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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Khao Lak is in Phang-Nga Province in the south of Thailand. Khao Lak is both the name of a town on the Andaman Coast as well as a series of long golden sand beaches stretching along the west coast of Thailand. For all those people not keen on the noise, crowds and high prices of nearby Phuket island, Khao Lak is a great alternative. It has the same great beaches as Phuket but offers good value mid-range accommodation, peaceful beach settings and is family friendly.

The beaches in the Khao Lak region start with Bangsak in the north, then Pakarang, then Khuk Khak, then Bang Niang, then Nang Tong, then Lamru and Finally Khao Lak beach. The two busiest beaches are Nang Tong and Bang Niang. This is because they are the closest to all the shops, bars, restaurants and facilities of the main town (that is also sometimes called Nang Tong or Bang La On). On all of the beaches of Khao Lak you will find long stretches of nearly deserted beach. The resorts are well spread out and several make the slightly false boast that they offer private beach front.

Rooms in resorts with air-con, hot water and TV normally start at about $30 a night in the low season. The cheapest place to stay is probably Khao Lak Youth Hostel. The more expensive places include the Beyond Resort Khao Lak (Bangsak), and the JW Marriott Khaolak (Khuk Khak).

The drawcards of Khao Lak are the diving opportunities just off the coast at the Similan Islands and Surin Islands, and a visit to Khao Lak Lamru National Park. It is usual for people to do a 2 or 3 night liveaboard cruise of the best diving spots of the Similan Islands. It is the best place in Thailand to dive and in the top 10 diving areas in the world. You can see mantas, whale sharks, sharks, moray eels, turtles as well as an abundance of fish and colorful corals. Lamru National Park is composed of rainforest rich in flora and fauna and a stretch of coast that is great for relaxing and snorkeling.

For those who enjoy beach culture, diving, snorkeling, laid back ambience and peaceful accommodation Khao Lak is definitely worth a visit. If you just want to party then go to Phuket.

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