Archive for November, 2008

Animals DO Play

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

There is a LOT of information about the intelligence of dolphins. But, seeing the dolphins in this video is simply amazing! This video is definitely worthy of appearing in our ‘More than meets the Eye’ category!

see original video on YouTube

This behavior has been well documented – just search for “dolphins and bubble rings” on Google and see what comes up!

The dolphin in this video is a bottlenose dolphin.  You can help us in our mission to protect magnificent animals such as the bottlenose dolphin and many others.

What are they researching?

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

I just recently watched a program on the Discovery Channel called ‘Whale Wars’ ( and that got me to thinking, “How in the world can anyone believe that this is research?”  Exactly what kind of research requires a factory ship designed to process whales at sea as food for human consumption?  It seems to me that true research would require, I don’t know, maybe a research vessel?  In any event, I realize that there are two sides to every story, so I did some research of my own and have this to share:

(excerpt from Wikipedia)
From 1987 to the present, Japan has been sending a fleet consisting of a single factory ship and several catcher/spotting vessels to the Southern Ocean to catch Antarctic Minke Whales under the guise of scientific research. The first research program, JARPA (Japanese Research Program in the Antarctic), began in 1987-88, when 273 Antarctic Minke were caught. The quota and catch soon increased to 330 and 440. In 2005-06 the second research program, JARPA II, began. In its first two years, in what Japan called its “feasibility study,” 850 Antarctic Minke, as well as 10 Fin Whales, were to be taken each season (2005-06 and 2006-07). The quota was reached in the first season, but due to a fire (and possibly harassment from environmental groups such as Sea Shepherd) only 508 Antarctic Minke were caught in the second. In 2007-08, because of constant harassment from environmental groups (principally Sea Shepherd), they failed to reach the quota again, with a catch of only 551 whales.

(For full entry:

Now, as it turns out, my research began as simply a search for a good image of an Antarctic Minke Whale eye for DJ to paint to add to our growing number of Collectible Animal Eye Pins.  So, of course the logical place to start this search was with JARPA (their official website is

After reading about their Mission (, I was drawn to the last item:
Section #7:  Other activities, part c) Analyses of data and materials collected from field surveys

I guess the ‘materials collected from field surveys’ refers to the Minke whales that Japan catches as part of their research.  Now, is it just me or does anyone else think that it would be reasonable to assume that out of the 1909 whales that Japan performed ‘research’ on over the past three years, there should be at least ONE decent picture of an Antarctic Minke whale’s eye to be found on their website?  I went through as much of their ‘Photo Library’ as possible by following links (all in Japanese I’m afraid even though they direct you to ‘Scroll down’ for English on their Photo Library page) but did not find very many photos.  I did, however, happen to come across this document .  I clicked on this since it had a ‘NEW’ icon next to it.  Not exactly what I was hoping for — but, it did tie in to aforementioned Discovery program.  I clicked on a lot of other links — mostly leading to .PDF files in Japanese — and did manage to find a fairly recent document in English:  But, no photos — I guess I’m not looking in the right place.

Another interesting link was to the list of scientific papers arising from their research ( — seems a little out of date.  And, likewise, is this the extent of their ‘current’ research available to the public —

One final thing that really interested me was their link to their ‘Comments’ page: Now, as an internet architect and having been involved in the creation of many websites, I find it totally laughable that they are actually directing all ‘questions about whales and whaling’ to their webmaster!!!

Somehow I do not think I am alone in my lack of conviction that The Institute for Cetacean Research is living up to its name.

Belugas Endangered in Alaska

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

On October 22, 2008, the smallest beluga whale group in Alaskan waters were listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

YES on Prop 2 in CA

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

This November brought with it many changes on election day. And one that was voted on that specifically helped farm animals in CA was Proposition 2. As I read on the website, , Proposition 2 would stop cruel and inhumane treatment of animals, ending the practice of cramming farm animals into cages so small the animals can’t even turn around, lie down, or extend their limbs. Voting Yes on Prop 2 prevents cruelty to animals, improves our health and food safety, supports family farmers, protects air and water and safeguards the environment, and is a common sense reform that gives factory farms until 2015 to shift these severe confinement methods to more humane practices.

Saved – 200,000 Acres of Wetlands

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

The Yazoo Pumps project would damage up to an astonishing 200,000 acres of wetlands by using massive hydraulic pumps to transfer 6 million gallons of water per minute from the Mississippi Delta into the Yazoo River. On August 31, 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized a Clean Water Act Sect. 404 Veto of this project for good. To find out more, go to and click on Projects in the Field.