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Please, let the dolphins go
MY BEAUTIFUL FRIEND
Video: Mexican Navy helps rescuers free an entangled humpback from a massive web of fishing lines and debris.
A CHILD'S APPEAL
TO THE UNITED NATIONS
Severn Suzuki, representing ECO,
the Environmental Children's Organization
at the UN Earth Summit, 1992
as relevant today as when it was first presented
The whale-news feature of www.ny4whales.org
For the latest news updates in the world of cetaceans
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Cetacean-Marine Life-Related News
CNN Ratings Soar With "Blackfish"
Peru to investigate massive dolphin slaughter
Gulf Ecosystem in Crisis Three Years After BP Spill
Peru: Officials confiscate illegal dolphin meat
Necropsy finds 5 fish hooks
in dolphin in Hawaii
Stranded Cargo Ship Spills Oil in Vietnam Fishing Grounds
|Archive of Newsfeed Articles|
The International Whaling Commission
What is the IWC? How do annual IWC meetings determine the fate of whales? Watch a classic video report from Cetacean Society International's Director Emeritus Robbins Barstow, and find out!
ce·ta·cean n: any of an order of aquatic mostly marine mammals that includes whales, porpoises, dolphins, and related forms. (Merriam Webster)
NY4WHALES.ORG, The New York Whale and Dolphin Action League, is one of the NYC-based non-profit charities chosen by BROADWAY GIVES BACK and SEAVIEW PRODUCTIONS for their Broadway Charity Songs benefit concert!
For your confidence in us, for believing in our mission and causes, and for your ultimate support: a big THANK YOU to BROADWAY GIVES BACK and all the folks that helped made this event possible!
Broadway Gives Back
"Broadway Gives Back and Seaview Productions present the Second Annual Broadway Charity Songs benefit concert. The 2014 Honored Charities are: Look Good, Feel Better; The NY Whale and Dolphin Action League; Help Us Adopt; The Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding; Girl Rising; Legacies of War; Men Can Stop Rape; Canstruction; Pajama Program; The Fresh Air Fund; Art Start; Lighhouse International, and SAGE (Services & Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Elders). The concert will feature songs by Andrew Lippa, Adam Gwon, Daniel Mate, Douglas J. Cohen, Beth Falcone, Scott Alan, Jonathan Reid Gealt, Joshua H. Cohen, Marisa Michelson, Anna Dagmar, Kevin Wanzor, Noel Carey, Andre Catrini, Nadav Wiesel, Sean Patterson and Natalie Tenenbaum."
The concert will be on February 24th, 2014 at Le Poisson Rouge in downtown NYC (158 Bleecker Street). Tickets are available on Le Poisson Rouge's website (http://www.lepoissonrouge.com/lpr_events/2nd-annual-broadway-charity-songs-february-24th-2014/). The doors will open at 6pm with the concert starting promptly at 7pm. Please join us for this event!
A passion for dolphins and whales, abhorrence for the slaughter of dolphins and special compassion toward a rare albino dolphin led NY4WHALES member David Weiss to create this ad which ran in the New York Times on Thursday, February 13, 2014, page 18!
NY4Whales facilitated this ad, with help from Ric O'Barry (The Dolphin Project) and Earth Island Institute. Please click on the link to send a letter to Japanese President Abe telling him to "Stop The Slaughter Of Dolphins in Japan!"
The problem of mass balloon releases is GROWING!
Photos: 10,000 pink balloons released during Dubai's annual Breast Cancer Walkathon (Dubai).
Releases are popping up everywhere - fundraisers, memorials, sports and even health events! Marketers have convinced the public that balloons are harmless but admit they take as long as an "oak leaf" - 6 months - to biodegrade! That's plenty of time for wildlife to consume or be killed by the millions of fragments that fall to the ground each year. Plus, Mylar balloons and tethering strings and ribbons are not biodegradable. The turtle that swallowed 4 kinds of balloons, the seabirds strangled by wads of balloons, ribbons and strings, the dead whale with a mylar balloon lodged in its intestines - this is the reality of balloon releases. Balloons are a large component of the vast field of marine debris assaulting our oceans. It's time to tell advertisers and event planners around the world "NO MORE BALLOON RELEASES!"
Please sign this petition and forward!
BALLOONS KILL WILDLIFE!
Sign the petition to Stop the MASS RELEASE OF BALLOONS:
Earthquake, Tsunami, Nuclear Disaster
The Eastern Pacific Gray Whale:
Japan Dolphin Day 2010 NYC
Tune in to Animal Planet Fridays at 9:00 pm for BLOOD DOLPHINS.
To sign a petition against the killing of dolphins, visit www.SaveJapanDolphins.org.
NY4Whales on the BP Oil Spill
This article appears in the July 2010 edition of "Whales Alive!",
Cetacean Society International's newsletter. Find it at
The Gulf of Mexico: Will It Ever Be The Same?
By Taffy Lee Williams
It has been 84 days since BP's oil rig, the Deepwater Horizon, exploded, killing 11 workers and sending an as yet unstoppable torrent of black oil through the gulf. The extensive damage done to the coastal region, environment, and the marine life, is stifling and in many ways irreversible. At this writing, the US government and independent scientists respectively estimate that from from 72 to 140 million gallons of oil have already gushed into the water. (The Exxon Valdez spilled a mere 11 million gallons.) The slick has spread over 6,500 sq. kilometers (2,500 sq. miles), sending tar balls and oil onto the shorelines of all 5 gulf states, shutting down fisheries and decimating local economies, fouling the estuaries and nesting grounds for literally millions of birds and turtles and the legions of species that inhabit this rich biologically productive region. Over 400 species of birds and animals who inhabit the gulf, including 28 species of cetacean, are now threatened with the annihilation of their local populations while indigenous, non-migrating species face almost certain extinction. This is the largest environmental disaster in US history.
One of the best video descriptions of the sights of the oil spill comes from Louisiana conservationist John L. Wathan. "From 1.2 miles off the gulf shores of Alabama to the ground zero site some 90 miles away we haven't flown over a single square inch of clean water." (1)
This article appears in the October 2010 edition of "Whales Alive!", Cetacean Society International's newsletter. Find it at http://csiwhalesalive.org/csi2010_10.pdf.
BP AFTER THE TRAGEDY
This article appears in the May 2011 edition of "Whales Alive!", Cetacean Society International's newsletter. Find it at http://csiwhalesalive.org/csi2011_04.pdf.
BP and the Gulf One Year Later: It's Business As Usual
By Taffy Lee Williams
On January 11, 2011, President Obama's Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling released its final report which highlights widespread oversight failures and deep-rooted regulator/industry complicity. The report tells us:
The NWTRC (Northwest Training Range Complex), represents the culmination of almost 6 million nm2 of ocean for proposed use by the US Navy for explosives, bombings, and sonar testing, which result in widespread chemical pollution, seabed destruction, and by the navy's own admission, the "take" of 11 million marine mammals over a 5 year period. Will the Navy have its way with our oceans? The NWTRC is a small part of the whole, but it includes the entire Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.
The NWTRC EIS/OEIS is here: http://www.nwtrangecomplexeis.com/default.aspx
Comments are being accepted until October 25, 2010 (11:59:59 HST).
Submit Comments for the Northwest Training Range Complex EIS/OEIS at:
SEND IN THAT COMMENT! If it's longer than 8000 characters SNAIL MAIL IT!
Comments from NY4WHALES
NY4Whales NEEDS YOUR HELP!
Our work depends on public support! NY4Whales has been granted 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status; all donations are fully tax deductible.
"THE COVE" - 2010 ACADEMY AWARD WINNER for BEST DOCUMENTARY!
Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans:
TAKE ACTION FOR WHALES
Anti-Whaling activists remind President Obama of his campaign pledge to STRENGTHEN PROTECTION FOR WHALES, while Obama's team strategizes a compromise that will lift the BAN ON COMMERCIAL WHALING!
What can YOU do?
1. Watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRioXKzNHUU
2. Send a letter: http://www.wdcs-na.org/obamaletter
Tell President Obama, DON'T LIFT THE BAN ON COMMERCIAL WHALING!
By Taffy Lee Williams / www.ny4whales.org
In a major, although not unexpected victory for the US Navy, NMFS recently approved the Environmental Impact Statement for the last of three major US sonar training ranges. Known as the Atlantic Fleet Active Sonar Training (AFAST), the range is a vast region encompassing almost the entire east coast of the US and the Gulf of Mexico. The approval closely follows NMFS' similar rulings for the Southern California Range Complex (SOCAL) and the Hawaii Range Complex (HRC). SOCAL's training range is spread over some 120,000 square nautical miles (nm2) of Southern California's coast, open ocean, biologically rich near shore areas within the Southern California Bight and even portions of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.1 The Hawaiian training range includes 235,000 nm2 around the Main Hawaiian Islands and 2.1 million nm2 of areas encompassing the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.
Known as the "Big Three" for their immense geographical coverage, the combined training areas will acoustically impact some two million marine mammals, as estimated in the Navy's three EISs. Environmental groups shudder at the potential "take" of marine mammals, which will range from disorientation to hearing loss, stranding and death. Joel Reynolds, NRDC senior attorney says, "These new sonar rules were completed in the waning weeks of the Bush administration to prevent review by the Obama administration. The rules will illegally harm entire populations of whales and dolphins over millions of square miles of ocean and rich marine habitat, and they will do so for years to come."2
Environmental groups and scientists note the almost identical EISs for each of the three training ranges and are cringing at the EISs' shortcomings. Most notably, the US EPA, which respectively presented almost identical comments for the ranges, claims that both the SOCAL and HRC EISs contain insufficient information regarding impacts to marine resources. Additionally, they note that the Navy has "changed the methodology used to estimate sonar hours of mid-frequency active (MFA) use for the exercises and has changed the methodology used to evaluate effects of MFA sonar on marine mammals. The new methodologies result in substantially lower estimates of sonar hours and predicted adverse impacts to marine mammals."3
In its SOCAL comments dated December 29, 2008, the EPA recommended a "precautionary approach be taken with regard to increases in the use of MFA sonar, commensurate with the scientific controversy, uncertainty, and unknown risks to marine mammals, including seven threatened or endangered species in the Range Complex."4 The EPA also notes that the Navy will implement the preferred alternative, which will increase the scope and intensity of existing annual training operations from 39,000 to 50,000 per year, impacting 112,884 marine mammals with behavioral harassment, 10,897 marine mammals with temporary hearing loss, and 19 marine mammals with permanent hearing loss.5 The EPA also questioned the Navy's estimate of zero mortalities during its operations: "The basis for concluding no mortalities will result is unclear considering the important role hearing plays in communication, navigation and foraging." (p. 3.9-90) It seems the large numbers of animals experiencing Level B harassment (behavior and temporary hearing loss) could even have significant consequences. According to the National Marine Fisheries Service 2007 Biological Opinion on the effects of Composite Training Unit Exercises and Joint Task Force Exercises, acoustic exposures can result in the death of an animal by impairing its foraging, ability to detect predators or communicate, or by increasing stress, and disrupting important physiological events (B.O. p. 101).6
In addition to the ensonification of these areas, underwater detonations which disperse PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and heavy metal contamination, as well as their associated pollutants, will further environmentally stress these broader areas as well.7
The US Marine Mammal Commission advises that the Navy revise the DEIS to give public officials charged with decision-making adequate information on the costs of the Navy's preferred levels of activity. It further advises the Navy to limit its activities to those that can be sufficiently described in order to achieve a reliable assessment of impact, and "subject its reviews of marine mammal density, distribution, behavior and habitat use to scientific peer review."8 The MMC's comments on the Cherry Point Operating Area for the Atlantic Fleet off North Carolina should be considered here as well: "The conclusion that training operations and support activities would have negligible impacts on marine mammals at any of the possible alternative sites is based on sparse data about the presence of marine mammals in the area and potential impacts to them as well as a series of assumptions, many of which are questionable at best."9
It's a sordid business, this sonar. The Navy is pushing for unrestricted training, and NMFS historically complies. While sonar training ranges fall under the category of military readiness, many believe our marine resources should not be sacrificed for a technology that leaves so many questions unanswered and with so much potential for destruction. A recent incident exposed the vulnerability of the system when a Chinese vessel easily fouled the sonar system of a US Navy vessel that had allegedly meandered out of international waters. In any case, shouldn't the Navy be protecting our resources, not launching relentless barrages of acoustic weaponry upon them?
1. EPA. Comments on the Southern California Range Complex Final
Environmental Impact Statement. December 29, 2008.
2. The Acoustic Ecology Institute. NMFS Gives Sonar OK for Atlantic Coast. http://aeinews.org/archives/100.
3. EPA. Letter to Tom Clements, Pacific Missile Range Facility. April 10, 2008.
4. EPA. Comments on the Southern California Range Complex Final Environmental Impact Statement. December 29, 2008.
8. Marine Mammal Commission. Letter to Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic. February 16, 2009.
9. Marine Mammal Commission. Letter to Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Atlantic. January 18, 2006.
NY4whales.org has received a grant from the New York State Assembly, offices of Assemblyman Michael Spano, to create and distribute an emergency information contact card for registered boaters in NYS. These will explain rules for sightings and approaching marine mammals, what to do and who to call if an animal is stranded or entangled, and info to report illegal activities, including dumping. NY4whales is proud to participate in this important informational resource project, which will help make our waters safer for everyone, including cetaceans! Many thanks to Assemblyman Michael Spano for supporting this project.
1. WE NEED NEW LEADERSHIP AT THE IWC - REMOVE THE BUSH IWC TEAM
Canada's DFO Condemned for Failure to Rescue
URGENT ACTION ALERT!!!
ICELAND DEFIES MORATORIUM AND BEGINS WHALING!
On May 19th, 2008 the Fisheries Minister of Iceland announced that he had issued a commercial whaling quota for 40 minke whales. The first whaling vessel set sail the very next day, and the kill has already begun. The whalers are claiming that minke whale steaks will be ready for the grill by this weekend.
Iceland earns far more income from whale watching than it does from whaling, and the whale watch tour operators in Iceland have expressed their disapproval of the Fisheries Minister decision. Several members of the Icelandic Cabinet have come out in opposition to the hunt as well, including Foreign Minister Ingibjorg Gisladottir. One of Minister Gisladottir's fears is that whaling could well threaten Iceland tourism and export economies. CSI agrees with her concerns, as people are unlikely to want to visit Iceland to watch whales if there is a chance that a whale could be killed in front of them, or if whale meat is on the menu of a restaurant that they choose following their boat trip.
Please contact the Embassy of Iceland in Washington, DC to let them know that you are deeply disappointed with the resumption of whaling, and that you feel that this move has tarnished Iceland's image as an environmentally-conscious country. And if you receive a reply, please send a copy to CSI.
Thanks for your help. The whales need you now more than ever!
Contact Iceland through:
HELP STOP ANOTHER PLANNED DOLPHIN DISPLAY CENTER - NORTH CAROLINA
Newly elected mayor in Greensboro, North
Carolina, Ms. Yvonne Johnson, is interested in opening a
dolphinarium which will feature a dolphin show, scuba diving,
and a research center.
January 19, 2007: NYS DEC Officials and
rescuers from the Riverhead Foundation haul in
three stranded dolphins that died in the East
Hampton cove. There were 12 deaths in all,
with 8 successfully herded out of the cove.
What should you do if you see a stranded or injured
NEW YORK-NORTHEAST REGION STRANDINGS
Marine biologists have noted recently that the numbers of STRANDED CETACEANS, PINNIPEDS (SEALS) and SEA TURTLES have been increasing in the New York Coastal Region.
Titan, a "giant among porpoises," was found in early April, 2006, stranded on a Rhode Island
beach. The yearling harbor porpoise is recovering nicely from an unknown trauma, and is
scheduled for release in late June, 2006, from the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research
and Preservation. For more pictures of Titan or to learn about other rehabilitation successes,
If you see a stranded or injured cetacean, seal or sea turtle, call the 24-Hour Standing Hotline at: 631-369-9829 IMMEDIATELY for further instructions.
For more information on the
The New York Whale and Dolphin Action League is applying the term "Reverse Evolution" to conditions that may result from the loss of evolved traits witnessed in cetaceans, such as beluga whales, dolphins, and orcas, placed in captivity environments. Highly evolved traits lost during captivity may include basic survival skills, use of echo-location and sonar, wide-ranging communication and song-making abilities, foraging and hunting for food, social hierarchy establishment, mating, rearing young, even harm-avoidance instincts.
December 7, 2005
The New York Whale and Dolphin Action League announces the successful launch of our
Click on this link to sign the petition and support our work: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/368471413
What's wrong with keeping ARCTIC BELUGA WHALES in small chlorinated tanks? In an artificial environment, one made possible by constant infusions of chlorine and other chemicals? In a soundless, concrete world? In a wholly unnatural confinement? In a costly facility that drains funds from the public for what can truly be called a "non-educational" display?
Read the text of our petition:
The NY Aquarium began a disturbing tradition in 1897 as the first facility to display captive beluga whales in the United States. As scientific understanding of these marine mammals grew, many researchers, organizations and individuals began to doubt the educational value of their controversial and what was often viewed as inhumane confinement.
Beluga whales inhabit cold Arctic seawaters and live in family pods where they display the immensely varied vocal ability that has earned them the title "Canaries of the Sea." However, in captivity conditions the whales' behaviors are altered, vastly different from those found in the wild. Gone are natural behaviors such as daily wide-ranging undersea treks, 1000-meter dives, even annual transcontinental migration in long-traveled passages through frozen Arctic waters. Gone are the essential tasks of calf-rearing and the critical interaction with family members that evokes individuality and strong unity within the pod. Gone is the use of their highly-evolved and refined echo-location skill since sound in captivity tanks bounces off concrete walls in a maddening reverberation that suppresses this most fundamental mode of communication and survival. Even the simple act of foraging for greatly varied food items in Arctic waters is replaced with perversely receiving handouts of dead fish from their human captors, their sole food source. Perhaps most disturbing of all, in captive display tanks and pools, the once incredible singers in the wild, these "Canaries of the Sea," are silent. The wild behaviors have been replaced with the only activity that is available to the white whales: swimming in never-ending circles around their concrete enclosures, a sight that evokes pity and even alarm in increasingly-aware spectators of all ages.
In addition to the absence of natural behaviors in captivity, one should not forget that the lives of beluga whales are dramatically shortened in their stressful, chlorinated captivity conditions. While rarely surviving their teens and with an excessively high calf mortality rate in captivity, belugas have been known to reach over 50 years of age in their natural environment.
To anyone who has studied beluga whales in the wild it is broadly deceptive to consider the silent despair of the captive beluga whale "educational." In reality, facilities like these are prime locations for studying the de-evolution of beluga whales, to witness evolution in reverse, a repression and ultimate absence in wild-caught or captive born individuals of the highly evolved echolocation, or sonar, skills, and the loss of natural song-making that has so distinguished this whale in the wild. The New York Aquarium presents an opportunity to view the reduction of the environmentally powerful yet vulnerable whales to utter dependence on human captors for food and basic survival in this inappropriate artificial environment.
The New York Aquarium once again can take the lead, but this time in ending the travesty of false education which is keeping beluga whales on display. It is time that New York City takes a stand against this kind of misleading non-education, against the casual acceptance of utter human control over the lives of creatures that belong in their natural environments only, and to make illegal the confinement of beluga whales in captivity. After over 100 years of questionable and unproductive "study," what exactly have we learned? Certainly today we can say that "we know better" than to believe beluga whales kept in drastically restrictive, artificial, chlorinated tanks present any real public educational value. The whales are maintained at great expense to the facility and New York City, yet the whales' endured and cruel confinement does little or nothing to "enlighten" visitors to the nature of these creatures in the wild.
The New York Whale and Dolphin Action League with the organizations and individuals below are calling on the mayor of New York City, the New York City Council and the Wildlife Conservation Society to end the beluga displays in New York City, to divert monies dedicated to sustain these expensive, high-maintenance artificial displays to environmental education programs within the New York City school system and other critical needs of the youth who have been deprived of so much during NYC's never-ending fiscal crises. Environmental awareness and projects that educate the young on the many serious issues facing our natural world will be rewarded with a sense of purpose, increased responsibility, and a funneling of energy into noble efforts for wildlife and conservation.
New York City's new role must be that of leader in the humane acceptance of whales as unique to their environment and unsuitable to captive situations, while taking its place beside the many US cities that have already banned the captivity and display of cetaceans such as the white Arctic beluga whale.
We therefore urge the Mayor of the City of New York, the New York City Council and the Wildlife Conservation Society to close the exhibition of beluga whales at the New York Aquarium, and to ban the captivity and display of cetaceans (whales and dolphins) in New York City.
Sponsored by New York State Assemblyman Michael J. Spano,
the New York State Assembly, New York State Governor George E. Pataki,
the Empire State Development Corporation,
and Cetacean Society International (csiwhalesalive.org).
(Click to download the poster. Requires the free Adobe Reader or equivalent.)
We are happy to announce the successful launch of the Public Awareness Project Poster Series with the distribution of our first in a series, the NO BALLOONS CAMPAIGN.
Printed on tough 100 lb. stock, the 16" x 22" NO BALLOONS CAMPAIGN poster is already making a big splash! Volunteers are distributing the poster in the New York metropolitan area, Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
This poster is available to anyone free of charge with a $6.00 donation for packaging and postage. We can ship up to 3 in a package. (For larger amounts please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
The New York Whale and Dolphin Action League thanks our New York State Assemblyman Michael J. Spano, the New York State Assembly, New York State Governor George E. Pataki, the Empire State Development Corporation and Cetacean Society International for making this project possible.
PLEASE JOIN OUR
A "Public Awareness Project"? Why?
Simply put, we are setting out to help inform the public in general of the consequences of seemingly harmless actions in our environment.
Case in point: BALLOONS.
For example, did you know that Mylar foil balloons will float for about 10 days, but will never degrade in the environment? Or that latex balloons may take a year to degrade and that their ribbons and string are also often not biodegradable? Did you know that balloon fragments, like plastic bags and wrappers, look like jellyfish or floating plants and are quickly gobbled up by ever-hungry sea birds, turtles, even fish? Did you know that as a baleen whale scoops up thousands of gallons of water to sieve through for its meal, its baleen traps plankton and fish along with cigarette butts, balloon fragments, plastic floating toys, straws, food wrappers and more. A whale can't pick the trash out from the fish meal it has just sifted from the water. Everything is swallowed! One baby sperm whale died of starvation after it swallowed a Mylar balloon that lodged in its intestines.
Whales, dolphins, and marine life are facing many challenges to their survival today. Illegal whaling and hunting continues while commercial fishing bycatch kills hundreds of thousands of dolphins each year. The oceans are riddled with over 150 pollutant and runoff-laden "dead zones," oxygen-depleted areas that are devoid of fish and getting bigger each year, some as large as the state of New Jersey. Many commercial fisheries have already collapsed, and a 90% decline in many Pacific Ocean fish stocks is now being reported. Human generated noise in the oceans from enormous vessels, speeding watercraft, air-gun arrays for seismic and oil exploration, and even powerful sonar is being blamed for mass strandings of marine mammals, ship strikes and disorientation. Global warming and pollution is upsetting normal cycles for the release of krill and the reproduction of other planktonic food chain organisms and changing the very chemistry of our oceans.
Many of us feel helpless in the face of these overwhelming problems, and think, "There's nothing I can do to help!" But the helping often begins by realizing that seemingly little things we can do will make a difference. Simply not releasing balloons into the atmosphere; simply not tossing cigarette butts overboard, or crushing them onto streets, grasses, or sandy beaches where they are carried by the rains into our streams, lakes and oceans; simply placing food wrappers and other trash out of wildlife harm's way and in the proper recycling receptacles: all these will go a long way to protecting our dwindling wildlife. There's an old saying that goes, "Wildlife are hungry: NEVER throw anything outdoors into the environment that you wouldn't eat yourself!" I like that advice!
Please consider helping us share this important information with the public and displaying a NO BALLOONS CAMPAIGN poster. You can help us further by becoming a member of Cetacean Society International, one of the world's most quietly prestigious environmental organizations, with personnel in over 30 countries! Their constant attention and cetacean support have made possible much advocacy for whales, invaluable research and protective legislation by marine researchers and activists all over the globe. CSI (csiwhalesalive.org) is an all-volunteer, no-frills, no-nonsense organization whose personnel are working overtime to prevent what many fear is the inevitable extinction of many large and small whale, dolphin and porpoise species.
The New York Whale and Dolphin Action League is proud to be a project of Cetacean Society International. Stay tuned to this website to learn more about upcoming posters in this series and check out our current and past advocacy actions from our post in the New York metropolitan area.
And as always, let our animosities and apathy toward simple acts of environmental protection be cast to the wind as we work together to respond to the increasingly critical needs of our outdoor land and seascape. Simple acts bring simple rewards, but simple responses like these are having huge effects! Thank you for your support.
HELP WANTED: A few good hands needed to help distribute posters in your area! Please contact us at email@example.com for more information.
New York State Laws Concerning Balloons (in Adobe Reader format)
DISNEY WORLD - OUR LATEST "NO BALLOONS" OFFENDER
Sent via http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/contact/
March 2, 2009
I have a complaint about the commercial for Walt Disney World I just viewed. Hundreds of balloons in the shape of Mickey Mouse (head) pop out of nowhere. Some become fireworks, and more float around, hovering above Disney World buildings and logos.
Why complain about releasing balloons into the environment, whether they are computer generated or not?
Releasing balloons into the air is littering. Ultimately balloons burst and return to the earth as litter or marine debris. Almost all balloons released are tied with ribbons and string which entangle, strangle and kill marine life. Latex balloons float for just about 10 hours but can take a year or more to degrade, long enough to repeatedly wrap around or be ingested by turtles, sea birds and marine mammals. An infant sperm whale was found dead of starvation in New Jersey as a result of swallowing an inflated Mylar balloon which had lodged in its intestines. There is a greater than 70% chance that airborne balloons or their fragments will end up in the oceans and harm marine life. Scientists who work with stranded whales, dolphins, seals and sea turtles have found balloons, parts of balloons and balloon string in the stomachs of many of these dead animals. In 2003, volunteers collected 4,228 Mylar and latex balloons just from New Jersey beaches.
Releasing balloons into the environment is illegal in many municipalities and even states. The illegality includes promoting the release of balloons into the environment. This Disney commercial unfortunately promotes the release of balloons into the environment.
There is nothing wrong with having fun at Disney World. I have personally enjoyed my visits there, too! I would urge Disney management to consider a new campaign to help educate the public on the hazards of balloon releases to marine life. What wonderful role models for the environment Disney's popular, playful characters might be to our children and their parents, when bringing this information to them.
I urge Disney to rework this commercial without the flying balloons and take a leadership role in environmental protection, from within its own industry. I am sure Walt Disney, if he were here today, would agree that the power of his entertainment industry should ultimately be used for the betterment of our earth and all its creatures, and to help educate the public on our critical roles in participating in its protection.
I would offer here to assist Disney in creating programs and attractions that would help educate the public on the problems of balloons and other marine debris, and the perils facing our oceans' inhabitants today.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complete list of our worst "NO BALLOONS" offenders.
The New York Whale and Dolphin Action League, a project of Cetacean Society International, is an environmental advocacy group dedicated to the preservation of marine life, and especially cetaceans, or whales and dolphins.
The New York Whale and Dolphin Action League is actively seeking legislation on various issues that will work toward the preservation of our oceans, coastal regions, waterways, and its invaluable marine life. Only by protecting our marine environment can we ensure the survival of the millions of species that dwell therein.
While based in the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area, our efforts are far-reaching, often global in focus. Our crusades pit us against the exploitation of cetaceans in aquarium facilities, Japanese drive fisheries and whaling. We are participating in the legal battle against the use of high-intensity military sonar by the US Navy and working to educate the public on the tragedies of acoustic pollution in the sea.
Understanding the inadequacies in laws protecting marine life in New York state, through our efforts, a bill was introduced in the NYS Assembly that would "establish the marine life protection task force within the Department of Environmental Conservation to determine the laws, rules and regulations providing protection to marine life in the marine and coastal district and assess the effectiveness thereof." The Bill, A04124, sponsored by Assemblyman Steve Englebright, would require the inventory and mapping of various species of marine life at the sites within the marine and coastal district, to determine whether such species need further protection. "The task force will propose a marine life protection plan and a timetable for the implementation thereof to the commissioner of environmental conservation, governor and legislative leaders to assure adequate protection of marine life in the state. The plan is to include proposed legislation. The task force will study the feasibility of municipal regulation of marine life reserves." (From the legislative summary.)
We are actively engaged in a battle to prohibit the use of personal watercraft ("jetskis") in the Gateway National Recreation Area. Through our efforts, a bill will be introduced by Assemblyman Mike Spano that would require environmental education in all schools by the New York Board of Regents. We are working on creating legislation that includes banning vehicular traffic on beaches (the nesting grounds for endangered sea turtles and shorebirds), prohibit the outdoor disposal of cigarette butts, and banning genetically modified fish farms in New York state. We are also promoting the release of Lolita, the captive orca languishing in a leaking, sub-standard-sized, chlorinated pool at the Miami Seaquarium. Lolita's return to her family pod in Puget Sound would help bolster chances of her endangered pod's survival.
Issues involving the oceans and marine mammals, along with actions that can be taken to help, are posted daily to our Internet group (email@example.com). Discussion topics focus on the US Navy/NATO's use of Low Frequency Active Sonar (LFAS), acoustic pollution, whaling, captivity, pollution, overfishing, and habitat degradation. Becoming informed and involved in these issues is essential to bringing about positive change and preservation for our marine life. To learn more, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us at 914-793-9186.
On Wednesday, July 20, 2005, the New York Whale and Dolphin Action League, Taffy Williams, Director, appeared as the special guest on the cable program "Pet Peeves," a production of the Animal Defenders of Westchester (http://www.adow.org/), hosted by Kiley Blackman. The discussion centered on the captivity of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and especially the Japanese "drive fisheries," where hundreds of dolphins at a time are "driven" onto the beaches in order for aquarium operators to choose the youngest, most beautiful, unblemished "specimens" for the display and swim-with industry. The remaining dolphins or false killer whales are more often than not slaughtered for meat, despite exceedingly high levels of pollutants and mercury in their bodies.
Check your local cable guide for times. If Pet Peeves does not run in your area send your request to http://www.adow.org/ and you can be a "sponsor!" It doesn't cost anything, and you'll be helping to speak for those who can't speak for themselves.
The New York Whale and Dolphin Action League is organizing this year's International Day of Protest against the JAPANESE DRIVE FISHERIES, which features the slaughter of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dolphins each year, sponsored by the aquarium industry. The event is shaping up with European, Asian and American cities gearing up for this public show of outrage for the Japanese lack of ethics and complicity with the DOLPHIN-AQUARIUM SLAVE TRADE.
New York will show its force with a contingency from the metropolitan area. The event is scheduled for October 8, 2005. Stay tuned for more information.
Don't forget our annual speak-out against our most local cetacean prison: the NEW YORK AQUARIUM, where three oppressed white Arctic beluga whales have been hurled into an endless monotonous journey swimming around in circles in their tiny tanks to "entertain" the crowds. When will this cetacean nightmare end and these whales given the dignity of freedom that they deserve? Join us for our Labor Day gathering and protest at the Coney Island prison site. Stay tuned for times and places.
High Intensity Military Sonar: Ocean Patrol or Killing
Prize winning Beacon Scholar Paper on the struggle to protect the oceans against deafening military sonar.
The New York Whale and Dolphin Action League is looking for information, pictures, video or eye-witness accounts concerning the dolphins transported for the "tourist season" to both Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, and the amusement center at Hershey Park, Pennsylvania. Please contact us immediately at 914-793-9186.
Petition to Free Lolita
Please print, copy and distribute.
Letter to Free Lolita
A sample of a letter to the Mayor of Miami-Dade County urging the return of the orca to her family in Puget Sound.
Close to home, the dolphins and sea lions at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, are enduring deplorable conditions in the midst of roller coasters, thrill rides and screaming children. Print out the petition below, circulate and return to ny4whales (snail mail). These will go to regulatory agencies and local officials to hopefully have these permanently removed from the park.
DOLPHIN ASSISTED THERAPY (Swim With The Dolphins): A Dangerous SCAM
Please read and circulate the petition to close U.S. owned and operated Dolphin Assisted Therapy (DAT) facilities, one of the biggest scams of our time. Alternative-medicine seekers are mortgaging homes, paying thousands of (non-refundable) dollars in hopes of the miracle-cure that will never occur: studies have shown that DAT has no measurable or lasting effect and is no more therapeutic than taking a warm bath. The number of serious injuries caused by dolphin aggression, vastly under-reported by the industry, and the rash of litigation from broken bones, cuts and lacerations prove once again that dolphins in confined spaces forced into unnatural behaviors become aggressive and even violent toward humans. What's more, the USDA, through APHIS (Animal Plant Health Inspection Service), suspended all regulations governing DAT's in 1999 for review; four years later DAT's are still operating with NO REGULATION OR ENFORCEMENT OF ANIMAL WELFARE OR HUMAN-DOLPHIN INTERACTION PROTECTION. These facilities must be shut down immediately. This obscenely lucrative industry is sweeping the "new age" and holistic community, and luring the desperately ill into one of the most well-kept secret "snake oil" scams of the animal-trafficking industry. The petition will be sent to the US Department of Commerce, NMFS, USDA, APHIS, state and federal officials, members of the SENATE and HOUSE Environment and Public Works Committees, the SENATE and HOUSE Health Education Labor and Pension Committees, SENATE and HOUSE Commerce and Science committees, and the US Department of Commerce.
DEMAND THEIR IMMEDIATE CLOSURE
For more information about DAT visit http://members.tripod.com/tiggerdolphin/DAT.html
The debris of human civilization: everything from untreated sewage, trash, cigarette butts, commercial fishing debris, plastic bags and packaging materials. All these and more routinely make their grave in the oceans. Industrial pollutants laden with mercury carried from afar, chemicals and agricultural run-off, even fertilizers and lawn products add to the blight on our waters. At last count there are 150 oceanic dead zones, black, grimy lifeless regions barren of their earlier bounty. Cruise ships dump millions of gallons of untreated waste directly in the waters they travel. Oil rig accidents, spills during transport, even military and commercial vessels add their refuse to humanity's garbage heap in the sea.
Of all these oceanic assaults, personal litter is perhaps the most easily "manageable;" that is, major legal battles and protest campaigns are not necessary to encourage people to simply dispose of their trash properly. If everyone did their part, our oceans would be that much more habitable for those that call it "home."
It is well known that trash and debris can kill marine life. Plastic bags or balloons floating on the water resemble jellyfish, squid, and other plankton. Marine organisms living in their often fierce environment and are on a constant quest for nourishment to survive. To a hungry sea turtle, a cigarette butt becomes a deadly snack that within minutes may block its intestinal tract thereby initiating a slow death by starvation. 90% of the shore birds treated by one Sarasota, Florida, rescue center have discarded nylon fishing line wrapped around their beaks, wings or feet. A British study found that 96% of one seabird species, fulmars, had ingested plastic scraps. 100% of the 300 albatross chicks examined 1600 kilometers (994 miles) from land in the northern Pacific had swallowed plastics, balloon fragments, bottle caps, even plastic toys. Roughly a million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and turtles become entangled in deadly traps of floating rubbish each year.
In April 2004, a rare Cuvier's beaked whale was found on a Scottish beach with its stomach filled with polythene bags. In 1985, a young sperm whale died of starvation after swallowing a Mylar balloon that blocked its intestines. The stomach contents of a dolphin that washed up on the shores of Normandy in 2002 included 7 transparent plastic bags, 2 supermarket plastic bags, and other aluminum and plastic food product packaging materials. The whale had 800 grams (over a pound and a half) of plastic bags and packaging materials in its stomach. Larger baleen whales scoop hundreds of gallons of water into their mouths at a time; as they strain the fish from the water, debris, plastics, balloons, and much more are swallowed as well: a whale cannot pick the trash out from the plankton meal in its mouth.
Thick ropes, nets or cages broken off and discarded from the commercial fishing industry, often with buoys attached, linger on the surface forming deadly traps for sea turtles, seals, whales and dolphins (see The Fate Of Kingfisher). Floating marine debris lingers, sometimes for years, only to needlessly destroy marine life, sometimes over and over again until the materials are removed from the environment.
You don't need to live on the beach or join a whale-rescue team to help whales. Taking simple steps wherever you are can help put an end to the senseless tragedies caused by trash in our waters. Organize a cleanup of your local river, beach or lakefront region with your nearby junior high or high school. Start a clean-up project in your area, even a contest for the most cigarette butts, styrofoam packing "peanuts," or plastic bags collected. Encourage your municipality, school or household, anywhere in the world, to take the "NO BALLOONS PLEDGE." Now more than ever, we must strive to achieve in every citizen of the world a sense of pride in protecting and caring for our environment, for the future of all species, including the human race, depends on it.
Working together with the same goals, whether we live in Kansas or Argentina, every one of us can be good stewards of our environment, giving something in return for all the earth has provided for us.
On March 17, 2004, one of just over 300 critically endangered Northern Right Whales was found entangled by roughly 100 pounds of fishing lines and discarded buoys in the waters south of St. Augustine, Florida. Due to the rough seas, rescuers were unable to free the young whale, named Kingfisher, from the heavy ropes wound tightly around his body and flippers, but did manage to attach a tracking device for future rescue attempts.
By April 3, 2004, Kingfisher had traveled north, with ropes and buoys in tow, as far as Cape May, New Jersey, when his telemetry device was accidentally removed during an encounter with a commercial fishing vessel. At that point, the whale had traveled almost 850 miles despite his life-threatening entanglement!
The prognosis for Kingfisher's survival is not good. Deep wounds from the thick and tightly bound ropes may have already caused infection, and without his telemetry device, the whale must be resighted before any further rescue attempts can be made.
Freeing this young whale, a future-breeding male, from the ropes that trap him, might go a long way in preventing the feared loss of this species. Read more about Kingfisher's high-stakes plight as reported by those trying to rescue him, The Center for Coastal Studies, operating from Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Diagram Courtesy Scott Landry, Center for Coastal Studies
Petition against Personal Watercraft at Gateway National
Please copy and distribute, and join in the struggle to keep PWC out of NY/NJ's richest marine/aquatic estuary.
The New York Whale And Dolphin Action League supports the work of many outstanding environmental organizations around the world. Please support these organizations and their noble efforts to protect marine life, the ocean environment and cetaceans in particular. Here are some of the groups we support.
CSI, the parent organization for the New York Whale and Dolphin Action League, is one of the plaintiffs in a landmark lawsuit filed in August 2002 against the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), to challenge their decision to authorize, and the US Navy's decision to deploy, the LFA sonar system. Please visit http://csiwhalesalive.org/ for information from CSI on whale populations worldwide.
Please support our work! Joining CSI directly helps the New York Whale and Dolphin Action League, and many other CSI projects with our important mission. Membership entitles you to receive CSI's quarterly newsletter as well.
Natural Resources Defense
The NRDC, http://www.nrdc.org/, is litigating against the US Navy for its use of high intensity military sonar which has been linked to several mass strandings of whales and dolphins. Studies have shown that high intensity military sonar can deafen cetaceans, destroy the hearing of fish and injure human divers while flooding entire ocean basins with sounds louder than the SST at takeoff.
Earth Island Institute, http://www.earthisland.org/, is working on many marine issues, including LFA Sonar, captivity and drive fisheries. Earth Island's Marine Mammal Project is critical to environmentalists working on global cetacean issues.
Please visit http://www.bluevoice.org/ to learn about efforts to halt the Japanese drive fisheries that slaughter hundreds of whales and dolphins at a time, some of which are culled to sell to aquarium. The BlueVoice video team have repeatedly risked their lives on the ground in Futo and Taiji documenting dolphin-slaughter atrocities. Their work has led to regulations restricting the hunt.
The research and efforts of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, http://www.wdcs.org/, have resulted in numerous scientific reports on cetacean issues, including the graphic anti-captivity report, "Biting the Hand That Feeds."
The Animal Welfare Institute, at http://www.awi.org/, has staff dedicated to protecting cetaceans and marine life, focusing especially on anti-whaling and military sonar issues. Its personnel have on numerous occasions risked personal safety to protect cetaceans.
For more information and archived files on the important struggle against military sonar and acoustic pollution please visit http://www.stoplfas.com/.
Read about and support the efforts to free the oldest surviving whale in captivity in the "Lolita Come Home Project" at http://www.orcahome.de/lolita.htm. Dedicated to the survival of killer whales the Orca Conservancy, at http://www.orcaconservancy.org/, and the Orca Network, at http://www.orcanetwork.org/, offer a wealth of information while working for the preservation of orca populations.
Greenpeace is at the forefront condemning illegal "scientific" whaling by Japan and Norway, and is helping to expose the tragic consequences of global warming on the marine environment. Visit http://www.greenpeace.org/ to learn more about their environmental campaigns and take action.
Read about work done tracking and documenting the famous Puget Sound orca pods while looking for environmental degradation as well as the groundbreaking and phenomenal work in deciphering the "language code" of killer whales from the Center For Whale Research at http://www.whaleresearch.com/.
The Manhattan Island Foundation (http://www.swimnyc.org/) is helping to revive a local aquatic tradition by organizing swim events around Manhattan, and raise public awareness of the region's waterways by supporting efforts to clean and protect them.
70% of our planet is ocean. Most of these web sites have ACTION pages where prewritten letters supporting marine life protection may be sent to legislators, corporate management and other appropriate recipients. Using their sites guarantees that your voice will be counted, as a record will be generated. Please visit these sites today!
August 28, 2003: Humpback whale breaching repeatedly near Stellwagen Bank in the North Atlantic.
Humpbacks are the world's fifth largest whale, reaching up to 45 ft (13.7 m) in length and 25-30 tons (tonnes).
An unusual sight also seen on August 28, 2003: the floating skeleton of a dead humpback whale. The carcass was later identified as one of the 17 whales found during the early days of August off Georges Bank and the Scotian Shelf in the western North Atlantic.
Whales face numerous risks in the open ocean, including direct "ship strikes," especially in busy shipping lanes, entanglement in discarded fishing gear or debris, injury or death from seismic testing (during oil and gas exploration and drilling), and acoustic damage/death from powerful military sonar. Multiple whale death tragedies are sometimes linked to toxins but in this case testing revealed no evidence of "red tide" or domoic acid. Because of the extent of carcass decomposition the actual cause of death remains inconclusive.
The New York Whale and Dolphin Action League needs your help! If you can help support our outreach, investigative and legislative efforts and our various education projects, please contact us at 914-793-9186. Tax-deductible donations should be made to Cetacean Society International earmarked for the New York Whale and Dolphin Action League. Numerous volunteer opportunities are also available. Call or email us for more information!
The New York Whale and Dolphin Action League
PO Box 273, Yonkers, NY 10707 USA
Cell Phone: 407-404-2046
To subscribe send an email to email@example.com
A Project of Cetacean Society International
URL for this page: http://ny4whales.org/