Death of 3 dolphins at India's first dolphinarium provokes ban on further imports.

As previously reported, all three bottlenose dolphins held captive at India's first dolphinarium ('Dolphin City', near Chennai, Madras) have died, only months after import. However, their premature deaths may not be in vain. Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister for Welfare (Animal Welfare Dept) responded to the news of the deaths by requesting that the Commerce Ministry should not permit the further import of animals such as dolphins and sealions. She has been assured that such import would not be permitted.

UK Government fails to enact Porpoise protection

WDCS has stepped up its efforts over the last few months to have a special area of conservation (SAC) declared for porpoises in the UK - in effect a marine reserve - and as required for this species by the European Habitats Directive. Other groups have also been supportive of this initiative. We have an especially good case for an area in south Wales.

In early October, we sent a letter (and a petition with some 12,000 signatures on it) in support of this to the relevant government office. This was the latest in a series of letters, reports and petitions sent.

EU grants for drift-netters

EU fisheries ministers have agreed on the amount which French, English and Irish fishermen will get when the ban on drift net fishing takes effect on 1 January 2002. Italian fishermen have been dealing with a restructuring plan since 1997.

Vessel owners will be given up to 295,000 ECU (one ecu = FRF 6.60) when they stop the activity, and 285,000 ECU to equip vessels with other gear. Fishermen will receive a grant of 20,000 to 50,000 ECU depending on whether they change jobs or retire.

Florida dolphinarium closes

WDCS received news of the imminent closure of Marineland (Florida) yesterday. The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida reported that Marineland's Board of Directors voted last week to close the 'Oceanarium' which currently holds 20 captive bottlenose dolphins. The primary reasons for the closure are low attendance, financial difficulties and the resulting inability to market it as a tourist attraction.

WDCS Cetacean Strandings report

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society helps to co-ordinate whale and dolphin rescue in the United Kingdom by contributing the to the work of the UK's Marine Animal Rescue Coalition (MARC). The Coalition was founded in 1993 and MARC now provides a forum that brings together many different groups interested in rescue, including those with local, national and international remits.

Japanese whalers headed for Southern Ocean Sanctuary

A Japanese whaling fleet left Japan on the 6th November headed for the southern ocean whale sanctuary. The fleet included the Yushin Maru, the first new whaler built by Japan in 26 years.

Conservationists have accused Japan of catching whales in the whale sanctuary in an attempt to open that sanctuary for full-scale commercial whaling.

The southern ocean was declared a sanctuary area by the IWC in 1994. In April of this year, the Japanese fleet returned from the Antarctic with 438 minke whales.

Keiko news...everything going well so far.

WESTMAN ISLANDS, Iceland, Posted 6:23 a.m.
October 20, 1998 -- Keiko is making the transition from pampered celebrity to creature of the wild so well that handlers say they could "Free Willy" as early as next spring.

The famous orca would first be moved to the sheltered cove where his pen is located before heading out to the open sea, KOIN 6 News reports.

In the month since moving from Oregon, Keiko has spent less time around his human trainers and more time exploring underwater and watching other sea creatures.


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