Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research this week published its draft plan for a new ‘research whaling’ programme in the Antarctic. The announcement comes after its previous whaling programme in the Antarctic (JARPA II) was declared illegal by the International Court of Justice in March, when the Court ruled that Japan’s hunt was not conducted for scientific purposes.
WDC, together with more than 100 delegates from over 20 countries around the globe have been attending an international conference looking at protected sea areas for marine mammals like whales and dolphins.
Around the globe, whale and dolphin populations are under threat and need places where they are protected. ‘Safe havens’ - effective marine protected areas and reserves - help to preserve the habitat critical for whales and dolphins in all the oceans of the world.
WDC has joined a number of Scottish environmental charities in warning the Scottish government that its new proposals to manage fishing in Scotland’s recently established network of protected sea areas could actually risk failing to protect and, crucially, recover the very sea life which these areas were set up to protect.
The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS ), a United Nations backed treaty that aims to protect wildlife and habitats around the globe, has agreed at its latest meeting that whale and dolphin culture should be taken into consideration when the conservation of these amazing creatures is discussed in future.
WDC is delighted by today’s news from the latest Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) meeting that a resolution addressing the cruel capture of whales and dolphins from the wild (for commercial use in aquaria and theme parks) has been adopted.
The government of Bangladesh has created the country’s first marine protected area in the seas of the Bay of Bengal, which will now help to safeguard the whales, dolphins, and other marine species that live there.
The area, known as the ‘Swatch of No Ground’, spans 672 square miles (1,738 square kilometres), with a depth of more than 900 metres. It is home to species such as Irrawaddy dolphins, finless porpoises, Pacific humpback dolphins, Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins, spinner dolphins, and Bryde’s whales.
As many as 58 pilot whales have died after a mass stranding in the Eastern Bay of Plenty in New Zealand.
It is thought one of the whales may have stranded after becoming ill and the others followed it into a harbour.
A rescue attempt was launched by local volunteers and the Department of Conservation which initially resulted in the successful refloating of 22 other whales. Sadly, these whales then restranded overnight and either died or had to be euthanised.
WDC is pleased that the release today of a new report into the need for marine protected areas (MPAs) in UK seas echoes our own recent calls for urgent safe havens for whales and dolphins.