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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Our Whales are in danger and one of the most important initiatives to help protect them are the Marine Protected Areas.  These are specially designated areas of the ocean where human activity is restricted in order to help conserve the natural habitats and provide a safe area for marine life.  It’s actually a bit of a generic term which covers all sorts of different protected areas and conservation initiatives.

The MPA is basically a highest level of protection – there is normally no commercial fishing or industrial use allowed in these areas. Another more specific area defined in Europe is the Special Area of Conservation.  These are controlled by National governments and are primarily implemented to protect  the habitats of marine species like whales, porpoises and dolphins.

For creatures such as whales and dolphins which are very mobile you might think that having specific areas is of lilttle use.  However nearly all species have crucial areas which are vital for their survival.  These might be areas where they breed or seasonal feeding grounds – protecting such key areas can have a huge impact on a species survival chances.

It can be that MPAs are only assigned for these specific times.   So that an area known to be a breeding ground for certain months of a year is assigned MPA status for that period only.  This can allow restrictions on human activity over this period and more relaxed at other times.

There are many more initiatives happening across the world.  It’s worth checking out scientific and media sites especially if you’re keen on keeping up to date on news on Whales or dolphins for example.  Unfortunately there are often restrictions on  many sites – for example some American media and scientific sites are only available to people who are based in the US – check this site out if you need help –  It will show you the options for changing your IP address to be able to access those sites without restriction.

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