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A Southern Resident killer whale leaps into the air. The Southern Residents are an endangered population of fish-eating killer whales. Credit: NOAA

Southern Resident Orcas Receive Oregon Endangered Species Protections

February 16, 2024 - Contact: Regina Asmutis-Silvia, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, (508) 451-3853, [email protected] Brady...
Pilgrim and her calf in December 2022 © Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, taken under NOAA permit #20556-01

Critically endangered whale dies due to inaction of Biden administration

Pilgrim and her calf in December 2022 © Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, taken...
© Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, taken under NOAA permit 24359. Funded by NOAA Fisheries and Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Critically endangered North Atlantic right whale found dead off Georgia’s coast

February 13, 2024 - On February 13, a North Atlantic right whale was reported dead...
#5120 not entangled in July 2021 
© Gine Lonati, University of New Brunswick. Taken under DFO Canada Sara Permit

Entanglement rope of North Atlantic right whale identified

On February 14th, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced it had identified the fishing...

Japan's minke whale hunt season starts under cloud of controversy

Japan’s highly controversial whaling season in the Antarctic has begun again with hunting vessels leaving the western Japanese port of Shimonoseki today. Their mission is to slaughter up to 333 minke whales through until March 2019 for research.

This will be the fourth such hunt since 2015 and will take place despite their scientific value being called into question by the scientific committee of the body that regulates whale hunts (IWC – International Whaling Commission) and heavily criticised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – the global authority on the status of the natural world. 

Japan temporarily suspended research whaling after the International Court of Justice ruled in 2014 that the whaling programme was “not for purposes of scientific research” and ordered its suspension.

Japan has been catching whales in the region for “scientific research” since 1987 despite the fact that most of the meat ends up on sale for commercial profit.

After leaving port, the 724-ton Yushin Maru and the 742-ton Yushin Maru No. 3 vessels will join three others including the 8,145-ton mother ship, Nisshin Maru before heading for the far south.

The annual hunts will start just weeks after Japan’s import and sale of sei whales products from its equally controversial scientific whaling programme in the North Pacific was deemed as illegal by the global body entrusted with protecting endangered species from trade – the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). 

WDC has been campaigning recently to stop the European Union agreeing a new free trade deal with Japan unless the slaughter of whales stops. The EU Parliament will vote whether to agree to a new deal in December and, following WDC’s campaign to raise awareness of the issue within the EU, a number of political groups have said they will not consent to the agreement, and many MEPs have individually raised Japan´s whaling as a big concern.

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