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Majestic fin whales

Icelandic whalers kill first fin whales in four years

As feared, whale hunters in Iceland have killed at least two fin whales, the first...
hvalur-8-whaling-vessel

Majority of Icelandic people think whaling harms their country’s reputation

A survey of Icelandic people has confirmed that the majority believe whaling damages Iceland's reputation. ...
A magnificent sei whale © Christopher Swann

Japan Begins Commercial Whaling Season

Sei whale © Christopher Swann Japanese whalers have left port to begin this year's annual...

Pumps and conveyor belts. How could more whales help save us?

University of Alaska Fairbanks Master's student, Dana Bloch, retrieves a CTD that is used to...

Florida Orca Protection Act stalls in Florida legislature

We are disappointed to share the news that the Florida Orca Protection Act did not make it out of subcommittee in the State legislature, and will not move forward on its own in Florida this year.  Introduced in the Florida House of Representatives just a few weeks ago, the Florida bill would set into law SeaWorld’s pledges to phase out orca performances and end their captive breeding program.

Opposition lobbying by SeaWorld and the Florida Attractions Association, among other groups, likely prevented it from being scheduled for a hearing and a vote in the House Natural Resources and Public Lands Subcommittee. 

“This bill should not be controversial,” said Colleen Weiler, WDC’s Rekos Fellow for Orca Conservation.  “SeaWorld has already committed to enacting the policies laid out in the Florida Orca Protection Act – we simply want to see those policies turned into law.”

Legal protection in Florida would also extend to the only other orca held captive in Florida, Tokitae (Lolita), a member of the endangered Southern Resident orca community.  The law would also prevent the transport of orcas overseas and any future marine parks from holding orcas captive. 

WDC and our colleagues will continue our work to put an official end to captivity for orcas in Florida.  There are still 23 orcas held captive in North America, seven of which are in Florida.