Archive | November 2015

Iceland feeling pressure to address whaling | IFAW – International Fund for Animal Welfare

http://www.ifaw.org/united-states/news/iceland-feeling-pressure-address-whaling?ms=UONDC160001072&cid=701F0000000SyAa

Having just returned from my second visit to Iceland, and having enjoyed my second whale watching trip out on one of the Elding fleet of boats, I am heartened to read this article from IFAW suggesting that – slowly, very slowly, and some might say far too slowly – the tide is turning against whaling in Iceland. Reykjavik’s mayor already supports a ban on whaling.

Tourism is now Iceland’s number one industry (gods help it) and it is tourists who primarily eat whale meat and therefore prop up the whaling industry in Iceland. Whilst in the country, I overheard one tourist (Japanese) tell another he’d had whale meat the night before, “It was good – tastes just like tuna.” It is enough to make you despair when you hear such a conversation. Apparently, Brits and Germans are commonly seen to try whale meat in Iceland.

IFAW and others are doing a great job with their campaigns in and around Reykjavik. I learnt from Megan Whittaker (MSc Marine Biology and Elding whale watching head guide) that the whale watching industry is suffering from a lack of sightings of cetaceans in Iceland’s waters and the whaling industry may well be to blame. The two are clearly not mutually sustainable, despite the whaling industry claiming otherwise (they would).

I would be interested to know the numbers/percentages of tourists who currently buy whale meat whilst in Iceland. With a residential population of 330,000 people and an influx of over a million people each year via tourism, tourists clearly have the potential to either make or break whaling in Iceland. Knowing and changing those numbers of tourists buying whale meat would seem to be a key to finally ending whaling in Iceland.

Additionally, we must stop making cetaceans scapegoats for our own horrifyingly unsustainable levels of overfishing resulting in depleted fish stocks throughout the world’s oceans. Whales have far more reason and right to exist within ocean ecosystems, performing vital functions within those ecosystems and filling an ecological niche that humans certainly do not. Without whales, our oceans will be deeply unhealthy and will ironically contain far fewer fish (for a fun thing to do, look up whale poo and its function).

We need whales. The oceans need whales. Countries such as Japan, Norway and Iceland would do well to digest the scientific evidence for healthy whale populations and immediately stop killing these incredible mammals of the sea. If they do not, human greed and ignorance will be the downfall of us all.

I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! Bush Tucker Trailas are barbaric, says Chris Packham in an open letter to Ant and Dec

http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2014-11-10/chris-packham-im-a-celebrity-is-out-of-date-and-barbaric

Chris Packham is very gradually switching from purist conservationist to animal (rights?) activist. To be fair, the lines are blurred between the two and – I always felt – always were. These lines are blurred even more so the less species survive homo sapiens tyrade across the planet and suffer our destructive behaviour in so many ways.

We’re seeing more and more previously purist conservationists speak out against animal abuse and abusive industries and behaviour towards animals. It’s no longer effective to just be a conservationist – saving animals and species often requires direct and immediate action. This is where the lines blur and ecologists and conservationists become animal activists. So what? The end result is that people who are well educated in their field, who have more respect and more political/social sway add weight to a movement. That can only be a good thing.

National Parks Go Toe-to-Toe with ‘Big Water’ Over Plastic Bottle Waste | Earthjustice

http://earthjustice.org/blog/2015-november/national-parks-go-toe-to-toe-with-big-water-over-plastic-bottle-waste#

“In an effort to cut back on water bottle waste, the National Park Service is making a change. Nineteen National Parks have stopped selling bottled water at their concession stands, offering public water bottle filling stations instead”

These National Parks in the US are offering public water filling stations instead. Bravo! It’s about time we stopped this water bottle madness. Plastic pollution is a global problem which threatens far too many species’ very existence.

The Tide May Be Turning On Climate Change

https://www.thedodo.com/the-tide-may-be-turning-on-climate-change-1458634723.html

Written by our own Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd. Great to see the Dodo have published.

Europe – Interpol highlights crimes against the environment ahead of COP21 – France 24

http://m.france24.com/en/20151110-interpol-highlights-environmental-crimes-cop21-van-duijn-nimes

Environmental crimes need to be taken far, far more seriously. The time is now. From poaching to destruction of pristine forests to redwood harvesting to ivory to trawlers fishing away entire swathes of ocean to dumping toxic waste to river pollution to dolphin hunts… It’s time to take this sh*t seriously.

China, you’re first on the list!

Africa’s Imperiled Wild Lions Don’t Need Petting and Walking Operations/Africa’s Imperiled Wild Lions Don’t Need Petting and Walking Operations/Os Ameaçados Leões Selvagens de África Não Precisam de Festinhas e Passeios | National Geographic (blogs)

http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2015/11/07/africas-imperiled-wild-lions-dont-need-petting-and-walking-operationsdos-leoes-selvagens-de-africa-nao-precisam-de-festinhas-e-passeios/

A corrupt and shady business that is not helping Africa’s desperate conservation needs at all and steals vital tourist money away from real conservation projects.

The unregulated practice of ‘walking with lions’ and petting lion cub ventures in africa – under the guise of lion conservation – is putting real lion conservation at serious risk, creating a pool of unwanted older lion cubs and potentially fueling more demand for lion parts within the Asian animal parts markets. These ventures needs to be banned, tracked down and crushed.