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Ex Canadian Mountie jailed for smuggling whale tusks

A retired Canadian Mounted Police officer has been sentenced 62 months imprisonment by a U.S. District Court for money laundering offenses connected to the illegal import of hundreds of narwhal whale tusks into the United States with a street value totalling millions of dollars.

Humpback whale dragged fishing gear for 1700km before dying

A humpback whale in Australia died on a beach in Port Macquarie in New South Wales on Sunday just hours after rescuers had removed fishing gear from its body. The whale was in poor condition and the gear was identified as having come from Tasmania, more than 1700km away.

Attempts to tow the whale's body out to sea were unsuccessful so it was buried on the beach which has now been closed after a number of sharks were sighted in the area.

Fossil helps fill ancient whale knowledge gap

A new study in Australia by the Monash School of Biological Sciences of a whale fossil found in Peru has provided fresh information on the origins of baleen whales, helping to connect whales living today with their evolutionary past.

The new whale (Tiucetus rosae) bridges the gap between a family known as cetotheriids – today represented by the living pygmy right whale  and a group of ancient whales living 10 to 25 million years ago about which little is known.

 

First blue whale sighting in Pakistan

Researchers in Pakistan have recorded video footage of what is believed to be the first confirmed sighting of a blue whale mother and her calf off the coast of Pakistan. While bones of blue whales had been found in the country, a live whale had never previously been seen.

The sighting by a skipper with WWF-Pakistan, was made off Churna Island in Balochistan.

Blue whales are the largest creature ever to have lived on Earth and their numbers were severely reduced by years of commercial whaling during the last century.

Beluga calf born at SeaWorld in San Antonio

A beluga whale called Crissy gave birth to a calf on Sunday afternoon at SeaWorld's marine park in San Antonio. It is not yet known what sex the new calf is.

Sadly, captive beluga whales have not faired well in recent years with several deaths in North American facilities. A newborn calf died shortly after it was born at SeaWorld Orlando in August. In November 2016, a mother and calf died within a few days of each other at the Vancouver Aquarium while in 2015 two young belugas died at SeaWorld and another two at Georgia Aquarium. 

Is swimming with dolphins losing its popularity in Mexico?

New research by Mexican marketing consultants suggests that the popularity of swimming with captive dolphins appears to be waning in the state of Quintana Roo. Studies of visitor numbers to facilities in locations such as Cancun and Riviera Maya have shown a steady decline in recent years with less than 10% of visitors to the region in 2016 taking part in such activities.

Impact of Hurricane Irma on Captive Dolphins Facilities

Amidst the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma in Florida and several Caribbean islands, there have been major concerns for the many dolphins held in captive facilities throughout the region.

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