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Why Norwegian minke whaling is cruel, shameful and pointless

If you're a fan of the quiz show, Pointless, you'll be familiar with its format...
Captive dolphins perform for cruise passengers at the Costa Maya Resort, Mexico

Tourist hotspots to roadside zoos – investigating the many faces of dolphin captivity in Latin America and the Caribbean

It's the paradise dream - a bright blue sea against a backdrop of palm trees,...
Watching dolphins from the beach in Scotland: WDC/Charlie Phillips

Lockdown is lifting and the beach is calling – if you see a whale or dolphin how will you behave?

We have all become more aware of giving one another space and respecting social distancing....
Risso's dolphins are captured in Taiji hunt. Image: LIA and Dolphin Project

Heartbreak and practical action – the horror of the Taiji dolphin hunts and one Japanese activist’s determination

Back in November, I shared my heartache at the drama unfolding in the waters off...
Common Dolphin

Goodbye Bycatch – what have we achieved and what’s next?

Thank you to everyone who's got involved with our campaign to stop dolphins, porpoises and...
Haul of sea bass on French pair trawlers, Le Baron and Magellan, fishing in the English channel. Greenpeace is currently in the English channel protesting against pelagic pair trawling due to the high numbers of dolphin deaths associated with it.

Seaspiracy

Ali and Lucy Tabrizi's Netflix film Seaspiracy is compelling viewing for anyone who cares for...
Porpoise, Conwy Wales. WDC

Why do porpoises and dolphins find it so difficult to avoid fishing nets?

When a dolphin or porpoise is caught or entangled in fishing gear it's known as...
WDC NA

Reflection – what this remarkable whale teaches us about humpbacks and their fascinating lives

Reflection, like all humpback whales, was born with a unique black and white pattern on...

Antarctic whales and their ecosystems lose out again

In what is becoming a sad state of affairs, China and Russia have again blocked the protection of important areas for whales and other marine mammals, seabirds and fish in the Antarctic/ Southern Ocean region at the annual CCAMLR meeting in Hobart, Australia. Up for protection was the great Ross Sea as well as the Eastern Antarctic. The science and conservation arguments were thorough and exhaustive — coming from a huge coalition of scientists and conservation groups through the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC) and the Antarctic Ocean Alliance (AOA), both of which WDC supports and has long term membership in. Within CCAMLR, the body charged with setting up an MPA network in Antarctic waters, considerable efforts were made to seek the consensus needed by the US, New Zealand, Australia, the European Union and France; there was support even from fishing countries like Norway and Korea. More than 1.4 million people worldwide had joined the call for marine protection in Antarctica over the past 3 years through online petitions, social media and emails to key world leaders.

All this but no luck again this year. It will be another year before CCAMLR meets again and meanwhile fishing for toothfish continues in the Ross Sea. Will CCAMLR ever deliver on its conservation commitments?


A joint US-NZ proposal to designate a Ross Sea MPA of 1.32 million km2 (with 1.25 million km2 area proposed as “no take”) was under consideration. The Ross Sea is often referred to as “The Last Ocean” due to its status as one of the most pristine oceans remaining on earth. WDC, IFAW and Global Ocean helped support the making of a film entitled The Last Ocean which is still travelling around the world, gaining support for protection.

The Southern Ocean is home to more than 10,000 unique species including most of the world’s penguins, whales, seabirds, colossal squid and the remarkable Antarctic toothfish – the main target of fishing companies in the region. The Southern Ocean is a crucial area for scientific research, both for studying how intact marine ecosystems function and for determining the impacts of global climate change.

The Antarctic Ocean Alliance partners will continue to press the countries failing to support Southern Ocean marine protected areas and will attend the next CCAMLR meeting in Hobart in 2015 to ensure that CCAMLR delivers on its conservation commitments. The AOA has identified around 40% of the Southern Ocean that warrants protection.

 

Erich Hoyt

About Erich Hoyt

Erich is a Research Fellow at WDC and Co-chair of the IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force. He is a director of the Far East Russian Orca Project (FEROP). View references to Erich's published material on Google Scholar. Follow Erich on Twitter.