This Week in Whales: Japan is Hunting Some Dolphin Species to Extinction; Canadians Say No to Greenwashing; Wild Killer Whales Captured for Export to Sea Parks

News in the world of whales this week (or close to it), presented by guest blogger Lauren Packard:

  • The Japanese tradition of killing around 17,000 small cetaceans each year in Japan's coastal waters--made infamous by The Cove's depiction of the Taiji annual dolphin slaughter--is hunting many dolphin and whale species to extinction. Surprised? I'm not. The London-based Environmental Investigation Agency estimates that more than 1 million cetaceans have been killed in Japanese waters in the past 70 years. Japan's self-alloted catch limits for these animals are often based on outdated evidence and do not take into account declining populations--as a result, many species are being slaughtered at unsustainable rates. Even though their meat is riddled with mercury and other toxins, there is still a strong economic incentive to hunt these animals. For example, a sea park will spend up to $98,000 for a live dolphin. 

Yalta_Dolphinarium Wanderer777 for Creative Commons.JPG

Meanwhile, this week in Wales.....

The dormouse may go extinct due to the destruction of its woodland habitat. Say it ain't so--this little guy is too cute (and serves important ecological functions, of course)! 

Photo Credit: A dolphinarium in Ukraine, courtesy of Wanderer777 for Creative Commons

    About the Authors

    Zak Smith

    Director, Wildlife Trade Initiative and Senior Attorney, Marine Mammal Protection Project

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