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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Whale hunting is a serious problem. Unlike with other endangered species there seems to be little agreement between countries about banning whale hunting. The Faroe Islands, Norway, Iceland and Japan continue to break the moratorium on whaling. Japan does so by issuing a ridiculous amount of permits for whaling for ‘scientific purposes’. Japan also uses its money to ‘buy off’ poorer members of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) so as to continue its immoral and disingenuous whaling policies.

There are a number of things the average person can do. Since the international community won’t do anything the onus is on normal citizens to take up the fight to preserve whale numbers.

Other than joining radical groups like Sea Shepherd that dangerously fight whaling boats on the high seas, there are consumer choices that you can make to help the whales.

1) Visit the Faroe Islands and other such places and pay to go on environmentally friendly whale watching tours. Whaling is all about money. If watching whales can be shown to be more lucrative than killing whales then fishermen will start to use their boats to take out tourists instead of going to kill whales.

2) Write to your MP or Congressman – whoever represents you democratically – and demand to know what he or she is doing to stop the illegal hunting of whales. Using the democratic process will force the issue into the media lime light and make action morel likely.

3) Boycott going on holiday to countries that hunt whales. Don’t go to Japan, instead book a private villa in Koh Phangan or visit Macchu Pichu or the Taj Mahal. At the same time don’t buy food products from Norway, Iceland or Japan. If other industries start to suffer because of whaling they will put internal pressure on their governments to change the fishing laws.

Together we can save the whales.

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There are plenty of things to see in Chicago. Many think of the downtown area, Mag Mile, Grant Park, Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, and Wilis Towers. Or perhaps they visit other landmarks like Wrigley Field. But there is plenty of other things to see that you can find tucked away in a Chicago guide. If you’re looking for a different kind of Midwest vacation, don’t get whiplash from all the stuff there is to see! Here are a few offbeat suggestions.

The Lincoln Park neighborhood is filled with culture, nature, and shopping. There are plenty of great restaurants and tree-lined streets in the neighborhood. Also, many festivals occur during the summer, especially on the weekends. Some of the festivals include Taste of Chicago, Chicago Blues Fest, Gay Pride Parade, the Outdoor Movie Festival, and the Christkindlmarket in the winter.

If you’re looking for a different kind of museum, check out the Irish Heritage Center in the Jefferson Park neighborhood. It has a library, museum, the Fifth Province Irish pub, a 658-seat auditorium, and more. Plenty of interesting things to see in Chicago!

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Whale migration paths are one of the most studied in the scientific community. It is well known that whales migrate to accommodate there diets as well as mating behaviors and thus, it is almost always seasonal. Humpback whales for example travel south during the fall to take advantage of a warmer climate and a surplus of food. When Spring comes around, the reverse is true and they migrate north. This “travelling” has been studied carefully and many whales are tagged with radio and camera equipment so that scientists can get a closer look at the adventures a whale embarks on during migration.

Whale migration paths are in many ways very similar to early human migration paths. Go south during the colder months to take advantage of the warmer climate and go north during the summer months to have a slightly cooler climate that accommodates a variety of plant and animal growth. This behavior can even be seen in today’s modern travel industry. One trip advisor spoke about  the current trend of people buying holiday homes to visit depending on the season and when not in use, how more and more holiday home owners are renting out for visitors on a holiday vacation. Clearly we’re not so different from them after-all.

Most of these reports can be picked up from a variety of web sites, including however some of the global news outlets are best for up to date information as they can tap into the (very expensive) global news feeds.  My favorite new source online is to watch BBC News live, when you get used to using the interface and switching between the live TV and iPlayer pages it’s amazing how much information you can pick up.  The BBC website also is very generous with supplying links to other external resources if they’re relevant.

Please be aware that most of the BBC website is not accessible outside the UK though, unless you us either a VPN or Smart DNS solution to hide your exact location.



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As many of you know the whale is a very beautiful and majestic creature. While we as whale lovers may already have  an appreciation for the creature, it seems like street artists are beginning to appreciate it as well. With a quick search on Google one can find many pictures of whale graffiti. To my surprise whales actually look pretty cool when depicted in a unique underground style.  Whales are starting to appear more and more in urban artwork. You could be driving down the street in a major city and be surprised when you see a giant whale spray painted  on an ally wall! If you would like to check out some really awesome whale graffiti just pull up Google and search whale graffiti. You will be shocked to see how much whale art is really out there!

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As is the case with all natural resources there is a strong connection between consumer demand and natural resource protection. As the world’s population continues to grow at an alarming rate, it is becoming the case that both organic and inorganic natural resources are being depleted. Forests are being cleared to make flooring, furniture and to grow food. Coal, oil and gas deposits are being drained to sustain growing modern economies. At the same time things like oil spills are killing marine and other wild life resources. Carbon emissions are changing weather patterns that are threatening to flood coastal land areas and turn many areas into deserts.

The decline in numbers of whales is all part of this process. Capitalism demands consumer consumption. For economies to grow, people to have jobs to go to and cars to drive we must all consume more. Mass media indoctrinates us into believing this philosophy.

In Japan they have successfully removed political debate about the legality and morality of whale hunting by turning the issue into a case of foreigners attacking Japan. The hysteria of nationalism masks the hypocrisy of a country that says it kills whales for scientific experiments and then puts the whale meat on supermarket shelves.

It is the duty of the consumer to think for him or herself, and to consume in a way that will help conserve natural resources. It is vital that people reduce electricity consumption at home by installing suitable programmable thermostats; that they use CFLs; that they conserve water. We don’t have to radically reduce our living standards, but we do have to radically re-think our consumer choices and urge our political representatives to propose sustainable economic policies that will allow us to conserve our natural environment and such endangered species such as whales.

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I have many books on whales and my favourite place to read is in my  halls greenhouse on a warm Spring day, this time of year is so enjoyable apart from my nemesis my unkempt grass.

Cutting the grass can be very time consuming especially if you have a large garden.  In the summer months the grass probably will need to be cut once a week.  The best way to do this is to remove any garden ornaments or seats, basically anything which can be removed first.  This will make the job easier and quicker. 

Obviously certain things cannot be removed like greenhouses and sheds.  If you have a lawn mower which collects the cuttings this will save you having to rake the grass.  Cutting around the edges of paths and around things like greenhouses can be difficult.  This can be done with a pair of shears but this could take quite some time.  The best option is with a strimmer but the cuttings will need to be raked up after.

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