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More important ocean areas for whales and dolphin protection identified

Scientists and observers from many different countries have identified and mapped 36 new Important Marine...

Whale meat fetches record high at Japan auction

Sei whale meat is being sold at a record high in Japan according media reports...

Rescuers find young girl’s body surrounded by dolphins

Reports from South Africa about a tragic drowning off Llandudno beach, Cape Town say that...
The Yushin Maru catcher ship of the Japanese whaling fleet injures a whale with its first harpoon attempt, and takes a further three harpoon shots before finally killing the badly injured fleeing whale. Finally they drowned the mammal beneath the harpooon deck of the ship to kill it.  Southern Ocean.  07.01.2006

Moves to overturn whaling ban rejected

Last week, the 68th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC, the body that regulates...

New whale species discovered – Ramari’s beaked whale

Artist impression Ramiri's beaked whale
Artist impression of Ramiri's beaked whale. Credit: Vivian Ward

A new species of beaked whale has been identified in New Zealand, the latest discovery involving these unusual and rarely seen whales. In 2011, a pregnant beaked whale stranded on the coast and an initial external examination identified her as a True’s beaked whale.

This whale was named Nihongore by the local tribe of Ngāti Māhaki and her skeleton preserved at the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum in Wellington with the help of Ramari Stewart, a local Māori whale expert who noticed something different about Nihongore.

Working together with Dr. Emma Carroll from the University of Auckland, they worked to compare other samples of True’s beaked whales from both the Northern and Southern hemisphere and realized that the True’s beaked whales in the Southern Hemisphere had very different genetics and skull shapes – two key indicators that they were a different species.

Ramara Stewart and Nihongore skeleton
Ramari Stewart and Nihongore skeleton Credit: Tanya Cumberland

In addition to the discovery of the whale in New Zealand, this species has also been identified off Australia and South Africa.

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