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

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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