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A waste of taxpayers money. Groups within Japan slam decision to conduct more research whaling

The Japanese government has passed a bill regarding the resumption of commercial whale hunting despite international opposition, and by environmental groups within Japan itself.

Currently, Japan gets around the international ban on commercial whaling via a loophole in the rules that allows the slaughter of whales for scientific research. Japan conducts these so-called ‘research’ hunts in the Southern and Pacific oceans, and much of the meat is then offered for sale.

Captive beluga Jun Jun dies

Jun Jun, a 17-year-old female beluga at Changfeng Ocean World in Shanghai, China, has died. 

WDC has been working with Ocean World’s owners, Merlin to establish a sanctuary for her and two other belugas she is held with in Shanghai and is deeply saddened by the fact that she will now never have the opportunity to go there.

Japanese parliament considers resumption of commercial whale hunting

Today, the Japanese parliament will consider moves by the government to resume commercial whale hunting.

Currently, Japan gets around the international ban on commercial whaling via a loophole in the rules that allows the slaughter of whales for scientific research. Japan conducts these ‘research’ hunts in the Southern and Pacific oceans, and the proposed new bill will enshrine funding for research whaling into the Japanese national budget. The demand for whale meat in Japan has fallen and the government subsidise the industry.

Rare white dolphin returns to California

A rare white Risso's dolphin has been sighted in Monterey Bay in California, nearly two years after the dolphin was first seen as a calf.

It is unclear whether the dolphin is a true albino or leucistic, a condition in which there is only partial loss of pigmentation. However, one photo taken of the dolphin suggests it may have pink eyes, which would indicate a true albino.

Whale snot secrets revealed by flying robot

Scientists have come up with a novel way of collecting data in order to understand more about whales. The SnotBot is a small drone that can hover over a whale and then collect samples of snot, or whale blow as it is more accurately named. The drones are equipped with petri dishes and can retrieve the particles exhaled through the whale’s blowhole as the creature comes up for air.

Japanese boats leave port to kill whales despite being told to stop by panel of experts

Japan has resumed its annual programme of whale slaughter in the Northwest Pacific just days after a committee of scientific experts at the International Whaling Commission (the global body that regulates whaling) backed previous conclusions by an independent panel that the North Pacific hunts were "currently unjustified, and should be halted until more research has been conducted".

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