- Dolphins Slaughtered in Solomon Islands Over Breached Agreement
- Australian Corporations Paying Federal Government to Dump on Great Barrier Reef
- Largest Pod of Grey Whales in 30 Years Spotted Off Southern California
Villagers from a remote area of the Solomon Islands have slaughtered more than 700 dolphins in what they claim is retaliation for a breached agreement with conservation group Earth Island Institute, who promised to monetarily compensate the village of Fanalei in exchange for giving up their traditional dolphin hunting practice. The chairman for the Fanalei Honiara-based association for the village has backed up the villagers, saying that Fanalei and other villages refrained from hunting dolphins for the last two years in expectation of the money, but resumed hunting to survive when the money failed to materialize. However, the director of Earth Island Institute refutes the claim, stating that the money had been furnished to representatives of the villages, who now cannot account for where it went.
Port corporations of Queensland, Australia have been granted 21 of 22 applications submitted for permits that allow them to dump ocean dredging waste along the Great Barrier Reef, paying fees that have amounted to just over $317,000. More than 27 million cubic meters of dredged seafloor have been dumped on the reef between 2000 and September of 2012, in accordance with the Sea Dumping Act of 1981. The act has been amended several times since its inception, but significant changes in 2009 have made it easier for corporations to dump dredged material on the GBR, including lowering fees, removing the distinction between contaminated and uncontaminated material, as well as the distinction between environmentally sensitive areas and those that are not. The Great Barrier Reef is a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site.
Whale watchers on a tour near California’s Catalina Island were treated to a large pod of grey whales, the likes of which had not been seen in Southern Californian waters for more than 3 decades. American Cetacean Society board member Alisa Schulman-Janiger boarded the whale-watching vessel after hearing reports that a large pod of sperm whales was spotted in the region. At first feeling disappointed when she realized they were not sperm whales, but rather grey whales, her feelings soon turned to excitement and joy when she counted 23 separate flukes in the waters just off the boat. Check out this short clip of what she describes as a “once in a lifetime encounter”: