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‘Talking’ orca not such great news

An orca held at a captive facility in France has apparently been trained to speak according to scientists.

The whale, called ’Wikie,’ is currently held in a tank at Marineland in Antibes. She has been recorded saying ‘Hello,’ ‘May,’ ‘one, two, three,’ and other words and phrases, after copying trainers saying the words directly or in recordings. This was part of a study created by scientists from St. Andrews and Madrid Universities.

Tourist bitten at captive dolphin facility

A tourist from Brazil is claiming compensation after she was allegedly bitten by a dolphin while leaving the water at a marine park in Colombia.

The incident occured while the woman was visiting the Oceanario Islas del Rosario near Cartegena. According to news reports she suffered injuries to her leg which the park was then unable to treat due to a lack of basic medical resources. A local clinic provided antibiotics to prevent infection.

Pupil power wins in war on plastic straws

Pupils at a school in Scotland have persuaded two major organisations to stop the use of plastic straws in their bid to reduce the amount of plastic pollution in the ocean.

Campaigners from Sunnyside Primary School in Glasgow, who have worked closely with WDC’s Shorewatch team and field officers in recent years, have convinced Scotland's biggest council to ban straws, and also Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) ferries to stop offering straws to customer on their vessels.

Taiji sets up cultural links with Faroese town

Taiji, the Japanese coastal town where the notorious dolphin drive hunts take place, announced on Wednesday that it has established cultural links with Klaksvik, the second largest town in the Faroe Islands. Those cultural links include the fact that Klaksvik is also a location where drive hunts take place, primarily targeting pilot whales.

In a news conference the Taiji mayor announced he had visited the Faroes and his counterpart in Klaksvik would likely make a recipricol visit later this year.

Restaurant chain to end use of plastic straws

Wagamama has become the latest restaurant chain to announce that it will not use plastic straws.

The company has recognised the growing issue of plastic pollution and will provide customers who ask for straws with a biodegradable paper alternative from end of April.  Until then Wagamama’s 128 UK restaurants will only give a plastic straw to diners if specifically requested, or with juices that need stirring.

Japanese plans to build new whale hunting ship attracts widespread criticism

The Japanese Fisheries Agency has reiterated plans to begin the process of building a new whale hunting vessel in 2018 to lead its whaling fleet in the future, a controversial move that is likely to attract widespread international criticism.

The new ship will replace the Nisshin Maru, the 8,145-ton mother ship of the whaling fleet in the Antarctic and Pacific oceans, and its construction is seen a clear statement by Japanese authorities that it will continue hunting.

Vancouver Aquarium display of whales and dolphins to end

After years of opposition from anti-captivity campaigners, the Vancouver Aquarium has finally announced that it will no longer keep whales and dolphins in captivity. Last year, the Vancouver Park Board which runs Stanley Park where the Aquarium is based, voted to stop the aquarium from bringing in any new whales and dolphins in the future.

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