Tuesday 27th February 2007
5:08 38 am
Eastern Australian
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WDCS Newsletter


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New Zealand Government urges stricken Japanese whaling vessel to move away from pristine Antarctic environment.

The enormous factory and storage vessel of the Japanese whaling fleet, the Nisshin Maru, ran into trouble when a fire
broke out in the processing section of the ship, sadly claiming the life of one of the crewman.

2007-2-23 14:24 17

More orcas under threat as a cruel capture is commemorated

On the 10th anniversary of their capture, WDCS is asking people to remember the 10 orcas (killer whales) that were trapped and removed from the wild near the coastal town of Taiji, Japan, and for the Japanese authorities to refuse permission for further orca captures in Japanese waters.

2007-2-15 21:04 09

Japan’s whaling ‘mothership’ on fire in Antarctica – crew-member missing

The enormous factory and storage vessel of the Japanese whaling fleet, the Nisshin Maru, has been evacuated in response to a fire on board. One crew member is reported missing.

WDCS expresses hope that the missing crew member will be safely accounted for.

The fire could be a significant setback to Japan’s whaling operation.

2007-2-15 13:38 48

Stop the international export of drive hunt dolphins!

The dolphin drive hunt season is more than half-way through in Japan. This hunt season has been one of the bloodiest on record, commencing a month early and resulting in the slaughter of hundreds of small whales and dolphins. Extending from September to April every year, the dolphin drive hunts are conducted in a few small coastal towns in Japan, currently in Taiji and Futo, both southwest of Tokyo. Over 2,000 small whales and dolphins are taken in these cruel hunts that cause extreme suffering to entire pods of dolphins that are corralled into shore and butchered for meat, or taken alive for the aquarium industry. WDCS is calling for an end to these cruel hunts, read on to see how you can help.

2007-2-1 11:09 52

Rare whales die after stranding in Golden Bay, NZ

Two of three rare strap-toothed whales which stranded in Golden Bay have died after a failed rescue attempt by Department of Conservation staff.

2007-1-24 22:00 20

WDCS (NA) Intern / Residential Volunteer Program

WDCS offers a volunteer / intern program to qualified applicants throughout the year. The program provides a unique opportunity to garner experience in research, education and conservation of marine mammals. WDCS is willing to help qualified students obtain credits for the program through their college or university.

2007-1-8 21:13 18

NZ leads largest protest yet against Japan's whaling

New Zealand has led the largest single diplomatic protest yet against Japan's lethal scientific whaling programme in the Antarctic, with representatives of 27 countries taking part in the demarche at the Japanese Foreign Ministry in Tokyo on December 15.

2007-1-8 21:08 59

Dolphins “rescued” by world’s tallest man

A Chinese aquarium displaying captive dolphins to the public has gained international notoriety after calling in the world’s tallest man, a Mongolian herdsman called Bao Xishun, to perform an extraordinary operation on two dolphins at Royal Jidi Ocean World in Fushun, north-east China.

2006-12-16 22:27 08

Yangtze River dolphin presumed extinct

Experts believe the baiji or Yangtze River dolphin is now extinct, following a six-week survey effort during that concluded without a single sighting. This is the first recorded extinction of a cetacean species to be caused by human activity.

2006-12-16 22:25 20

New Action Alert: North Atlantic right whales

We urge you to support the US Senate mark in the budget for right whales, a total of $12 million, to ensure the survival of this species.

2006-12-6 22:00 26

Agreement on trans Tasman marine conservation measures

Australia and New Zealand have reached agreement on a range of marine environmental measures which pave the way for a new era of ocean management between the two countries.

2006-12-6 21:56 02

Orca Rejoins SeaWorld Show After Attack

An orca was back performing before crowds at SeaWorld Adventure Park a day after dragging her trainer to the bottom of the pool.

2006-12-6 21:52 18

Norway announces 2007 minke whale quota, with significant increases in its coastal quota

While the Norwegian Fisheries Department has announced an overall quota of 1052 minke whales for the 2007 whaling season -- the same number as last year -- there is a significant difference in how the quota will be allocated next year. The department will now allow whalers to kill 900 minkes in easier-to-reach coastal waters, an increase of some 30% over the 2006 coastal quota. The remainder of the 2007 overall quota, or 152 minkes, can be taken from the distant waters of the Norwegian Jan Mayen territory.

2006-12-6 21:36 59

Five whales survive mass stranding on Tasmania's West Coast

Rescuers are hopeful that five whales who have survived a mass stranding on Tasmania's West Coast will soon be released. The five mammals are part of a group of 27 long-finned pilot whales that became stranded on Strahan's Ocean Beach at about lunchtime on Friday.

2006-12-4 23:46 22

Help Save Hector's Dolphin!

Please write a letter by 23 November to help protect Hector's dolphin - The unique Hector’s dolphins of New Zealand need you help: The New Zealand Minister of Fisheries is considering protection measures for Hector's dolphin and has invited people to express their opinion on the best way to protect the world’s smallest dolphins.

2006-11-22 14:19 46

Japanese hunters to embark for whale sanctuary

14th November 2006: Japanese whaling fleet prepares for imminent departure to Antarctic hunting ground despite low demand for whale meat.

2006-11-14 09:24 34

Japan’s Pacific hunt falls short

A single Japanese whaling vessel has caught 35 minke whales out of a quota of 60 off its northern island of Hokkaido. The hunt is a component of Japan’s so-called scientific whaling programme in the North Pacific (JARPN).

2006-11-6 13:01 09

Iceland kills first fin whale in decades

Just days after announcing that it would return to commercial whaling in 2006/7, Iceland killed a fin whale, the second largest species on the planet. This is the first time that fin whales have been hunted commercially in the North Atlantic since 1989 when Iceland killed 68 for so-called scientific research, but sold almost half the meat overseas.

2006-10-24 15:23 09

UN launches the Year of the Dolphin 2007

The United Nations Environment Programme, the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), has launched the Year of the Dolphin, in order to highlight the threats facing our dolphins around the world. And Prince Albert has dived in Monaco’s waters at a public event to celebrate the launch.

2006-9-19 12:24 32

A new era for whales and dolphins in the largest comprehensive whale and dolphin protection agreement in the world

Signalling a new era of regional leadership, today Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Niue, Vanuatu, New Zealand, Australia and France on behalf of their Pacific Territories French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna signed an important agreement to protect and conserve whales and dolphins in the Pacific Islands Region. Other Pacific Islands Countries and Territories indicated their intent to sign as soon as possible.

2006-9-15 20:44 19

WDCS condemns the beginning of the dolphin slaughters in Taiji, Japan

WDCS, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, renews its call for an end to the cruel slaughter of dolphins in the annual dolphin hunts that occur in Taiji, Japan. Normally commencing on October 1, the hunts started a month
early with the round-up of approximately 25 bottlenose dolphins in Taiji on September 6.

2006-9-14 13:17 34

Dolphins found surrounding injured diver

Fifty hours after diver Matthew Harvey was reported missing in the frigid waters of Fermain Bay, off the Channel Islands (between England and France), he was spotted by the crew of a passing yacht - surrounded by at least 150 dolphins. Did they save him or was it mere coincidence?

2006-9-7 14:13 39

Norway takes only half its whaling quota

For the second year in a row, Norway increased its self-allocated whaling quota and, once again, failed to take it. Less than one week short of the official August 31st end date of the 2006 season, Norwegian whalers had taken only 527 of the 1052 minke whales that the government assigned in the North Atlantic. As the season comes to a close, government officials and whalers are blaming each other for the embarrassing shortfall, as the whalers ask to prolong the season.

2006-8-29 14:09 00

NZ whale sightings: report to DOC

New Zealand coast goers are being asked to watch for southern right whales. The Department of Conservation wants to establish whether New Zealand waters are home to a separate breeding population.

2006-7-25 13:56 27

Entanglement rescue by WDCS in Port River

On 13 July, Dr Mike Bossley and WDCS Education Officer Kathy Warhurst helped to rescue one of Adelaide’s Port River dolphins which had become entangled. Twinkle, who is 10 years old, has a deep scar in his tail fin and keeps getting entangled.

2006-7-18 12:10 04

Norwegian whaling industry in crisis? Hunt suspended

Just 14 weeks into its biggest whaling season in decades, and with only half the amount of whale meat processed as this time last year, Norway has halted its controversial whale hunt.

2006-7-11 14:02 49

US sonar lawsuit settlement agreed!

A major victory for whales and dolphins around the Hawaiian islands comes this weekend as conservation and animal welfare groups reach a settlement in a hard-fought lawsuit against the U.S. Navy. Common sense measures will ensure that the US Navy will limit needless harm to whales and dolphins including an important sonar-free buffer around newly created Marine National Monument.

2006-7-11 13:15 44

Southern Ocean protesters step up bid

Up to four protest ships are readying themselves to head to Anatarctia to take action against the Japanese whaling fleet there.

2006-7-11 13:08 17

Monkey Mia dolphin tours restricted due to research findings

The Western Australian Government says the Monkey Mia dolphins in the state's north-west will be better protected now that only one commercial boat tour business is allowed to operate. The Government's decision came about due to the results of a study which found that the Red Cliff Bay dolphins have been using the area frequented by the tour vessels less and less.

2006-6-29 13:55 10

What next for whales?

With the International Whaling Commission and the fate of the word’s whales now under the control of Japan, WDCS asks what next to save the whale?

2006-6-23 15:49 06

Join our anti-whaling campaign

Yesterday, we witnessed a huge blow for the conservation of whales, as pro-whaling nations re-took control of the International Whaling Commission.

2006-6-19 18:59 04

A huge blow for the conservation of the world’s whales

The conservation of the world’s whales has taken a huge blow today, with pro-whaling nations regaining control of the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

2006-6-19 11:35 35

Japan fails again to seize control of IWC and withdraws proposal to lift whaling ban

A vote on the second day of the IWC meeting in St Kitts, West Indies, indicates that anti-whaling countries still hold a majority of votes, but by a thin thread.

2006-6-18 14:25 32

Anti-whaling countries win first vote at whaling commission

On the first day of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting, Japan has been defeated in its proposal to remove important work on ‘small cetaceans’ from the agenda.

2006-6-17 13:35 40

Our man in St Kitts: diary reports from IWC 2006

WDCS's Mark Simmonds reports from St Kitts on what is happening at what seems likely to be an historic meeting of the International Whaling Commission. With the addition of several new members to the commission, it is now almost inevitable that the pro-whaling faction has the majority. The question is what will they do with it?

2006-6-15 11:49 55

Battle to save the whale reaches crescendo in St Kitts

The beautiful island of St Kitts in the West Indies is hosting the 58th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) from now until 20 June 2006.

2006-6-13 15:22 16

WDCS team heads to St Kitts for International Whaling Conference

An international team from WDCS has headed off to St Kitts in the Caribbean for this year's International Whaling Commission (IWC). Cara Miller and Philippa Brakes from the Australasian offices are part of the delegation.

2006-6-6 13:40 48

Whales competing? New report debunks the myth that whales are out-competing humans for fish

In recent years Japan's Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR), an instrument of the whaling industry and the operators of so-called "scientific whaling" operations in the Antarctic and North Pacific, has produced two documents claiming that whales eat such enormous quantities of fish that they are serious "enemies" of fishermen. A new report now debunks this myth.

2006-5-30 14:05 29

Japan’s North Pacific hunt starts

Four ships, including a factory storage vessel, have set sail from Japan for its annual whale hunt in the North Pacific in defiance of the moratorium on commercial whaling imposed by the International Whaling Commission in 1982. The expedition, which will last four months, will hunt 160 minke whales, 100 sei, 50 Bryde's and 10 sperm whales northeast of Japan. The hunt, which is claimed to be for scientific research, will provide thousands of tonnes of meat for sale to Japan’s domestic market.

2006-5-25 15:13 10

WDCS and CMS join forces to seek solutions

WDCS and CMS (Convention of Migratory Species of Wild Animals) are calling on all countries that have any interaction with the world’s oceans to start solving the problems that face whales and dolphins.

2006-5-23 18:06 42

Baby dolphin dies after being rescued from stranding

A baby dolphin has been found dead one day after being rescued from stranding by WDCS, the South Australian Water Police and a member of the public.

2006-5-9 14:46 55

Japanese fleet returns with vast whale haul

Japan’s so called ‘research’ voyage to Antarctica ended 14 April with the return of the fleet to Kanazawa Port. On board, their research subjects are already processed, shrink-wrapped and frozen into neat blocks. The meat from 853 minke whales and ten fin whales will now be sold to subsidise future years’ research in Antarctica (where 50 humpback whales, and 40 more fin whales will be added in 2007) and the North Pacific, where Japan ‘studies’ 160 minkes, 50 Bryde’s, 100 sei and 10 sperm whales each year.

2006-4-20 12:19 05

Cruelty of captivity industry exposed

WDCS, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, has uncovered the worrying involvement of the aquarium industry in dolphin hunts in Japan. With increasing numbers of people visiting dolphins held in aquaria, the demand for these animals has never been greater. WDCS reveals that one of the world’s largest sources of wild dolphins for display in aquaria, and certainly the cruellest, is dolphin drive hunts in Japan.

2006-4-13 11:34 18

Norwegian whaling season opens

Norwegian fisheries authorities recently published whaling regulations for 2006 and confirmed WDCS’ fears that quotas this year are the highest in decades. The minke whaling season, which opened on April 1st, will allow Norwegian whalers to kill as many as 1052 minke whales and will permit whaling in international waters.

2006-4-6 13:48 00

Australian research shows Japan’s scientific whaling is a sham

Australian research recently conducted in Antarctica shows there is “no justification for Japan’s so-called ‘scientific’ whaling”, claims Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell.

2006-3-31 12:39 00

Volunteer to help with dolphin study!

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) is calling for volunteers to help out on Dr Cara Miller's land-based study of the Port River dolphins. Volunteers will assist in investigating the movement patterns of the bottle-nosed dolphin population by using land-based vantage points along the river.

2006-3-21 14:56 01

Luna the solitary young orca is killed

WDCS regrets to report the death of Luna, the young male orca (killer whale) who has been living on his own in and around Nootka Sound on the west side of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada, since July 2001.

2006-3-21 13:57 04

Dolphins strand on WA beach

In early March 2006, over 40 dolphins died after beaching themselves on a remote Western Australia beach. WDCS examines the phenomenon of stranding

2006-3-9 13:15 01

Japan’s new harpoon – a convenient distraction from inhumane killing?

The Japanese Government has announced that it has developed a new grenade harpoon for killing whales. The new device, designed to kill the much larger fin and humpback whales which Japan will be taking in the second phase of its 'scientific whaling' hunt in the Antarctic (JARPA II), will induce extra wounding using shrapnel. According to reports, the new grenade will 'hurl shards of metal through the whale’s body to sever major nerves and blood vessels and so cause rapid death'.

2006-2-9 13:46 59

Thames whale dies

WDCS would like to add its congratulation and its commiserations to the rescuers who worked so hard to save the northern bottlenose whale found in the river Thames this last weekend. Very sadly the whale died after being skilfully manoeuvred onto a barge and whilst it was being taken out to sea.

2006-1-24 13:25 52

17 countries make diplomatic protest at Japan’s whaling

A diplomatic statement calling on Japan to stop its scientific whaling in Antarctica was delivered to the Japanese Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Fisheries on 16 January by the Brazilian ambassador on behalf of 17 countries. The ‘demarche’ from countries including Argentina, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Germany, but not the USA, calls on Japan to “cease all its lethal scientific research on whales”.

2006-1-19 11:35 38

WDCS on Antarctic expedition

WDCS's Sarah Dolman set sail for the Antarctic on January 2nd onboard the 'Aurora Australis', as part of a marine mammal survey to monitor
cetaceans, seals and sea ice in Antarctica. The study will also monitor sea birds, ocean currents, phytoplankton and krill, the tiny crustaceans
which form the main diet for many whales.

2006-1-10 14:39 12

Agonising death for whale in sanctuary

Film shot by Greenpeace campaigners following the Japanese whale hunt in the Antarctic has shown the agonising death of a minke whale. The film highlights the length of time it can take for a whale to die, and the agonising death animals may have to suffer at the hands of whalers.

2006-1-5 14:45 36

More whales killed in Japan's Antarctic hunt

Japan's whaling fleet continues to kill whales in Antartica despite protests from campaigning groups. Their fleet, which set sail in November, aims to kill up to 935 minke whales and 10 fin whales.

2006-1-5 14:33 31

New Zealand - Two Mass stranding in two weeks

The Christmas period has seen two mass strandings of pilot whales in less than two weeks in New Zealand. Both events occurred at the notorious Farewell Spit, where other mass strandings of pilot whales have occurred when whales have become trapped in the shallow water surrounding the spit.

2006-1-4 14:17 35

Dolphins being used as fishing bait - time for real Australian Government action

Dolphins, sharks and turtles are being seriously threatened by illegal and unwatched process in the Arafura Sea. WDCS is shocked to hear that there are new reports of illegal fishermen killing dolphins for use as bait.

2005-12-13 15:46 37

New Wildlife Centre opens in Colombia to save dolphins

A new visitor centre in the heart of the Colombian Amazon has opened, as part of a long term dolphin conservation project. The project is funded by WDCS.

2005-12-13 13:42 12

Rise in Greenland quota for narwhal

WDCS has leant that two days ago the Home Rule Government of Greenland decided to raise the 2005-2006 quota for narwhals from 260 animals to 310.

2005-12-13 12:47 46

Researchers record nearly 3,000 whales

The results of a land and sea survey of the annual migration of the humpback whale along the east coast of Australia are now being analysed by researchers from Southern Cross University's Whale Research Centre, who say nearly 3,000 whales have made their way up the coast this season.

2005-12-6 14:06 08

The benefits of high quality whale watching

Worldwide, at least 9 million people go whale watching every year. Currently, however, some of the trips on offer are at best a waste of time and some may even put the animals and the industry at risk. A new paper sheds light on how high quality whale watching can make a valuable contribution to the marine tourism industry, as well as to whale conservation.

2005-11-30 15:12 24

Dolphin therapy in the headlines

A new study claiming that dolphin therapy can be effective in alleviating the symptoms of depression neglects to highlight the suffering caused to the animals and the risks associated with swimming with dolphins.

2005-11-29 12:32 21

International conservation meeting brings hope of brighter future

As wide-ranging, migratory animals, most species of whales, dolphins and porpoises need protection which stretches across national boundaries. The UN Convention of Migratory Species, taking is one of the most important international bodies with the ability to provide such protection and on the 21st November its member countries will gather for a crucial meeting. During the meeting, the list of whale, dolphin and porpoise species designated for protection by CMS will be under review.

2005-11-18 12:27 32

Solidarity on whale conservation from Southern Hemisphere countries

In a meeting held last week in Buenos Aires, Argentina, officials from 14 countries joined forces to address the increasing threat to whale conservation from the growing pro-whaling faction within the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

2005-11-16 15:52 45

Japanese fleet sails in the face of world opinion

As a fleet of Japanese whaling ships sets sail for Antarctica to begin their most controversial hunt yet, WDCS has called on the Australian Government to restrict access to Australian ports for Japanese fishing vessels.

2005-11-15 14:40 17

Extended Norwegian season finally comes to a close

After starting the season a month early, then extending it to give the whalers two extra months beyond its normal end, the Norwegian minke whaling season finally closed on 31st October. The total number of minke whales killed was 639, out of a total quota of 796.

2005-11-3 12:43 25

Japanese scientist condemns modern 'scientific' whaling

With the expanded Japanese whaling program in the Antarctic expected to being any moment, killing more than double the number of whales previously killed annually in this hunt, WDCS is encouraged to hear a Japanese Scientist speaking out strongly about so called 'scientific' whaling.

2005-11-1 16:03 59


How dolphins communicate over long distances

Increasing ocean noise threatens whales

Japan begins hunt for 60 whales

More whale diversity off east coast

Killer whales show ability to learn and teach

Boy comes face to face with killer whale

Record number of fin whales spotted in UK waters

Humpback whale's movements make history

NZ Greens argue seabed mining harms dolphins