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Icelandic fin whale hunting to resume

Iceland’s only fin whaling company, Hvalur hf,  announced today that it will resume fin whaling on June 10th after a break of two years.

As many as 161 fin whales could be killed, and the tally may even reach over 200 fin whales if the whalers also decide to exploit a second quota of 48 fin whales to the east of Iceland [source Hafogvatn].  

Commonwealth nations announce pledge to fight plastic pollution

Countries from across the Commonwealth have today pledged to eliminate avoidable single use plastic in an ambitious bid to clean up the world’s oceans.

New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Ghana have become the latest nations to join the UK and Vanuatu-led Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance – an agreement between member states to join forces in the fight against plastic pollution.

Norway's whaling season begins

April 1st saw the start of the whaling season in Norway. Despite a widely-accepted international moratorium on commercial whaling, Norway and Iceland continue to hunt minke whales in the North Atlantic as they objected to the agreement. 

Bowhead whales sing jazz songs

New research has revealed that not only do bowhead whales have the most diverse song range amongst whales, but that they may be singing their own vast and unique selection of ‘jazz’.

Kate Stafford, an oceanographer at the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory in Seattle, studied a large group of the whales, listening in to their underwater concerts. She was amazed by what she heard and recorded.

Over 300 more whales killed by Japanese hunting fleet

Japanese whaling vessels have returned to port from the Antarctic Ocean after killing 333 minke whales as planned.

The fleet, consisting of the Yushin Maru (724 tons), The 3rd Yushin Maru (742 tons)., and three other vessels, including the factory ship, Nisshin Maru (8145 tons) and the 2nd Yushin Maru (747 tons), left Japan for the Southern Ocean in November 2017.

Scientists record first case of infanticide in orcas

For the first time, scientists have recorded an incident in which a male orca deliberately drowned an orca calf from another pod, assisted by his own mother. The mother of the calf tried unsuccessfully to defend her offspring. 

While this behaviour has been recorded in other animals and three species of dolphin, it had never been seen before in orcas.

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