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US Senator seeks to outlaw captive whale and dolphin shows

Democrat US state Senator, Kevin Ranker has introduced legislation to try to stop Sea World type shows in Washington.

Senator Ranker wants to make it a crime for a zoo or aquarium in Washington to hold a wild-caught or captive-bred whale, dolphin or porpoise for purposes of entertainment or performance.

“They’re used to swimming hundreds and hundreds and thousands of miles and we’re putting them in tanks the size of the Washington state Senate floor. It’s disgusting,” he said.

Dismay as UK Government ‘protected’ areas exclude dolphins and porpoises, again

WDC has reacted with dismay and disappointment at the news that the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has excluded whales, dolphins and porpoises from those species that will be protected by a second tranche of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ) in the seas around England’s coastline.

The announcement by Defra today is in contrast to Scotland and Wales, both of which already have similar such marine protected areas (or MPAs) for bottlenose dolphins, and Scotland has also proposed MPAs for Risso’s dolphins, minke whales and basking sharks.

Ontario government rejects cruel captivity shows

Ontario's government is expected to issue an all-out ban on the selling or buying of orcas, as well as a series of changes in the regulations for other captive marine mammals including dolphins.
The move follows a report by scientists at the University of British Columbia that concluded standards of care that apply to marine mammals in public display facilities are insufficient.
Marineland in Ontario holds the province's only captive killer whale, Kiska, who was caught in the wild and has been living in her concrete tank in the amusement park for 37 years.

Whale song could reveal true impact of slaughter

A team of scientists is about to leave New Zealand aboard a research ship on a mission to discover just how badly whale hunts have affected the blue whale population in the Southern Ocean.

The research ship, Tangaroa will track blue whale song using state-of-the-art listening equipment over a six week period in order to work out exactly how many remain.

Fifty years ago, blue whales in the Southern Ocean numbered more than 250,000 but, due to commercial whaling, that number fell to only about 2000.

US Navy sonar devices could threaten whales and dolphins

The US navy has requested permits to increase training exercises off the Pacific Coast that involve the use of sonar buoys.

The navy wants to deploy up to 720 of the buoys off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and northern California. The devices, about 3ft long and 6in in diameter, send out underwater sound signals so air crews can train to detect submarines, but high levels of noise pollution could harm endangered whales that live in the water.

US football team cuts ties with SeaWorld

US football team, the Miami Dolphins have announced they are severing ties with SeaWorld after a two-year marketing partnership that included ticket offers to the marine theme park.

The Dolphins are the latest in a line of other big-name companies to  cut ties with SeaWorld including Southwest Airlines, Virgin America, Panama Jack, STA Travel, Taco Bell and Hyundai.

Speculation surrounds the reason for the decision by the Dolphins, but outrage over the park's marine mammal care in the wake of the documentary "Blackfish" could be to blame.

 

Whale tusk smuggler jailed

A man has been jailed for 33 months in the US for smuggling narwhal whale tusks.

Sixty-one year-old Andrew J. Zarauskas, was also fined $7,500 after it emerged that he had been buying the tusks from two Canadian traffickers and then selling them for $70 per inch. 

Narwhal whales, known as the unicorns of the sea, have spiral, ivory tusks that can sell for thousands of dollars, The whales are a protected species and their tusk are illegal to import into the U.S.

 

SeaWorld fails to see the point as expansion plans are revealed

SeaWorld’s multi-million dollar expansion plan to build a larger orca (or killer whale) tanks has had its first public airing in the US. The expansion plan is seen by many as an attempt to halt falling share prices and revenues following a public backlash against the cruel whale and dolphin captivity industry.

The plan comes amid a turbulent year for the company. Attendances continued to drop off and, last month, the CEO of the parent company of SeaWorld, Jim Atchison, stepped down.

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