The Beacon

Blog Tags: Whales

Economics 101: Don't kill whales

Two weeks ago, Iceland announced it would defy the 20-year old worldwide whaling ban and resume its commercial whale hunt. They sure didn't waste any time! Two whales have already been caught, leaving 37 more kills to go.

Iceland claims this decision is all about business, so let's take a look at the business side of what they actually are doing. For those of you who slept through this lesson in high school, I'd like to tell you about a little thing I like to call "economics."


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Who Needs the Orkin Man?

Every year environmental and animal welfare groups join forces to boo and hiss at (and work to oppose) Japan during the International Whaling Commission meeting. In 1986 the IWC instituted a moratorium on commercial whaling, and ever since, Japan has been fighting to overturn it. This year, Japan and its allies came dangerously close to inhaling the sweet smell of success.


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Gray whales on the rise!

Good news for gray whales! Their numbers are on the rise, according to scientists monitoring the annual gray whale migration along the California coast. Whale counts during this migration have revealed an increased number of calves traveling with the various family groups heading north to their summer feeding grounds in the Arctic. Actual numbers have jumped from 945 in 2005 to 1,018 in 2006. Ironically, this reproductive success may be attributed to the effects of global warming - the melting of polar sea ice allows whales to travel farther in search of food.


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Whales Can't Vote--But We Can

Looking back at February, I have had one thing on my mind - whales. When it comes to these creatures, it has been a time of mixed emotions on the Pacific coast of North America.


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Sandy's Journal: The Ranger Approaches

Xavier has been in touch with the Ranger crew; they are nearby and should arrive in Golfito tonight.

A MarViva vessel in port


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Mass Stranding - Pilot Whales and Dolphins

I once, as a kid, watched a pod of pilot whales from the deck of a whale-watching boat off the coast of Maine. They are playful, graceful creatures - despite the bulbous protrusion to which they owe the undignified nickname "pothead," as well as their latin title Globicephala maleana (I'm guessing that means something like "globe head," but my Latin is rusty). They travel in groups, or pods, within which they develop smaller family units that are stable over time.


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EU Parliament Votes for Whales

Those Europeans always seem to be - environmentally, at least - one step ahead. They have seafood labels, wind farms, viable Green parties...and now a multi-national body acknowledging the danger of navy sonar testing to whales and dolphins. Last week, by a vote of 441 to 15 (with 14 abstentions), the European Parliament adopted a resolution asking its member states to quit sonar testing until scientists have fully assessed its effect on ocean life.


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Jon's Journal: Day 11


[editor's note, by Jason] Jon Warrenchuk is currently participating in NOAA's 2004 Gulf of Alaska Seamount Expedition. He was unable to get to a PC to blog on the 8th, so we rejoin him on the 11th day of his expedition.


August 09, 2004: For the next few days we'll be sampling Welker seamount.


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Scientists Spot Rare Blue Whales in Alaska

From the Associated Press -- Scientists Spot Rare Blue Whales in Alaska:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Federal scientists have sighted a rare mammal in Alaska waters - endangered blue whales, the largest animal known to live on Earth.

The sighting by researchers on board a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration vessel means the blue whale population may be getting healthier and expanding back to traditional territories.


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