Federal Court Rules to Protect Ocean Wildlife from Military Training Program

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A recent ruling by a federal judge likely saved the lives of countless aquatic species living in the Pacific ocean.

A recent ruling by a federal judge likely saved the lives of countless aquatic species living in the Pacific ocean.

Paws Up!

To U.S. District Court Judge Susan Oki Mollway for upholding animal protection laws in a recent ruling regarding military training in the Pacific Ocean.

According to a recent news article, a federal judge ruled in late March that the National Marine Fisheries Service violated animal protection laws when the agency approved a 5-year plan by the U.S. Navy to conduct military training in the ocean waters off the coasts of Hawaii and Southern California.

According to impact estimates, the program’s use of high frequency sonar and explosives would have likely resulted in the deaths of approximately 155 whales and dolphins in the Pacific ocean in addition to over 10,000 injuries to oceanic wildlife including sea mammals and endangered sea turtles.

Take action. Contact U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway and thank her for upholding our nation’s wildlife conservation and environmental protection laws. Send written correspondence to:

The Honorable Judge Susan Oki Mollway
United States District Court
District of Hawaii
300 Ala Moana Blvd C-338
Honolulu, HI 96850

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Protect Icelandic Whales

You can speak for Whales in Icelandic waters.

You can speak for Whales in Icelandic waters.

As a result of Iceland’s whaling trade, it appears the country is in violation of the International Whaling Commission and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora programs.

Since Iceland continues to defy an international ban on whaling, the U.S. needs to take strong action against the country to ensure the protection of whales.

Contact President Obama and ask that he take such action against Iceland for its whale hunting and international trade in whale products.

The Honorable Barack Obama
President
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500-0004

 

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Wild Animals Don’t Belong in the Olympics

Russia is in the process of capturing wild whales and dolphins to be showcased at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Russia is in the process of capturing wild whales and dolphins to be showcased at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The Olympics is a time to celebrate the human athlete. Why then is Russia insisting on capturing animals in the wild to perform in the Sochi Dolphinarium as part of the 2014 Winter Olympics? Two killer whales were recently taken from the wild and will be showcased in the tank along with a wild caught and endangered Black Sea captive dolphin who is scheduled to carry the Olympic torch during opening ceremonies.

Taking animals from the wild and showcasing them in such a visible venue supports the destruction of these animals, their families, and their environment. Is that the message the International Olympic Committee wants to send to the world?

In addition, the Olympic Movement’s Agenda 21, Sport for Sustainable Development, focuses on respect for the environment. As the films Blackfish and The Cove clearly show, there is no respect for the environment or its inhabitants when whales and dolphins are chased until caught, with many of them dying in the process, while others are purposefully killed so the young can be taken for display in concrete bathtubs or confined to sea pens.

Write to the head of the International Olympic Committee urging the committee to reject the use of whales and dolphins in the ceremonies marking the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Additionally, write the ambassador from Russia to the United States, letting him know that you want his country to cease taking orcas and dolphins from the wild.

Thomas Bach, President
International Olympic Committee
Château de Vidy
Case postale 356
1001 Lausanne
Switzerland

The Honorable Sergey I. Kislyak
Ambassador
Embassy of the Russian Federation
2650 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20007

Marine Mammals Face Grave Danger

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USS Massachusetts
The U.S. Navy conducts underwater military training exercises that have been known to harm marine mammals.

The U.S. Navy conducts underwater military training exercises that have been known to harm marine mamals, including whales, seals, and dolphins. The number of such exercises is set to increase to a massive scale along the Hawaiian, California, and Atlantic coasts over the next five years.

By allowing the increase in sonar blasts used during training sessions, marine mammals in these areas will be subjected to incredible pain and suffering. The loud underwater explosions have been known to cause whales to beach themselves. These blasts also have caused bleeding around the animals’ ears and brains.

The National Marine Fisheries Service should protect marine mammals rather than force them to withstand increased numbers of injuries. As long as military training exercises need to take place, they should be conducted in waters where little damage can be done to sea mammals and their habitat.

Send a note to the National Marine Fisheries Service requesting a change in location for these training exercises to protect marine mammals.

Samuel D. Rauch III
Assistant Administrator for Fisheries
National Marine Fisheries Service
NOAA Fisheries Service
1315 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Tele. No.: 301-427-8000

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Ships and Whales Don’t Mix

PawsUpPaws Up!
To the International Maritime Organization for protecting whales in California waters.

According to a news story, “Ship traffic off the California coast will be re-routed under new rules designed to protect slow-moving endangered whales from ship collisions.

“The International Maritime Organization has approved vessel lane changes on approaches to San Francisco Bay and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and in the Santa Barbara Channel. The changes take effect [in 2013].”

“Slow-moving whales are highly vulnerable to ship strikes because many of their feeding and migration areas overlap with shipping lanes. In 2007, four whales (all blue whales) were killed by confirmed or likely ship strikes in and around the Santa Barbara Channel, NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] said. In 2010, five whales (two blue, one humpback, and two fin whales) were killed by confirmed or likely ship strikes in the San Francisco area and elsewhere along the north-central California coast.”

Blue, humpback, and fin whales are protected by the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the National Marine Sanctuaries Act.

Unfortunately, every year there are ship collisions with endangered whales.

Unfortunately, every year there are ship collisions with endangered whales.

Take Action: Take a moment to thank the International Maritime Organization for protecting these endangered species.

Koji Sekimizu, Secretary-General
International Maritime Organization
4, Albert Embankment
London
SE1 7SR
United Kingdom
Tele. No.: +44 (0)20 7735 7611
Fax No.: +44 (0)20 7587 3210
Email: info@imo.org

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Whales Are Protected

Greenland plans on killing 10 humpback whales in 2013 as well as 211 whales of other species.

Greenland plans on killing 10 humpback whales in 2013 as well as 211 whales of other species.

Greenland has decided to self-allocate a whaling quota for 2013, in violation of the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) treaty. The IWC has banned commercial whaling since 1986, except for indigenous groups to hunt large whales for their nutritional subsistence and cultural use. Hunting whales for the tourist trade, which is where some of the whale meat is found, and for other non-indigenous purposes places whale populations in jeopardy.

Please write to Greenland’s minister for Fisheries, Hunting and Agriculture urging his country to reconsider its decision to self-allocate a whaling quota for 2013, in violation of the International Whaling Commission’s treaty. Such an action would go far in demonstrating Greenland’s commitment to and stewardship of the oceans.

Ane Hansen, Minister
Fisheries, Hunting and Agriculture
P.O. Box 269
3900 Nuuk
Greenland
Tele. No.: (+299) 34 50 00
Fax: (+299) 34 63 55
E-mail: apnn@nanoq.gl

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Secretary of the Interior Needs to Hear from You

Cetaceans such as this humpback whale are endangered by intense sound waves.

Two issues are before the Department of the Interior that require our attention. The first issue has to do with the use of high-intensity airguns in the exploration of offshore oil and gas along the Atlantic Coast from Florida to the New Jersey border. The constant dynamite-like blasts will occur around the clock for weeks and possibly months. All sea creatures within this area will be subjected to the noise. Dolphins and whales, in particular, will suffer as they rely on sound for feeding, communication, and navigation.

A second issue facing the Department of the Interior is whether to uphold the 1976 Point Reyes Wilderness Act. When the act was passed, an existing commercial oyster operation within Drakes Estero was given a 40-year lease to operate within the park. The lease expires this year at which time Drakes Estero would revert to a wilderness area. The secretary of the Interior needs to uphold this agreement. The Drakes Estero is the West Coast’s only marine wilderness area and is the home to harbor seals, white pelicans, leopard sharks, and bat rays.

The Honorable Ken Salazar
Secretary
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

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