Monday, February 27, 2006

Whale and Dolphin News in Brief

From wdcs.org

WHALE MEAT TURNED INTO DOG FOOD


Whale meat from Japan’s ever increasing whale hunts is being turned into dog food.

Japan’s stockpile of whale meat has doubled in the past decade as a result of an increase in the number of whales killed. Government officials have admitted that stockpiles are rising and they are looking to find new markets. WDCS was shocked to find a website selling whale meat for pets, claiming the products are ‘fished freshly out of the water’, ‘organic’, ‘safe and healthy’ and ‘made in factories where whale meat is processed for human consumption’.

http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL060223/whaling


GILL AND TANGLE NETS - WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW TO STOP THEM.

In recent weeks, large numbers of dead dolphins and porpoises, the victims of fishing nets, have washed up on the shores of south west England. Each year, thousands die in this way threatening the survival of entire populations.

Gill and tangle nets, set to the sea bed, pose a real threat to dolphins and porpoises. Many fishermen that use these nets are now required under EU law to use acoustic 'pinger' devices designed to stop the animals from getting entangled and killed. However, the fishing industry has been reluctant to comply, arguing that the pingers are expensive and are unlikely to survive the rigours of the fishery.

Action is essential now. If pingers are not used, and demonstrated to be protecting dolphins and porpoises, then fishermen should not be allowed to continue using these nets. We are pressing the UK Government to take urgent and effective action.

Join us in our fight to save our dolphins and porpoises by sending an e-card to UK Fisheries Minister, Ben Bradshaw outlining your concerns. To send your e-card now, please go to:


http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL060223/nets

CAPTIVE ORCAS IMPORTED TO TENERIFE

Despite receiving hundreds of letters of protest from WDCS supporters, the Spanish authorities have allowed the first import of orcas into the European Union for more than ten years.

Four orcas have been transported from Sea World, USA to a new captive orca facility at Loro Parque, Tenerife. The cruel practice of keeping orcas in captivity could also have an impact on wild populations, as low survival rates in captivity may mean more are captured to supply the industry.

A huge thank you to everyone who sent letters of protest to Spain. The level of opposition to the imports did not go unnoticed and will help WDCS with future campaigns to end captures and international trade in orcas. In more positive news, following a local campaign supported by WDCS, Mexico recently banned the import and export of marine mammals for commercial purposes.

http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL060223/captivi



UK: ARE HUMAN ACTIONS TO BLAME FOR WHALE DEATHS?
Following a number of whale strandings off the east coast of the UK, WDCS is highlighting the need to identify whether human actions are to blame.
http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL060223/strandi


UK: CORNWALL STUDY TO PROTECT DOLPHINS
In response to the large number of dolphin and porpoise deaths off the South West coast of England, WDCS scientists are monitoring populations in the area. This year, WDCS Consultant, Marijke de Boer is conducting a study in Cornwall. To read extracts from her research diary, please go to:
http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL060223/UKresea


US NAVY SONAR RANGE CHALLENGED
The civilian agency in charge of marine issues has challenged the US Navy’s plans to build an underwater sonar training range in the Atlantic Ocean.
http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL060223/noise


TEN IRRAWADDY DOLPHINS DIE IN CAMBODIA
The bodies of ten Irrawaddy dolphins, eight of them calves, have been found in Cambodia’s Mekong river, putting one of the rarest dolphins in the world even closer to extinction.

http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL050223/irrawad


SPAIN: MYSTERIOUS BEAKED WHALE STRANDINGS
An unusual mass stranding of live Cuvier's beaked whales took place in Spain on the 26th January. The stranding appears to have coincided with naval activities. All the whales have since died.
http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL060223/strand2



UK: MARRA, THE TRAPPED DOLPHIN IS FREE
The bottlenose dolphin that was trapped in a dock in Maryport, UK since January 5th was freed by a team led by British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR).
http://uk.wdcs.org/go/NL060223/Marra

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