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

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Greenpeace intercepts super trawler Margiris in southern Australia

Port Lincoln, 30 August 2012

Greenpeace activists on an inflatable boat intercepted the world’s second largest factory fishing trawler, the FV Margiris, and are blocking the monster ship’s attempt to sneak into Port Lincoln in South Australia.

One activist has boarded the vessel and is blocking the entrance to the Margiris to stop the harbour pilot from bringing the vessel into port.

Greenpeace is calling on the Australian government to refuse to grant a fishing license to the FV Margiris and introduce a policy to ban all super trawlers from Australian waters.

“These ships literally vacuum up entire schools of fish. You could fly a jumbo Jet through the opening of its net with room to spare,” said Greenpeace Australia Pacific oceans campaigner Nathaniel Pelle from the deck of the Margiris.” Wherever these super trawlers go, they leave devastated fisheries in their wake. If we want healthy oceans and ample seafood for the future, we need fewer massive boats and more fish.”

“The Margiris has contributed to the overfishing of European waters, the collapse of fisheries in the South Pacific, and the devastation of fishing communities in West Africa. Greenpeace is working with diverse groups of Australians to prevent the same thing happening in Australia.”

The Gillard government has the power to stop the Margiris’ plunder before it begins. Tens of thousands of Australians have already told the government to stop the super trawler, and public outrage from a broad range of communities - from environmental groups to recreational fishermen - continues to grow driven by the government’s failure to act.

“Our oceans do not stand a chance against this kind of vessel – and neither do Australian fishermen. Even research[1] <#_ftn1> cited by the owners shows that despite new technology, many animals, including fur seals, will routinely be killed in its nets. Both the Environment and Fisheries Ministers are rightly expressing serious concerns, but now, with this ship already in our waters, time is running out for them to display some common sense and refuse to grant a license to the Margiris,” said Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO David Ritter. “Allowing it to fish in Australian waters is not just against the national interest, it is simply absurd.”

The Greenpeace ‘No Super Trawler’ petition is available at: www.greenpeace.org/australia/no-supertrawlers

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

BELO MONTE IS STOPPED !!!!! « Indigenous Brazil~

In a historic trial in the evening this Monday (13/8) the Fifth Chamber of the Federal Regional Court 1st region ruled by unanimity the stoppage of the works of the Belo Monte hydroelectric complex. The measure was taken by the TRF when judging a resource of embargo promoted by the Federal Public Ministry (MPF). The fine provided for if the determination is not fulfilled is r $ 500 thousand per day. The decision of the fifth class was based on article 1, item 2 of International Labour Organization (ILO), which determines a prior consultation to the main affected by works: indigenous communities, who live on site. This consultation shall be held solely by the National Congress, which according to judge Souza prudent, has not occurred. As rapporteur, ignore the Belo Monte plant would be irresponsibleTrial that can stop the Belo Monte plant construction is suspended”The National Congress issued Legislative Decree No. 788 of 2005 without listening to indigenous communities, such as the ILO and paragraph 3 of the Brazilian Constitution, authorizing the beginning of works and ordering that a posthumous study,” said the judge. “However, the Constitution does not authorize a study posthumously, but yes, a preliminary study. So given by Ibama licensing is invalid, “he added. The judge stressed that Souza Prudent to query is essential when dealing with Indians of the construction of a complex as this. In addition, the measure is supported in article 231, and paragraphs of the Brazilian Constitution, which establishes a special protection to indigenous lands, their stories and customs. “The Indians are human beings who have the same rights of any Brazilian citizen. In addition, the works of Belo Monte endanger the aviation of the 7 Falls waterfall, “says the judge.

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Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Maui's dolphins still in danger of extinction despite New Zealand's protective measures

Hector's dolphin, the parent species of the Maui's dolphin. Photo by: James Shook.

The New Zealand government's recent efforts to protect the world’s smallest dolphin have come under scrutiny from various conservation organizations at the 64th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). There are only 55 Maui dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui) now found on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island, less than half the 2005 population with numbers continuing to decline. Less than 20 of the remaining Maui’s are breeding females and their slow reproductive rates make it difficult to increase their numbers when faced with an even bigger danger: fishing nets.

Weighing up to 110 pounds (50 kilograms) with a length of 1.7 meters, Maui's dolphins are the smallest in the world. Their size is not the only thing that makes them unique; they are part of the only species of dolphin that has a round dorsal fin rather than a pointed one. They can also be easily identified by their distinctive grey, white and black markings and short snout.

Maui’s dolphin—a subspecies of Hector's dolphin—are often caught and killed in the nylon gillnets and trawls used by fisherman in both protected and unprotected areas of New Zealand. Both Maui's and Hector's dolphin are listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List. The IWC’s Scientific Committee has highlighted research indicating that current protected areas are too small to adequately prevent this dolphin bycatch, a danger that exceeds sustainable levels almost 23 times in some areas.

"The IWC has confirmed what scientists have been pointing out all along, namely that numbers continue to decline because only a small fraction of the dolphins home is protected against gillnetting and trawling," Dr. Barbara Maas, of the German conservation group NABU International that had published a report urging for the protection of these species. "New Zealand tried to deflect these criticisms by pointing towards a recent extension of the protected area for Maui’s dolphins. Yet New Zealand failed to mention that these measures are merely temporary, don’t include trawl fishing and do not apply to most of the dolphins’ habitat. They therefore fall short of the IWC’s directions and will not prevent the dolphins’ extinction."

New Zealand measures, introduced under the Hectors and Maui’s Threat Management Plan, will ban set nets along the Taranaki coast from Pariokariwa Point to Hawera and out two nautical miles. Commercial fisherman may only use set nets from two to seven nautical miles, and only if there is an observer on board.

But Rebecca Bird, manager of the WWF-New Zealand’s Marine Program, says that it is "too little, too late."

Bird notes "this area should have been fully protected back in 2008 when the government introduced new fishing restrictions. Yet it has taken more dead dolphins, an obstructive legal challenge by the fishing industry and further evidence of a serious decline in the population before the government acted."

Concerned conservation organizations insist that the long-term plans proposed by New Zealand are not sufficient to protect the species from extinction. They are calling for immediate action from the New Zealand government that would ban the use of gillnets and trawlers throughout the Maui’s dolphins habitat. Community members have responded by joining campaigns and signing petitions to show their support for the organizations and the importance of saving the small cetacean.

Read more: http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0807-mutterback-mauis-dolphin.html#ixzz22x5mmpM8

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Friday, 3 August 2012

NZ sets restrictions to protect dolphins

28 Jun 2012

The Plan review will reassess natural and man-made risks facing Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins. Credit: NABU International
New Zealand Primary Industries Minister David Carter has announced measures to protect Maui’s dolphins.

Following a public consultation process, the existing recreational and commercial set net ban will be extended along the Taranaki coast from Pariokariwa Point south to Hawera, and out to two nautical miles.

In addition, the use of commercial set nets between two and seven nautical miles in this area will be prohibited without an observer onboard.

“Maui’s dolphins are critically endangered, with an estimated 55 adult animals remaining. The Government is taking this action to protect these dolphins while the Threat Management Plan is reviewed. This will be completed by the end of November,” says Mr Carter.

“While there is a high level of uncertainty about the activity of Maui’s dolphins in the Taranaki area, the fact remains that their small number necessitates this action.

“At the same time, the Government is fully aware of the potential impact of this extended ban on the local fishing community which is why a review of the Threat Management Plan is needed,” Mr Carter says.

The review of the Plan will reassess natural and man-made risks facing Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins and recommend how the greatest risks can be mitigated.

However, WWF has said that the plans are “half measures that will fail to save the remaining estimated 55 Maui’s dolphins from imminent extinction”.

Rebecca Bird, WWF-New Zealand’s marine programme manager said “This decision means the government is knowingly allowing a method of fishing that kills dolphins to go ahead in their habitat. Instead of seizing the opportunity to give Maui’s the best chance for survival and population recovery, these measures are simply not enough to protect the species from extinction.”

The organisation says that the measures fail to adequately protect dolphins from commercial and recreational gillnet fishing and trawling throughout their entire range.