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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…

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Sharks need protection. From humans.

If you’ve seen the movie Sharkwater then you know that sharks around the world are suffering. Despite the media’s obsession over those rare shark attacks against humans, the reality is that humans are eradicating sharks from the oceans — killing as many as 73 million a year. All because of shark fin soup. So it was nice to…

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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…

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Bycatch

In The Tourist Trail, the word bycatch gets tossed around a bit. Fisherman use the word to refer to the marine creatures unintentionally caught in nets and on longlines. Creatures like sharks, whales, and even penguins. The word has always bothered me in how it trivializes the lives of those unintended targets. I read yesterday…

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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…

Invisible battles

In the US, we see our share of environmental battles. But more often than not these battles are waged in courtrooms and in the media. In poorer countries, these battles are waged on the land itself, with few witnesses, and they are increasingly fatal. According to the group Global Witness, activists and locals who are…

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A brief survey of animal rights literature

Awhile back I started a “best eco-fiction” list on GoodReads. While there is plenty of excellent non-fiction out there about animal rights and activism, I wanted to focus on fiction. Since then, the list has grown as others have suggested books I wasn’t aware of or had completely overlooked. Here are a few titles from…

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The emergence of eco-literature

So what I have been up to these past few months? Well, I went and co-founded a publishing house: Ashland Creek Press. As you know, I’m passionate about animal rights and the environment.That’s why I wrote The Tourist Trail. But one of the reasons I struggled to find a mainstream publisher for this novel was…