NZ orca dies after eating stingrays

Auckland, Nov 24 - A post-mortem carried out upon a dead female orca has given scientists vital information about the species. The orca's carcass was retrieved after being spotted at the weekend by a yacht crew sailing near the Noises Islands and was towed to shore by the Coastguard.

Japanese whaling fleet may return home after fire

Tokyo, Nov 24 Reuters - Japan's controversial Southern Ocean whaling fleet of five ships may return home early because of a fire that disabled the only ship able to process the meat, a spokesman for the owners, Kyodo Senpaku, said on Tuesday.

The spokesman said the owners were considering a number of options because of the accident but it appeared there would be no further killing of whales this season.

We will know these decisions for sure in a few days, he told Reuters.

WDCS co-hosts Pollution Conference

Following increasing concerns about the impacts of pollutants in the marine environment, WDCS and other wildlife groups in the UK yesterday co-hosted a conference in London to consider this matter. The conference was co-ordinated by Wildlife and Countryside Link (WCL) and brought together representatives from government, academia and industry, as well as conservation groups.

The meeting was well attended and generated considerable interest in the UK (and some international) media. The press release issued to coincide with the meeting follows:

Japanese factory ship to be salvaged

It is believed that Japan's factory whaling ship, crippled and drifting without power off the eastern coast of Australia, is likely to be towed to Port Moresby.

Reports indicated that the Nisshin Maru caught fire last Thursday about 600 nautical miles east of Mackay on the central Queensland coast on its way to hunt whales in Antarctic waters.

A salvage tug from Papua New Guinea was expected to try to retrieve it.

Captive dolphins in Mexico go missing

Officials in Mexico's Gulf coast state of Veracruz are angry about what they called the robbery this week of four bottle-nosed dolphins from a holding pen, local media reported.

The four dolphins were transferred from a sea holding pen near the town of Tamiahua to a marine park on Mexico's Caribbean coast without advising authorities, the government news agency Notimex reported Sunday.

Tamiahua Mayor Sergio Rivera Perez said he has filed theft charges against those who secretly flew the dolphins to the Caribbean in containers Friday.

Chilean public to oppose Japanese whaling

Chile - November 22, 1998 OPPOSITION TO WHALING

Following the announcement of the departure of the Japanese whale fleet opposition to the reopening of commercial whaling, 'has been a very sensitive issue in the Chilean society, which between 1993 and 1994 launched a wide national movement, forcing the Chilean government to change its original position in the International Whaling Commission,' said Ms Silvia Castillo.

Canadian Fisheries minister lifts beluga, narwhal quotas

Federal fisheries Minister David Anderson has relaxed small whale harvesting quotas in Nunavut on the condition that hunters help monitor beluga and narwhal populations. Anderson told the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board this week that he will accept the board's recommendation that beluga quotas in Iqaluit and Kimmirut be lifted next year, provided that hunters work with fisheries officials to assess the real impact of hunting on southeast Baffin beluga stocks.

New Japanese whaling vessel catches fire

Japanese news services reported that the Nisshin Maru, a whaling factory ship, caught fire during the afternoon of the 19th November.

The Nisshin Maru was reported to be about 1000 kilometres northeast of Brisbane (Australia), with the fire starting around 23:30 in a processing area. Initial reports indicate that a generator failed and the ship could not cruise by herself. She had 111 crew onboard. 77 of them moved to the Toshi Maru 25 (which has a capacity of about 14 people), The remaining crew were reported to be trying to extinguish the fire.

Alaska Cook Inlet beluga population in decline

The drop in the number of beluga whales in Cook Inlet is more dramatic than expected, according to new figures released by federal biologists.

Earlier this fall, biologists reported that beluga numbers had dropped in the last five years from 1,000 to fewer than 800. Now, after scrutinizing the census and recalculating previous counts, they are saying there may be as few as 500 belugas left in the Inlet with no sign that the toll hunting is taking on the population is letting up.

Feuding disrupts Makah whaling

November 17, 1998 Associated Press

NEAH BAY, Wash. - Instead of paddling out to sea to stalk a 40-ton gray whale, the eight-man Makah whaling crew has been quietly quarrelling over the singing of sacred family songs.

And it is the feuding - not foul weather, faulty equipment or fear of radical whaling opponents - that has delayed a hunt many expected to have happened weeks ago.

But make no mistake, tribal leaders say the Makah will once again hunt the mighty grays.


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