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Tales from the 'Atlantic Frontier' XVII


Tuesday August 4th

In the hands of the gods 2 - In the Land of Crang.

I awake again to the mewing of gulls. Yes we're still in Scalloway.

The last part of our survey has obviously brought us into prime pilot whale territory. However, it has also taken us close to the "killing grounds", the Faroe Islands, where pilot whales in their thousands are still slaughtered every year.

Whales vs: Fish? The old argument


Those who support Norwegian commercial whaling often claim that the commercial hunt should be continued because the whales are 'eating commercial fish stocks'. Scientists and conservationists alike have hotly contested this line of argument as being unsubstantiated and bogus. But it has not always just been environmentalists and individuals concerned about animal welfare that have opposed Norwegian commercial whaling.

French fishermen attempt to defend driftnetting


Fishermen from the Isle of Yeu in the Vende region are to defend tuna driftnet fishing at the Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

The EU driftnet ban takes effect on 1 January 2002, but the fishermen say tuna catches have been 30% higher this year and that the new law is unfair. The French national fishing committee is backing their case.

French fisheries minister Louis Le Pensec said recently that he was not willing to oppose the ban, and other fishermen and technicians are now exploring new fishing methods to replace driftnet fishing.

Tales from the 'Atlantic Frontier' XVI


Sunday August 2nd

Puppies and dilemmas

Wonderfully calm and peaceful night here in the middle of the ocean. Up at five and weather warnings start to come in almost immediately. Start survey at six.

At 7.28am, a line of half a dozen or so pilot whales appears in front of us, frolicking like so many puppies (as far as a 6-7 m whale can be said to be puppy-esque) towards us. They bound up to the bow, big black heads bobbing dramatically out of the waves and then, when they get up to the ship, they dive under it and disappear.

New dates for Big Blue Whale Roadshow


WDCS's Big Blue whale roadshow is continuing its tour of the country. Come along and visit our 100ft inflatable whale and find out how you can help WDCS and Britain's whales and dolphins. By adding a sticker to the whale you can help contribute to our campaign to create a Global All Oceans Sanctuary for whales. Forthcoming venues are:

Bristol Balloon Fiesta 6-9 August

Brighton Pier 14-15 August

Bournemouth Pier 20-21 August

Portsmouth International Festival of the Sea 28-31 August

Warning to fishermen over Hector's dolphin deaths


Fishermen in New Zealand have been warned by the Conservation Minister, Nick Smith, that the continuing deaths of Hector's dolphins in fishing nets must end.

Dr Smith said parts of the Canterbury coast off Banks Peninsula, near Christchurch on the South Island might have to be closed off to some types of fishing if the deaths continued.

He also announced a stiff rise in the levy on fishers for conservation services from NZ$780,000 to more than NZ$1 million to help protect the dolphins.

Debate rages in Iceland over whether Keiko will help or hurt economy


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The planned repatriation of Keiko is causing a stir in Iceland, where debate is growing over whether the movie star whale will help tourism or hurt the country's lucrative fishing industry.

Iceland agreed in June to allow the Free Willy Keiko Foundation to relocate its famous charge from the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport to a netted enclosure anchored in a sheltered cove in the Westmann Islands, a volcanic archipelago six miles off the country's south coast.

Sea World promoting whale watching?


WDCS today received a promotion from the San Diego Sea World Education department selling a trip to see whales and dolphins in the wild. Earlier this year in June, Sea World was offering a day trip aboard a Sea World vessel cruising the coastal waters of San Diego looking for wild whales and dolphins.

It seems a little ironic that Sea World should be promoting whale watching when they own the largest number of captive whales and dolphins in the USA. Perhaps this is the begining of a change of heart for Sea World?

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