MIGALOO THE WHITE WHALE
Migaloo, said to be between 13-15 meters long, (42-49 feet) Famous Albino Whale of the South Pacific is once again in danger and Australia, one of the worlds most popular vacation spots, famous for the Great Barrier Reef , and best of all, avid whale watchers, are rightfully upset when whalers venture near Australian waters.
Japan, who stake claims to legally kill whales, supposedly are using a loophole in the International Whaling Commission (IWC) laws to hunt over 1,000 whales each year in the southern hemisphere, allegedly for scientific research, and they will target humpbacks for the first time. Heading to Antartica, the Tokyo whalers have been given a quota of 50 humpbacks whales, along with 50 fin whales and 900 minke whales this year, (pregnant females included), minkes are the usual preference of the Japanese whalers.
The whales who live in the Antarctica, migrate through the channel into the Great Barrier Reef to mate and bear their young. The Aussies enjoy watching the mother whales and their calfs frolic in the waters, from a distance as close as standing on the beach, or while sitting on their deck at a barbie, or even a view from the docks, and of course their yachts. Their boats will gather round a pod and watch the whales as they make their way along the Australian coast, the Aussies aren't the only ones having fun, the whales dont seem to mind the attention, as they show off for the tourists, sometimes for hours as they frockic in the harbours.
The Australians respect these majestic creatures, they do all they can to preserve nature in all its form, including the Great Barrier Reef itself, the migration of the sea turtles, and every year, thousands of people line against the coastal lines, keeping an eye out on the horizon for the one they call Migaloo.
Migaloo is actually an indigenous name, its an Aboriginal word meaning, white fella, and every year, the media will report on Migaloo, and they let everyone know when Migaloo is swimming by their town. He's been called the Moby Dick of the seas, the Great White Whale. And every year, the Aussies fear, will this year be the year that the Japanese kill their favorite whale. With Migaloo accustomed to human attention on yachts and sail boats, it makes Migaloo an easy target for the Japanese.Japan hasn't ruled out the hunting of the Great White Whale, and abruptly said "No Comment" in a press conference when asked if the whalers intended to hunt the white humpback Migaloo, in their list of humpback whales.
For the record, Migaloo, as any Aussie will tell you, is the most angelic of all sea creatures. When she is present in the water, she actually emits a glow that lightens the water around her by her snow white features, and when she breaks the surface of the water, and emerges into the brightly lit sunfilled Australian skies, all in eyesight, stand in awe, stand at attention, and their breath is caught, by her remarkable beauty.
The Sea Shepard Conservation Society took matters in their own hands last year, and decided to protect the helpless whales from whalers, and threatened to ram into the Tokyo fishing vessel with their ship, which had a bulldozer sized harpoon. This year the Tokyo Whalers are calling the Conservationists environmental terrorists, and they asked New Zealand and Australia to protect their whalers, to which the conservationists were appalled, saying Its the WHALES who need the PROTECTING!!
The Captain of the Sea Shepherd, (The Conservationists Ship), Paul Watson stands firm in his position, as far as he's concerned, the Tokyo Whalers are in violation of the anti-whaling laws in Australian waters and he's confident the law is on his side. The Japanese have doubled their security and are prepared to defend themselves against the anti-whalers, who have no intentions on backing down.
The Japanese have widely been accused of using a loophole to hunt whales in international waters, claiming they are hunting whales for research, and yet Japan kills over 1000 whales in the South Pacific Region each year in the name of said research. Thats not including the whaling going on in the Atlantic side. What gets the Conservationists blood boiling, are the lack of results produced for such an abundance of research? One whale alone is a massive amount of a creature, what type of research would require the use of over 1000 whales per year? The accusations stem from such grounds, and many endangered animal protecting agencies will tell you, Japan is using the loophole called research, as excuse to perform commercial fishing in international waters. That's the opinion of the conservationists, not the one writing this article, before you post your comment below. (For the record, Japan isn't the only country who hunts whales, and other creatures such as sea horses, and unique reef fish are also targeted.)
Australians do an incredible amount of research themselves, and have had many remarkable advances in medical research, including vaccines for specific types of cancer, some of which have hit the market, and some of which will be released within one to two years from now, plus, they also do research on whales. The Australian Conservationists will proudly tell you, that not one single spot on a whales head would be harmed during any research done by an Australian on a whale, infact, they do research on the creatures from afar, and its proven affective, lets explore that just a little.
Whales are the biggest creatures in the sea, but remarkably, they truly have no method in protecting themselves. Its not like they have razor teeth and burly strong jaws like a shark, or a killer whale (Killer whales are actually members of the dolphin family, and are not whales, and killer whales are actually a whale's worst predator).
Whales are gentle creatures, and have come to be more understood by the Australians as the migration process along their coastline has enabled Australians to study the whales, to the point that last month the Aussies made a break through in decoding whale communications with each other. The Aussies discovered that all the beautiful sounds, after recording thousands of songs, up to 4000 recordings, and studying pod after pod of whale families, that the whales are indeed, families. They argue, they play, they complain, the kids whine, the parents reprimand. It's like an annoying family road trip, with the kids saying, are we there yet?, and most importantly the whales care for each other. The Australians take the welfare of their whales very seriously. They are avid whale watchers, and can't comprehend why anyone would want kill off a species that is so gentle and majestic.
I only wonder if the Australians could put Migaloo on the endangered species list, as the only one of its kind, the only recorded White Humpback Whale. I wonder, if that in itself, would prevent any country from putting Migaloo on the hunting list.
SHARKWATER THE FILM
For filmmaker Rob Stewart, exploring sharks began as an underwater adventure. What it turned into was a beautiful and dangerous life journey into the balance of life on earth. Driven by passion fed from a lifelong fascination with sharks, Stewart debunks historical stereotypes and media depictions of sharks as bloodthirsty, man-eating monsters and reveals the reality of sharks as pillars in the evolution of the seas. Filmed in visually stunning, high definition video, Sharkwater takes you into the most shark rich waters of the world, exposing the exploitation and corruption surrounding the world's shark populations in the marine reserves of Cocos Island, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. In an effort to protect sharks, Stewart teams up with renegade conservationist Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Their unbelievable adventure together starts with a battle between the Sea Shepherd and shark poachers in Guatemala, resulting in pirate boat rammings, gunboat chases, mafia espionage, corrupt court systems and attempted murder charges, forcing them to flee for their lives. Through it all, Stewart discovers these magnificent creatures have gone from predator to prey, and how despite surviving the earth's history of mass extinctions, they could easily be wiped out within a few years due to human greed. Stewart's remarkable journey of courage and determination changes from a mission to save the world's sharks, into a fight for his life, and that of humankind.