Tag Archives: whales

Navy: Training May Kill Hundreds Of Dolphins, Whales

31 Aug

Tenby Audrey McAvoy / Huffington Post

HONOLULU — Navy training and testing could inadvertently kill hundreds of whales and dolphins and injure thousands over the next five years, mostly as a result of detonating explosives underwater, according to two environmental impact statements released by the military Friday.

The Navy said that the studies focused on waters off the East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, Southern California and Hawaii from 2014 through 2019, the main areas that the service branch tests equipment and trains sailors.

The studies were done ahead of the Navy applying to the National Marine Fisheries Service for permits for its activities. The Navy said that it if hadn’t done so and was later found to have harmed marine mammals, it would be found in violation of federal environmental law and have to stop its training and testing.

Most of the deaths would come from explosives, though some might come from testing sonar or animals being hit by ships.

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Pilot Whale and Dolphin Slaughter in the Faroe Islands

25 Aug

by Erwin Vermeulen / Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

On August 13th, 135 long-finned pilot whales were brutally slaughtered in Húsavík.

On August 13th, 135 long-finned pilot whales were brutally slaughtered in Húsavík.

It’s been an extremely bloody few weeks in the Ferocious Isles, even by Faroese standards. On August 8, 107 Long-finned Pilot whales were slaughtered in Sandavágur. On August 11, 21 were butchered in Leynar and on the 13th, 135 lost their lives in Húsavík.

The grind(adrap), as the Pilot whale drive is called, has a recorded history since 1584. There are 23 whaling bays assigned to six districts in which the meat and blubber are divided among the population. A drive is initiated when fishermen or ferries offshore sight dolphins. The dolphins are driven into a bay with boats and even jet skis and pulled up onto the beach with a hook in the blowhole. Then the spinal cord is cut with a knife.

The Húsavík massacre on the 13th was not the only one that took place that day. In Hvalba, the incredibly high number of 430 Atlantic White-sided dolphins were driven into ‘whale bay’ and brutally murdered. Some people might be surprised to hear that these islanders are targeting species other than Pilot whales, but they have always hunted smaller dolphins, especially in Hvalba. They last killed Atlantic White-sided dolphins in Hvalba in August 2010 and Risso’s dolphins earlier that year in April. Oravik took 100 Atlantic White-sided dolphins in August 2009. That same month, Hvalba killed two Northern Bottlenose whales that were reported as stranded, and a month later Klaksvik took three Risso’s. In June 1978 that town even butchered 31 Orcas.

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Sea Shepherd launches Operation Relentless

9 May

Cross Posted from Sea Shepherd

 

Off the back of Sea Shepherd’s most successful campaign to date, Operation Zero Tolerance that saved 932 whales, Sea Shepherd launches Operation Relentless. Like last season’s campaign, Operation Relentless will be managed and led by Sea Shepherd Australia with campaign leaders Bob Brown and Jeff Hansen.

It will be Sea Shepherd’s 10th Antarctic whale defence campaign defending at risk whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. During the past nine seasons, Sea Shepherd’s direct-action interventions have saved the lives of more than 4,500 whales and exposed illegal Japanese whaling to the world. With the help of Australians and people around the world, Operation Relentless is shaping up to be a monumental success for the whales.

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Sea Shepherd Australia Stops Japanese Whalers Yet Again!

6 Feb

Activists Make January a “No Kill” Month

Cross post from Environment News Service

HOBART, Tasmania, Australia, February 4, 2013 (ENS) – The month of January, usually the prime whale catching month for the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean, has come and gone without the death of a single whale, says Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Australia Director Jeff Hansen.

It is the international organization’s ninth Antarctic Whale Defense Campaign, Operation Zero Tolerance. This season’s campaign is under the direction of Sea Shepherd Australia, now that founding president Paul Watson has handed authority to Hansen and former Australian Greens leader and senator Bob Brown.

Paul Watson

Authority was transferred in December in compliance with a U.S. court restraining order and after Watson’s escape last summer from Germany, where he was detained on bail for possible extradition to Costa Rica.

The Sea Shepherd fleet of four ships, one helicopter, drones, and more than 120 volunteer crew from around the world has to date succeeded in keeping the four-vessel Japanese fleet of “research” whalers separated on the run, making it impossible for them to catch whales, Hansen says.

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Japanese whalers return to port

9 Mar

The Japanese fisheries agency has confirmed 266 minke whales were caught this season.

JAPAN’S whaling fleet has ended its annual Antarctic hunt after landing 30 per cent of its planned catch of more than 900 whales.

Fisheries Minister Michihiko Kano yesterday blamed bad weather and “sabotage” by the Sea Shepherd environmental protest flotilla for the reduced catch.

Although the catch of 266 was almost 100 more whales than the whalers caught last year, the shortfall might add to the financial pressure on the so-called scientific whaling program.

The Australian government welcomed Japan’s decision to recall its fleet from the Southern Ocean, saying it condemned all commercial whaling, “including Japan’s so-called ‘scientific’ whaling program”.

“Japan’s whaling activities are contrary to international law,” said Environment Minister Tony Burke, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon and acting Foreign Minister Craig Emerson in a statement.

“That is why Australia commenced and will continue legal action in the International Court of Justice. Our efforts are aimed at ending Southern Ocean whaling for good.”

Mr Kano said the outcome of this year’s hunt would be reviewed but did not directly respond to questions about the program’s future. Many observers thought the program would be discontinued this season after last year’s earthquake, but the whalers were given fresh funds to return to the Antarctic late last year and insiders say they believe the hunt will continue in the future.

Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson used the cessation of this year’s hunt to claim victory over the Japanese fleet. “If the Japanese whalers return, Sea Shepherd will return. We are committed to the defence of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary,” he said.

By Rick Wallace, Tokyo correspondent, The Australian

See full article as cross-posted from here

For more articles on this news story visit here and here

Japanese Whalers Are Denied Protection Request Against Sea Shepherd

16 Feb

Japanese whalers asked a US federal court in Seattle to make the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society stop harassing them during their whale hunt in the Southern Ocean. Based out of Friday Harbor, Washington, Sea Shepherd and its lawyers argued the Japanese had no jurisdiction, and that whaling is not a legitimate business, anyway.

“If a heroin dealer came to federal court and sought an injunction to be able to continue to sell their heroin in a particular neighborhood without interference from anyone, I have no doubt that the court would turn them down,” said Dan Harris, Sea Shepherd’s lawyer.

The judge evidently agreed today, refusing the whalers’ protection request.

Outside the courthouse, Gavin Carter, a spokesperson for the whalers, complained about the ruling. “You can’t have anarchy on the high seas,” he whined. Apparently, he’s never met Sea Shepherd founder and patriarch Captain Paul Watson, a man known for his top-down, authoritarian ways. If he had, Carter would know that Sea Shepherd sees itself as an enforcer of international laws that protect marine life. If anything, it’s the government of Japan that’s advocating anarchy, illegally hunting whales to sell their bodies for food.

This ruling comes less than a week after a standoff in sub-zero Antarctic waters between Sea Shepherd activists on a jet-ski and three inflatable boats, and the Nishin Maru 2, a Japanese harpoon boat. The spray from a water cannon on the harpoon boat hit the activist on the jet-ski in his chest, causing him to fall into the frigid waters. He was able to make it back onto his jet-ski and return to the Steve Irwin, a Sea Shepherd vessel nine miles away.

Sea Shepherd is promising to keep up their campaign against the whalers until the hunt ends at the end of March.

Spray from a cannon of a Japanese harpoon boat knocks a Sea Shepherd activist into the water

Whale Wars Victory – Activists to be Released

10 Jan
Three Australian Activists Released from Detention on a Japanese Whaler in Australian Waters

10 Jan, 2012 07:45 AM

An unscheduled meeting between Japan’s whalers and environmental activists on the high seas seems an unlikely backdrop to an outbreak of détente.

But Australia was quietly celebrating a minor victory for diplomacy on Tuesday after Japan agreed to release three anti-whaling activists who illegally boarded one of its whaling ships over the weekend. 

The trio, all Australian citizens, have been detained on the Shonan Maru 2, which is providing security to the fleet, after clambering aboard early Sunday morning to protest Japan’s annual hunts in the Antarctic. The International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986 but allows Japan to hunt a limited number of whales for “scientific research.” The fleet left port last month with plans to kill some 900 whales this season.

The incident threatened to cause tension between Australia and Japan, close trade and security partners. Soon after the men were detained it seemed likely that they would be kept aboard the Shonan Maru 2 and taken to Japan, where they faced a trial and possible imprisonment for trespassing.

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