Whales

What happened at the International Whaling Commission 2016 meeting

Posted by Willie — 28 October 2016 at 3:48pm - Comments
Image of a whale's fluke (tail)
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace

The International Whaling Commission meeting 2016 has just come to a close. Delegates from 64 countries spent a week discussing and debating whales, in Potoroz, Slovenia.
Greenpeace’s international team was there, and here’s a quick roundup of what happened.

10 good reasons to protect whales

Posted by Willie — 21 October 2016 at 12:42pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Kate Davison

Killing whales for food has been happening for millennia. But it was commercial whaling – turning whales into barrels of oil for profit – that led to the wholesale destruction of most of the world’s populations of big whales.

Why is everyone talking about whale poo?

Posted by Willie — 20 October 2016 at 3:55pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Paul Hilton

Whales are special. No, not for any stereotypical hippy la-la reasons, this is *science*!

Healthy oceans need lots of healthy whale populations: they keep things in balance, help disperse and mix nutrients, support entire ecosystems and help fight climate change.

Surprised? Read on…

Why the South Atlantic should be a sanctuary for whales.

Posted by Willie — 20 October 2016 at 3:34pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace

One of the most significant issues being discussed and voted on at the upcoming International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Slovenia is the call to create a Whale Sanctuary in the South Atlantic. But what is a whale sanctuary? Why does it matter? And what’s so special about the South Atlantic?

A brief history of whales and commercial whaling

Posted by Willie — 20 October 2016 at 2:58pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Paul Hilton

Commercial whaling devastated the world’s biggest whale species, pushing some of them to the very brink of extinction in the early to mid 20th Century. Whaling for meat, oil, or whalebone was not a new idea, but new explosive harpoons and industrialised factory ships plundering the seas for whales had an even more catastrophic impact than what had come in centuries before.

It was the realisation that catches were declining that led to the creation, by whaling nations, of an organisation that would become the ‘International Whaling Commission’ (IWC).

International Whaling Commission meeting 2016 – what to expect.

Posted by Willie — 20 October 2016 at 1:59pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Paul Hilton
Sperm Whales in Sri Lanka

Delegations from global governments, and representatives from NGOs are currently on their way to Slovenia for the biennial meeting of the International Whaling Commission meeting – so here’s a quick synopsis of what to expect from the meeting:

Fishing for plankton is ridiculous.

Posted by Willie — 1 June 2016 at 4:04pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: http://spongebob.wikia.com/wiki/Sheldon_J._Plankton/gallery
Plankton is justifiably outraged.

In the ocean, plankton is food.

There are two types of plankton – tiny plants (phytoplankton) and tiny animals (zooplankton).

Zooplankton includes some eggs and larvae of things like fish and crabs, as well as some minute animals that feed on phytoplankton. That makes them the first link in any food chain, and the basis for all of the ocean’s food webs.

Are noisy oceans to blame for beached whales?

Posted by Fiona Nicholls — 23 May 2016 at 11:36am - Comments
Sperm whales beached on the Dutch Island of Texel, Jan 2016
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace
Sperm whales beached on the Dutch Island of Texel, Jan 2016.

Noise is the most invisible of all the man-made threats to the ocean, but to whales who ‘see’ by hearing, they simply cannot escape it.

Iceland's fin whale hunt cancelled for 2016

Posted by Willie — 25 February 2016 at 12:24pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Modrow/Greenpeace
Greenpeace activists blockade whale meat shipment in port of Hamburg.

No endangered fin whales will be hunted in Iceland this year.

This is great news. Word today from colleagues in Iceland, and now reports in both Icelandic and English-language media confirm that the planned hunt for fin whales will not happen this summer. The man behind that whaling is claiming that he’s stopping because of ‘hindrances’ in exporting the meat. That’s great news for whales, and everyone who has been opposing this needless, senseless hunt.

World's oldest wild bird has a new chick - but is it a doomed messenger in an increasingly polluted ocean?

Posted by Willie — 16 February 2016 at 1:31pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: https://www.facebook.com/hokuleawwv
World's oldest wild bird, Laysan albatross Wisdom & chick | https://www.facebook.com/hokuleawwv

Imagine becoming a parent at the age of 65. It might seem miraculous but that is what has happened to the world’s oldest known wild bird, an Albatross living on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

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