The cargo ship that ran aground off the coast of Mauritius on 25 July, causing incalculable damage, has split in two and its captain has been arrested.
World Whale Day. On 13 February we celebrate the giants of the oceans and their future
The celebration aims to raise awareness on the need of protecting whales, the oceans’ most iconic mammals threatened by human-related activities.
Despite a ban on whale hunting entered into force in 1986, the giants of the oceans still face several threats. A notorious danger is represented by Japan, the Asian country that continued unperturbed to slaughter these peaceful cetaceans “for scientific purposes”, thus by bypassing the ban.
The threats to whales
Japan, however, isn’t the only to violate the moratorium established by the International Whaling Commission (IWC): Norway and Iceland still join the list. The latter is also the only country in the world to hunt the endangered fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus).
A glimmer of hope
Nevertheless, there’s a glimmer of hope. In fact, some species are thriving, such as the Western Pacific grey whale and the humpback whales living off the coasts of Western Australia. To celebrate the extraordinary yet mysterious intelligence of these creatures as well as underline the need of protecting them, we celebrate World Whale Day on 13 February.
World Whale Day and the Maui Whale Festival
The celebration was established in 1980 on the Hawaiian island of Maui – one of the best places for whale-watching – to celebrate whales returning after the seasonal migration. On this occasion, the Maui Whale Festival is organised by the Pacific Whale Foundation with a series of events, concerts and shows.
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Norwegian oil giant Equinor had pulled out of drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight, one of the country’s most uncontaminated areas. A victory for activists and surfers who are now campaigning for the area to be protected forever.
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Refusing the anthropocentric vision and respecting the laws of ecology is the only way to safeguard the future of our and all other species, Sea Shepherd President Paul Watson argues in this op-ed.
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Malaysian activist Gabby Tan’s mission is to raise awareness about the risks faced by our oceans, and the need to protect them. She spoke to us about her passions and what inspires her.