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

Whale watching in Australia is one of the biggest tourist attractions, and their many commercial companies who supply some incredible experiences.  All around the coast there are many options for seeing a variety of species from the Giant Sperm Whale, Blue Whales and the Humpback Whales to name but a few.

This page however is dedicated to providing Australian based technology resources which can be used to access data about whales online and of course lots of other stuff.

First an Australian VPN which is needed if you need to access any of the online Australian media channels like iView.

Just to clarify this demonstration is using a VPN server based in Australia, which will give you an Aussie IP address. You can use this from outside the country to watch geo-blocked stuff or from within Australia if you need some privacy (very likely given the Australian Governments track record).

Here’s another title which demonstrates watching the fantastic iView channel.

However if you are actually in Australia, you’ll already be able to access iView without restrictions, but will a server outside the country to access other sites.

BBC iPlayer Australia – http://www.iplayerabroad.com/watching-bbc-iplayer-in-australia/

This post explains how an Australian can use a proxy/vpn server outside the country to change his address to a UK based one and watch BBC iPLayer. It also allows access to watch all the other major UK TV channels.

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The internet has brought great advantages for any body interested in wildlife particularly in their natural habitat.   For whale watchers it’s especially true, for anyone who isn’t lucky enough to be located in an area where whales are visible, you’d have to restrict your viewing to weekend trips away and holidays.

But the internet now gives you access to a whole plethora of resources, which we plan to put here.

British TV

For the nature lover this is a wonderful resource.  Not only is the website packed with information and up to date news on all areas of the environment, but they also produce some of the best documentaries in the world.  The BBC is particularly important and home to my favorite ever natural world broadcaster – Sir David Attenborough.

Unfortunately the programme section of the BBC website which is called BBC iPlayer is only accessible for residents of the United Kingdom.  However using the links below you can gain access to all of the British TV sites by using various technologies to hide your real location.

Resources for Accessing BBC iPlayer Abroad

Using an iPlayer Proxy – http://iplayerusa.org/index.php/proxy-to-access-bbc-iplayer-abroad/, this post demonstrates how you can hide your real IP address and watch the BBC anywhere.  There’s an interesting video which also shows how it works.

Anonymous Proxies – Watching BBC iPlayer Abroad  http://www.anonymous-proxies.org/2009/02/using-iplayer-abroad-viewing-bbc-via.html : a very old post which is on a security blog.  The software is demonstrated and if you look in the comments you’ll see lots of questions which are normally answered by the author of the post.

Watch BBC in Spain – http://www.iplayerabroad.com/bbciplayer-in-spain-uk-proxy/ : although the title of this page states it’s for use in Spain, it actually doesn’t really matter where you are.  The proxy location is the IP address that the website sees, so if the proxy is based in the UK then so will you.  I like the video on  this page and it also has a discount code for the software demonstrated.

British TV Online – http://www.uktv-online.com/, although the BBC is by far the best resource for nature lovers there’s much more on the other British TV stations too.  ITV is the second biggest site and you can access the channels here – https://www.itv.com/itvplayer/, but it’s also worth looking at Channels 4 and 5 which often have some good documentaries as well.

 

Frustrated missing out on the premium version of Netflix after the media giants crackdown on proxies and VPNs.   There’s hope read this article – Netflix VPN block.

One of the very best locations worldwide to watch Whales is on the South Coast of Ireland around the County of Cork, in fact there’s a whole tourism industry grown up about it.  To access and watch local events you should monitor a few web sites, http://www.whalewatchwestcork.com/ has loads of information and is regularly updated – including a latest sightings section.  To access more general information and news, keep an eye on local TV and radio broadcasts from people like RTE and TV3 – you will need an Irish proxy to access some of the material but it’s worth it for up to date information and news on whale spotting.

 

 

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Two brothers were quietly fishing off the north western coast of Ieland recently when they got a bit of a shock.  Out from the water rose a pair of killer whales, very close to the boat.  The lucky fisherman are Pat and John Cunningham who were trawling for Pollock in their slamm 20ft rowing boat.  They were only half a mile from the shore near to the town of Glencomcille when they had their incredible experience.

“We had come across dolphins earlier… and they were jumping around our boat,” said John (50). But then there was a splash, which I knew straight away wasn’t a dolphin. Then the two killer whales rose from the water. I’ve only ever seen them in the North Sea when I was commercial fishing up there,” John explained.”

Here’s a great video of some Orca Whales captured about a year ago, not very far away.

 

Some of the Whale watching groups in the area have speculated that the pair may have been the same spotted off Mizen Head in Cork on the 11th June and a little later off the coast of Cork.

You can find a full report of the sighting on the Irish Indepent site, plus on the BBC archives and iPlayer site – this link will help outside UK.  There’s frequent whale sightings all across the coasts of Ireland and they seem to be increasing.  A good source of information is on Ireland’s National Broadcaster RTE which often features stories and news reports about whale sightings.  You can only access the International version if you’re based outside Ireland, although you can get the full site using this method – RTE player from UK or USA.

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Exciting news for Scottish Whale watchers, as a report on the BBC news site is stating a large group of whales has been spotted by the Firth of Forth.  The total number is unclear but it is estimated around 15 and experts say that they are likely to be Sperm whales.  The pictures of the whales where taken from the sky but it is possible to identify them from the tail flukes, their dorsal fins and the distinctive plumes of spray the Sperm whales demonstrate.

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The first sighting was on Thursday last week, when they were spotted near the Isle of Fidra only about a mile offshore from the mainland.  From this point they moved direction and headed towards Fife.  The idenitification was made by members of the Scottish Natural Heritage who had the knowledge to positively identify the breed.

It is very rare to see sperm whales in that area of Scotland and to see such a large pod travelling together even more unusual.  You occasionally see single whales and indeed last year one was beached at Canty Bay last year.  They are normally found in much deeper waters as one of their main foods is squid.

The pod where also spotted very near the Scottish Seabird centre and is a great iillustration of the wildlife that can be found around the coast of Scotland. If you want to keep up to date with news on Scottish Whales then the BBC News and Wildlife website is probably one of your best options.  Some of the news reports and nature programmes will not be accessible outside the United Kingdom though unless you invest in a proxy server – like this site – http://www.uktv-online.com/ or watch this video about accessing Iplayer online.

There is an important initiative been started now in Scotland by Sea Watch, who are embarking on a survey of whales and dolphins off the North coast.  They are particularly concerned about the area where extensive offshore energy installations are to be sites.

 

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Culturally, the Japanese have eaten whale meat for centuries. As someone who as visited Japan, I can tell you from the one time that I ate whale meat that it tastes similar to beef. One Japanese argument that I have heard is that Westerners eat cows so what is so wrong with Japanese eating whales? I think this is a reasonable point. I’m certainly not trying to advocate that killing whales is a good thing. However, I do see it as hypocritical that Westerners who continue to eat meat should be so opposed to the Japanese whaling industry. In some respects, it is like anti-abortionists being pro-war. It just doesn’t make sense.

Greenpeace say on their website (http://archive.greenpeace.org/whales/iceland/Scientific.htm)

The Japanese invented the concept of ’scientific’ whaling in 1987 as a way round the moratorium on commercial whaling instituted by the the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Their research is not really research. It is an excuse for supplying whale meat on the Japanese market

I find it interesting that Japan claim to be killing whales for research. This is not very truthful. Go to any large supermarket in Japan and you will likely be able to find whale meat on sale. I wonder how much research shoppers are doing on the meat?

Japan is very well known throughout the world for all kinds of great tasting foods including sushi, tempura as well as the ubiquitous rice. This grain is a popular food for vegans and is eaten in high quantities in Asia and Africa.

The Japanese Zen philosophy is in stark contrast to the pain and suffering caused to whales (and dolphins) by fishermen from this island nation. Rice on the other hand is a food that is much more aligned with nature.

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Having lived in the UK for a number of years no i have never been whale or dolphin watching in our British waters before. This all changed this summer when i decided to take a trip north to Scotland for a week to firstly visit some friends and also take the chance to visit the coast and hopefully partake in some whale watching.

I booked myself a lodge that i could use as a base for my week long visit meaning i could come and go as i please not having to worry about late arrivals or leaving early in the morning.

Arriving late on the Sunday evening i decided to relax and enjoy all the activities and facilities that the resort had to offer having a sauna and swim before enjoying a night cap as i had an early start in the morning heading up to the Scottish Dolphin Centre in the Spey Bay to go and do some dolphin watching and learn about all the good work that they have been doing.

Lucky for me the Monday was a beautifully clear day with meaning that the was a clear views out into the bay and there was a school of dolphins that had been kicking about and playing in the warm waters after spending the morning there and chatting to a number of the staff one of the locals offered to take me out on their boat to get a more close up view of the dolphins.

That afternoon i went out in the boat to get a closer view, take the small fishing boat out into the bay we headed out carefully not to in danger any of the dolphins and before i knew it there was dolphins  jumping though the wash that the boat was creating and swimming along side us. We soon cut the engines and let sat to enjoy the animals in the wild.

Thankfully i went on this day as the rest of the week took a turn for the worst with the classic Scottish bad weather kicking in and ruining all chance of getting a good view of anymore but it is certainly another trip i would be willing to take in the chance of another great experience.

With Thanks

Watch TV3 Online

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