Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Horror and Hope in the World of Whales

A Day at BlueVoice.org
Monday, August 26, 2007
By Hardy Jones

Though the BlueViews Blog will more often than not concern our work in the field I want to give a picture of some of what we do on a daily basis – the issues that cross my desk, the actions we take on involving dolphins and other marine mammals and sometimes observations about the state of the planet in general.

First thing this morning I received a report that whale watchers in Japan spotted a Baird’s Beaked Whale off the Northern Island of Hokkaido. To their horror they saw that the whale had been harpooned by a catcher boat. People voiced their pity for the whale. Japan is still hunting whales despite enormous international condemnation but small whale watching companies are trying to turn whales into money in a non-lethal way. BlueVoice.org - http://bluevoice.org/ shows the work we are doing to stop Japan’s horrific plan to hunt humpback whales in the Antarctic this November.

PETITION FRENCH POLYNESIA TO HOLD OFF BLASTING UNTIL HUMPBACK MOTHERS AND CALVES LEAVE BREEDING GROUNDS. We received word from an old friend, Pascal Rohde, in Tahiti, that the local government plans to blast a larger hole in the reef opening into the harbor at Tahiti. This time of year the waters around Tahiti are home to pregnant females and their new born calves. We sent off an email on behalf of BlueVoice’s membership. You can add your own by emailing: Attention Mme la Ministre of Environment and Tourism Maina Sage at email secretariat@tourisme.min.gov respectfully asking them to put off the dynamiting until November when the humpbacks will have left for the Antarctic.

EXCELLENT NEWS – Iceland has announced it will not issue new whale – hunting quotas until market demand for the meat increases. Japan has not issued Iceland an export agreement so a huge market for Icelandic whale meat has evaporated. As you can see, Japan is the lynchpin that propagates whaling far beyond its own shores.

In late October or early November we will again send a team to Futo and Taiji, Japan to attempt to stop the slaughter and capture of dolphins that takes place there. We have test results showing extremely high levels of mercury in dolphin meat but this year we will test the fish caught at Taiji and Futo to determine mercury levels. We expect them to be high and publication of these figures at the time of the worldwide concern for food safety will jolt the villages where dolphins are hunted. Exposing the toxic levels of their fish products will threaten the economy of these villages and hopefully bring additional pressure to end the barbaric practice of hunting dolphins. We will be webcasting live from the scene.


Kathleen Jacques said...

Thanks for keeping us informed about the ongoing perils faced by marine mammals - great news out of Iceland but Japan continues to sorely disappoint. We can't use echolocation to miraculously spread the word but we sure can use the internet - thanks to you, I now have some email addresses to which I can direct my concerns. Keep up the good work! Kathleen Jacques www.sfbaywhalewatching.blogspot.com

Hardy Jones said...

Kathleen, thank you for your astute comments. Have you been to www.bluevoice.org? We have a lot of terrific videos - both joyous and saddening and lots of information that may be of interest.

R.A.R. Clouston said...

I like your blog and applaud your support for saving the whales and dolphins. You might be interested in my blog in which I speak on behalf of these magnificent beings. In it, I express the thoughts of Apollo, a bottlenose dolphin who is the hero of my latest book, The Tempest’s Roar. Please visit my blog at http://whaleanddolphintalk.blogspot.com/ or visit my website http://www.rarclouston.com