A legend in the scientific community and champion of whale conservation,
Dr. Sidney Holt passed away on December 22, 2019 at the age of 93. Holt’s scientific career spanned 70 years and he is probably most remembered for a book he coauthored back in 1957 called On the Dynamics of Exploitation of Fisheries Populations. This book, considered to be the foundation for modern fisheries science, is still used today. He also worked in various leadership roles for the United Nations for 25 years. After his retirement, he focused on whale conservation for the next 30 years. A champion of the "Save the Whales" movement that started in the 70s, Sidney was a lead proponent of both the International Whaling Commission’s commercial whaling moratorium and the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. He was also one of the first to support the late Robbins Barstow and Cetacean Society International’s push to get the concept of “non-consumptive utilization of whales” and whale watching accepted by the IWC. He received many honors for his conservation work, including the Royal Netherlands Golden Ark and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Global 500 award.
CSI's Letter to the Editor Published November 11, 2019 in The Day, New London, CT
Mystic Aquarium Should Not Import Belugas
Mystic Aquarium wants to import five belugas from Marineland in Canada for research. The whales are offspring of wild-caught whales from a Russian population designated as "depleted," making their import for public display illegal under U.S. law. Mystic has limited space, so the whales will be on display by default.
Three of the whales will belong to Georgia Aquarium, which tried importing 18 wild-caught belugas from Russia for display and breeding. This led to powerful criticism of the attempt to tear these young whales from their families. The facility lost a federal court battle in 2015 because the import would have violated U.S. standards. It is disturbing that Mystic, a well-respected facility, would partner with such an aquarium.
Mystic's precedent-setting proposal seems like a public display dressed as research. The whales could mate and produce offspring being a backdoor to get "new blood" into U.S. captive beluga breeding programs.
It is no longer justifiable for whales to be kept in captivity for purposes of exhibition, and a new Canadian law prohibits display, breeding, import and export of cetaceans. Mystic should help improve life for the belugas at Marineland and conduct any needed research there.
CSI will be set up at Open Studio Hartford November 9 and 10th in the Colt Buidling, 140 Huyshope Ave, Hartford, CT. We will have our Rails to Trails prints, the art of Don Sineti, whale ornaments by Jessica Dickens for sale and more. Come visit our booth! We would love to see you!
CSI 's SAVERS campaign this fall just ended.
We delivered a truck load today to SAVERS. In fact, 2341 lbs of donated clothes
CSI Co-sponsors a survey that reveals Norway Shows little appetite for whale meat
The future of Norway’s whaling industry appears to be in serious doubt as it struggles to deal with low catch numbers, falling prices for whale meat and declining interest in its products on the domestic market. The head of Norway’s Whalers’ Association, Truls Soløy, described the 2019 whaling season as “particularly disappointing” after a total of 429 minke whales were killed, even fewer than last year (454) and well below the country’s self-allocated quota of 1,278. The declining catch reflects the dwindling domestic demand for whale meat, despite continuing subsidies ploughed into the industry by the Norwegian government.
CSI Sponsors Latest Entanglement Response Trainees in Cape Cod.
This year’s two apprentices to the Global Whale Entanglement Response Network have completed their training with the IWC and its partner, the Center for Coastal Studies (CCS), and returned to Peru.
Vanessa Bachmann and Chiara Guidino are the latest people to participate in the apprenticeship programme, which builds on skills learnt on a previous, two-day entanglement response workshop. The apprenticeships take place at the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, US, and cover more advanced aspects of entanglement response, from boat safety regulations and design of the custom-built tools, to a study of the approaches taken by different response teams around the world.
Perhaps most importantly, apprentices are taught how to deliver the two-day workshops which the IWC organises in partnership with national governments and are held in-country. These teach safe and effective entanglement response to groups of 20-40 participants including fishers, coastguard, naval and conservation officers, all nominated by their governments. A number of former apprentices are now conducting training themselves, as well as leading their countries’ response teams and networks.