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US football team cuts ties with SeaWorld

US football team, the Miami Dolphins have announced they are severing ties with SeaWorld after a two-year marketing partnership that included ticket offers to the marine theme park.

The Dolphins are the latest in a line of other big-name companies to  cut ties with SeaWorld including Southwest Airlines, Virgin America, Panama Jack, STA Travel, Taco Bell and Hyundai.

Speculation surrounds the reason for the decision by the Dolphins, but outrage over the park's marine mammal care in the wake of the documentary "Blackfish" could be to blame.

 

Whale tusk smuggler jailed

A man has been jailed for 33 months in the US for smuggling narwhal whale tusks.

Sixty-one year-old Andrew J. Zarauskas, was also fined $7,500 after it emerged that he had been buying the tusks from two Canadian traffickers and then selling them for $70 per inch. 

Narwhal whales, known as the unicorns of the sea, have spiral, ivory tusks that can sell for thousands of dollars, The whales are a protected species and their tusk are illegal to import into the U.S.

 

SeaWorld fails to see the point as expansion plans are revealed

SeaWorld’s multi-million dollar expansion plan to build a larger orca (or killer whale) tanks has had its first public airing in the US. The expansion plan is seen by many as an attempt to halt falling share prices and revenues following a public backlash against the cruel whale and dolphin captivity industry.

The plan comes amid a turbulent year for the company. Attendances continued to drop off and, last month, the CEO of the parent company of SeaWorld, Jim Atchison, stepped down.

Beaked whale deaths in Scotland puzzle experts

A five-fold increase in the number of stranded Cuvier’s beaked whales washing up on the shores around the west coast of Scotland over December has caused concern in the region. An unusually large number of beaked whales have been found dead on local beaches over the past couple of weeks but are too decomposed for cause of death to be revealed.

Cuvier's beaked whales are the deepest diving of all whales and dolphins and usually hunt for food many miles off shore. Theories for these strandings range from disease to noise pollution in the area (use of high frequency sonar).

Rare white dolphin spotted in the US

A rare albino dolphin has been spotted in waters off the Florida coast in the US. Albinism is thought to have occurred in around 20 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises, but sightings are uncommon. A video, posted to YouTube, shows the snow-white dolphin surfacing several times near a shoreline of mangroves in Brevard County's Indian River Lagoon.

Australian super trawler ban could help whales and dolphins

The Australian government has announced that it is to stop so-called super trawlers from fishing in Australia's territorial waters, a move which could help whales and dolphins that get accidentally caught, injured or killed in the vessel's huge nets. Sadly the ban only applies to boats 427 feet (130 meters) or longer. These vessels can cast nets up to 1,000 feet long.

Two dolphin calves die at zoo

A dolphin calf has died at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, the second loss this month.

The calf died on Friday having been born just 7 days earlier to a 9-year-old bottlenose dolphin called Allison.

On December 5th, another dolphin, Noelani, gave birth but the calf died within a few minutes.

A necropsy (animal autopsy) will be carried out to try and determine the cause of the deaths.

Arrest made after dolphin is killed by an arrow

According to reports from law enforcement agencies in the US, a young person has admitted to shooting a bottlenose dolphin with a hunting arrow in the waters around Florida. A written confession has been taken and a bow seized.

The dolphin was found dead more than a week after being shot in Orange Beach and a substantial reward was offered.

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