Auckland, Feb 3 - The discovery of a dolphin, apparently killed at close range by a shotgun blast, has sickened conservationists and fishermen. Geoff Thomas, a fishing columnist for The New Zealand Herald, said he found the dolphin, with what looked like a shotgun wound to the head, floating midway between Auckland and Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf. The protected marine mammal also had a gaping chunk out of its lower body, possibly caused by a killer whale or shark.
Savannah, Georgia, Feb 2 AP - The dwindling number of right whales spotted off the coasts of Georgia and Florida is further evidence that the most endangered of the big whales is on the brink of disaster, scientists say.
More action was needed to protect New Zealand's threatened Hector's dolphins, Otago University zoologist, Liz Slooten, said today (Jan 31st). Many of the dolphins died each year, caught accidentally in gill nets. Dr. Slooten and Dr. Steve Dawson, an Otago University senior lecturer in zoology, have undertaken pioneering research on the dolphins.
WDCS is currently supporting the proposal to have the Atlantic Frontier designated as a World Heritage Site. The following statement (Early Day Motion 242) is presently in circulation in the UK Government and seeking the support of British Members of Parliament.
Keiko is swimming laps underwater and vocalizing frequently. The staff is able to recognize several of the different vocals that Keiko emits regularly; we just wish we were able to understand them! Every orca pod has a distinct dialect. One of the questions we have is whether or not the noises Keiko makes are similar to those of his original pod.
A survey conducted in Iceland last summer asked overseas visitors their views on whaling and whale-watching.
The results showed that 63.6%, nearly two-thirds of people surveyed, were opposed to whaling. In addition, 44.3% of respondents said they would support sanctions against Iceland if it resumed whaling activity.
The survey received 924 responses from tourists from 23 countries.
January 27th 1999 - Philippines
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) today signed a joint agreement with five other national agencies and a non-government organization calling for a mobilization of governments resources for the protection of the Sulu Sea and portions of the Celebes Sea located within the Philippine sea territory.
Japan's government is attempting to prevent an Australian plan to create a new sanctuary for whales in the South Pacific, according to environmentalists and Australian government officials.
The plan would connect with already existing whale sanctuaries covering the entire Indian Ocean and the Southern Oceans surrounding Antarctica. There are also moves for whale sanctuaries covering the Caribbean and South Atlantic Oceans. Many experts believe this is vital for protecting the ocean's whale populations, many of which are facing extinction.
Japanese ambassador to Chile, Takeshi Nakamura, told the newspaper La Tercera, in Santiago de Chile, that the Japanese whaling fleet, which set off from Innoshima on 5 January, would hunt about 400-460 whales in the Antarctic Sea during the 1999 season.
Thursday, January 28, 1999
SOLDOTNA, ALASKA - A state oil and gas lease sale spanning the Cook Inlet basin is on track for April, despite calls to delete key tracts near river mouths that are important to the region's declining population of beluga whales.
The number of Cook Inlet belugas dropped from an estimated high of 1,000 earlier this decade to a 1998 count of 347, leading the National Marine Fisheries Service to explore whether the animals qualify for federal protection.