Christmas Eve Keiko" update"

Stormy Weather Continues

Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

The past week has been has been consumed by stormy weather, as the island has had three storms with winds over 100 mph. The Keiko staff is becoming accustomed to working in high winds, and ensuring that the bay pen remains in good condition despite the storms. A complete survey of the anchor system yesterday demonstrated that the maintenance performed on the anchors over the past ten days allowed the bay pen to ride out the storms with no problems.

Whales slip out of state, undetected by hunters

Scientists dont know how they did it, but thousands of gray whales apparently skirted the coast of the Pacific Northwest unnoticed, despite the media, federal authorities, and Makah Tribe whaling crews and tribal fishermen looking on.

That was not very funny to Makah tribal members, whose hope to hunt and kill a migrating whale has been frustrated since September as they waited for a whale migration that somehow was never spotted.


To all our members and colleagues who visit this web-site... thank you for your support throughout 1998! Have a good Christmas and New Year.

For all those that visit the web-site because of their interest in whale and dolphin stories, many thanks. We hope that you will continue to visit in 1999.

Best wishes from all at WDCS.

Gray whales slow to start winter migration

(ENN) -- The whales are late this year and scientists cant figure out why.

Some 24,000 gray whales migrate each winter from their feeding grounds in the Bering Sea to calving lagoons off Mexicos Baja Peninsula. But as of Friday, not a whale had been sighted. And its already a week past the latest date recorded for the start of the annual southward migration.

Performing dolphins arrive in Bahrain

Three dolphins have now arrived at the "Dolphin Park" in Bahrain, despite protests from sections of the community there and WDCS. The dolphins have been imported by an infamous Russian dolphin trader, in this lucrative but disastrous industry.

Not including these animals, WDCS has tracked 43 dolphins that have been exported from Russia and the Ukraine. Of these, information indicates that 23 of them are now dead. In addition to this, 3 dolphins were recently exported to India, all of which have since died.

Fossil discovery shows whales older than expected

Palaeontologists digging in Asia's Himalayan foothills have found a fossilised jawbone and teeth that suggest whales originated 3.5 million years earlier than scientists had thought.

The new whale species, named Himalayecetus subathuensis, is about 53.5 million years old, scientists from the University of Roorkee in India and the University of Michigan reported Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Orcas gain protection in Argentina

The Argentine Congress has enacted a National Law banning the capture or hunting of killer whales (Orcinus orca) by any means, in the entire Argentine territory.

Minimum fines for contravening the law have been set at US$1 million.

Humpback whale breeding ground discovered

Scientists have discovered a previously unknown humpback whale breeding ground off the Gabonese city of Port Gentil.

Dr Peter Walsh, a conservation ecologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society, said the site compared to some of the largest breeding areas in the world. But he added that increased boat traffic around the Port Gentil area might already be driving the whales out of sheltered bays and into the open ocean, posing a problem to newborn calves.

Press release calls for greater UK wildlife protection

Press Release from Wildlife and Countryside Link

The Case for Stronger Wildlife Legislation - Now

Wildlife in crisis

There has possibly never been a greater need to act to protect the UK's wildlife. There is overwhelming evidence that the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 is failing to protect our most valuable species and habitats. Government statistics show that more than 300 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) are damaged each year and wildlife on these sites is in serious decline.

WDCS thanks UK members of Parliament for their support

For the last few years the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society has been calling on the UK Government to improve the legislation which concerns the protection of whales and dolphins in our waters. We detailed our concerns in the WDCS publication "The Dolphin Agenda", which was widely circulated to MPs and others.

A Bill was recently introduced to Parliament which goes a long way towards meeting our concerns. The "Wildlife Bill" recognises, for example;


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