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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It must be an awesome sight to actually see this in real life and some scientists have actually had the experience.  They believe it’s the first sighting of an adult white killer whale or Orca as it’s also known.   They gave it the nickname ’Iceberg’ and it was spotted off the coast of Russia.  All seems to be well with it and it’s living as part of an established and healthy pod in that area.


There have been other claims to have seen white versions of other whale types.  In fact there was one in captivity in Canada, however all these were very young and none survived very long.  This particular whale was postted from a ship conducting a research cruise run by Russian scientists and their students.  They also claimed to have seen white orcas before but again never an adult one.   They are estimating that Iceberg is about 15 years old and a male.

It’s not known exactly what has caused this unusual pigment, but there are various health and genetic conditions that could explain his coloring.

There have been lots of other sightings of different species of whale which have this albino trait.  However surely  the most famous white whale is a fictional one – the star of the book Moby Dick and his battles with Captain Ahab.  There is a lot more information on this subject on the BBC website – in fact if you are quick you’ll pick up some cracking natural history programmes on IPlayer.  If you have difficult accessing the site because you outside the UK – this post explains how you can use a UK proxy to gain access to British TV like the BBC iPlayer and ITV Player wherever you are.

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