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Feds Say Tribe Can Resume Hunting Whales

Makah Tribe in Washington state has legally hunted only one whale in around 100 years

(Newser) - The Makah Tribe is the only Native American tribe with a treaty that includes whaling rights, but they have legally hunted only one whale in around a century. That's set to change after a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration decision, the New York Times reports. The Washington state tribe...

Japan Shops a New, Vulnerable Species for Its Whale Hunt

(Newser) - Commercial whaling in Japan could soon expand to include a fourth species—one already considered vulnerable. Japan currently allows hunting of the Bryde's whale, minke whale, and endangered sei whale in the North Pacific. It's now considering adding a fourth eligible species: fin whales. The fin whale, up...

Iceland Yanks Its Whale Hunt
Iceland Yanks Its Whale Hunt

Iceland Yanks Its Whale Hunt

Suspends its annual hunt until the last 2 weeks of the season, in a likely death knell

(Newser) - Iceland is one of three nations left on the planet that still hunts whales commercially, and it looks like it may be bowing out of that small, controversial group on a humanitarian basis. As AFP reports, Reykjavik announced it's suspending the annual whaling season—which runs from mid-June to...

Harpooned Whales Can Take Hours to Die
Harpooned Whales
Can Take Hours to Die
New Study

Harpooned Whales Can Take Hours to Die

An Icelandic survey of mortally wounded whales found evidence of suffering

(Newser) - A report by the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority found harpooned whales sometimes took a distressingly long time to die during hunts, with some suffering for up to two hours, per the Guardian . The report , published in the Icelandic language, found that almost 40% of whales struggled for over...

Only Whaler Known to Go Down in Gulf Found 190 Years Later

Find sheds light on 'how people of color succeeded as captains and crew members'

(Newser) - Roughly 15 years before Herman Melville introduced the world to Moby Dick, a whaling ship from Massachusetts sank near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Nearly 190 years later, experts say, it’s still the only whaler known to have gone down in the Gulf of Mexico, where the threat...

Despite Global Accord, Japan to Resume Commercial Whaling
Commercial Whaling
Is Back in Japan

Commercial Whaling Is Back in Japan

Nation withdrew from global moratorium in December

(Newser) - After pulling out of an international agreement in December, Japan will resume commercial whaling next month. The International Whaling Commission's moratorium took effect in 1986. Japan has limited itself to "scientific whaling" since 1988, Quartz reports, though that claim was widely considered cover for continued commercial whaling. A...

Japan: It's Time to Go Whaling
Japan: It's Time to Go Whaling 

Japan: It's Time to Go Whaling

Country will withdraw from International Whaling Commission, restart commercial whaling in July

(Newser) - Japan is abandoning the pretense of "scientific research" and will withdraw from the International Whaling Commission, freeing it up to resume commercial whaling beginning in July, reports the BBC . There's one silver lining for whales in that Japan will give up hunting in the Antarctic and restrict whaling...

Quarter-Mile Tribute to Whales Looking for New Home

It's North America's longest painting, completed in 1848, and it's newly restored

(Newser) - A museum has restored the longest painting in North America so it can share the story of American whaling with the public. The New Bedford Whaling Museum enlisted the help of a textile conservator to fix the "Grand Panorama of a Whaling Voyage Round the World." Now it'...

Sea Shepherd Gives Up on Japan Whaling Fight—for Now

Conservation organization says it's no match for Japan's funding, military-level technology

(Newser) - For more than a decade, a marine conservation group has dogged Japanese ships trolling for whales near Antarctica. But the BBC reports that Sea Shepherd is now being forced to cancel those efforts, noting it's been outplayed by Japan's cutting-edge technology and deep wallet. "Japan is now...

Japan Kills 333 Whales During Annual Hunt

Activists have long called for an end to the practice

(Newser) - Japan's annual Antarctic whale hunt killed 333 whales this year, the AFP reports. The five-ship whaling fleet set out in November and returned to port Friday with the minke whale carcasses. The country's Fisheries Agency says the mission was necessary for "research for the purpose of studying...

Japan Kills 333 Whales in the Name of 'Science'

Many of the females were pregnant

(Newser) - Japanese whalers sailed to the Antarctic in December with the goal of killing 333 minke whales . Discover reports they returned Thursday having met that goal. Japan signed on to an international moratorium banning whale hunting in 1986 but has since been taking advantage of a loophole that allows killing whales...

Shipwrecks That Helped Doom a US Industry Are Found

2 went down while whaling off coast of Alaska

(Newser) - The hunt for an abandoned whaling fleet took NOAA archaeologists to what they describe as "one of the planet's most unexplored ocean regions": the waters off the Arctic coast of Alaska. There they say they've found two ships that have slumbered in the deep for almost a...

Hunted Whales Could Net Japan $33 Million

Whale meat fetches a hefty price in certain countries

(Newser) - Tuesday marked the beginning of Japan's controversial fishing expedition to hunt and kill 333 Antarctic minke whales in defiance of the UN . So why does Japan think killing these whales is worth earning the ire of the international community and environmentalists? Discovery reports the estimated value of $33 million...

Japan to Begin 3-Month Antarctic Whale Hunt

Critics say whales don't need to be killed for conservation research

(Newser) - Japan is wasting little time in resuming its "scientific" whale hunte : Its whaling fleet will leave Tuesday for the Antarctic for a three-month, scaled-down hunt, the government says, despite protests. Monday's announcement comes days after Japan submitted its final plan to the International Whaling Commission after the...

Japan Is Going to Start 'Scientific' Whaling Again

Country plans to defy UN court ruling

(Newser) - Japan's whale meat restaurants are set to get fresh supplies with the resumption of what the country's government insists is scientific whaling. The country has decided to buck last year's International Court of Justice ruling and send its whalers back to sea under a revised plan. Under...

California Blue Whales Show Big Rebound

Population returns to 'sustainable levels'

(Newser) - After decades of deadly whaling, the California blue whale population has come back with a vengeance. A study in the Marine Mammal Science journal says that the once-endangered mammal, which can be found from Alaska all the way down to Costa Rica, has bounced back to "sustainable levels,"...

UN Court Puts Kibosh on Japan's Whale Hunt

Finds JARPA II is 'not scientific'

(Newser) - Australia 1, Japan 0: The UN's International Court of Justice today ruled that Japan's whaling program, which it has long claimed is for scientific purposes, is just a cloak for commercial whaling, the BBC reports, in a case that Australia brought about back in 2010. The 16-judge panel...

Australia, Japan Take Whaling Brawl to the Hague

Legal battle in UN court could end annual hunt for good

(Newser) - Japan and Australia have begun battling it out in the UN's International Court of Justice over the former's annual whale hunt. Commercial whaling was banned in 1986, but Japan continues to kill minke and fin whales for what it argues is legitimate scientific research, reports the AP . "...

South Korea Ditches Whaling Plans

Outcry prompts shift to non-lethal study

(Newser) - South Korea has backed off its plan to resume lethal Japanese-style "scientific" whaling expeditions in its coastal waters, in the face of an international outcry, the Guardian reports. Instead, it will use non-lethal methods to study the massive mammals. The International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, but...

South Korea Plans to Resume Whale Hunt

Critics slam plan for 'scientific' whaling

(Newser) - South Korea has announced that it plans to join Japan in hunting whales for "scientific research." The country's delegation to the International Whaling Commission said the hunt for minke whales was needed "for the proper assessment of whale stocks," but anti-whaling countries and groups charged...

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