Fin whale

Iceland kills first fin whale of the season

Conservation groups are calling on the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and its member governments to condemn Iceland’s commercial whale hunt following confirmation that the Icelandic whaling company Hvalur hf has killed yet another endangered fin whale. The whale was killed off Iceland’s west coast and landed today at the company’s processing station in Hvalfjörður, less…
sawfish

International plan launched to save the sawfish

Scientists from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have launched a global strategy to save the most threatened group of fish in the world – the sawfish. While sharks and rays are regularly featured in popular conservation campaign the sawfish are often the forgotten relations of the big fish. The new plan is…
gannets

Gannets spot easy pickings from 11km away

The impact of trawlers and their waste on seabird populations appear to be much larger than previously thought. A study by the University of Exeter highlights that the ‘footprint’ of a trawler is as large as 11km radius. This footprint influences the foraging behaviour of seabirds as they now associate trawlers with easy-pickings. Using GPS…
whales

Norwegian minister pledges to push whale meat sales in Japan

Elisabeth Aspaker, Norway’s fisheries minister, has said that she will push for greater sales of whale meat caught by Norwegian whalers into Japan’s markets. She made the promise in an interview on Norway’s NRK TV channel. This is despite Japan having stockpiles of whale meat that people do not want to buy. The minister said,…
japan whaler

Japan cuts Pacific whale quota by 45%

Japan has stated that the annual whale quota from the North Pacific whale hunt is to be cut by 45% – from 380 whales to 210. The start of the whaling hunt will also be delayed for 4 days so that the sailing of the whaling fleet does not clash with the visit of US…
whale

Will Japan return to whaling in 2015?

Papers filed by Japan’s  Institute of Cetacean Research against the Sea Shepherd organisation in the US courts yesterday (Friday 11th April) indicated that Japan may be returning to the Antarctic for whaling in 2015. This would mean that Japan is set to redesign its JARPA II programme to abide by the decision of the International…
greenlandshark

Sharks are more polluted than polar bears

Polar bears are well-known to store many deadly pollutants in their fat. They store chemicals such as PCB’s from the food that they eat. Being at the top of the food chain leads them to have high concentrations of toxins. New research indicates that polar bears are no longer some of the most polluted species…
shark finning

Shark fin trade crashes by 90% in China

The export of shark fins from Hong Kong to China has crashed by 90% in just a year. Following the new austerity of the Chinese leadership, increasing changes in taste among the young and pressure from campaign groups the trade in shark fins is shrinking rapidly. Official government figures analysed by the WWF-China show that…
whale

Japanese internet giant bans whale product sales

Internet retail giant Rakuten has announced it is terminating sales of whale products through its Japanese marketplace Rakuten Ichiba and has given merchants 30 days to remove them.  The move came after the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), in conjunction with Humane Society International (HSI), launched the report Blood e-Commerce on March 18 exposing Rakuten as…
loggerhead

Greece faces court over turtle habitat

The European Union (EU) is to take Greece to court over the threats to turtle habitat in the country. The EU is to claim that unrestricted development around the coast of Greece is putting endangered sea turtles at risk. Of particular concern is  Kyparissia Bay in the Western Peloponnese, one of the most important nesting beaches for…
bloodecommerce

Rakuten named as biggest online market for ivory and whale meat

Japanese online retailer Rakuten – who owns Play.com in the UK – has been named as the operator of the world’s biggest marketplace for elephant ivory and whale meat. The naming comes on the release of a new report by the Environment Investigation Agency (EIA) called “Blood e-Commerce: Rakuten’s profits from the slaughter of elephants…
sargassosea

UK signs up to protect the Sargasso Sea

The UK has joined other countries in signing up to an agreement to protect the unique habitat of the Sargasso Sea. The Sargasso is a region of the North Atlantic that is dominated by the sargassum seaweed and is an important breeding and feeding ground for many species. The boundaries of the Sargasso Sea are…
humpback fluke

Humpback whale singing affected by seismic surveys

A study of singing humpback whales off the coast of Northern Angola has shown that singing during the breeding season is reduced in the presence of noise from seismic surveying. This reduced singing can have a negative impact on the breeding displays of the whales. The study was carried out between March and December 2008.…
crab bleeding

Are horseshoe crabs being bled to death?

Blood from horseshoe crabs is an essential part of the biomedical industry. The unique blue blood that comes from the crabs help to ensure that vaccines and medical supplies remain free from bacterial contamination. But a new study raises fears that the method of bleeding wild horseshoe crabs could be affecting the population as numbers…
turtle

42,000 marine turtle harvested legally each year

A study by Exeter University into the global take of marine turtles has found that 42 countries have no legalisation in place to prevent fishing of endangered marine turtles and that the annual harvest is estimated to be around 42,000 turtles each year. The research looked at legal harvesting and how the impact compares with…
manta ray

Indonesia to become safe haven for manta rays

Indonesia have announced that two enigmatic ray species – the giant manta ray and the reef manta ray – are to become protected throughout the country’s territorial waters. 2.2 million square miles of waters will be protected under the new regulations that will ban fishing for the species. Over the last 10 years the reef…
whaler dragging a fin whale carcass

Icelandic whalers find route to market via Canada

After being thrown out of European ports the Icelandic whalers have found a route to their Japanese markets via ports and rail in Canada. A shipment of fin whales meat has been transported across Canada. The fin whale meat arrived in Halifax in the last week of January and was then shipped across the country…