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

It took me until my forty fifth year, but I finally managed to see a whale with my own eyes.  It was I’m reliably informed that it was a blue whale and I spotted it off the coast of North America.  To be more specific it was at Monteray Bay in California where the blue whales migrate to feed in Late September/August.   To be honest though I would never have found them without enlisting the help of a special Whale watching group called the Monterey Whale Watch group.  If you’re in the area I can well recommend them, you actually get your tour run by a marine biologist not some half interested youth with a microphone.  You’ll see lots more that just a whale as there’s a host of marine and bird life in the area.

It’s been a long quest for me and to be honest one that has been dormant for some time.  I’ve always enjoyed watching shows about whales but circumstances have meant that seeing one has not been practical.  Let me tell you that these wonderful, huge yet graceful animals will not disappoint when you see them in real life.  The reason I restarted my quest to see a whale was two fold – firstly I had a promotion and funds were not quite as limited as in previous times.  The second reason was a little bizarre but I like to think it was fate.

I have a friend who has come to work in the same company as me for 12 months.  He’s originally from the UK and works in Sales, he called me in as he knew I worked in the IT department.  He had a problem that he was feeling a bit homesick and missing lots of things about his homeland.  One of the big things was that he missed watch the British news and had tried to watch it online but kept getting blocked.  He asked me if I could figure out a way to watch the News on his computer.  Turns out it was fairly simple, the reason he was being blocked was that the BBC site restricted access to Non-UK IP addressess.  This was fairly simple to bypass he just needed a BBC Iplayer proxy- http://www.theninjaproxy.org/tv/how-to-use-a-bbc-iplayer-proxy/ , this was a computer which would present a British address rather than his real one.

It turned out this worked perfectly and my friend was very happy.  But how did this related to Whales I hear you ask – well when texting this solution I visited the BBC website to test it.  On their site I found a truly incredible nature show called The Blue Planet.  It was presented by David Attenborough and a fabulous show all about whales – seek it out, it’s wonderful.  My spark was reunited after watching the show and the rest as they say is history.

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