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Whales, dolphins, porpoises and healthy seas under lockdown

Anyone watching blue, humpback or sperm whales can clearly see and hear the power-packed spout that comes just before they suck in a deep breath. Are whales and dolphins noticing that the air is cleaner these days since the coronavirus lockdown began? Do they sense there is less ship traffic as economies almost everywhere have…

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New baby offers hope for endangered orca community

On the morning of 30 May, off Tofino, British Columbia, Canada, an orca calf, complete with fresh foetal folds and typical orange (instead of white) patches, surfaced between two mature females from the critically endangered Southern Resident orca community. We all felt such joy when this new baby was seen swimming with two adult females…

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Where do whales, dolphins and other marine mammals live?

It’s a big ocean out there. We’re learning a lot about whales these days in nearshore waters but good information on where exactly they live in most of the ocean is in short supply. At the same time, a quarter of the 90 whale, dolphin and porpoise species are threatened and half are not well…

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IMMA workshop for the South Pacific held in Samoa

From the 27-31 March 2017, in Apia, Samoa, the IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force invited 23 marine mammal researchers and other experts from 14 Pacific countries for the second Important Marine Mammal Area (IMMA) workshop. This follows the successful first IMMA workshop in the Mediterranean in Oct. 2016 sponsored by the MAVA Foundation.…

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Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas (ICMMPA4) begins in Mexico

Nov. 14, 2016. The fourth International Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas (ICMMPA 4), which begins today in Puerto Vallarta, México, will focus on “Forging Partnerships and Planning for Protection”. The primary goal of ICMMPA 4 (Nov. 13-17, 2016) is to provide a forum for sharing information on successful and not so successful approaches to…

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41 candidate important marine mammal areas (IMMAs) identified in the Med

The first ever workshop to define Important Marine Mammal Areas — IMMAs — concluded last week in Chania, Greece with the identification of 41 candidate IMMAs (cIMMAs) in the Mediterranean region. They range in size from 50 km2 for species such as the Mediterranean monk seal to over 134,000 km2 across the Ligurian Sea and Northwest Mediterranean for…

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Ross Sea receives long awaited protection

Shout it from the highest mountain in Antarctica: The Ross Sea, at last, has received protection. The nations of CCAMLR (the Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Living Resources) have finally after years of discussion and negotiation agreed on a 1.55 million sq km core area of the Ross Sea to be protected. Some 1.12…

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