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Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Risso's dolphin entangled in fishing line and plastic bags - Andrew Sutton

The ocean is awash with plastic – can we ever clean it up?

You've seen pictures of plastic litter accumulating on beaches or marine wildlife swimming through floating...
Fin whale

Is this the beginning of the end for whaling off Iceland?

I'm feeling cautiously optimistic after Iceland's Fisheries Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir wrote that there is little...
Mykines Lighthouse, Faroe Islands

Understanding whale and dolphin hunts in the Faroe Islands – why change is not easy

Most people in my home country of the Faroe Islands would like to see an...

Dolphin scientists look like you and me – citizen science in action

Our amazing volunteers have looked out for dolphins from the shores of Scotland more than...
Atlantic white-sided dolphins

The Faroes dolphin slaughter that sparked an outcry now brings hope

Since the slaughter of at least 1,423 Atlantic white-sided dolphins at Skálafjørður in my home...
Fin whale

From managing commercial slaughter to saving the whale – the International Whaling Commission at 75

Governments come together under the auspices of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to make decisions...

Making Faces for Food

“If you keep making that face it’ll freeze that way!” Do you think beluga moms use that line on their kids? Probably not, because the moms are making faces, too!  Belugas have very malleable mouths with a cleft upper lip.  These traits are unusual among whales and dolphins, but give belugas their uniquely wide range of “facial expressions,” the ability to pucker their lips, and squirt water with amazing accuracy.

While those skills may seem custom-made for the entertainment of oceanaria visitors, they actually have a very important function for survival in the wild.  Many of the belugas’ various prey items are bottom dwellers, and belugas use their flexible lips and mouths to create suction for feeding.  It’s a shame that the way belugas forage has been twisted by captivity into a stunt intended to amuse spectators.

 

This week, help us keep belugas wild and free by telling Turner Broadcasting (owners of TBS & CNN – where “Blackfish” has recently been seen by millions – among other networks) that you are not amused or entertained by captivity.  We’re going back to Facebook this week (TBS doesn’t provide a general contact email) to tell them: “Turner Broadcasting, you say you’ve been environmentally responsible since your founding – importing wild Russian belugas is NOT environmentally responsible! Say NO to sponsoring the Georgia Aquarium.”

 

Thanks for being part of another action alert – see you next week for your new beluga fun fact!