),

I have fantastic news: the International Whaling Commission (IWC) announced yesterday that it is delaying action on a deal that would have legalized commercial whaling for the first time in a generation.

The IWC’s decision is a huge victory for whales -- and for activists like you -- against very long odds. And it was made possible by more than 100,000 NRDC Members and BioGems Defenders like you who helped ignite a worldwide outcry against this potentially disastrous policy change.

Just weeks ago, Pierce Brosnan kicked off NRDC’s public mobilization campaign by alerting you to this deadly deal and asking you to make your voice heard in opposition. At that time, an end to the ban on whaling seemed virtually inevitable.

The deal had been negotiated for years in secret, closed-door meetings. The talks were spearheaded by key governments, including our own, which believed that lifting the ban on whaling would rein in rogue whaling by Japan, Iceland and Norway.

But, in fact, the proposed deal was a capitulation to the whaling nations, conferring legitimacy on their slaughter of whales after they’d defied international law for years.

The deal would have suspended the whaling ban for 10 years and opened up a designated whale sanctuary to commercial whaling. And it would not have put binding measures in place to stop whaling nations from killing whales under legal loopholes like “scientific permits.”

Worst of all, the deal would have given moral cover to the notion that we can save whales by killing them -- instead of by banning their slaughter.

Fortunately, a worldwide outcry helped halt this headlong rush to legalize the slaughter of whales for profit. It shone a spotlight on the secret proceedings and put pressure on anti-whaling nations -- like the United States -- to toughen their stance in negotiating with the whaling nations. That last-minute shift produced a whale-saving deadlock.

This fight is not yet over. The IWC has left the proposed deal open on its agenda, meaning that it could be revisited in the next two days. More likely, the IWC will opt for a year-long “cooling-off period” and take up the issue again next year. We’ll be ready to mobilize again whenever this proposed deal is put back on the table.

In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll be urging the IWC to focus its conservation efforts on emerging threats to marine mammals that are growing with each passing day: from entanglement to ship strikes, from noise pollution to global warming.

In the meantime, I want to thank you for helping secure this important victory for whales -- and for making sure that the slaughter of whales for profit will remain illegal.

Sincerely,

Peter Lehner
Executive Director
Natural Resources Defense Council

Last edited on Tue Jul 6th, 2010 01:48 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Mon Jul 5th, 2010 10:54 pm

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‘The Cove’ Finally Opens in Japan

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/05/movies/05arts-THECOVEFINAL_BRF.html


“The Cove,” the Oscar-winning documentary that revealed the clandestine killing of dolphins in Taiji, Japan, has finally had its first showing in that country, The Associated

Compiled by RACHEL LEE HARRIS Published: July 4, 2010
“The Cove,” the Oscar-winning documentary that revealed the clandestine killing of dolphins in Taiji, Japan, has finally had its first showing in that country, The Associated Press reported. Theaters in Tokyo and Osaka canceled opening screenings earlier this summer because theater owners said they feared for the safety of moviegoers after receiving threats from protest groups who considered the movie to be “anti-Japan.”


The documentary, directed by the photographer Louie Psihoyos, opened to full houses in six small cinemas around Japan on Saturday with a significant amount of protesting from both sides of the issue. (Pro-whaling protesters in Tokyo, left.) Aside from police officers ending a few altercations between supporters of the film and angry nationalists, the protests proved to be no deterrent for moviegoers.
“I didn’t know about dolphin hunting,” Tomokazu Toshinai said as he entered a theater. “Whether it’s TV or movies, Japanese have a right to know these things.” A theater in Nagoya said that it would show “The Cove” along with “Whalers and the Sea,” a documentary sympathetic to the Japanese whaling industry. Another 18 theaters plan to screen “The Cove” later this year.



Japan’s Far Right Blocks Screenings of ‘The Cove’


Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
Members of a Japanese nationalist group in Yokohama recently demanded that a local theater not show the film “The Cove.”


By HIROKO TABUCHI
Published: June 18, 2010

Last edited on Mon Jul 5th, 2010 11:00 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Sat May 15th, 2010 03:15 pm

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Research Links Whales To Ocean Health and Carbon Cycle

 http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18807-whale-poop-is-vital-to-oceans-carbon-cycle.html

Saving endangered baleen whales could boost the carbon storage capacity of the Southern Ocean, suggests a new study of whale faeces. Whale faeces once provided huge quantities of iron to a now anaemic Southern Ocean, boosting the growth of carbon-sequestering phytoplankton.

So says Stephen Nicol of the Australian Antarctic Division, based in Kingston, Tasmania, who has found "huge amounts of iron in whale poo". He believes that before commercial whaling, baleen whale faeces may have accounted for some 12 per cent of the iron on the surface of the Southern Ocean.

Previous studies have shown that iron is crucial to ocean health because plankton need it to grow. "If you add soluble iron to the ocean, you get instant phytoplankton growth," says Nicol. The amount of iron in whale faeces means that protecting Antarctic whales could swell populations of phytoplankton, which absorb carbon dioxide.

Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) feed on the phytoplankton, concentrating the iron in their tissue. And in turn, baleen whales eat the krill.

Iron rations It had already been suggested that whales recycled iron in the ocean by eating it in krill and making it available to phytoplankton in faeces. But until this study, no one had analysed whale faeces to confirm if it indeed contained significant quantities of iron.

Nicol's team analysed 27 samples of faeces from four species of baleen whales. He found that on average whale faeces had 10 million times as much iron as Antarctic seawater.

The team confirmed the iron came from krill by analysing the iron content in whole krill and sampling genetic material from the whale faeces for krill DNA. "We confirmed the vast majority of the iron in the poo came from krill," says Nicol.

Big eaters Using estimates of the whale population before commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean began early last century, Nicol predicts that baleen whales – now endangered – once consumed about 190 million tonnes of krill every year and produced 7600 tonnes of iron-rich faeces.

Larger populations of whales would have produced more of this "bio-available" iron, leading to bigger phytoplankton and krill populations in turn, says Nicol.
"Allowing the great whales to recover will allow the system to slowly reset itself," he says. And this will ultimately increase the amount of CO2 that the Southern Ocean can sequester.

David Raubenheimer, who researches marine nutritional ecology at Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand, says the findings are convincing and important. They highlight a specific ecological role for whales in the oceans "other than their charisma", he says.

Peter Gill, a whale ecologist at Deakin University in Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia, calls the research "exciting stuff".

"So many whales were moved from the ocean before we could understand the ocean ecology," says Gill. "It's exciting when we can reconstruct the past, and all these bits fall into place."

Journal reference: Fish and Fisheries, DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-2979.2010.00356.x

Last edited on Sat May 15th, 2010 03:25 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Wed Apr 21st, 2010 10:49 pm

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 Whaling Deal Appears Likely; Some Protectors Outraged

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8623535.stm



 
Proponents of the deal say it would mean fewer whales being killed


A proposal aimed at bridging the split between whaling nations and their opponents will almost certainly come to governments for decision this year.

Sources say it could involve Japan accepting quotas below current levels; but Iceland is opposing proposed catch limits and an international trade ban.

Some anti-whaling countries see such a "peace package" as the only way to constrain whale hunting.

But others are likely to hold out for a complete end to the practice.

..Sources close to the talks say Japan appears prepared to contemplate scaling back its annual Antarctic hunt to a size that anti-whaling nations might find acceptable.

In return, it would expect to gain catch quotas in the North Pacific waters close to its shores, which would benefit coastal communities where whaling is still practiced.

Although commercial whaling was banned in 1982, Japan hunts under regulations permitting whaling for scientific research, while Iceland and Norway lodged formal objections to the moratorium and so mount openly commercial operations.

Last year, Icelandic boats caught 125 fin whales and 81 minkes - a significant increase on previous years, though still substantially below quotas in the years before 1982.

At a previous preparatory meeting, the anti-whaling side had proposed quotas of 60 fins and 60 minkes per year, Mr Heidar said.

Knowing these were not acceptable to Iceland, the anti-whaling bloc then lowered their offer still further, he related - subsequently adding the rider that under the new agreement, whales would have to be caught for local consumption only.

As Iceland's ambitions include exporting fin whale meat to Japan, this was absolutely not acceptable.

International trade in whalemeat is banned, but Iceland, Japan and Norway have registered exemptions to the UN wildlife trade convention for some whale species.

The importance of international trade has been demonstrated in recent weeks by the interception in a Dutch port of an Icelandic whalemeat consignment apparently destined for Japan, the disclosure of a small export from Iceland to Latvia, the closure of a Los Angeles restaurant that was selling whalemeat, and publication of a DNA study showing that at least some of the meat sold there and in South Korea came from Japan's scientific whaling programme.

Green splits


Environmental groups have been split on the "peace process".

Most are vehemently opposed in public, and have castigated anti-whaling governments for getting involved.

But those governments argue that simply demanding an end to whaling is not working, and compromise could be a better option.

"Saving whales is absolutely what we are about," said US IWC commissioner Monica Medina.

"But now we have a problem of increasing whaling, a black market and no controls.

"The US government couldn't be more opposed to lethal scientific whaling and commercial whaling."

But behind the scenes, some activists are prepared to endorse a compromise if it results in a significant and sustained cut in the numbers of whales killed each year.

Those moving the "peace process" are keen to find consensus at this year's IWC meeting in Morocco.

But it is not clear how the impasse between these countries and Iceland can be overcome.

Richard.Black-INTERNET@bbc.co.uk

Last edited on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 11:00 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Wed Apr 21st, 2010 10:46 pm

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Compromise on Whaling Panned by World Wildlife Fund

http://www.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/arctic/news/?189581
February 23,2010

A new draft compromise on whaling released by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) today set a dangerous precedent that the international community must reject, WWF said.

A working group within the IWC today unveiled a new compromise aimed at unlocking the stalled negotiation process between countries fundamentally opposed to whaling and states that support it.
 

Last edited on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 10:46 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Wed Apr 21st, 2010 10:40 pm

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1. Coast Guard Called On to Protect Endangered Whales

Diving to the defense of imperiled whales, last week the Center for Biological Diversity and allies urged the U.S. Coast Guard to include marine mammal-protection measures in its just-announced plans to modify shipping lanes into the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. Right now, protections from ship strikes are sorely lacking in the lanes through the Santa Barbara Channel -- perilous swimming grounds for humpbacks, gray whales, fin whales, and the densest known seasonal congregation of blue whales on the planet. In fall 2007, at least five highly endangered blue whales were struck and killed by ships in the channel.

Besides the ability to modify shipping routes, the Coast Guard also has the authority to set much-needed speed limits for ships in the channel -- which the Center has also requested. "Slowing down ship traffic reduces air pollution, protects whales from ships strikes, and can even save money on fuel costs," said Center attorney Andrea Treece. "The Coast Guard has a terrific opportunity here to protect the health of coastal communities and the whales they love."

Check out our press release and learn more about the Center's campaign against deadly boat strikes.

Last edited on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 10:44 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Wed Apr 21st, 2010 10:35 pm

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Photos and Video of Gray Whale Attacked by Orcas on Puget Sound

 

http://www.king5.com/news/local/Orcas-attack-gray-whale-90582659.html?gallery=y&c=y&img=1


 

More news about whales at http://www.sydneysthumb.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=37&forum_id=1

Last edited on Wed Apr 21st, 2010 10:39 pm by sydneyst

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 Posted: Sun Apr 18th, 2010 07:12 am

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Forensic DNA blow to commercial whaling proposals


http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18770-forensic-dna-blow-to-commercial-whaling-proposals.html


Proposals to resume commercial whaling have been dealt a blow by DNA detective work showing that restaurants in the US and South Korea illegally sold whale meat from Japan.

In June, Japan, Iceland and Norway are expected to ask the International Whaling Commission (IWC) for permission to resume commercial whaling. They say they can prevent smuggling by matching the DNA of whale meat sold in markets to a register of all legally caught whales. But all have refused to make their DNA registers public.

To find out the origin of whale meat being sold outside Japan, Scott Baker of Oregon State University in Corvallis and colleagues secretly took samples from two restaurants, one in Santa Monica, California, and another in Seoul, South Korea.

They compared the DNA with that from samples bought in Japan, and found that they came from the same animals – proving that meat from whales hunted in Japan's scientific programme have been illegally sold abroad. The findings resulted in police raids on the restaurants last month.

Baker says the monitoring system can only work if Japan, Iceland and Norway make their DNA registers publicly available, and hand them over to an independent body like the IWC so routine checks can be carried out.
 

Last edited on Sun Apr 18th, 2010 07:15 am by sydneyst


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