News in the world of whales this week (or close to this week)
- We can save the vast majority of whales on the planet by focusing conservation efforts on just 4 percent of the world’s oceans. Researchers have identified key conservation areas based on the following criteria: the number of species present, the risk of extinction for each of the species in the area, and whether any of the species in the area are only found in that area. Based on the study, scientists have concluded that nine key sites represent critical habitat for 84 percent of all marine mammals, representing just 4 percent of the world’s oceans. Seems like a no brainer.
- Hong Kong, China theme park abandons bad idea to import beluga whales from Russia. Last week, we learned that wild beluga whales caught in Russia were supposed to be sent to a Hong Kong, China theme park. The referenced article noted that the theme park’s chairman had not made a final decision and had been asked by concerned citizens and conservationists to abandon the plan. Looks like the Chairman of Ocean Park was listening, as he announced this week that Ocean Park would not be acquiring beluga whales from the wild. Now let’s hope the Russians do the right thing and release those belugas.
- No end in sight for the slaughter of dolphins in Japan’s Taiji cove. Two years ago, the academy award winning documentary, The Cove, alerted the world to the mass killing of dolphins that takes place every year in Japan. Throughout the dolphin killing season, the animals are corralled into a shallow bay where most of the animals – those not “lucky” enough to be sent to hotels and theme parks around the world for entertainment – are repeatedly stabbed to death with spears. But the activist who brought this horror to our attention is not giving up; responding to this year’s “harvest” of dolphins at Taiji, Ric O’Barry has created a “Dolphin Project Team” to help monitor the cove throughout the season, documenting and bearing witness to the atrocity.
- Ugh, Snooki has an interesting theory as to why the oceans are salty, blaming it on amorous whales. Hmm, I’m going to stick with the crazy idea that salt in oceans comes from rocks on land.
Meanwhile, this week in Wales…
In one month, Wales will institute a charge on all single-use bags. What’s that, you’ve picked up all your ingredients to make Tatws Pum Munud, but forgot to bring a reusable back to the market, better be prepared to pay 5p for a single-use bag.