|

Japan must halt whaling, court says

This is great news: An international court has ordered Japan to revoke whaling permits in the Antarctic and stop granting new ones. The country’s government had argued that hunting whales was part of a research program, but the International Court of Justice ruled Monday that Japan hasn’t generated enough scientific research to justify killing hundreds…

| | | | |

Bycatch is destroying seabird populations — and that includes penguins

A recent study reported on in the New York Times found that 400,000 seabirds are getting killed each year by gillnets — those long nets used by fishing vessels. And you can add roughly 160,000 additional seabirds that are hooked by longlines. In short, modern fishing practices are destroying the oceans and its creatures. From…

| | | | |

The United States vs. The Sea Shepherd Society

I can’t say I’m surprised this day would come. When I began writing The Tourist Trail in 2008 I envisioned the FBI going after the leader of a fictional anti-whaling group. At the time, the US was largely neutral about the goings-on in the Southern Ocean. This was a matter between the Sea Shepherd and…

| | |

Climate change, not tourism, is hurting chinstrap penguins

Tourism and its impact on endangered species is, not surprisingly, one of the themes of The Tourist Trail. It’s not a simple issue. In the case of the Magellanic penguin colony at Punta Tombo, more than 100,000 tourists now visit the site annually, which can (and sometimes does) overwhelm the birds. But the fact that so…

| | |

The more we study whales, the more unique they get

This is about as close to a humpback whale as I’ve come. In the waters off the Antarctic Peninsula. These are good waters for a whale, rich in food and largely devoid of ships. Whales, for reasons we still don’t understand, are often injured by ships. And as large as whales are, they are no…

| | | | | |

South Korea blames whales for depleting fish stocks (so naturally it plans to hunt whales)

Just when I begin to think that wiser heads will prevail around the world and whale hunting will become a thing of the past, another country decides to revive its whaling industry. This time the country is South Korea. According to the New York Times, South Korea wants to start whaling again using the same…

| | |

Whales granted a reprieve, but penguins not so fortunate

The Tourist Trail tells the story Magellanic penguin researchers and anti-whaling activists. And though the book is fiction, the stories themselves reflect all-to-real events happening right now around the world. I read this morning that Japan had suspended whaling activities due to harassment from the Sea Shepherd Society. This is amazing news, though Japan could…