(WHALES/SHARKS) Adding insult to injury, authorities in Western Australia contemplated using dead whales to catch and kill great white sharks under their controversial shark culling policy. If the plan had been carried out, Western Australia would have essentially used a protected species to kill another protected species. While such a plan should not be a surprise to anyone who has kept up with Prime Minister Tony Abbott's environmental policy, it does raise eyebrows considering Australia brought Japan to court over its whaling operation. Read below to find out more about this whale of a plan. — Global Animal
(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/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
(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
(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
(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
(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
(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.