French fishermen protest driftnet ban


French fishermen blocked Marseilles port last week in protest against the European Union driftnet ban which is due to take effect in 2002.

Port officials said two ships from North Africa were diverted to nearby Toulon after trawlers prevented them from entering the docks.

Japan encourages whaling in the Caribbean

A Japanese newspaper has just reported that Japanese Government officials have been in the Caribbean encouraging the development of a commercial whaling industry. The islands of St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis and Grenada have consistently supported Japan at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) annual meetings. Despite having thriving tourism industries some of the Caribbean delegates to the IWC indicated that they would be opposing all developments of whale watching in the Caribbean.

Full press release on 'dolphin racing'

The following is the full press release sent by GIC Global Intertainment Corporation with regard to their suggested 'racing of dolphins' for sport

"Live From the Caribbean: The "First Ever" Dolphin Races; Event Will Be Broadcast Worldwide Over the Internet; Online Bets Accepted

Climate Change Affecting Marine Mammals?

WASHINGTON - A sudden 2-degree rise in ocean water temperature 20 years ago may be causing a decline in fish, birds, seaweed and some mammals along the West Coast, researchers say in a study published today.

John A. McGowan of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, co-author of the study, said the warming trend may signal a climate change deeper than just a temporary El Nino effect.

"It's clear the entire system has warmed up," said McGowan, co-author of the study in the journal Science.

Canadian Inuit kill Bowhead

Initial reports indicate that after days of being turned back by bad weather in the Arctic, Canadian Inuit finally went out on the water early on the 21st July and killed one bowhead whale from an endangered population.

WDCS will report more on this issue as information is received.

Tales from the 'Atlantic Frontier' VIII

Monday July 20: We encounter a marine head-banger.

We are still sheltering in East Loch Roag. Last night, the captain put down a second anchor to hold the Neptun still and a trawler and a fisheries protection vessel joined us here overnight. These too were sheltering from the storm.

Engineer Len has announced that because the water pump is broken and its lashed-together replacement requires showers, he says (taking some delight in this) "just get in, have a quick hose down and get out!"

Tales from the 'Atlantic Frontier' VII

An aside about noise.

You may recall that almost our first sighting of whales as we entered the deeper waters of the Atlantic Frontier - a distant sperm whale - was accompanied by a sighting of a duo of seismic research vessels: the large red and white research ship and her smaller companion guard vessel. It is, therefore, appropriate to spend a few words considering this novel activity in the deep oceans, especially as it is certainly also one of the reasons why we are here.

Plea from a child in Mexico against the captivity of belugas

Further to reports from contacts about the recent import of two belugas to an amusement park in Mexico, WDCS has received the following letter from a child in Mexico asking for help...

"Hi name is Alma Carrascosa. I'm a 15 year old girl, I'm an ecologist and a veggie.

Sperm Whale beached in Gijon (Spain)

Spain -- July 20, 1998

A young sperm whale has been found dead on the shores of Gijn. The whale was 6m long and weighed between 2,500 and 3,500kg. A museum in Luarca will take the whale after it has been examined by experts from the Regional Fisheries office in Cogersa.

The Co-ordinator for Research and Protection of Marine Species (Cepesma), Luis Leria, said the animal had died about 50 miles from Gijn, but that the cause of death was not yet known.


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