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Success for WDC campaign. Thomas Cook the latest to drop tours to captive dolphin parks

Travel industry giant, Thomas Cook has announced that it is dropping tours to some captive dolphin theme parks in the wake of growing public feeling against the use of whales and dolphins for entertainment.

In its own report, Thomas Cook (the UK’s second largest travel company) found many facilities broke UK travel association ABTA’s guidelines and badly treated the dolphins held in small tanks.

Norwegian hunters may kill nearly one thousand whales

Norway’s minke whaling season opened Saturday with whalers given an increased quota of 999, up from 880 whales last year.

The quota (number of whales they can kill) is self-allocated and set by Norway's own Fisheries Ministry, which claims that it has set the quota numbers in accordance with scientific advice from the international body that regulates whaling (International Whaling Commission - IWC). However, these inflated kill numbers are higher than would be deemed "sustainable" by the IWC's own scientific committee.

At Least 1 in 10 Humpback Whales Have Been Injured by Boat Collisions

New study published confirms collision between vessels and whales are underestimated

Each spring, summer, and fall hundreds of protected humpback whales come to the waters off of southern New England to feed. However, these whales share their feeding habitat with both recreational and commercial boaters, and as a result, are at a high risk of being struck by a passing vessel. 

Japanese whaling ships return in face of international political storm

After more than four months at sea, Japan’s whaling ships have returned from their controversial annual hunt having killed 333 minke whales (155 males and 178 females) in Antarctic waters for what they claim are scientific purposes. Japan uses this so-called ‘research’ reason to exploit a loophole in the international ban on commercial whaling. 

Scottish MP meets orca competition winners

Tavish Scott MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament) paid a visit to Scalloway Primary School on the Shetlands Islands, Scotland earlier this week to meet the winners of his Orca competition and present them with prizes donated by WDC.

Members of the Scottish Parliament have been asked to lend political support to the protection of Scotland’s threatened wildlife by becoming ‘Species Champions,’ and Tavish was recently nominated as a Species Champion for the orca.

Chinese investment company buys stake in SeaWorld

Shanghai-based investment company, Zhonghong Group is to acquire a 21% stake in SeaWorld from private equity firm Blackstone. 

Zhonghong Group, a financial holding company focused on strategic growth opportunities in the leisure, tourism, and culture industries, will now work with SeaWorld on the concept development and design of theme parks, water parks and family entertainment centers to be developed and operated by Zhonghong, including exclusive rights in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

Sailor Forced to Abandon Round-the-World Race Confirms it was a Whale Strike

Earlier this month a video was released confirming French sailor Kito de Pavant’s 60-ft (18.28 m) racing yacht struck a whale on December 6th, 2016 while he was competing in the Vendee Globe yacht race. This was the eighth edition of the Vendee Globe, a solo, nonstop around-the-world race, and paired 29 of the world’s most elite sailors with the best sailing technology available.

Fishermen blamed for dolphin shootings in Italy

Increasing incidents of dolphins washing up dead with gunshot wounds around the Italian coast are being linked to some local fishermen who blame the dolphins for poor fish and squid catches.

Despite the dolphins being officially protected, it is thought that a number of the fishermen have decided to take matters into their own hands and have been shooting dolphins with spear guns and rifles.

NGOs take campaign against fin whaling to Boston Seafood EXPO

BOSTON SEAFOOD EXPO. Members of the “Don’t Buy from Icelandic Whalers” coalition have affirmed that their campaign will continue until Iceland permanently ends commercial whaling and international trading of whale products, despite recent news that Icelandic whaling company Hvalur hf is suspending its summer hunt of endangered fin whales. The coalition encourages supermarket and food service representatives to avoid purchasing seafood from Icelandic companies tied to whaling.

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