OCEANS

GlobalAnimal.org's OCEAN section dives into ocean conservation, including activism to save whales, dolphins, turtles, and bluefin tuna. Find news about Sea Shepherd and efforts to stop the Taiji dolphin slaughter. Plus, learn how to help end keeping dolphins, whales, and other mammals captive in theme parks like SeaWorld.

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Hawaiian Hospital Nurses Monk Seals Back To Health

(OCEAN CONSERVATION/ENDANGERED SPECIES) HAWAII — The Hawaiian Monk Seal Hospital in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii is set to open its doors this summer. The hospital will provide much-needed care for the critically endangered monk seals, and will release them back into the wild once they recover. Read the full article below for more details on the hospital and the critical state of monk seals in the wild. — Global Animal
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First Great White Shark Tracked Across Atlantic

(OCEANS/SHARKS) A great white shark nicknamed Lydia was tagged off the coast of Florida in March 2013. She roamed along the East Coast for a while, but recently underwent a Trans-Atlantic journey in under 24 hours. Lydia is the first of her kind to be tracked across the Atlantic Ocean. She has traveled over 19, 500 miles since she was first tagged, and is currently headed towards the coast of Ireland. Read the full article below for more details on Lydia's amazing journey and the science behind it all. — Global Animal

Sea Turtles Crawling Towards Extinction?

(SEA TURTLES/OCEAN CONSERVATION) There are seven different species of sea turtles and each are considered threatened, yet there are over 40 regions (including Australia, Japan and Mexico) where it is still legal to hunt these resilient animals. In fact, more than 40,000 marine turtles are legally killed each year, with Papua New Guinea being responsible for more than 36 percent of all legally captured turtles. Continue reading below to find out more about these endangered species and click here to see how you can help save sea turtles from extinction. — Global Animal

Celebrities Rock The Boat: Boycott SeaWorld! (GALLERY)

(CELEBRITIES/BLACKFISH/SEAWORLD) Thanks to last year's eye-opening documentary Blackfish, SeaWorld's brutality is gaining worldwide notoriety. More and more celebrities are speaking against SeaWorld's cruelty to animals. Some of our favorite anti-SeaWorld quotes come from celebrities like Grammy Award-winning Josh Groban (You Raise Me Up), country superstar Willie Nelson ("On the Road Again"), actor Matt Damon (The Monuments Men), and actress Olivia Wilde (Rush).  Check out these latest celebrities expressing their anger towards SeaWorld's inhumanity. — Global Animal

Leonardo DiCaprio Gives Whale Of A Grant To Save Oceans

(CELEBRITY NEWS/OCEANS) Leonardo DiCaprio proves once again he's king of the world—especially the oceans. Last month, the Oscar-nominated star hilariously spoofed himself on Saturday Night Live with his The Wolf of Wall Street co-star Johah Hill. Now, through his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, he granted $3 million dollars to Oceana, the largest international advocacy group working on behalf of oceans. — Global Animal

Australia’s War On The Environment?

(OCEAN CONSERVATION/SHARKS) SYDNEY — During Tony Abbott's short time as Australia's Prime Minister, sharks have been indiscriminately killed, the dumping of dredging on the Great Barrier Reef was approved, and Tasmania's forests are now under severe threat. Has the current Australian government declared war on the environment? According to the Independent's Kathy Marks, the answer is a resounding and shameful yes. Read on to find out why. — Global Animal

Dolphins sold to aquariums can cost up to $100,000. Photo Credit: Theguardian.com

Celebs Call On Obama: End Japan’s Dolphin Slaughter

(TAIJI DOLPHINS/OCEAN CONSERVATION) A handful of American celebrities and animal activists want to use negotiations for a free trade agreement with Japan as a bargaining tool to end the cruel capture and slaughter of dolphins in Japan. In a letter addressed to the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, Hip Hop mogul Russel Simmons asked the ambassador to urge President Obama to tie the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership to the Taiji dolphin slaughter. Other celebrities behind this latest push include Oscar-winning Sean Penn, Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlize Theron, Ellen DeGeneres, among many others. In one single event this year, 250 dolphins were captured, about 80 were killed, and an additional 50 plus were sold off to aquariums and water parks. Read on to learn the details of this latest effort to end Japan's gruesome dolphin slaughter. — Global Animal

Florida Manatee Swims Happily

Florida’s Manatee Deaths Remain A Mystery

(OCEANS/ENDANGERED SPECIES) FLORIDA — Efforts to conserve Florida's manatees helped increase the species’ numbers from 1,300 to 6,500, over the last 23 years. However, last year was a step backwards for the marine mammals, with a record number of 829 known manatee deaths in 2013. The endangered animals are exposed to a large number of threats each year, including weather, toxic algae, and the various boats that travel along the Florida beaches. Continue reading below to see what’s being done to further recover the Florida manatee. — Global Animal

China’s Changing Attitude May Save Sharks

(SHARKS/SHARK FIN SOUP) China recently relaxed its animal testing requirements for domestic cosmetic companies, and soon after, the country began cracking down on the illegal ivory trade. Now, the country's changing views on shark fin soup may save sharks from extinction. With an estimated 75 to 100 million sharks being killed every year, the mass slaughter of sharks for their fins has led some populations to decline by up to 98 percent in the last 15 years. Fortunately, the demand for shark fins is rapidly decreasing as new attitudes among Chinese citizens are changing for the better. Thanks to growing western condemantion and a Chinese government crackdown which banned the soup from all official banquets, shark fin prices have fallen by up to 30 percent in major fishing markets. Continue reading to learn how this widespread change in attitude may save sharks from extinction. — Global Animal

Sharks Tweet To Save Lives

(SHARKS/ANIMAL WELFARE) It looks like celebrity top tweeters Justin Bieber and Katy Perry have some Twitter competition. Sharks in Western Australia are now on Twitter thanks to government researchers. The sharks' nearly 25,000 followers doesn't quite measure up to Justin's 48 thousand beliebers, but then again, the singing superstar isn't saving lives. The researchers tagged more than 300 sharks with acoustic transmitters, so when the sharks come within a half-mile of the beach, the transmitters will trigger an alert on the Surf Life Saving Western Australia (SLSWA) Twitter feed. According to program officials, these alerts will help protect swimmers by warning people faster than the traditional methods. Australia has had more fatal shark attacks than any other country since 2011—so many that the government recently proposed a plan to bait and kill sharks who swim near beaches. Obviously this isn't an acceptable solution for any animal advocate, so having an alternative program like SLSWA's Twitter feed is a welcomed alternative. Not everyone thinks it solves the problem completely, but it's a positive step forward. Read on to learn more about this innovative program. — Global Animal

Gruesome Streaming Video Captures Dolphin Slaughter

(SEA SHEPHERD/TAIJI DOLPHIN SLAUGHTER) Approximately 80 bottlenose dolphins were captured in the infamous Cove off the coast of Taiji, Japan, yesterday. The dolphins will be either hawked as spectacles for entertainment or slaughtered and sold as meat. The Japanese fishermen will select which of the captured dolphins they consider most attractive and sell the dolphins to marine parks and "swim with dolphins" encounters around the world. The rest of the Taiji dolphins will be harpooned to death, turning the cove blood red, as the Japanese fishermen do every year for profit.

“Whale Wars” Special Event: Changing Tides For Sea Shepherd

(OCEANS/WHALES) Next month, Animal Planet will host a two-hour special event covering Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's 2012 campaign, Zero Tolerance. Whale Wars: A Commander Rises will air on December 13 from 9-11 PM (ET/PT). The program will feature Captain Paul Watson as he steps down from his leadership role in the organization due to legal troubles surrounding his tactics against Japanese whalers in Antarctica. New captains are chosen to lead the four ships of Sea Shepherd's fleet and carry on their mission of defending the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Read on for more on the Whale Wars event and watch the exclusive Global Animal interview "The Whale That Changed My Life" in the video below. — Global Animal
Tilikum performs in captivity at SeaWorld in Blackfish

Free Willy Falls Far From Freedom

(CAPTIVE ORCAS/KILLER WHALES) With the public finally opening its eyes to the plight of captive killer whales, thanks to the recent release of Blackfish, the collective attitude towards whales in captivity is growing reminiscent of the message portrayed in the early '90s family film, Free Willy. Although it’s been 20 years since Keiko the orca first entered our lives as the star of Warner Brother’s seemingly animal-friendly film franchise, his story has never been more relevant than it is today. Following the film’s release, many fans and spectators began to wonder about the fate of the whale who portrayed Willy on-screen. Tragically, Keiko’s life story doesn’t even come close to the uplifting, glamorized tale of Free Willy. Read on to learn more about Keiko's plight and watch Blackfish on CNN tonight, October 24 at 9pm. — Global Animal

Sea Shepherd Celebrates Humpback Homecoming

(SEA SHEPHERD/OCEAN CONSERVATION) This past week, a segment on "60 Minutes" covered the issue of anti-whaling and ocean conservation, specifically the growing numbers of humpback whales. The "return of the humpbacks" as the program calls it, is due to international anti-whaling laws as well as the efforts of conservationists. A feature of the segment was Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and its founder, Captain Paul Watson. Watson has brought attention to Sea Shepherd as the star of Whale Wars on Animal Planet, in which he and his team track and interfere with illegal whale hunting. Sea Shepherd has had its share of successes when it comes to its whale defense campaigns, including Operation Zero Tolerance, the focus of season six of Whale Wars which will air in December. During Operation Zero Tolerance, the Sea Shepherd fleet defended the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in Antarctica and saved the lives of over 900 whales over the 2012-2013 whaling season. The next campaign over 2013-2014, entitled Operation Relentless will be Sea Shepherd's 10th Antarctic anti-whaling campaign. — Global Animal

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