US - October 26, 1998 NEW INFORMATION ON HARBOUR PORPOISE
The [USA] National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has new information concerning the harbour porpoise population in the Gulf of Maine and Bay of Fundy since the species was originally proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The information contains recent data on accidental bycatch, regulations implemented since 1993, and those proposed for implementation under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act.
Mexico - October 26, 1998 THREAT OF TUNA EMBARGO
The end of the US tuna embargo - planned for March 1999 - may be affected, depending on a study of the impact of tuna purse seiners on dolphin populations.
WDCS has been increasingly concerned about the blurring of the definition between aboriginal subsistence whaling and commercial whaling. In another move to dissolve these boundaries and increase commercial aspects in all whaling the following is offered for consideration.
In an article, in the Victoria Times Colonist (Sept. 28, 1998), entitled 'Whalers Are the Real Guardians of Nature, Tom Mexsis Happynook, Chairman of the World Council of Whalers states:
A team from WDCS has just returned from the Azores where they have been running a whale-watch training workshop for local operators and potential operators. The growth of whale watching worldwide has been phenomenal in recent years and this has led to problems in regions, such as the Azores, where there are no regulations in place to manage and control this activity.
Mass graveyard ... more whales flock to suicide beach
By ANDREW DARBY in Hobart
The latest whales to fall victim to Tasmania's stranding graveyards lay tangled together on a remote beach yesterday while scientists groped for explanations.
The tragic sight of 65 dead pilot whales in the beach wash at Rheban, about 70 kilometres east of Hobart, replaced weekend elation raised by the rescue of as many whales again in an acclaimed volunteer effort.
Japan spends 8.7 million on new industrial whaling boat
In the depths of an economic recession and despite a 12 year old ban on commercial whaling, Japan has just spent 1.7 billion yen (8.7 million) on a new pelagic (high seas) whaling boat. The 720 ton vessel, which will carry up to 17 crew, is intended to replace one of its three "scientific research" vessels, used to kill up to 440 whales each year in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary and the North Pacific.
An orca calf stranded on rocks at the Hutt River mouth, Wellington, NZ, was rescued by passers-by last night (18th October). Yachtsman, Ian Burgess, was with a group who spotted the 2-3m long killer whale calf on rocks. It was squealing and trying to free itself but waves whipped up by galeforce winds were driving it against the rocks, he said. Another larger orca, presumably its mother, was seen swimming offshore.
Wellington, NZ, Oct 18th - Searchers were today treated to a rare sighting of a blue whale, the largest animal in the world, while trying to find an injured killer whale in Northland waters.
Orca researcher, Ingrid Visser (whose work studying orcas off NZ is well-known to WDCS supporters) has been looking for an orca, called Ben, who suffered a split dorsal fin and rope scars on his body after becoming entangled in a rope or net.
Hobart, Oct 18 AAP - Reports state that 'Several pilot whales were being taken 20km by truck in a major rescue operation in southern Tasmania today. About 100 pilot whales have been stranded in shallows since yesterday morning.
Initially, 56 came ashore at Marion Bay, about 50km east of Hobart yesterday morning'.
Initial reports indicated that 21 whales had died but the rest had been guided back to deep water where they joined their pod.
'About 50 of the pod then entered a narrow entrance to the adjacent Blackmans Bay.