Letter Opposing Proposed Navy Permits to Harm and Harass 31 million Dolphins and Whales

By Kirsten Massebeau

Dolphin death linked to Naval Sonar exercises off the coast of San Diego,Ca. 2008/In 2000, 17 wnales stranded on beaches in the Bahamas following U.S. Navy sonar exercises. Beaked whales appear to be especially sensitive to sonar.

Dolphin death linked to Naval Sonar exercises off the coast of San Diego,Ca. 2008/In 2000, 17 whales stranded on beaches in the Bahamas following U.S. Navy sonar exercises. Beaked whales appear to be especially sensitive to sonar.

If the U.S. Navy is awarded two permits to “take” 31 million whales and dolphins over the next five years the results will be devastating to whales, dolphins, seals and all marine life off the Atlantic Coastline, Hawaii and Southern California Coastlines. The comment period on these two permits closes on March 11, 2013. Both permits are still up for review. Follow these links to see the permits and submit your comments.

How many more must die for war games!

How many more must die for war games!

A sample letter and suggestions have been provided by Stephen Hambrick creator of the  Facebook Event: Save Whales & Dolphins from Navy Sonar Massacre! 

Please enter your comments regarding the Navy sonar testing. Tell them the potential casualty rate of Marine Mammals is unacceptable.
– NOTE VERY IMPORTANT. Please Be polite. At the end of your Comment Say the following “Request the application by the US Navy be denied.”


The following are all very good examples, however it is not necessary to leave a lengthy Comment.

Such as :
a) The loss of marine life is too great, the oceans with all the vastly diversified free-roaming life of Cetaceans, together with all the other life forms contained within them are not owned or vested to the determination of the USA. Request the application by the US Navy be denied.

b) “I write to express my opposition to this permit. To further allow the Navy to have an increase in incidental takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; U.S. Navy Training and Testing Activities in the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing Study Area
The numbers of marine mammals the Navy plans to harm, harass, and kill are catastrophic in impact to all the species specified. It is without precedent to slaughter, maim, otherwise harm cetaceans and other sea life on this scale. Request the application by the US Navy be denied.

c) This permit seeks to fundamentally effect the balance of the worlds oceans and it’s natural habit I wish therefore to demand that you do not award the navy this permit, which seeks to commit devastation which will have consequences well beyond the the USA oceanic jurisdiction. Request the application by the US Navy be denied.

d) Dostana posts, “The loss of marine life is too great, the oceans with all the vastly diversified free-roaming life of Cetaceans, together with all the other life forms contained within them are not owned or vested to the determination of the USA. Request the application by the US Navy be denied.”

e) By the Navy’s own admission, per their application. The Navy requests authorization to take individuals in a total of 74 marine mammal species and another 27 more marine mammals, with serious injury or mortality. While I appreciate the Navy’s ability to defend and protect, the training and exercises should not be at the expense of the life of our oceans. For without our oceans. We have no life!
A panel of leading marine scientists brought together in Oxford in 2011 by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).The suggestion made by the panel is that the potential extinction of species, from large fish to tiny corals, is directly comparable to the five great mass extinctions in the geological record, during each of which much of the world’s life died out. The panel of 27 scientists, who considered the latest research from all areas of marine science, concluded that a “combination of stressors is creating the conditions associated with every previous major extinction of species in Earth’s history”. They also concluded:The speed and rate of degeneration of the oceans is far faster than anyone has predicted; Many of the negative impacts identified are greater than the worst predictions; The first steps to globally significant extinction may have already begun. Dr Alex Rogers, professor of conservation biology at Oxford University and IPSO’s scientific director states: “As we considered the cumulative effect of what humankind does to the oceans, the implications became far worse than we had realized.This is a very serious situation demanding action at every level. We are looking at consequences for humankind that will impact in our lifetime, and worse, in the lifetime of our children and generations beyond that.” Given the state of our oceans at this time, allowing these tests seems to be far beyond a ‘negligible impact’. Therefore I request the application of the US Navy be denied.

Petitions you can sign!

Action for Marine Mammals 海洋ほ乳類を守る会 Hold Tokyo March Protesting Research Whaling

By Kirsten Massebeau

Tokyo Whaling Protest MarchPhoto By Michael Q Todd

Tokyo Whaling Protest March
Photo By Michael Q Todd

Action for Marine Mammals  海洋ほ乳類を守る会 an independent, Japanese group supporting cetaceans in Japan has staged their second protest in Tokyo. This second protest solely focused on opposition to Japan’s controversial  research whaling program in the Antarctic Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. In 1986 a moratorium was placed on whaling. Since that time Japan has circumvented the ban by using a clause in the moratorium that allows for research whaling. Despite the Japanese government and powerful Japan Fisheries efforts to keep whaling alive the people of Japan are  speaking out against hunting whales and with good reason. Aside from being inhumane the business of whaling is a financially a sinking ship.

Video by seawooluf1

In a recent report by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) released on February 5 many substantial reasons for ending Japan’s whaling program were listed:

  • Taxpayers Subsidise Money-Losing Industry
  • Subsidies average around ¥782 million (US$9.78 million) annually.*
  • Demand for Whale Meat Falls While Stockpiles Grow
  • Earthquake Relief Funds and Additional Subsidies Diverted: While other needs went unmet, earthquake reconstruction funds to the tune of ¥2.28 billion (US$28.55 million) were diverted from tsunami relief to support “research whaling, stabilization promotion, and countermeasure expenses” for the ICR.
  • Polls: Indifference to Whaling, Opposition to Funding. 85 percent expressed opposition to the use of billions of taxpayer yen to build a new factory ship. (source)
Shibuya Protest Against  Research WhalingBy MQ Todd

Shibuya Protest Against Research Whaling
Photo by Michael Q. Todd

 Without opposition the march was able to move forward with their peaceful yet strong message asking the Japanese government to end research whaling. 48 attended and the event was declared a success. This small but brave group of pioneers now a voice for whales and dolphins have had their second historical march through the streets of Tokyo spreading awareness to 1000’s. Their’s is a message of peace and hope for whales and dolphins in Japan and worldwide.


Improve your Tweet for the Environment

By Kirsten Massebeau

#dolphinsloveus #ecoleaders #tweet4dolphins

#Environmental #hashtags #dolphinsloveus #ecoleaders #tweet4dolphins

For the environmental activist social media success means sharing your message, and finding receptive listeners who are willing to take action for the health of our planet, and welfare of people and animals. On January 21, 2013 at 7pm Eastern time activists will have a chance to improve their skills on Twitter and become more effective. Michael Q.Todd social media guru and Twitter expert is hosting a webinar on Tweeting for the environment:

Michael Q Todd, Jackie Bigford, June Stoyer, Paige Nelson and others will discuss and share thoughts about using Twitter. The focus will be on how environmental causes and individuals can use Twitter more effectively.

When to tweet/ What hashtags to use?
How to manage your account and more.

Please go to http://youtube.com/michaelqtodd to watch live and to ask questions during the webinar. 

The Twitter hashtag will be #EcoMonday
Please  join the event and share it to your friends and in your environmental groups.

Be the best you can be and help dolphins, whales, the ocean, and the planet!           Together we can make a difference!

Inuits Slaughter Narwhals: Champions for Cetaceans Daily Scoop

By Kirsten Massebeau

Pod of Narwhal Dolphins

Much like Taiji, Japan each year Intuit hunters are issued permits to hunt narwhal, a cousin to the dolphin who has a tusk. Today science has proven how highly intelligent, and social whales and dolphins are. Families stay together for a lifetime, and mothers nurse their babies for approximately the same amount of time as human children. The narwhal tusk is highly sensitive, a tower of nerve endings that sets them apart from all other whales and dolphins.

Today the Narwhals are only hunted by the Inuit. The video seen here is of Intuit hunters preparing to spear a narwhal:

As I watched this video of Intuit hunters in their high-powered 75 horse Honda outboard and other modern conveniences, it struck me that the subsistence aspect had to be questioned. It seems unfair that these animals are being hunted with technologies giving the hunters an unfair advantage over the narwhal whales. (Ed Johnson)

You can see their much coveted tusks sold in shops and exported here.

In a recent Narwhal hunt reported in CBC News North  the Intuits describe seeing a pod of Narwhal and then running to get their tags.

This year, the hamlet applied for hunting tags and got five, which quickly ran out. Neighboring communities chipped in their tags.

“Gjoa Haven kindly stepped up because they didn’t have any whales as of yet, and gave us five to use here,” said Panioyak.

Narwhals will be eaten the same as beluga – the hunters will cut up the blubber and the meat and share it in the community. (Read the whole article here)

The use of the word “tradition” as an excuse for killing whales and dolphins has become obsolete especially in the case of the narwhal:

Inuit hunters in the eastern Canadian Arctic kill about 500 narwhals and sell about 120 tusks overseas each year. Tusks can sell for more than $1,000 each.(source)

The only time I saw narwhal hunters in Canada, I heard at least nine gunshots and later saw the remains of one narwhal on shore, its tusk removed and very little edible flesh was taken.  The hunters reported that they had killed one more narwhal but the whale sunk before they could retrieve it.(source)

There was a ban on Narwhal hunting because of overseas sale of the tusks. The ban was overturned. You can read about the ban here

The Narwhals are also threatened by global warming a very serious problem as seen in this recent video. Which is yet another reason to let these amazing beings live in peace.

Ocean Lover Takes A Stand for Whales at IWC

While the delegates of the International Whaling Commission fought over the fate of whales ocean advocates stood tall in Panama as their voice. Today science has proven that cetaceans are sentient self-aware beings with intelligence equal to mans. Sadly, many members of the IWC use whaling as a bargaining chip to further their own agenda. The United States bundled their vote with Japan and the Soviet Union to protect the Bow head whale hunt, even going so far as to support the whaling in Greenland where whale meat is sold commercially to tourists while whaling under the guise of subsistence. IWC aboriginal whaling quotas were renewed for the U.S., Russia and the notorious St. Vincent and Grenadines known for their slaughter of humpback whale mothers and their babies. Greenland on the other hand was exposed for its blatant commercial use of whale meat losing any quota for whaling. Korea shocked the world as they made a bid to create a “scientific whaling program” which for Japan has been no more than a cover up for commercial whaling activities. Disappointingly the Southern Atlantic Whale Sanctuary proposed by Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, and Uruguay lost the vote not reaching the 3/4 majority.

Maria Cristina Cely and Lori Neumann Whale Sanctuary fails to pass.

Ocean activist Maria Christina Cely spoke moving words upon finding out the whales of the Southern Atlantic Whale Sanctuary would not be safe from the deadly harpoons of the whalers, “Tough times for those who were present outside the Panama Hotel in the very moment which made known the result of vote for the creation of the Whale Sanctuary South Atlantic. Disappointment, anger and helplessness …. everything in tears”. For a brief moment my spirit faltered once again I was ashamed of the species to which I belong (Maria Christina Cely July 2, 2012).

Maria Cristina Cely taking a moment.

In an interview Maria Christina Cely ocean activist and Sea Shepherd  volunteer/supporter gave us some insight in what it was like to be at the IWC a voice for whales.

Champions: What inspired you to go to the IWC Meeting in Panama?

Maria Cristina Cely: Well, the beginning of the whale’s ordeal takes place at the IWC and I think that is the place to start showing your support to them and condemning the whaler’s decisions. I also believe that they (whalers) need to know the world is watching and that we won’t let them walk away without giving them a piece of our mind. But the most important reason was the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary, the Latin-american countries known as “Grupo de Buenos Aires” were going to fight again for the whales, they stood up and spoke up for the whales and did not sell their votes so I wanted to show them support and respect and let them know that WE were/are proud of them.


Champions: What was the atmosphere like at the meeting?

Maria Cristina Cely: Intense, very intense. You had us out there cheering and calling for the Sanctuary, then you had the delegates from the “Japan group” and the delegates from the pro-whales group and on top of that you had the NGOs. You can cut the tension in the air with a knife, that is for sure. The atmosphere changed after the first day when the Sanctuary proposal lost by a vote, then you could feel the disappointment and the anger but also frustration from the pro-whales parties. The things fired up a little when we rallied Panamanian students and gathered outside the Panama Hotel, the “Honk for the Whales” was a success and we even had some delegates and NGOs come out and cheer with us.

Ocean Activists at IWC Meeting Panama Raise your hands for whales!

Champions: What was it like to be present at this meeting?

Maria Cristina Cely: The IWC brings out every emotion in you. It is a roller coaster, you go from having all this energy and positive thoughts to frustration and disappointment. You want to break into the meeting and tell them how wrong they are and how stupid their killing proposals are, and you look at the delegates and feel rage because you realize this few people decide on the lives of thousands of whales, they profit from them and from their dead and that hits you so hard! It was quite an experience that I will do it again as many times as possible. You have to fight for the whales, the dolphins and the porpoises whether it is in Taiji, in the Antarctic waters, in the Faroes or at the IWC, every fight counts for the final battle, everything counts.

Howie Cooke, Natalie Fox, Nori Neumann, and Maria Cristina Cely Just say no to whaling!

Champions: What did you come away with?

Maria Cristina Cely: We as society need to be more present at the IWC even if it means not being present at the meetings. We need to push more pro-whale countries to take part, because every vote counts. But also we need to push the pro-whale countries to become more involved in working to recuperate the votes of the countries that today voted for Japan.
So I hope I will see you guys there the next time.

Whale Words by Maria Cristina Cely

Together we can make a difference so get involved!

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Surfers for Cetaceans 

Blue Voice

Save Japan Dolphins

Champions for Cetaceans on Facebook

Navy Forum Offers Public Input On Future Sonar Activity

Picture by Sandy Sullivan taken at Jeremy Point, Wellfleet

Sonar is known to be harmful to dolphins and whales killing and causing them to strand. For every one dolphin that strands another 10 have sank at sea. The Navy is tripling the amount of sonar they will be broadcasting. This means 30 million marine mammals will be impacted!! Naval sonar tests will be conducted in all the oceans with the exception of the Arctic and Antarctic. Follow the link to comment. Please speak up for dolphins and whales they need your voice! Link to Navy

Arctic Faces Acoustic Double Whammy

Arctic Bowhead Whale By Life of The Sea

The remote Arctic Beaufort Sea, Simpson Lagoon, and Chukchi Sea are bracing themselves as Shell Oil, and possibly BP power towards those pristine waters in search of oil. If BP is awarded this permit both Shell Oil and BP will be doing seismic surveys during the same period in the Beaufort Sea for and estimated 50 days. Two of BP’s  ships will be firing air guns 24 hours 24 a day at dB levels of  >160dB to 230dB  flooding the shallow Simpson Lagoon and Barrier Islands with sound for several months Source.

Since the beginning of 2012, 3000 dolphins have washed ashore on Peruvian coastlines, “One theory is that powerful sound caused by oil exploration ships could have resulted in internal damage for the mammals, Carlos Yaipen Llanos, science director of the marine mammal rescue group Organización Científica para Conservación de Animales Acuáticos (ORCA), told the Peruvian news” source. Follow this link to see pictures of dolphin tissue samples taken and analyzed by Dr. Carlos Yaipen and released by BlueVoice.org.

Shell Oil has already received their Letter of Authorization (LOA) to begin oil exploration activities in the Beaufort Sea, Camden Bay and the Chukchi Sea:”The authorization for taking by harassment is limited to the following acoustic sources(or sources with comparable frequency and intensity) and from the following activities”:

This Authorization is valid from July 1,2012, through October 31, 2012. Camden Bay, Beaufort Sea
(a). 8-airgun array with a total discharge volume of 760 in3
(b). continuous drill-ship sounds during active drilling operations;
(c). vessel sounds generated during active ice management or ice-breaking; source.

This Authorization is valid from July 1,2012, through October 31, 2012. Camden Bay, Beaufort Sea
(a). 8-airgun array with a total discharge volume of760 in3
(b). continuous drill-ship sounds during active drilling operations;
(c). vessel sounds generated during active ice management or ice-breaking; (d).aircraft associated with marine mammal monitoring and support operations. source.

Simpson Lake Located in the Beaufort Sea

“BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc. (BPXA) proposes to conduct a 3D ocean bottom cable (OBC) seismic survey in the Simpson Lagoon area, Beaufort Sea, for an estimated 50 days of work during the open water period of approximately 1 July to 15 October 2012”source BP plans to use three seismic ships that will carry a total of 40 air guns some of which will  fire simultaneously for 24 hours a day. “Again, the advantage of source vessels alternating shots is that more data can be acquired in shorter time. Seismic data acquisition is a 24 hour per day operation”source.

Seismic Survey

Although Seismic Testing is often presented as benign just seeing and hearing the underwater explosions one can only imagine the damage that is caused at every level of ocean life. The ships are using 40 air-guns and more. The guns are firing the air guns simultaneously so the explosions are never ending for the 50 days of seismic tesing. Here is a video of a visual video of an airgun firing video. Here is an acoustic recording of a single underwater airgun firing recovering then firing again: listen now.

As the evidence supporting horrific devastation to the oceans and marine life due to seismic testing continues to compile surely the federal government can spare the Arctic region where so little is known about the ocean life. This is a place where commercial fishing is not allowed, Home to bowhead, Beluga and gray whales this is an area so sensitive that no commercial fishing has been allowed under National Marine Fisheries Ruling established in 2009 source.

Arctic Bowhead Whales Mother and Calve

What can you do? Send NOAA/NMFS an email asking  not to award BP the permit for a seismic survey in the Beaufort Ocean. Comments and information must be received no later than May 31, 2012. Comments should be addressed to: Tammy Adams, Acting Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service at ITP.guan@noaa.gov or 1315 East-WestHighway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. The mailbox address for providing email comments is  source.