Stop the Bloody Whale Slaughter on the Faroe Islands

On a group of islands just north of Europe, the traditional bloody whale and dolphin slaughter takes place every year. The Faroe Islands are a part of Denmark, where whaling is banned, but they have laws that are independent of Denmark's laws, so they are allowed to continue with this mass execution. Year after year, thousands of pilot whales, beaked whales and dolphins are chased into the bay by boats, where they are slaughtered.

Go to: https://secure.peta.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=911

Whale tourists need realistic expectations

Tourists who visit Tonga's northern Vava'u island to swim with whales need to have realistic expectations about what will happen.

That's according to underwater photographer Tony Wu, who visits the island regularly to document the way humpback whales use the area to breed.

He says he managed to count 48 whale calves born in Port of Refuge harbour this last season, which is a lot.

But Mr Wu says the Tongan whale watching industry needs to make sure not to promise tourists that the whales will come close to them or touch them.

Go to: http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/pacbeat/stories/201111/s3373429.htm

Court rejects efforts to strip beluga whale protections

A federal judge this week rejected an attempt by Alaska to strip Cook Inlet beluga whales of Endangered Species Act protections. Last spring, the National Marine Fisheries Service designated critical habitat for the whales despite state’s lawsuit.

Go to: http://summitcountyvoice.com/2011/11/22/court-rejects-efforts-to-strip-beluga-whale-protections/

End comes closer for whaling ban

The opponents of whaling fear a return to commercial hunting is virtually inevitable within the next few years.

Conservation groups at the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission believe the 1986 whaling moratorium cannot last much longer.

Go to: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3911651.stm

PETA lawsuit alleges SeaWorld enslaves killer whales

Can killer whales sue SeaWorld for enslavement?

A lawsuit filed Wednesday by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other "next friends" of five SeaWorld killer whales takes that novel legal approach.

The 20-page complaint asks the U.S. District Court in Southern California to declare that the five whales -- Tilikum, Katina, Corky, Kasatka, and Ulises -- are being held in slavery or involuntary servitude in violation of the 13th Amendment.

A PETA statement said the lawsuit is the first of its kind in contending that constitutional protections against slavery are not limited to humans.

Go to: http://articles.cnn.com/2011-10-26/justice/justice_killer-whale-lawsuit_1_killer-whales-orcinus-sea-world-trainers?_s=PM:JUSTICE

The controversial Minke Whale hunting practice sanctioned by the Japanese government, whereby hunting occurs under the auspices of scientific research, looks set to continue this year.  Whale conservationists – who believe the take from the annual hunt is more likely to end up in Japanese freezer baskets than research laboratories – are preparing to resume their attempts to disrupt the activities.

Beginning in the mid 1980’s, Japan has been issuing ‘permits’ to kill whales designed to get around the restrictions the international community has placed on the cull.  Organizations like Greenpeace have been responsible for a lot of the political pressure applied that have resulted in many of these restrictions, but for many more hard core activists these efforts have been insufficient.

The crew of the Sea Shepherd – which has very confrontational tactics – scoffs at the efforts of Greenpeace and similar outfits, and prefers more direct action.  Each year they meet the Japanese hunting ships in Antarctic waters and do their utmost to disrupt the hunt.

Some of the methods they use are very confrontational, and can involve approaches as mild as cutting whalers’ nets to extreme options such as boarding their ships. While they claim some success – the Sea Shepherd says the hunt as shortened by 6 weeks last year – others are more skeptical.

Many claims these aggressive approaches, while they may cause short-term gains, poison the minds of Japanese citizens against whale conservation.  Since the long-term policies of the Japanese government are largely dependent on public opinion, it makes more sense to wins the hearts and minds of their voters to the cause.

In the meantime, the hunts proceed and Minke whales continue to die, while conservationists fight amongst each other about which group is pursuing the most effective methods to eventually achieve a total ban. We can only hope that sometime soon all parties involved will join in agreement that these beautiful animals are worth saving.

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