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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The Gulf of Thailand is a very popular tourist destination. In the upper reaches of the Gulf there are Koh Samet and Koh Chang. In the southern part of the Gulf are Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. It is an area that offers great weather, calm, tsunami free seas, magical beaches and plenty of excellent accommodation.

The island of Koh Tao is one of the smallest Thai islands in the Gulf. It is called turtle island because of its shape. It does, however, have some turtle breeding areas. The thing that makes Koh Tao famous, however, is its diving. Koh Tao is the second most popular spot in the world to learn scuba diving. Only the Great Barrier Reef in Australia has more people taking PADI courses.

The reason for Koh Tao’s popularity as a place to learn diving is due to its clear waters and excellent dive sites. There are a number of corals to explore off the coast with plenty of fish, turtles, eels and sharks to see.  Great beaches for diving and snorkeling in Koh Tao include Nang Yuan, Mango Bay, Jansom Bay and Sai Daeng.

The most famous dive site is Sail Rock. Here it is often possible to see whale sharks. This is a filter feeding shark that looks like a whale. It is in fact the largest fish species in the world.

To see whales in the Gulf of Thailand it is necessary to go to the upper reaches of the Gulf in such areas as Samut Sakhon, Samut Prakan, Samut Songkhram, and Phetchaburi. Here there are about 20 Bryde’s Whales as well as over 100 Irrawaddy dolphins.

The trouble is that since someone posted video footage of the  Bryde’s whales in the Gulf there has been a massive upturn in tourism in the area.  There are too many tour boats going out to spot the whales. These boats are getting too close to the whales. The result has been that in just a few months whale numbers have drastically reduced. Local and national authorities have so far done nothing to stop the damage been caused by the tour boats. Plans have been mooted to limit tour boats to just 2 or 3 areas so as not to inhibit the whales from feeding and breeding.

This is a good example of how whale watching needs to be carefully regulated.

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