This Week in Whales: Sea Shepard Toes Off Against Japanese Whaling Fleet, Killer Whales Peacefully Surround Kayaker, Romanian Politician Proposes Equal Rights for Dolphins...
- Two Japanese harpoon ships spent hours aggressively intimidating a crew of conservationists earlier this week. This is a repeat offense by Japanese whalers, one of which I mentioned in a post at the beginning of the month. The Sea Shepard Conservation Society released a statement describing the attack as “unprovoked.” Reports from the harassed crew, aboard the Bob Barker at the time of the encounter, detail steel cables being dragged across the ship in an attempt to jam up propellers and rudders. Bob Barker’s captain, Peter Hammarstedt claims the Japanese fleet acted in violation of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
- Footage from a solo kayaker surrounded by a group of Orcas (more commonly if not unfortunately referred to as “killer whales”) shows the miraculous creatures peacefully ignoring their awed observer in waters near Hornby Island of British Columbia.
- Romanian Politician and activist Remus Cernea has presented a bill to parliament that would grant dolphins the official title of “non-human persons” something one of my previous posts touched on back in 2012. It will be interesting if such efforts gain traction in the coming years and if they can be a tool to address some of the continuing threats to marine mammals.
- Scientists from Peru’s Ocean Institute (IMARPE) believe they have another lead on what the cause is behind a terrifying amount of dolphin deaths in the country. A somewhat suspicious report on the dangers of “poisonous algae” describes naturally occurring toxins as the culprit. Another incident in 2013 had the agency issuing a similar explanation.
- A rescue mission in East London, South Africa is being described as the largest community effort in the last two decades to help beached pilot whales. Rescuers clapped and made a ruckus to dissuade a nursing mother and her calf, along with an older female from coming ashore. Unfortunately the eldest whale was found deceased and an investigation will be performed as to the cause of her death.
Meanwhile, this week in Wales…
After a few days of sunshine, Wales is experiencing sleet and snow as winter officially comes to an end in the UK. This Friday marks the last day of the season and temperatures will drop, allowing for more snow fall. The link has great photos of the Brecon Beacons facing snow, sleet, and freezing fog. Freezing fog?