In what is becoming a sad state of affairs, China and Russia have again blocked the protection of important areas for whales and other marine mammals, seabirds and fish in the Antarctic/ Southern Ocean region at the annual CCAMLR
It has been a truly fantastic season here at Spey Bay! There have been dolphins a plenty treating all of us newbies to some exceptional displays. From wee tiny calves to groups of adolescent teens, all have been showing off their immense power and strength when breaching and doing somersaults out of the water. However it has not just been bottlenose dolphins that a few of us have been lucky to spot from Spey Bay.
A few years ago, we were approached by naturalist and author Ran Levy-Yamamori, introducing us to his wonderful story “The Mermaid and the Dolphins.” After translating it into Japanese and Danish, we shared it more widely with a hope that its message would reach across the globe, and especially within those communities in Japan and the Faroe Islands that continue to kill dolphins through drive and other types of directed hunts.
For decades, Japan has churned out misinformation and propaganda on whales and whaling in order to support a dying whaling industry that only continues thanks to government subsidies. Fear-mongering is largely centred around the popular refrain of ‘too many whales, eating too many fish’ and dire warnings of the catastrophic crash of fish stocks that will result if whales are not managed.
WDC Senior Intern, Kate McPherson, reports on the discovery of what may be the world's most endangered whale species.
Recent studies have shown that there is a genetically distinct population of Bryde’s whales living in the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately, their habitat range seems to be confined to a single area, the DeSoto Canyon off the Florida Panhandle. Even more unfortunate, this population appears to have fewer than 50 individuals remaining.
WDC Senior Intern Kate McPherson has spent two summers with WDC cataloguing humpback whales. As a seasoned photo-ID researcher, we asked her to blog about the 8,000th whale added to the North Atlantic Humpback Whale Catalogue. Her thoughts are below.
Things are definitely changing around Spey Bay and it is almost starting to feel and look the way it did when we arrived back in February. The vibrant colours of spring and summer are long gone, replaced with a gentler and softer atmosphere. The estuary is full of gulls; herring, greater black-backed, common and black-headed. Gannets and cormorants are frequenters along the shoreline. The cormorants most noticeable when they take up their distinctive perching stance, with their wings half opened and neck outstretched.
In a newsletter to their supporters and in a blog post, the Georgia Aquarium announced the pregnancy of one of their captive beluga whales, Maris, and proudly presents ultrasound images of the unborn whale.
Multi-millionaire fin whaler, Kristjan Loftsson, just got richer. According to a recently-published annual report for the year to September 2013, his fin whaling company, Hvalur Ltd., made a good profit last year, with almost a billion ISK (986 million ISK, around £5.1 million) paid out in dividends to shareholders.