Tales from the 'Atlantic Frontier' XVI

Sunday August 2nd

Puppies and dilemmas

Wonderfully calm and peaceful night here in the middle of the ocean. Up at five and weather warnings start to come in almost immediately. Start survey at six.

At 7.28am, a line of half a dozen or so pilot whales appears in front of us, frolicking like so many puppies (as far as a 6-7 m whale can be said to be puppy-esque) towards us. They bound up to the bow, big black heads bobbing dramatically out of the waves and then, when they get up to the ship, they dive under it and disappear.

New dates for Big Blue Whale Roadshow

WDCS's Big Blue whale roadshow is continuing its tour of the country. Come along and visit our 100ft inflatable whale and find out how you can help WDCS and Britain's whales and dolphins. By adding a sticker to the whale you can help contribute to our campaign to create a Global All Oceans Sanctuary for whales. Forthcoming venues are:

Bristol Balloon Fiesta 6-9 August

Brighton Pier 14-15 August

Bournemouth Pier 20-21 August

Portsmouth International Festival of the Sea 28-31 August

Warning to fishermen over Hector's dolphin deaths

Fishermen in New Zealand have been warned by the Conservation Minister, Nick Smith, that the continuing deaths of Hector's dolphins in fishing nets must end.

Dr Smith said parts of the Canterbury coast off Banks Peninsula, near Christchurch on the South Island might have to be closed off to some types of fishing if the deaths continued.

He also announced a stiff rise in the levy on fishers for conservation services from NZ$780,000 to more than NZ$1 million to help protect the dolphins.

Debate rages in Iceland over whether Keiko will help or hurt economy

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The planned repatriation of Keiko is causing a stir in Iceland, where debate is growing over whether the movie star whale will help tourism or hurt the country's lucrative fishing industry.

Iceland agreed in June to allow the Free Willy Keiko Foundation to relocate its famous charge from the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport to a netted enclosure anchored in a sheltered cove in the Westmann Islands, a volcanic archipelago six miles off the country's south coast.

Sea World promoting whale watching?

WDCS today received a promotion from the San Diego Sea World Education department selling a trip to see whales and dolphins in the wild. Earlier this year in June, Sea World was offering a day trip aboard a Sea World vessel cruising the coastal waters of San Diego looking for wild whales and dolphins.

It seems a little ironic that Sea World should be promoting whale watching when they own the largest number of captive whales and dolphins in the USA. Perhaps this is the begining of a change of heart for Sea World?

Keiko's move getting closer

As summer flies by, the Free Willly Keiko Foundation's sights for Keiko are firmly set on a mid-September move to the Westmann Islands in Iceland. A date for Keiko?s departure from the Oregon Coast Aquarium will be announced within the next two weeks.

Police investigate death threat to Keiko

Iceland's police are investigating a death threat against Keiko the killer whale, star of the Free Willy movies, who is due to return to his native Icelandic waters in September.

After a four-year campaign by fans, Keiko too is to be moved from an aquarium in the United States to a large, floating sea-pen in a secluded bay in Iceland's Vestmannaeyjar or Westman islands.

Westman police said a national newspaper had received an anonymous letter sent from a town in northern Iceland threatening to poison the water in Keiko's pen.

5 beaked whales strand in Puerto Rico

A mass stranding of 5 goosebeak (Cuvier's) whales (Ziphius cavirostris) occurred Wednesday night and Thursday (29 and 30 July 1998) in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The Caribbean Stranding Network, a local non-profit scientific and conservation organization based at the Metropolitan University in San Juan, attended to the strandings, which involved 1 adult female and 4 males (1 adult, 3 juveniles). The largest animal measured 18 feet, while the smallest was about 14 feet in length.

Tales from the 'Atlantic Frontier' XIIII

Wednesday 29th July

View from a porthole.

10am. Well, if we are to see a whale this morning, it will have to haul itself up onto deck. In fact, as the end of the rear deck itself is now threatening to disappear into the fog, the whale should take care to launch itself to land amidships, so we don't miss it.


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