Saturday, September 22, 2007

Protest Japan's brutal slaughter of over 22,000 dolphins

Nancy Morris (206) 533-6155
Howard Garrett/Susan Berta, 1-866-ORCANET

WHERE: Japanese Consulate, 601 Union Street, Seattle
WHAT: Orca Network joins many local and international organizations in a day of worldwide protests against Japan's brutal slaughter of over 22,000 dolphins and for deliberately not informing their citizens about mercury contaminated meat.
Activists in Japan are asking the world community to speak out; they believe this is the best way to make their government stop the brutal killing of over 22,000 dolphins, including some species that are endangered. Japanese officials force Japanese children to eat mercury contaminated meat. Most of the Japanese people do not know this slaughter happens or that they are exposed to toxic levels of mercury. There is a media blackout in Japan regarding the dolphin slaughter and mercury contamination. The mercury levels exceeded the numbers that caused Minimata Disease in the past, which killed or caused severe birth defects in innocent children. The slaughtered dolphins are also processed and used as pet food or fertilizer still containing toxic levels of mercury.

The dolphin drive hunts destroy defenseless, highly intelligent, self-aware mammals in the most brutal way imaginable. These socially complex mammals witness the screaming slaughter of their close family group in a sea turned red with blood, but won't abandon their pod. Some of the survivors are captured and sold to unscrupulous dolphin traders.
For more information on the dolphin slaughter, mercury contamination, and the dolphin captivity industry, please visit Orca Network's web site at: .
Demonstrations will be held at Japanese embassies and consulates around the world including numerous cities in the U.S. For a complete list of protest cities and organizations, visit:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Save Robson Bight

Rubbing Beach

Many of you already know about the August 20th oil spill that happened when a barge tipped its load of logging equipment into the waters of the Robson Bight (Michael Bigg) Ecological Reserve in British Columbia, Canada. The Reserve was created in 1982 to protect vital orca habitat. Nearly 60 orcas, fully 25% of the Northern Resident orca community, were exposed to toxic diesel vapours in the aftermath of the accident. Severe health consequences (e.g. lung lesions, pneumonia) are possible, though it may take considerable time for them to appear. Next year, we may know more. In the meantime, the equipment, which carried 19,000L of diesel and other oils, remains on the bottom in an unknown state. It needs to be inspected as a matter of urgency, before winter storms arrive, to assess the remaining danger. Canada's Coastguard, the responsible agency, is dragging its feet on the inspection issue, despite pressure from provincial and local governments, and the public at large. NGOs, led by the Living Oceans Society and Greenpeace, have vowed to undertake the inspection if Canada's federal government refuses. The orcas are simply too important to allow uncertainty.

We are writing this to ask you to do two things that will help:

1. Go to the Living Oceans web site and send a message to Canada's Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

2. Contribute what you can to NGO funds being raised for the underwater inspection.

Canada's government needs to hear our voices. NGOs need our support, so they can act if governments refuse.
What we are asking will take just a few minutes of your time, and money you can afford. Please act now.

For the orcas, thank you very much!

Paul & Helena


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Makah Hunt Gray Whale

Gray Whale

Five members of the Makah of Washington State harpooned and shot a gray whale off Neah Bay in Juan de Fuca Strait last Saturday. The whale later died and sank form its injuries. The hunt was unauthorized by the band or government officials. The Makah were successful in an authorized gray whale hunt in 1999, with many of the same members now involved in this week's incident. Each man could face up to a $20,000 fine and a year in jail if convicted of violating the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The tribe will continue to seek a permit to resume authorized whaling. Even though the gray whale population is not endangered there are special sub populations of animals that utilize the bays of Washington and British Columbia each year called 'resident' grays. Through genetic analysis of gene variation researchers estimate as many as 118,000 gray whales roamed the Pacific before commercial whaling started in the 1800s. Today there are only about 22,000 Pacific gray whales, including about 100 in the western Pacific. A rise in sea temperatures may have limited gray whale prey availability. The recent increase in gray whale deaths suggests a limited food source in their feeding grounds of the Bering Sea.