Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Seal Hunt Drama & Whale Tally from Japan

(Artist credit: Linda Thompson)

There has been a lot in the news lately about the Canadian Seal hunt. Rather than detail everything here, I kindly direct you to the Sea Shepherd site to read the updates.

Also check out the latest good news at the Humane Society U.S. here.

Enough international public pressure brought to bear on Canada has resulted in some positive things lately. Here's an excerpt from an email update I received yesterday from the Humane Society:

Here's the most exciting piece of news: the European Environment Commissioner has announced a plan to ban the trade in all seal products originating from inhumane hunts. This builds upon the historic declaration by the European parliament in 2006. If an EU-wide ban is enacted, the fashion houses serving the main markets for seal skins today -- China and Russia -- would be forced to stop, and millions of baby seals would be saved from cruel slaughter. In the meantime, many nations have either banned seal product trade or announced their intentions to do so. They include: Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Croatia, Austria, Slovenia, Panama, Mexico, and the United States. Just the potential for an EU ban on seal products has saved thousands of seals already. Prices paid for seal skins this year have declined so much that most sealers have chosen to stay home.

Tensions have been running high between Sea Shepherd and the Canadian Fisheries Minister,Loyola Hearn. You can read about that here and here.

I find it hysterical that Mr. Hearn will call Captain Paul Watson a "terrorist," and yet not find the tragic irony in such a label when he endorses and supports such atrocious slaughtering of innocent harp seals.

Good news on the whaling front. It's official. Japan only reached slightly over 50% of its killing quota this season at just 53%. Zero fin whales were captured and killed. Zero humpbacks were captured and killed, although Japan had agreed to that just prior to the start of the whaling season.

Japan blames "environmental terrorists" and calls it "regrettable" that they were unsuccessful in achieving their quota this year. I say kudos to both Greenpeace and especially to Sea Shepherd for their vigilante efforts in saving the lives of even more whales.

Sea Shepherd is currently hoping to raise enough funds this year for a 2nd ship in time for next year's whaling season. The goal is to have two ships running concurrently in the Southern Ocean with the plan that having a presence out there full time, will keep the Japan whalers constantly on the run. Paul Watson's goal is to save 100% of the whales next year and if he gets his 2nd ship, chances are very good he will achieve it.

Check out this cool Irish Dolphin site: Irish Dolphins

Great information there and they have a conference coming up next month that focuses a great deal on the human-dolphin interaction.

I wanted to touch briefly on the Women's NCAA Basketball tournament that concluded last weekend. I was pretty much glued to the television whenever there were games scheduled. It was quite the exciting tournament with some lower ranked teams upsetting some higher ranked ones, and the expected teams that made it to the Final Four.

I was rooting for Stanford Cardinal to take it all the way. They did make it to the title game, but got beaten by the defending champs, Tennessee Lady Vols. Tenn. is another favorite team of mine, but since they had already won the title last year, I wanted Candace Wiggins, Stanford's star Senior, to get the victory.

All in all, I had great fun watching the games and I settled in the next day to watch the WNBA draft. As expected, lots of big talents in the first round went to various teams. I'm not a big fan of the L.A. Sparks, but with Candice Parker of Tenn. being their first draft choice, I expect that L.A. will become a contender for the WNBA title either this season or next.

Sylvia Fowles of LSU and Candace Wiggins of Stanford were the 2nd and 3rd draft picks respectively.

New generation of talent coming into the WNBA and I'm really excited about the new season starting up next month. I actually don't have a team in the league that I consider a heavy favorite of mine. I'm sentimental towards the Seattle Storm, Sacramento Monarchs, and the Indiana Fever, but I'm more of a fan of the players. And since there are so many that I love to watch, any team that's playing I'll be rooting for lol

Check out the WNBA league at their site. If you are a true basketball fan, you won't be disappointed. I often enjoy the women's basketball games more than the men's because they seem to play with far more heart and passion, and focus more on the fundamentals rather than show boating and slam dunking back and forth.

Of course, before the WNBA begins it's season, I'll be focusing on the Women's NCAA Softball season. What can I say ... I'm a real sports nut :-)




  1. Thanks for the updates on many fronts. Last night, my wife and I were viewing the sunset, when a dolphin breeched with the gold light of the sun shining off of his skin. What an inspiring sight!

  2. How very cool! Thanks for sharing that .. it put a smile on my face :-)