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.

More military whales 'out of action'


The cash-strapped Russian navy has closed a Pacific base that trained whales for combat purposes, and sent the last trainees to the Black Sea, officials said today.

The base in the far east at Vityaz Bay belonged to the Russian Pacific Fleet and was used to teach various kinds of toothed whales to detect enemy divers and carry out other tasks.

Japanese whaling fleet likely to pass through NZ waters

Wellington, Nov 15 - Japan's whaling fleet is likely to pass through New Zealand waters on its way south to hunt whales in the Ross Sea and later receive supplies from a New Zealand port, Greenpeace says.

Ecologist Cristina Mormorunni said the five-ship fleet, including a newly built whale catcher, left the Japanese port of Shimonoseki on November 6.

Its probable cruising track to the southern oceans whale sanctuary passes through New Zealand's 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone.

Oil spill threatens Chinese white dolphins

BEIJING (AP) An oil spill in south China has threatened the Chinese white dolphins, which already are on the verge of extinction in waters off Hong Kong.

The spill, which occurred when two ships collided Friday, left an oil slick about six miles long off the mouth of the Pearl River in Guangdong province, about three miles from the habitat of the white dolphins, the China Daily reported today.

The white dolphins near Hong Kong are actually pink. They're also found off South Africa and Australia, where their colors are blue, gray or green.


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