#whales

Can New Technology Save the North Atlantic Right Whale? Yes, But Only If It’s Used

Earlier this week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a report on large whale entanglements, looking at data from 2007 to 2018, and found that entanglements are up significantly, with 80% of those involving fishing gear. 

Why This Matters:  Emerging technologies that eliminate the ropes in the water column have been developed — the “catch” is getting fishers to use it.

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Failure is Not An Option – Time to Save the North Atlantic Right Whale

Failure is Not An Option – Time to Save the North Atlantic Right Whale

By CT Harry, Marine Campaigner, IFAW For millennia, every autumn and spring, one of the largest animals on Earth has followed ancient migratory pathways up and down the coast of North America. For nearly three decades, people and organizations around our ocean planet have marked World Oceans Day, raising awareness of the importance of the […]

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Iceland Whalers Announce They Won’t Hunt Again This Year

Iceland Whalers Announce They Won’t Hunt Again This Year

For the second year running, Iceland’s notorious whaling industry will opt-out, this year blaming coronavirus social distancing restrictions that would make processing the meat impossible, as well as reduced demand for whale meat in Japan. 

Why This Matters:  Given that this is the second year of the cessation of whaling, it might just be doomed.  Whale watching is much more popular and economically important to Iceland than hunting, and the two activities are fundamentally inconsistent.

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Happy World Whale Day — Saving the Whales:  Progress, Threats, and New Hope

Happy World Whale Day — Saving the Whales:  Progress, Threats, and New Hope

By Patrick Ramage, Director – Marine Conservation, International Fund for Animal Welfare This World Whale Day, as whale-huggers and marine conservationists from Maui to Monterey, Monaco to Mombasa measure recent progress, there is much to celebrate. As we assess prospects for actually “saving the whales” in the 21st century, there is also much cause for […]

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The Makah Tribe Wants to Resume Hunt Whales, NOAA Must Pick a Side in Animal vs. Tribal Rights

The Makah Tribe Wants to Resume Hunt Whales, NOAA Must Pick a Side in Animal vs. Tribal Rights

As the LA Times recently reported, this year, an administrative trial in Washington state could dictate whether the Makah tribe can resume hunting gray whales. The Makah, who live in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula have asked the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for a waiver from the Marine Mammal Protection Act so they can restart their […]

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Making Progress On Tough Ocean Problems Through Technology

Making Progress On Tough Ocean Problems Through Technology

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) held a workshop this week with the goal of advancing the use of new technologies such as electronic monitoring and electronic reporting in order to better and more safely monitor and manage U.S. fisheries — which will significantly help to manage fisheries in the face of climate change. Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of Senators passed out of committee several pro-conservation bills.

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Court Issues Leviathan Ruling In Favor of Right Whales

Court Issues Leviathan Ruling In Favor of Right Whales

A federal court in Washington, D.C. handed the highly endangered North Atlantic Right Whale a leviathan victory ruling that the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service’s decision to open up two areas amounting to 3,000 square miles off the New England coast to gillnet fishing violated the Endangered Species Act.  The Court restored the previous prohibition on the use of gillnets by fishermen in the whales’ critical habitat.

Why This Matters:  There are only 400 North Atlantic Right Whales remaining and 30 have died as a result of ship strikes and gear entanglements since 2017.  In recent years, the areas that the government re-opened to fishing have become increasingly important as gathering and feeding spots for right whales, with up to a quarter of the population spotted in these areas during some seasons of the year. 

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The IMF Says All Whales Together Are Worth More than $1 Trillion

The IMF Says All Whales Together Are Worth More than $1 Trillion

A new report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) quantifies the significant benefits of whale conservation and the results are surprising — they estimate that, if whales were allowed to return to their pre-whaling numbers it would result in the capture of  1.7 billion tons of CO2 annually. 

Why This MattersThe Bottom Line: “Enhancing protection of whales from human-made dangers would deliver benefits to ourselves, the planet, and of course, the whales themselves.” 

 

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Richard Branson Cuts Ties With Sea World

Richard Branson Cuts Ties With Sea World

Last week Virgin Group founder Richard Branson announced in a blog post that Virgin Holidays will end the sales and promotion of tourism attractions that involve captive cetaceans, such as whales and dolphins. Branson stated that “We felt strongly this was the right thing to do and we knew most of our customers supported it, […]

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Dozens of Pilot Whales Saved From Beaching By Georgia Volunteers

Dozens of Pilot Whales Saved From Beaching By Georgia Volunteers

On Tuesday, according to the Brunswick News, about dozens of short-fin pilot whales emerged in the surf close to shore on St. Simons Island, Georgia and repeatedly attempted to beach themselves, as local citizens and then marine mammal stranding experts pushed them back in the water.

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Japan Resumes Commercial Whaling, Joins Iceland and Norway

Japan Resumes Commercial Whaling, Joins Iceland and Norway

According to the Associated Press, Japanese whaling vessels returned to port with two minke whales last week — this is the first time Japan’s ships conducted a commercial hunt since an international moratorium on commercial whaling went into effect in the 1980s, joining the Norway and Iceland in defying the global ban on selling whale meat. Japan had announced recently that they are leaving the International Whaling Commission, and will be resuming commercial whaling, but ending “research whaling,” which was always believed by international whale conservation organizations to be a ruse.  

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One Cool Thing:  First Ever Recording of a Right Whale Singing

One Cool Thing: First Ever Recording of a Right Whale Singing

Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have recorded for the first time ever the “singing” by a rare and endangered North Pacific Right Whale.  Humpback whales are known for their songs, but no one has ever before recorded right whales of any type singing.  The government scientists heard four distinct songs over […]

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