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Monday, July 16, 2012

A whaley mixed week of wins and losses

This last week has certainly been a roller coaster for whale news that has left me with mixed emotions. To kick it all off, mid last week I was excited to hear that South Korea is reconsidering their whaling plans. They stated; 

"We may not conduct whaling for scientific research if there is another way to achieve the goal," Kang Joon-Suk said.

Mr Kang said South Korea would fully consult international and domestic experts before and after presenting a detailed whaling programme to the IWC's scientific committee, set to meet in South Korea in May next year.

"We will respect the committee's recommendations in making our decision," he said.

Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/political-news/south-korea-reconsiders-whaling-plan-20120712-21x35.html#ixzz20kOOPDHu

We await with bated breath for the result of this discussion. 

A few days later I received a petition against training plans by the United States Navy that;

"According to its own environmental impact statements, the Navy estimates that the planned exercises would kill up to 2,000 marine mammals, including a large number of animals from endangered species, such as right whales," he said. "Thousands of others would suffer permanent lung damage. An additional 16,000 would be permanently deafened and 5 million would be temporarily deafened by the exercises."

Finally, yesterday, the feds have decided to reroute ships in San Francisco Bay to help protect whales!!!! Yay! The plan not only proposes to reroute shipping lanes but they are going to establish better ways to track whale locations. What an incredible victory for blue whales around the world! This decision was based on scientific data collected over multiple years and is the result of a two year effort. Just goes to show how what an important role science plays and makes us hopeful that in the very near future, the blue whales off Sri Lanka will also be treated with similar respect. 

Read more: http://www.longislandpress.com/2012/07/15/feds-to-reroute-sf-bay-ships-to-protect-whales/

At the International Whaling Commission meeting in Panama City last month, Sri Lanka was identified as the worst place for ship strikes of whales in the world. Its a really saddening thought that we are number one for something so terrible. A summary of the most recent paper submitted to the IWC by myself, Tony Wu and Bob Brownell is presented on page 4 of this document. 

Thank you to everyone who has supported the Sri Lankan blue whale project thus far....we still have a ways to go but with your backing, we WILL do it. The whales need us. 


  1. I once aspired to be a marine biologist and have been watching this unfold with a fair bit of trepidation, but progress being made is brilliant. Well done!

    1. Every bit of progress made faces its setbacks...we just have to ensure that we don't give up and keep moving forward!