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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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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