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WDC scientists join call for global action to protect whales and dolphins from extinction

Scientists from Whale and Dolphin Conservation, along with over 250 other experts from 40 countries, have signed on to an open letter calling for action to urgently address the precarious situation of many populations of whales, dolphins and porpoises, (collectively ‘cetaceans’) many of which face extinction threats due to harmful human activity such as incidental…

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Russia to give orcas greater protection

According to reports, Viktoria Abramchenko, the Deputy Prime Minister in Russia responsible for environmental affairs, has announced that transient orcas are going to be added to the country’s Red Data Book of endangered species. In recent years, Russia has allowed a number of wild orcas to be captured for sale to the captivity industry. The…

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Japan’s government agrees to more funding for whale hunts

Japan’s Diet (parliament) has passed a law to help support commercial whaling through increased funding despite the falling demand for meat in the country. The government has said that it will promote the consumption of whale meat in schools as well as financially help the country’s whaling industry in securing hunting ships and crew. This…

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New research shows bottlenose dolphins turn to the right

New research has revealed that dolphins have a dominant right-hand side.  The research shows that bottlenose dolphins appear to have an even stronger right-side bias than humans, discovered through crater feeding observations. Crater feeding is a hunting technique where the dolphins swim close to the ocean floor, use echolocation to find prey, and then use…

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Scientists discover new humpback whale feeding technique

Humpback whales are renowned for the many different ways they catch their prey, such as lunge-feeding, kick-feeding, bubble-netting and many more. However, up-to-now scientists have been unable to work out how the whales might use their five-metre long pectoral flippers to help catch their food. Finally, using aerial observations and photographs, they have been able…

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Japanese whalers kill over 200 whales in commercial hunt

Japanese whalers returned to port today after completing the first commercial hunt since Japan left the International Whaling Commission (IWC) at the end of June. The whalers killed 187 Bryde’s whales, 25 sei whales and 11 minke whales, bringing back a total of around 1,430 tons of whale meat. The Japanese Government announced that it would be leaving the IWC earlier…

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Norway’s whaling future uncertain after survey shows little domestic appetite for whale meat

The future of Norway’s whaling industry appears to be in serious doubt as it struggles to deal with low catch numbers, falling prices for whale meat and declining interest in its products on the domestic market. The head of Norway’s Whalers’ Association, Truls Soløy, described the 2019 whaling season as “particularly disappointing” after a total…

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New beaked whale species discovered in Japan

A new species of beaked whale who lives in the North Pacific has been identified in Japan, according to scientists who have published their discovery in the scientific journal Nature. The whale is thought to possibly be a new member of the Berardius family, which would mean there are now three whales in this group,…

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US authorities put forward proposal for Makah gray whale hunt

Federal authorities in the United States have put forward a proposal that would allow the Makah, a Native American tribe, to resume the aboriginal subsistence whaling of gray whales in Washington State.   The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) made the announcement earlier this month. Under the proposal, the Makah would be allowed to…

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