B P Makes Bid for Arctic Oil

By Kirsten Massebeau

BP's Proposed Area for Seismic Testing
BP is right on the heels of Shell Oil in the race for oil in the Fragile Arctic region. Shell  has been given permits to begin seismic testing and exploration drilling in the Chukchi Sea and the Beaufort Sea both to begin on July 1,2012, through October 31, 2012. British Petroleum (BP) is also requesting a permit to begin a seismic survey in the fragile Simpson Lagoon in the Beaufort Sea a small and pristine habitat teeming with life. BP is known for their environmental disaster in the Gulf Coast  that is still suffering from the spill, “Dolphins and fish are dying at distressing rates as oil and dispersants from BP’s 2010 spill lurk in Gulf waters and south Louisiana marshes”source.

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 sometimes creating blasts as high as 230dB  flooding the shallow Simpson Lagoon and Barrier Islands with sound for several months Source.  

What is a seismic survey? “Seismic surveys are used to locate and estimate the size of offshore oil and gas reserves. To carry out such surveys, ships tow multiple air gun arrays that emit thousands of high-decibel explosive impulses to map the sea floor. The auditory assault from seismic surveys has been found to damage or kill fish eggs and larvae and to impair the hearing and health of fish and marine mammals, making them vulnerable to predators and leaving them unable to locate prey or mates or communicate with each other. These disturbances can disrupt and displace important migratory patterns, pushing marine life away from suitable habitats like nurseries and foraging, mating, spawning, and migratory corridors. In addition, seismic surveys have been implicated in whale beaching and stranding incidents” source. “The source level of most air gun arrays can be 200dB or higher. For comparison, a loud rock concert is about 115dB and a jet engine at 100 feet is about 140dB. A typical seismic air gun array pulled by a ship might fire its compressed air bubbles into the ocean five or six times a minute — more than 7,000 shots in 24 hours”source. To see an air-gun underwater explosion click on  this link .

Imagine the damage the air guns will do to a shallow fragile, coastal environment of the Simpson Lagoon, “The survey area in Simpson Lagoon has water depths of 0 to 9 ft between the shore and barrier islands and 3 to 45 ft depths north of the barrier islands”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.

How many cetaceans and pinniped is BP asking to expose to greater than 160dB of sound? These number are for the Simpson Lagoon area not including the barrier islands. To see incidental take number for barrier islands follow this link. In addition,  what will happen to the algae, phytoplankton, krill, fish, squid and other diverse marine life of this Arctic region? Home to Bow head, 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. When so little is known about the sea life and eco-system  in this remote part of the world is it really prudent to open it up to oil and gas exploration? There are few protections for even dolphins and whales protected marine mammals. Marine Mammals Observers (MMO) are stationed two to a ship watching for whales. This crude form of monitoring does not take into account underwater activities of cetaceans and other sea life. There is little known about  Simpson Lagoon and Barrier Islands, “Information on fishes in coastal waters of the Alaskan Arctic is outdated or nonexistent” source.

Is the risk of an oil spill worth it? Isn’t the death of just one whale from air guns or an oil spill too much? Isn’t the death and destruction of the algae, and other nutrients and low level life on the ocean floor too much? Isn’t allowing BP to do seismic testing or any kind of oil exploration in the Arctic Beaufort Sea asking too much?

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 MarineFisheries Service ITP.guan@noaa.gov or 1315 East-WestHighway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. The mailbox address for providing email comments is  source.

March 7th Cape Cod Dolphin Stranding Correlates with Atlantic Naval Activities

By Kirsten Massebeau

As the stranding of dolphins continues on Cape Cod’s, Well Fleet so do the correlations with Naval activites in the Atlantic Ocean. It was reported that dolphins stranded on March 7th 2012. “The rash of strandings of short-beaked common dolphins along the Cape Cod Bay shoreline in the past month is rare for the decade, but marine mammal specialists cautioned Monday that in the longer view, it might be perfectly normal”.Again, just as in the months of January and February Naval activity is taking place in the Atlantic. Even government Funded IFAW Katie Moore who has denied Naval involvement despite evidence of Naval activity can no longer deny the possibility of sound being the source of these tragic deaths along the Atlantic Coastline, ”

Moore said she couldn’t rule out possible connections between the strandings and acoustic disruptions in the ocean or climate change or other human-caused factors.

“We don’t have that single answer,” she said. “We want to look into every possible cause.”

So why the denial Cape Cod? Where is the advocacy for the dolphins and whales who are having to contend with an aggressive Naval program that is only expanding. Why is this allowed to continue? Many people seem unaware that NOAA has signed permits for the Navy to “take” huge numbers of dolphins and whales as “incidental” to sonar, underwater detonations, and other Wartime activities:

This letter of Authorization is just for the Atlantic ocean alone!

This Authorization is valid for the period January 22, 2012, through January 22,2014

(i) Mysticetes:
2 (A) North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) 1466
(B) Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) – 9244
(C) Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) – 914
(D) Sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) – 2326
(E) Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) – 1940
(F) Bryde ‘ s whale (Balaenoptera edeni) – 80
(G) Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) – 1762
(ii) Odontocetes:
(A) Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) – 21468
(B) Pygmy or dwa r f sperm whales (Kogia breviceps or Kogia s ima ) –
(C) Beaked Whales (Cuvier’s, True’s, Gervais’, Sowerby’s, Blainville’s,
Northern bottlenose whale) (Ziphius cavirostris, Mesoplodon mirus, M.
europaeus, M. bidens, M. densirostris, Hyperoodon ampullatus) – 10796
(D) Rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis) 5958
(E) Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) – 1334964
(F) Pan-tropical dolphin (Stenella attenuata) – 306474
G) Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis) 827824
(H) Spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) – 46542
(I) Clymene dolphin (Stenella clymene) – 102164
(J) Striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) – 384392
(K) Common dolphin (Delphinus spp.) – 212212 
(L) Fr a s e r ‘ s dolphin (Lagenodelphis hosei) – 762
(M) Risso’ s dolphin (Grampus griseus) – 206966
(N) Atlantic white-sided dolphin (Lagenorhynchus acutus) – 45432
(0) White-beaked dophin (Lagenorhynchus albirostris) -7590
(P) Melon-headed whale (Peponocephala electra) 3638
(Q) Pygmy killer whale (Feresa attenuata) – 616
(R) False killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) – 1194
(S) Killer whale (Orcinus orca) 1106
(T) Pilot whales (Short-finned pilot or long-finned) (Globicephala
macrorynchus or G. melas) 280264
(U) Harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) – 337658

How are these numbers acceptable. Up to 21,2212 common dolphins can be “taken” meaning killed or harassed by the U.S. Navy. What does this mean for dolphins? Each year the death and destruction will increase as sonar becomes more powerful and as the U.S. Navy continues to increase the use.

Why do government funded scientists and marine mammals specialists seem to be looking the other way when it come to the Navy? Could it be all in the name of science. It seems because this is a new area of study government funded some scientists are clamoring to get in on the data and studies.

‘A lot that we can learn’

Scientists typically advocate the rescue of marine mammals in distress, even if they are not endangered as a total population, because as humans “we value being humane to animals in need,” Zagzebski said. “There’s a lot that we can learn. They’re telling us what’s going in the ocean, in that ecosystem, and that’s an ecosystem that we depend on.”

On the West Coast, the study of stranded California sea lions and common dolphins in the late 1990s led to a better understanding of a public health risk from a harmful algae bloom, Zagzebski said. On the East Coast, a current study of how marine mammals handle deep diving could help shed light on how humans might survive in deep waters.

“It’s amazing work,” she said.
How could anyone call this amazing? This video was taken in 2003. Imagine how advanced sonar is today, louder with pings traveling farther.Thanks to scientists on the West Coast dedicated to saving cetaceans from sonar control the Navy’s sonar activities will not be swept under the rug!

Is the suffering of dolphins and whales from these sonar exercises worth the “data”. Is the trade off worth it? Come on world open your eyes to the terrible suffering. Together we can silence deadly sonar!
Please take a moment and contact Jim Levy in who has signed these terrible Letters of Authorization for the Navy to “take” dolphins and whales incidental to sonar use. Let him know we will not accept the increased use of sonar by the Navy! We believe homeland security is important but not when it is causing such suffering in our ocean cousins. Request information on any upcoming permits for sonar that he has not authorized!

Join us as we fight to silence sonar and air-guns before it destroys all the whales and dolphins in the ocean!

Follow the link to find out about sonar and the Navy’s activities in the Atlantic Ocean during the months of January and February 2012: https://championsforcetaceans.com/2012/03/07/cape-cod-dolphin-stranding-coincides-with-atlantic-naval-warfare-exercises-in-10-years/

Academy Awards Simultaneous With Dolphin Slaughter in The Cove

By Kirsten Massebeau
Pantropical dolphins, Ogasawara Islands, Japan
Pantropical Dolphins

As always the 2012 Academy Awards began with a bang. Stars walked the red carpet with the glitz and glamour the world has come to know. As the stars stepped one by one before the snapping cameras describing their outfits another procession, a single file procession was happening on the other side of the world. A pod of 98 beautiful pantropical spotted dolphins was driven into the cove in Taiji, Japan, made famous by winning an academy award only a few years prior in 2009. Horrified volunteers watched as families, mothers, babies, children were driven under the blue tarps by the brutal hunters where they were slowly slaughtered. One dolphin caught on video was partially paralyzed spinning out of control, suffering a slow death last 10 minutes.

The killers of Taiji show no mercy to these dolphins families all in the wake of scientists calling for cetaceans to be given status and non-human persons http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/16174092. Although the 2009 documentary has brought great attention to the dolphin hunts off the coast of Taiji, Japan it has not convinced the hunters to stop. Tim Burns of Save Japan Dolphins recounts local reaction to what was a particularly bloody day of suffering for dolphins at the cove:

“Normally, the “Town of Taiji representatives” stare into the Cove as it is happening, but today, once the blood began to flow, they all backed away from the cliff and just looked at us.  Normally they smile and joke back and forth with each other, but not today.  Today they witnessed as we did the brutal disregard for life that these 26 hunters have.  Today they all witnessed how no care is taken for a “humane” end to these dolphins’ lives, but rather an intentional barbaric slaughter.   I suspect tonight at the diner table there will not be any talk of a great, rewarding day at work”. http://savejapandolphins.org/blog/post/today-was-awful#.T0vCd8S9-b9.facebook

Money talks in Taiji and there seems to be no lack of orders for captive dolphins. A dead dolphin is hardly worth a 1000 dollars for their meat today. Many of these beautiful sentient beings end up packaged on the sale shelf or in dog food. The meat is known to be toxic with Mercury, PCB’s and other toxins http://bluevoice.org/news_dolphinmeat.php So what drives the hunt? A captive dolphin can be worth as much as 200,000 dollars trained. These dolphins are then shipped around the world by companies like Hong Kong Airlines that use dolphin coffins http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-27/airline-moving-dolphins-in-flying-coffins/3853928/?site=newcastle to carry these traumatized victims to their ultimate destinations, SeaWorlds, Swim with dolphins, marine parks, and dolphin assisted therapy. All for the sake of human entertainment and pleasure.

Many stars, some on stage last night, like Ben Stiller have stood up for the dolphins in Taiji. Public Service Announcements featuring some of our most famous hero’s of the film industry have spoken out against this cruel hunt. Ultimately the message is the same. Please don’t buy a ticket to see or interact with dolphins in captivity. The captive dolphin industry supports the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji. A handful of greedy men are making the money  of so much dolphin misery. Isn’t it time we stopped it.

Let us fight for our ocean counterparts that they may too someday swim down the red carpet of the ocean loved by humans, treated as the amazing and beautiful stars they really are in their own world the oceans. Our voices together can end this. Alone we are but one drop of water, together our voices become an ocean that demand change for the monarchs of the sea.

Join us as we fight to save the monarchs of the sea each and everyday!




U.S.Navy Surtass LFA program and the taking of Marine Mammals

By Stephen Hambrick

A Dead Humpback Whale That Stranded

Send all comments on latest permit RIN 0648–XA792 request to use sonar/air guns  to NOAA e mail at ITPCody@noaa.gov.org 

The U.S. Navy has recently applied for a permit authorizing the incidental taking of up to 94 species of Marine Mammals over the next five year period beginning in August 2012 thru August 2017,being incidental to its testing of low frequency sonar under it’s Surtass program.70 Cetaceans and 24 Pinnipeds during what it calls military readiness activities.The Navy has stated that it will not exceed 180 decibels of sonar ping,in prior years and over the last 50 years the acceptable level of decibels was classified at 120 to comply with safety issues regarding Marine Mammals.The Navy’s application for permit with the NMFS states that it will not use this sonar testing within 12 miles of any coastline,and that such tests will not be performed within the Arctic Ocean or Antarctica,or any biologically recognized breeding areas of Marine Mammals.

The Navy will operate these exercises in the Atlantic,Pacific,and Indian Oceans and the Mediterranean Sea.Outlying within the permit application,the Navy states that the probability of taking Marine Mammals through levl “A” harassment is at 0.001 percent,yet because it is not scientifically predicted to attain a rating of 0 percent,that is the basis for requesting level “A”.

Whales and other Marine Mammals rely exclusively on hearing for their basic life functions.Such as orientation and communication,feeding,finding pod members and calfs,how they mate with each other,and how they navigate the seas.

When sounds emit making more noise than a jet aircraft fills their ears,the results can be tragic and deadly.Whether the sounds emit from air guns used for oil exploration or from ships and submarines emitting sonar,Man made sounds can drown out noises Marine Mammals rely upon for their very survival,causing injury and death.At 140 decibel sound ping as far away as 300 miles from it’s source,The intensity impact on Marine Mammals has been shown to be 100 times the recorded statistics to alter the behavior of Marine Mammals.The current Navy application for permit requests NMFS to approve up to 180 decibels ping. ” There is no question and has been scientifically proven,that sonar injuries kill whales and dolphins” stated Senior Attorney Joel Reynolds of the National Resource Defense Council. Many of the Whales affected by the testing have suffered Bleeding of the brain,ears,and other tissues and have caused large bubbles within their organs.Scientists also believe that mid frequency sonar blasts drive certain whales to change diving patterns that are harmful to their bodies,further causing severe injury or death.Naval sonar has also proven to be detrimental to feeding and other behaviors causing whales and dolphins to panic and flee their habitat. The U.S. Navy has admitted that it estimates increased sonar training will significantly harm Marine Mammals more than 10 million times during a five year period.

In 2006,after a Surtass exercise,more than 200 whales stranded on Hawaii beaches,and in 2000,when the Navy conducted testing in the Bahamas,13 whales from 4 separate species were stranded on beaches,The Navy denied responsibility initially,But a federal investigation revealed that Navy mid frequency sonar was indeed the cause of this stranding.Directly following testing in this area,the populace of the Cuvier’s beaked whale nearly disappeared from their habitat,which led scientists to believe they had either fled or died at sea as a result.Similar mass strandings have also occurred in the Canary Islands,Greece,Madeira,U.S. Virgin Islands and Hawaii as a result of low frequency sonar testing by the U.S.Navy.And also as a direct result,many calfs have been separated from their Mothers.

In 1998 The SRS conducted research off Hawaii under a permit issued by NMFS, Numerous reports from whale watch captains and observers stated that Humpback whales fled the area during testing,And it was also reported that a Humpback whale calf,and dolphin calf appeared and were separated from their mothers.A seperated Melon Whale calf also appeared abandoned during this testing.When this program originated,the Navy conducted secret testing of LFAS known to be harmful to cetaceans,without filing for permits and violating environmental protection laws.When the program caught the attention of the general public and the national resource defense council,the Navy only then conducted minimum research studies and only concentrated on a few of the effects that sonar had on a limited number of oceanic species. When adverse effects became public knowledge,which led to litigation and a congressional call to suspend the program,the Navy suspended funding further research.The NMFS and the Navy cooperated with Dr.Peter Tyack of the Woods -Hole Oceanographic institute,to disguise the nature of the program, and permitted research to be conducted outside of U.S.territorial waters,and limited mandatory reports of such research to once a year,ensuring that individuals and organizations opposing the program would not have the benefit of reviewing such reports.LFAS Surtass started off as an unlawful and classified secret program,and the Woods-Hole Oceanographic Institute collaborated with the Navy and NMFS in keeping the program at a secret level to avoid further public exposure.

Latest proposed permit:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric
RIN 0648–XA792
Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to
Specified Activities; Physical
Oceanographic Studies in the
Southwest Indian Ocean,January through February, 2012

Take Action!

Comments must be submitted by Dec. 21, 2011

You may voice your objections and enter your commentary,and or request a public hearing be conducted before the granting of said permit.The permit application and access to public commentary please write to : P.Michael Payne -Chief of permits,conservation and education division-National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West highway,Silver Spring,Maryland.20910-3225 or e mail at ITPCody@noaa.gov.org

Japanese Research Whaling One Big IWC Loophole

Swim Fast* Swim Far* Swim Deep

Ocean conservations are hearing a call to action as Japanese research whaling vessels led by the Nisshan Maru, head to the North Pacific on a commercial whale hunt. The Japanese government claims they are on a mission of research, “…study their stomach contents, DNA and other information, according to the Institute of Cetacean Research “http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/japan-launches-pacific-research-whaling/story-e6frf7jo-1226073492230 . This is their 18th trip to the North Pacific Ocean, where they will indiscriminately kill one of the planets oldest, and most amazing mammals, whales. With the advent of, “Whale Wars” the entire world was able to watch the sadness and horror as the Japanese whalers slaughtered sentient beings and then packaged the meat for the supermarket. “Whale Wars” also showed the world that we do not have to back down to the Japanese Government. We do not have to stand by and watch these incredibly huge and beautiful creatures suffer at the hands of the dishonorable, Japanese whalers.

Kinoya's canned whale meat, version 2

Whale Meat In A Can

During the 20th century the Japanese whalers were known to be unstoppable driving many species to the point of extinction. In 1986 the International Whaling Commission was formed and a moratorium was placed on whaling. Since that time the Japanese government has sent out whaling vessels under the auspice of research, a loop hole in the moratorium.

On March 11, 2011 a tsunami hit Japan causing devastation, and death beyond the worlds imagination. Pictures and video showing a wall of water descent upon the Otsuchi devastating everything, and everyone, in it’s path. Japan cried out for help, and the world responded with compassion, aid, and assistance.

Minke Whale Dragged By Fin Live to Pier for Slaughter

Sadly the compassion shown by the world to Japan would not be shown to whales and dolphins in 2011. The Cove Guardians, and Save Japan Dolphins would witness a brutal and tedious slaughter of 80 pilot whales on May 4-6th. On April 26th the research vessel left the ports of Kushiro and Hokkaido with a permit to harvest 60 minke whales. Today the Japanese head to the North Pacific with plans to kill 260 whales, 100 of which are minkes. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/japan-launches-pacific-research-whaling/story-e6frf7jo-1226073492230

On the advent of the upcoming IWC meeting taking place July 11-14 in the UK channel islands, ocean conservationists wonder if we will ever see an end to whaling. After last years precarious bid to remove the moratorium, “The idea to uplift the ban on commercial whaling and allow some controlled commercial whaling was wiped off the table. Of course, that is a good thing; it would be a ridiculous step back to allow commercial whaling and I assume that every normal human would see this as common sense.”(Laurens De Groot , June 23, 2010 http://www.seashepherd.org/whales/iwc-blog/).

To understand the loophole we need to start when the moratorium began, “the International Whaling Commission (IWC) finally voted in favor of a moratorium on commercial whaling to go into force in 1986 (25-7-5). Japan objected to the moratorium and continued whaling (Under the ICRW an objecting nation is exempted from the disputed regulations. Japan also continued to hunt sperm whales despite a 1981 IWC zero catch quota.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whaling_in_Japan#Research_whaling

The Gray Whale Another Sushi Favorite On The Extinction List

Clearly Japan has continued to whale commerically since   the moratorium began in 1986. That the Japanese whaler hunters have been allowed to decimate whale population even today in 2011 is unacceptable.  That Japan is knowingly buying the votes of other countries is unacceptable. The only group that has made  headway in stopping the Japanese fleet is the SSCS. The International Whaling Commision needs  a new attitude, and a name change. Instead of managing numbers they need to get on board and start saving our oceans by saving our whales.

Please urge president Obama, to support the restructuring of the IWC. Now is the time if ever to join our voices and let those in power know it is time to stop killing whales. Aboriginal sustenance, research whaling, it is all and excuse to keep clear cutting our oceans of marine life that is needed for our planets survival.

Follow the Link Below to sign the petition:



Contact the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC and urge them to stop killing dolphins and whales.  Be polite, and urge them to protect Japanese consumers from mercury poisoning from eating dangerous whale and dolphin meat.

Ambassador Ichiro FUJISAKI

2520 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20008

Phone:  202-238-6700

Fax: 202-328-2187

Japan Information and Culture Center

E-mail: jicc@ws.mofa.go.jp

Email the Prime Minister of Japan Nato Kan. Let him know you will not support Japan if they won’t stop murdering cetaceans. By Law the Japanese government must respond to all emails. This is a direct link to his comment page.

Make Today A Day for the whales. Please Call and Write Now. They need us!

whales, krill, prochlorococcus & iron

Above is a picture of krill

Earth Day is over, here in Cannon Beach as was indicated in previous posts, it was the 12 Days of Earth Day. Looking over the list of those involved and the messages put forth the entire effort was commendable, I must say. We at Champions are most proud of the contributions we made as well as the response of those that stopped at our booth. Kirsten was most adept  at solicitating signatures on the various petitions that she circulated. In that respect a young men stepped forward to volunteer his skills in promoting this cause.  Enough excuses for avoiding the major tasks at hand. Today krill and the connection they make as an intermediate member of the food chain and iron supplier to baleen whales. Last night I read an article about the attempt to seed the ocean with iron in attempt to increase the krill population in the Pacific Ocean. In that attempt the researchers had successfully used iron to increase krill populations by some 12 times in laboratory conditions. When this was applied to a five mile square area in the ocean near the Galapagos Islands they had some success and did see a three fold increase but well below that which had been anticipated and far too expensive a project to continue. I raise this example as to why they would use one of the world ocean areas that has escaped the ravishing of mans intrusive ways. Too many times man has intervened in places best destined to be left alone and it was not, thankfully,  the apparent 200 miles seperation was enough to prevent damage to the Galapagos Islands. Recently I have attempted to gain an understanding relative to iron in the ocean and that the above project made no mention of was how this happens, not that I am any kind of expert. They left you thinking that phytoplanton captured the iron and they were consumed by zooplanton in this case krill. What really happens is that a bacteria/plant prokaryote known as Prochlorococcus is really the organism responsible for putting iron into the food chain. Previously I attempted to explain how Iodine became useable for living  creatures through Prochlorococcus as it fixed it organically which made it possible to be accumulated in seaweeds (see post Titanic Sails from Fukushima). Further both Prochlorococcus and seaweed release free iodine and methyl chloride which acts as a cloud seeder responsible for coastal fog and cloud formation.

It is totally amazing that Prochlorococcus, unknown less then 25 years ago, are such sophisticated cellular creatures, they make both Iron and Iodine available to the organic sea world. There are two apparent strains which operate at different depths exclusively, one in the upper 100 meters and the other in the lower 100 meters. To operate they need sunlight and specifically those of the blue range of the electromagnetic spectrum, how smart as this wave length has the least scattering and therefore is the most stable source of energy. Otherwise if another wavelength had evolved those rays would not have penetrated and be effective some 200 meters (600ft) under the ocean.

There you have it Prochlorococcus consumed by phytoplanton consumed by animals, zooplanton in this case krill consumed by baleen whales as well as a whole host of dependent fish and marine birds. Below we see a Antarctic penguin feeding its young the krill from the nearby Southern Ocean.

 The United States government based on action taken by NOAA and its National Marine Fisheries in 2009 banded the practice of harvesting krill from our coastal waters to a distance of 200 miles. However British Columbia to our north allows krill to be harvested, Norway is continuing to expand its fishery in of all places the Southern Ocean, and China is in the final phase of placing a heavy emphasis on krill fishing. Can we allow this practice to continue at the expense of exposing a huge number of food dependent fish, birds, and marine mammals certain decimation. Take action, tell Canadian Priminister, Steven Harper his nation must stop over fishing krill. 


Gentoo Penguin feeding its chick krill
A Penguin Feeding Her Chick Krill

Japanese end Antarctica whaling for 2011

By Kirsten Johnson
Japans whaling efforts, at least for this year in the Antarctica, have ended. In this case, as has been reported throughout the internet, many factors are at play. Certainly, the efforts of the Sea Shepherds and Capt. Paul Watson, are responsible for pushing the entire issue to the public forefront. I find it most interesting that, “Whale Wars” hero, Captain Watson, lists his home port as Friday Harbor, Washington  which in my mind is one of the worlds hot-spots for whaling issues and in particular killer whale research and watching. If you have not already found the Whale Museum and their web site, http://www.whale-museum.org/ it really keeps one current on the what is happening on cetaceans. I need a history lesson on how all this ties together, but Ken Balcomb the international recognized marine mammal expert, should also be mentioned for his significant contributions. Based on his efforts, Navy Sonar has come under close scrutiny which has resulted in a huge shift in public understanding of the dangers associated with the damaging effects it has on whales.  Further his efforts to expose an equally devastating practice on marine species is the use of  LIMPETS, also known as double hooked barbed darts used in tagging.  We at Champions for Cetaceans have posted several blogs on these issues.

While reading an excellent article that criticized  whaling on “The Diplomat” called, “Why did Japan Suspend Whaling?” written by Andy Sharp,  I came upon a great comment by the author Animux. What he said really sums up the issue on whaling and why the Japanese must stop now.

  1. AnimuX

    February 17, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    “The world’s whaling industries drove nearly every large species of whale to the brink of extinction. As the public grew to learn more about whales in the 1960s and 70s, opposition to whaling took shape. What some people fail to mention, or understand, is that Japan has a long history of whaling regulatory violations dating back to the 1930s.

    Japan has historically violated size limits, species protections, seasonal limits, sanctuary boundaries, all manner of quotas, and has even facilitated “pirate whaling” (that’s front companies with foreign labor illegally killing whales and smuggling the unreported meat to Japan). The current whaling operation is merely the latest incident in an established pattern of criminal behavior. Japan kills more whales than any other nation and acts as the world market for whale meat by importing endangered Fin whale from Iceland.

    The International Whaling Commission established a moratorium on all commercial whaling in 1986 and the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in 1994. the IWC has also passed multiple resolutions calling on Japan to stop killing whales. However, Japan continues to abuse the “science loophole” of the ICRW (International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling) as justification for subverting the democratic decisions of the IWC.

    Japan annually kills endangered Sei and Fin whales, vulnerable Sperm whales, Bryde’s whales (listed as data deficient), common Minke whales (many from the vulnerable J-stock), and Antarctic Minke whales (listed as data deficient by the IUCN but some research implies this species may have suffered a significant decline). Also, coastal fishermen annually slaughter tens of thousands of dolphins for human consumption despite mercury contamination.

    Jun Morikawa, author of “Whaling in Japan”, has written that whale meat was only ever a “substitute meat” during the post WWII recovery. When the economy recovered, Japanese families purchased other meats (even when whale was significantly cheaper) and consumer demand for whale has consistently declined since the 1960s. Today, only a tiny fraction of the Japanese population actually consumes whale meat.

    The historical tradition of killing and eating whales is limited to a small number of isolated coastal villages. In fact, in some regions of Japan whales were once worshiped and never eaten (an aspect of Japanese culture that is somehow overlooked in this conflict). Since the start of the 20th century, Japanese whalers have used Norwegian (not traditional) industrial whaling techniques and technology in order to maximize profits like any other modern industry.

    According to Morikawa, the whaling programs only continue in order to support entrenched bureaucrats (amakudari) who often leave their government jobs to take high paid positions in the commercial whaling industry they once oversaw, and secured tax-subsidized funding for, as public officials.

    Due to the cost prohibitive effort to acquire this commodity, whale meat is a luxury food item. Large stockpiles of whale meat remain in cold storage as a result of poor demand. However, the government of Japan continues to prop up the failing industry in many ways. For example, the government has purchased large quantities of whale meat back from Kyodo Senpaku (the commercial arm of the industry) at a reduced price and included the meat in school lunch programs. Otherwise, Japanese children might never taste whale in their lives. (So much for tradition.)

    Fisheries officials have publicly admitted the interference from Sea Shepherd has forcibly reduced the total catch for several years. In private (Wiki-leaked) discussions more officials have admitted Sea Shepherd interference has also increased domestic pressure on the government regarding whaling. However, other organizations have contributed to this effort.

    Greenpeace’s exposure of a whale meat embezzlement scandal certainly raised eyebrows and tempers within a Japanese public already fed up with government corruption.

    “The Cove” became a free speech issue within Japan when nationalist extremists used intimidation tactics to have the award winning documentary banned.

    The UK’s Sunday Times recently uncovered evidence of Japanese representatives bribing Caribbean officials for IWC votes in an undercover investigation.

    Australia has filed against Japan’s “research whaling” with the International Court of Justice.”Global opposition to whaling, including protests and petitions, is growing. Japan is the focus of this opposition because of the scale of its whaling industry and its blatant defiance of international conventions.” http://the-diplomat.com/tokyo-notes/2011/02/17/why-did-japan-suspend-whaling/