After an absence of more than three decades, a sperm whale has been heard and seen in Johnstone Strait, a passage of water separating northern Vancouver Island from mainland Canada. This area is renowned as being home to the famous Northern resident population of orcas and while other species are also recorded, the reappearance of a sperm whale this week took researchers by surprise.
Last week, WDC was invited to participate in Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s workshop on reducing entanglements to critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. At this workshop, engineers introduced developing technologies for remote gear retrieval, which means a method for fishing that doesn’t use rope connecting the lobster trap at the ocean floor to the buoy at the surface, called “vertical lines”.
Plastic bottles and straws are to be banned from all Royal estates in the UK.
The move is said to have been instigated by the Queen after speaking to television presenter, Sir David Attenborough about the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean.
The Canadian government is to ban the capture of wild whales, dolphins and porpoises for theme parks as part a reforms to its fisheries legislation.
The Senate bill will prohibit live imports as well as the import of sperm, tissue or an embryo of any of these marine mammals.
There has been no live-capture of cetaceans for captivity in Canada since 1992. In recent years, however, wild-caught beluga whales and bottlenose dolphins have been imported for use in marine parks from foreign sources.
A new study into plastic pollution and its effects on the marine environment has confirmed that whales are ingesting microplastics in alarming quantities.
A team from the University of Siena’s looked at fin whales and whale sharks in the Mediterranean Sea and Sea of Cortez respectively.
An investigation into the August 2017 disaster at an Atlantic salmon net pen facility in the Salish Sea, an inland waterway home to multiple types of whales and dolphins, found that the scale of the event was greatly downplayed by the owners of the fish farm. Washington State launched an investigation into the facility after a net-pen collapsed and released hundreds of thousands of non-native Atlantic salmon into the ecosystem.
Canada conservation organizations are petitioning their federal government to take immediate action under the Species at Risk Act (SARA, the Canadian equivalent to the U.S. Endangered Species Act) to protect the endangered Southern Resident orca population and the Chinook salmon they depend on.
We are disappointed to share the news that the Florida Orca Protection Act did not make it out of subcommittee in the State legislature, and will not move forward on its own in Florida this year. Introduced in the Florida House of Representatives just a few weeks ago, the Florida bill would set into law SeaWorld’s pledges to phase out orca performa
Falling visitor numbers have caused a dolphinarium in Japan to announce it will close its doors.
The Inubasaka Marine Park, which opened in 1974, only now receives around 50,000 visitors a year, down from a peak of 300,000 a few years ago.
It is unclear what will happen to the dolphins held at the park but sadly it appears they will be moved to other facilities.
Find out more about why whales and dolphins should not be kept in captivity.