About Whale of a Time

Whale of a Time is riding the wave of change, promoting successful stewardship of our planet to create a peaceful, morally just, humane and sustainable culture, while ensuring survival of all species and their natural habitats. Whale of a Time organises creative and fun, inspiring and empowering events on environmental issues to encourage active participation living a sustainable lifestyle inspired by a positive attitude. We engage young and old from all walks of life through the Whale of a Time Community, the Whale of a Time Festival and the Whale of a Time Workshop. Our work has been recognised by many national and community and environmental awards schemes.

Whale of a Time Tweats

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Maui's sea change

The laws are in, the search has started and the wait is on to find Taranaki's first official Maui's dolphin.
Setting a net within 3.7km of shore between Tongaporutu and Hawera is now banned and government observers will keep vigilant watch on commercial fishing boats harvesting outside that limit.
Their eyes and the inshore net restrictions are part of a plan to prevent the critically endangered Maui's dolphins slipping into an internationally embarrassing modern day extinction. 
The expected cost to this plan is likely to be paid by New Plymouth's fishing fleet whose captains have long maintained the Maui's doesn't live in Taranaki waters.
Their protests have not stopped them being forced from their most valuable fishing grounds and into a future as uncertain as the 55 dolphins in whose name their livelihood may be sacrificed.
Lyttleton fisherman Tony Threadwell has seen fishermen driven from the industry before. The port town's last set netter packed up and left four years ago, unable to make a buck amid the netting restrictions in place to protect the South Island's relatively abundant Hector's Dolphin - Maui's identical looking cousin.
''It's fair to draw comparison to here and what is happening in Taranaki,'' Mr Threadwell says.
''Because there are no set netters left here. End of story. There are none left.
''The ban here wasn't the only thing to blame but there is no doubt it was part of it. That took away some valuable fishing grounds.''
Where others see loss Labour Party environment watchdog Ruth Dyson sees opportunity. To her the argument is more than 55 dolphins, a relative handful of New Plymouth fishermen, and wildly varying figures on how much it will cost the Taranaki economy.
She sees international eyes watching and a government falling short at every turn.
''It's a lose lose in a way. No one is winning out of this let alone the dolphin. I suggested that supporting the industry to move to a sustainable fishing practice would be a win win.
''We would be able to say New Zealand fishing industry is moving towards sustainable practices supported by the government. It would be a really great marketing tool.''
A marketing tool that would also ward off the possibility of a boycott of New Zealand fish in  protest against a government not going far enough to protect the world's rarest dolphin.
''We have already seen the air miles rubbish when someone in the UK calculated our air miles like we were putting all our stuff on a plane and didn't realise we shipped it over.
''International incidents can quickly arise and just as quickly damage exports.''
New Plymouth fishing boat captain Ian McDougall throws a smoker's laugh at the threat of an international boycott.
'That's what we are being told is going to happen,'' he says.
''But at the same time I say why are we going to shut down a huge area of ocean for an unknown number of dolphins, which I believe will be zero.''
That certainty comes despite Mr McDougall being responsible for killing what could have been a Maui's dolphin in his net in January. At the time he was legally required to return the dolphin to the sea so it will never be known if it was a Maui's or a north venturing Hector's.

Regardless the death was marked as the third Maui's to die in nets in the last 10 years and sparked the current ban until a more permanent solution is decided upon in November. 
The uncertainty around what those permanent measures might be is consistent with everything else to do with the Maui's. How many are there really, where do they range, can they interbreed with Hector's, are there man-made reasons behind their slow propagation rate.
Scott Gallacher of the Ministry for Primary Industries is hoping at least some of that knowledge will be gained in the coming months.
''There is some information we have certainty on. We've been quite honest. In terms of distribution the possibility of a Maui's dolphin venturing into Taranaki waters is rare and infrequent.
''Ultimately we are dealing with a lot of uncertain questions. The key going forward is to use the observer programme to start filling in the gaps.''
That observer programme will see at least four people on the water most days dedicated to looking for Maui's dolphins. Add to this regular Department of Conservation surveys and a campaign to get the public involved and if the gaps can't be filled in the next six months it's probable they never will.
For Keith Mawson of fish processors Egmont Seafoods the lack of facts is particularly galling as they are still enough for restrictions that will cost him large quantities of fish and potentially tip a teetering balance sheet into the red.
''Environmentalists have an agenda to remove set setting from coastal areas and the vehicle they are doing that with is the Maui's dolphin,'' he claims.
As the owner of $2million in fishing quota and factory to process what other fishermen catch his is a view easily dismissed as clouded by vested interest. But Mr Mawson is careful to talk in facts, drawing each carefully from official sources.
Such as quoting a Ministry of Primary Industries paper stating the most southern sighting of Maui's dolphin confirmed through biopsy is north of Raglan, hundreds of kilometres from where Taranaki fishermen roam.
Representing 15 iwi from Mokau to Waikanae Sam Tamarapa knows the set net ban could impact Maori most.
Though nets can still be used under customary fishing rights Maori are unlikely to condone the practice and with less food will also come less money. As commercial fisherman will no longer able to use their most easily accessible and abundant fishing grounds to target rig and warehou hundreds of thousands of dollars could be wiped off the value of Taranaki fishing quota. Maori hold as much as 50 per cent of that quota.
''But if there is a genuine and viable plan to rebuild these dolphins then we will support what needs to be done,'' the ex fisheries officer says.
''Of course it could be this particular species has declined so much it doesn't matter what we do.''

Monday, 23 July 2012

How Trees Communicate (Video) - Waking Times : Waking Times

Researchers at the University of British Columbia are concluding that trees are interacting with one another in a symbiotic relationship that helps the trees to survive. Connected by fungi, the underground root systems of plants and trees are transferring carbon and nitrogen back and forth between each other in a network of subtle communication. Similar to the network of neurons and axons in the human brain, the network of fungi, roots, soil and micro-organisms beneath the larger ‘mother trees’ gives the forest its own consciousness.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Save Misty The Dolphin: Taiji Urgent Contact List

Taiji Urgent Contact List
“Save Misty the Dolphin” Facebook Community - Taiji Urgent Contact List

How to Call Taiji, Japan from the United States

Dial 011 (the international access code)
Dial 81 (the country code for Japan)
Dial 73 (the city code for the city you wish to call)
Dial the rest of the telephone number

Tip on sending e-mails - one way to avoid having emails “bounce back” is to use multiple email accounts when sending mail.

Dolphin Base Resort - where Misty & the other captives are being held. Dolphin Base exports captive dolphins all over the world & keeps many there in overcrowded, inhumane conditions. Their trainers are brought to the Cove during hunts. They select their captives & leave the rest for slaughter. Dolphin Base trainers have been witness to the slaughter.
note: Dolphin Base & Dolphin Resort are in one complex. Dolphin Base is where the dolphins are held. Dolphin Resort is the name for the hotel.
Email: info@dolphinbase.co.jp
Email: info@dolphinresort.jp
Phone 81-73-559-3514
Fax: 81-73-559-2810

Fisherman's Union - This is the headquarters of the brutal fishermen of Taiji including the notorious “Private Space”
The name of the leader is Hirofumi Seko
The name of the sales manager is Yoshifumi Kai
Phone: 81-73-559-2340
Fax: 81-559-3018 ***NEW FAX NUMBER*** Thank you Ronda Carter!

Taiji Mayor Kazutaka Sangen @ City Hall
As reported by the Associated Press on 8/23/2010 -"We will pass down the history of our ancestors to the next generation, preserve it. We have a strong sense of pride about this," Mayor Kazutaka Sangen told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview. "So we are not going to change our plans for the town based on the criticism of foreigners."
Email: zeimu@town.taiji.lg.jp
Phone: 81-73-559-2335
Fax: 81-73-559-2801

Mr. Yoshiki Kimura, Governor of Wakayama prefecture
(issues the drive fishery permit)
E-mail: e0001003@pref.wakayama.lg.jp or webmaster@pref.wakayama.lg.jp
Phone: 81-73-441-2034
Fax: 81-73-423-9500

Taiji Whale Museum - Keeps live dolphin & whales in isolation & inhumane conditions
Phone: 81-73-559-2400 or 81-73-559-2487
Fax: 81-73-559-3823

Tourism Bureau, Wakayama Prefecture
Phone 81-73-441-2789
FAX : 81-73-427-1523
E-Mail : e0625001@pref.wakayama.lg.jp
URL : http://kanko.wiwi.co.jp/world/english/index.html

Links to Japanese Embassies Worldwide

Japanes Embassy in UK - Foreign Affairs - shigenkaihatsu@mofa.go.jp

To send communications in Japanese, use Google Translator
Google Translator can also be used when you call Taiji. When you hit "listen" on the left hand side, the Google lady says whatever you typed. Just hold the phone up to the speaker.

Thank you for taking the time to speak out on behalf of the vulnerable dolphins of Taiji. If you note any errors or updates in the contact information we have provided, please notify the “Save Misty the Dolphin Facebook” Community Page Administrators.

Website: http://savemistythedolphin.blogspot.co.uk

New Zealand dolphins to 'go the way of the dodo' because of cruel fishing methods | Mail Online

'If we don't act, the only place you'll find a Maui's dolphin is stuffed in a museum' says researcher
Fewer than 22 breeding females are left in the wild
First time in history a cetacean would have been wiped out by human activity

PUBLISHED: 09:34, 20 July 2012 | UPDATED: 09:34, 20 July 2012

The world's smallest and most endangered dolphin 'will die out' unless radical changes are made to fishing, say scientists.
It would be the first time in history that a 'cetacean' - the order of animals including whales, dolphins and porpoises - has been wiped out by human activity.
Maui's dolphins, found near New Zealand, drown after becoming trapped in the heavy duty nylon fishing mesh - and fewer than 22 breeding females are left in the world.

Doomed dolphin? Mauis dolphins are found only in shallow waters off New Zealand, where the population has been decimated by trawl and gillnets - huge walls of nylon netting used to catch fish

Net loss: Numbers have fallen by 94 per cent since gillnet fishing began in the 1970s, an international conference on whaling in Panama heard this week

Deadly catch: The species downfall would be the first known extinction of a marine cetacean as a direct result of human activities

‘Unless something happens immediately, and the New Zealand Government takes notice, the only place you’ll find a Maui’s dolphin will be stuffed in a museum.’

Maui’s dolphins are found only in shallow waters off New Zealand, where the population has been ‘decimated’ by gillnets - huge walls of nylon netting used to catch fish.
Numbers have fallen by 94 per cent since gillnet fishing began in the 1970s, an international conference on whaling in Panama heard this week.
The species’ downfall would be the first known extinction of a marine cetacean as a direct result of human activities.

Dr Barbara Mass, head of endangered species conservation for the German environmental charity, NABU International - Foundation for Nature, who has worked to protect the species for more than a decade including for the New Zealand Department of Conservation, warned that gillnets are only part of the problem.
These findings were presented to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) annual meeting in Panama City.
She said: ‘Make no mistake that these beautiful dolphins are well on their way to doing a dodo, and the New Zealand government is well aware of this.
‘Unless something happens immediately, and the New Zealand Government takes notice, the only place you’ll find a Maui’s dolphin will be stuffed in a museum.’

The Maui dolphin - the world's smallest - is under threat from fishing and just 55 individuals are left

Only found on the west coast of New Zealand, there may be as little as 20 breeding females left, a new study has found

The dolphins have fallen prey to fishing nets
NABU International said the Hector’s dolphin - of which the Maui’s dolphin is a critically-endangered sub-species - is also facing extinction.
NABU International is now urging New Zealand to ban harmful fishing methods in waters up to 100m deep to save the species.
Dr Maas suggests more selective fishing methods, such as hook and line fishing, or fish traps, which do not catch dolphins, could be used instead.
She added: ‘The New Zealand Government has been exposed to fierce pressure from fishing interests, which strongly oppose any measures to protect these rare dolphins.
‘The industry insists that fishermen don’t catch the dolphins, but we found that less than one percent of dolphins killed in nets are reported.
‘NABU International sincerely hopes that New Zealand will finally show the commitment and leadership required to save the Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins.

Commission calls for ban of destructive deep-sea fishing in the Northeast Atlantic

*Brussels, 19 July 2012 ˆ *We are thrilled and welcomed a plan presented by the
European Commission today to ban some of the most environmentally damaging
fishing practices, under a review of EU rules governing deep-sea fishing in
the Northeast and Central Atlantic. The Commission wants to phase out
licences for deep-sea trawling and gillnet fishing in the area over the
next two years, acting on a long-standing pledge request by the United
Nations to end destructive fishing in some of the world's most sensitive
and rich ecosystems [1].

*Greenpeace EU fisheries policy director Saskia Richartz said: **„Deep-sea
bottom trawling and gillnet fishing rank among the most destructive,
fuel-intensive and subsidy-dependent fishing activities. A relatively small
number of boats have devastated some of the world‚s most fragile and rich
ecosystems, with European taxpayers footing the bill.‰*

Gillnet fishing commonly involves using static or drifting nets with a mesh
size (or holes) narrow enough to trap fish. Deep-sea trawling involves the
destructive dragging of large, heavy nets across the seafloor. Scientists
have identified extensive damage from trawling at 200-1400 metres in depth
along the Atlantic shelf off the coasts of Ireland, Scotland and Norway
[2]. Most deep-sea stocks exploited by EU fleets in the Northeast Atlantic
are seriously depleted, according to EU assessments. Bottom trawling also
has one of the highest rates of bycatch of non-target species in the
European fleet, with up to half of what is caught being discarded.

A deep-sea trawler typically burns thousands of litres of fuel per day. A
fuel tax exemption for European fishermen, coupled with EU subsidies for
the modernisation and construction of vessels, have underpinned an
otherwise economically unviable fishery. Greenpeace recently estimated that
the Spanish deep-sea fleet received at least •142 million in subsidies from
1996 to 2010 [3]. The fleet consists of slightly more than 100 vessels,
giving each vessel on average around •90,000 in direct subsidies per year
during that period. So taxpayers are paying almost entirely for the running
of these vessels, then paying again at the fish counter.

Spain, France and Portugal take almost 90 percent of the EU's deep-sea
catch (by weight), but only France and Spain focus on the destructive
practice of bottom trawling. The two countries expanded into deep-sea
fishing in the 70s and 80s, building and modernising their fleet with EU
subsidies, even as scientists began to warn against overfishing.

*Richartz added:* *„This destructive fishing fleet should never have been
built in the first place. Destructive fishing methods like deep-sea fishing
should be the first to be scrapped as the EU reforms its fishing rules.‰*

The deep sea begins around 400 meters below the surface, where sunlight
does not penetrate. It is one of the planet‚s largest reservoirs of life,
home to fragile and slow-growing coral and sponge forests and long-living
species ˆ some living coral are 8,500 years old. These ecosystems perform
ecological processes that are vital to the functioning of the world‚s
oceans and our climate.


*Notes for editors:*
[1] In 2006, the United Nations called on states to take immediate action
to protect vulnerable deep-sea ecosystems from destructive fishing
practices, such as deep-sea bottom trawling, adding that it would be
necessary to cease destructive fishing activities where vulnerable
ecosystems exist (UNGA Resolution 61/105). It later repeated and further
specified its call in 2009 (UNGA Resolution 64/72)
[2] ICES, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, reports
that „photographic and acoustic surveys have also revealed trawl marks on
coral beds between 200-1400m‰, summarising research of Rogers 1999; Fosså
et al. 2000, 2002; Roberts et al. 2000; Bett et al. 2001; Grehan et al. in
press. See the report 2005 of ICES Working Group on Deep-water Ecology
[3] Greenpeace (2011) Ocean Inquirer ˆ Issue 2: Until the very last fish.
The absurd model of deep-sea

Saskia Richartz ˆ Greenpeace EU fisheries policy director:  +32 (0)495
290028, saskia.richartz@greenpeace.org
Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 2741911, pressdesk.eu@greenpeace.org

Dr. Vandana Shiva invites you to join her in India with Global Exchange - YouTube

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Saving Blue Whales - Video Library - The New York Times

How long does it take to degrade?

Every plastic bag, every plastic water bottle, every straw, every bit of packaging ends up in the ocean and deteriorates immediately right? Wrong. Most stuff takes more than a single human lifetime to degrade. See the list of very familiar items below...

Glass bottle - 1 million years
Fishing line - 600 years
Plastic bottle - 450 years
Aluminium can - 80-200 years
Plastic cup - 50 years
Plastic bag - 10-20 years
Cigarette filter - 1-5 years
Newspaper - 6 weeks

Sylvia Earle: How to protect the oceans (TED Prize winner!) - YouTube


Shark Angels

Pacific Garbage Island

Ocean of Garbage
Created by: MastersDegree.net

Friday, 13 July 2012

The Great West Coast Migration - Episode One

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Kool Kid Kreyola - Me and my shark fin


Saturday, 7 July 2012

The Tank Bangers - Our Blue..

Friday, 6 July 2012

Whaling Body Reacts To Commercial Sales Of Whale Meat In Greenland By Rejecting Quota Request

5 July 2012 - 12:00am

IWC plenary, Day 4

Following revelations by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) of the wide-spread commercial sale of whale meat in Greenland to tourists, concerned International Whaling Commission (IWC) Members States reacted today by refusing to grant Greenland any increase in its hunt of large whales for so-called aboriginal subsistence needs. Indeed, in a procedural failure, Denmark failed to get any quota approved at all.

Greenland (a Danish overseas territory) was seeking to increase the number of endangered fin and humpback whales it kills for the subsistence needs of its native people for the next six years, but the undercover operation conducted by WDCS exposed how Greenland has been actively undermining the IWC’s ban on commercial whaling by openly selling whale meat in the vast majority of its restaurants and also in supermarkets.

The EU offered to amend Denmark’s proposal, but Denmark refused, demanding that its original proposal was voted on.

The IWC vote was 25 in favour, and 34 against, 3 abstained.

Criticism of Greenland was led by the Latin block of countries who pointed out their was little difference between what Greenland was doing in feeding whales to tourists and that practiced by commercial whaling operations.

Claims by Denmark on behalf of Greenland that they would not stop selling whale meat to tourists and that Greenland’s whalers could use baseball bats to kill whales if they wanted to, did little to endear Greenland to the rest of the IWC.

The European Union struggled to come to a position due to ongoing confusion over its internal decision making processes. WDCS worked extensively with the EU Commission to give guidance to the EU Member States and eventually, EU Members who shared WDCS’s concern that Greenland’s whaling as not in fact properly regulated aboriginal subsistence whaling, forced an internal vote on the Danish proposal.

The EU tried to amend the proposal from the floor, but their offer was rejected by Denmark.

WDCS CEO, Chris Butler-Stroud stated: “The EU finally sent its own signal to Denmark that it needs to clean up the mess that is Greenlandic whaling, and that commercial sales to non-aboriginal peoples will not be tolerated.”

In response to the revelations of these ASW abuses in Greenland, several European tour operators to Greenland have responded by pledging to WDCS and the Animal Welfare Institute that they will not promote whale meat consumption to their customers (1)

Blurring the lines – An open invitation to South Korea

WDCS has been warning for some time that the ongoing blurring of the lines between ASW and commercial whaling was causing confusion at the IWC.

South Korea had taken advantage out the double standards of the IWC in granting St Vincent an ‘ASW’ quota despite commercial sales being highlighted and noted that its fishermen have abided by the 1982 ban on whaling.

Butler-Stroud said, “Whether South Korea’s threat to resume commercial whaling through the loophole of so-called ‘scientific whaling’ will come to fruition remains to be seen, but the IWC stance on Greenland may well give it pause for thought.”

Butler-Stroud concluded: “The IWC now needs to clean up its act. It needs to stop pretending that it will tolerate commercial whaling in any form and get on with saving whales, and not the few remaining subsidized elements of industrial whaling in a few rich countries.”


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

A New Satellite Tool Tracks Deforestation - NYTimes.com

Green, A Blog about Energy and the Environment, June 25, 2012, 2:31 PM

http://www.terra-i.org/Karolina Argote/Louis Reymondin

An international team of researchers presented a new tool at the Rio+20 sustainability conference last week: the first satellite system for monitoring deforestation across Latin America in nearly real time. While such programs have existed in Brazil for several years, the program, called Terra-I, fills a much-needed gap for some smaller Latin countries that are losing forests at an equal or higher rate.
“Everyone more or less understands maps,” said Mark Mulligan, a geographer at King’s College London and one of the project’s designers. “Having dynamic maps that show where forest loss is occurring is more effective than statistics you always hear about — ‘we’ve lost another patch of forest the size of Wales.’ ” Now, he said, people can visualize exactly where and how quickly that forest was felled, including which towns or protected areas that it lay near.
The project is a collaboration, involving Dr. Mulligan; a graduate student, Louis Reymondin; the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia; the Nature Conservancy; and the School of Engineering and Management of Vaud in Switzerland.
Using NASA’s Modis satellite sensor, it depicts land changes every 16 days at a resolution of 250 square meters (about 2,700 square feet) on the ground. The constantly updated maps are freely available online as a simple overlay on a Google map or formatted for more sophisticated Web mapping software. “People familiar with Google Maps can just look down at their own areas,” Dr. Mulligan said. “And we provide the data so others who have methods for manipulating geodata can actually do further things with the data than we’ve done.”
Preliminary results revealed that the effects of deforestation in parts of Colombia have more than quadrupled, increasing by 340 percent since 2004. More than a million hectares (2.5 million acres) of forest have been felled in Paraguay’s Gran Chaco region. “I think the Gran Chaco results are quite surprising — there’s much greater deforestation than we expected,” Dr. Mulligan said.

For Terra-I to work, the researchers had to train the system to differentiate between seasonal changes in vegetation and human-induced impacts. They developed a computational neural network and taught the program to recognize those changes with old data from 2004 to 2005.

Brazil in particular was a good starting point for teaching the machine, since large swaths of land often change from all forest to no forest. From there, the scientists are refining the system to distinguish between visual obstacles like cloud cover and flooded rivers and to home in on more sporadic deforestation.
In many parts of the world, the details of what’s being cut where and when are splotchy, making managing a given patch of forest — let alone an entire country’s holdings — tricky. Dr. Mulligan and his colleagues hope the new tool will help governments, conservationists and those drafting climate-related policies to accurately assess landscape changes and make decisions — how to balance livelihoods and food security with biodiversity conservation, for example, or how to design more eco-efficient agriculture.
Now that monitoring for Latin America is up and running, the team is working on systems for Asia and Africa. Those areas are proving more challenging, though: forests there often occur in disconnected patches rather than one green blanket, and deforestation tends to be carried out by small-scale individual operations rather than large corporations.
Still, they are working on methods to improve their algorithms so they can better function in an African or Asian context. They are also brainstorming on ways to bolster their computing power, since continuously running an analysis of each pixel of data taken every 250 square meters on the continental scale is “hugely computationally intensive,” Dr. Mulligan said.
The Rio+20 attendees and others seemed to respond favorably to Terra-I’s debut, Dr. Mulligan said, with the Web site logging around 2,300 hits on the first day of the conference. “The best way to improve a system is to get people to use it,” he said, although so far most people have just taken a quick look. “It takes time for people to come back after figuring out, O.K., now what can I do with it?”

Monday, 2 July 2012

Dolphins - Music by Sting