Protect Gray Whales From A Hunt

The Makah Tribe in Washington State is pushing to resume hunting of gray whales.

The HSUS has a strong relationship with Native American tribes across the country, and we are working with them to stop the trophy hunting and trapping of wolves, to provide free veterinary services to pets on reservations and on other animal welfare issues. This proposed hunt is a rare disagreement between The HSUS and the Native American community.

The methods used to kill these whales are inherently inhumane and there is no way to ensure they will not take a whale from the endangered western Pacific stock of gray whales. During an illegal hunt in 2007, after repeatedly striking the whale, Tribal members watched it slowly die over many hours, until the whale’s body sank.

The Makah Tribe stopped hunting whales legally in the 1920’s — this is an old tradition that is best left in the past. Please tell the National Marine Fisheries Service to deny the Makah Tribe’s request to resume hunting gray whales in the U.S.
Wayne Pacelle
Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO

Also see:

Reward Offered in Washington Sea Lion Shooting Death

The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is investigating the death of a sea lion who was shot in the head on the Cowlitz River in Washington. The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.

Around April 25, concerned citizens alerted authorities to a stranded sea lion. The animal was unable to eat, drink or move off a sand bar on the Cowlitz River near Gerhart Gardens Park for several days. The sea lion suffered from a wounded eye and a probable broken jaw and was euthanized a few days later. The body was taken to Portland State University for a necropsy, which revealed the animal had been shot in the head. There have been other reports of dead sea lions floating down the river during the previous week.

Dan Paul, Washington state director for The HSUS, said, “The immense suffering inflicted on this animal from such a pointless crime is unacceptable and a violation of federal law. We implore anyone with information to come forward and thank the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for seeking justice in this case.”

Harming a sea lion is a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act and is punishable by criminal penalties up to $100,000 and one year incarceration. Civil penalties up to $11,000 per count may also be assessed.

Anyone with information concerning the shootings is asked to call NOAA’s Enforcement Hotline at 1-800-853-1964. Callers may remain anonymous.


  • Wildlife officials estimate that nationwide, tens of millions of animals are poached annually.
  • It is estimated that only 1 percent to 5 percent of poached animals come to the attention of law enforcement.
  • Poachers injure or kill wildlife anytime, anywhere and sometimes do so in particularly cruel ways. Wildlife officials report that poachers often commit other crimes as well.
  • The HSUS and HSWLT work with state and federal wildlife agencies to offer rewards of $5,000 for information leading to arrest and conviction of suspected poachers.
Photo @  Jim Robertson

Photo @ Jim Robertson

The HSUS and HSWLT work to curb poaching across the country. Visit for more information.

Gray Whale Threats


According to the Government of Canada’s Management Plan for gray whales, threats to the eastern North Pacific population of gray whales include:[106]

  • Increased human activities in their breeding lagoons in Mexico
  • Climate change
  • Acute noise
  • The threat of toxic spills
  • Aboriginal whaling
  • Entanglement with fishing gear
  • Boat collisions
  • Impacts from fossil fuel exploration and extraction

Western gray whales are facing, the large-scale offshore oil and gas development programs near their summer feeding ground, as well as fatal net entrapments off Japan during migration, which pose significant threats to the future survival of the population.[32]

The substantial nearshore industrialization and shipping congestion throughout the migratory corridors of the western gray whale population represent potential threats by increasing the likelihood of exposure to ship strikes, chemical pollution, and general disturbance.[33][97]

Offshore gas and oil development in the Okhotsk Sea within 20 km (12 mi) of the primary feeding ground off northeast Sakhalin Island is of particular concern. Activities related to oil and gas exploration, including geophysical seismic surveying, pipelaying and drilling operations, increased vessel traffic, and oil spills, all pose potential threats to western gray whales. Disturbance from underwater industrial noise may displace whales from critical feeding habitat. Physical habitat damage from drilling and dredging operations, combined with possible impacts of oil and chemical spills on benthic prey communities also warrants concern.[33][58]

Along Japanese coasts, four females including a cow-calf pair were trapped and killed in nets in the 2000s. There had been a record of deceased individual thought to be harpooned by dolphin-hunters found on Hokkaido in 90s.[107][108] Meats for sale were also discovered in Japanese markets as well.[109]


A gray whale in captivity

Because of their size and need to migrate, gray whales have rarely been held in captivity, and then only for brief periods of time.

In 1972, a three-month-old gray whale named Gigi (II) was captured for brief study by Dr. David W. Kenney, and then released near San Diego.[110]

In January 1997, the newborn baby whale J.J. was found helpless near Los Angeles, California, 4.2 m (14 ft) long and 800 kilograms (1,800 lb) in weight. Nursed back to health in SeaWorld San Diego, she was released into the Pacific Ocean on March 31, 1998, 9 m (30 ft) long and 8,500 kg (18,700 lb) in mass. She shed her radio transmitter packs three days later.[111]

Save the Wild Chukchi Sea—Not Just for You and Not for Me

What a strange time we live in. While Earth’s ecosystems are collapsing, both on land and throughout the sea, the same human greed that’s killing the planet is being planned for the future—as if we’re all that matters.

But as the pack ice melts earlier each year, the thing almost no one mentions is that the portion of the Arctic Ocean known as the Chukchi Sea has been claimed for centuries as strategic and crucial summer feeding grounds for grey whales. These ocean giants only want the amphipods and other benthic crustaceans they can find burrowed in the sand below the cold waters in a region nobody else wanted until now.

If things go as some people plan, Shell and others will soon follow the whales’ ancient migration route north with their oil drilling rigs and deafening seismic cannons for some human business as usual, without stopping to think about the one spill that could send the place to hell. Amphipods cannot live in oil-soaked sand, and whales cannot live without them.

After surviving the barbaric, rapacious whaling era, how sad for the grey whales to simply starve to death as a result of human actions that so many knew should never happen.

Unless the general consensus is that the planet’s going to die anyway (thanks to the likes of them) so why stop now, what are these greedy little monsters thinking? Anything?

I don’t know if there are enough folks who care about others besides themselves or their species to prevent the status quo from destroying the sea, the land, and the atmosphere we all live in, but a lot of lives depend on it.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2015 All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2015 All Rights Reserved

Captive Killer Whales Die Much Younger than Wild Orcas

Captive Killer Whales Die Much Younger than Wild Orcas
By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on April 29, 2015 in Animal Emotions
A new study shows captive killer whales don’t live as long as wild relatives. The researchers show that “62 to 81 percent of wild female killer whales live at least 15 years. In contrast, only 27 percent of the now-dead females in the captive study survived that long. Roughly half of the still-living captive female whales are at least 15 years old.”

Pre-registration required for Makah whale hunt hearing‏ on Monday

Just a heads up if you are planning on attending the Monday April 27th hearing on the DEIS for the Makah whale hunt.
According to the Federal Register, they are requiring you to pre-register by 4 pm PDT Sunday April 26th.  It says that prospective attendees for the public meeting in the NOAA Auditorium in Seattle, Washington should submit their first and last names and affiliation, if appropriate, via the NMFS email
Also, for access to the Federal government building in Seattle, Washington, the Department of Commerce Western Region Security Office has advised that all attendees must have valid government-issued identification (e.g., driver’s license, tribal identification card, or passport).
See the following for further information.

NOAA proposes de-listing Humpback Whales

Agency proposes taking humpbacks whales off endangered list

By Caleb Jones
Star Advertiser
Associated Press

POSTED: 07:52 a.m. HST, Apr 20, 2015
LAST UPDATED: 08:56 a.m. HST, Apr 20, 2015

A humpback whale jumps out of the waters off Hawaii in this undated photo.
(AP Photo/NOAA Fisheries)

The federal government on Monday proposed removing most of the world’s
humpback whale population from the endangered species list, saying they
have rebounded after 45 years of protections.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries wants to
reclassify humpbacks into 14 distinct populations, and remove 10 of those
from the list.

“As we learn more about the species — and realize the populations are
largely independent of each other — managing them separately allows us to
focus protection on the animals that need it the most,” Eileen Sobeck,
assistant NOAA administrator for fisheries, said in a statement.

Humpbacks were listed as endangered in 1970, four years after the
International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling.

The whales have rebounded in the North Pacific since the listing, which
requires federal approval for federally funded or authorized activities
that could harm whales or their habitat.

Last year, the state of Alaska filed a petition to remove some North
Pacific humpback whales from protection under the Endangered Species Act.
That population, estimated at more than 5,800, feeds in Alaska in the
summer and breeds in Hawaii in winter.

Environmental groups have said North Pacific whales continue to be
vulnerable to factors including increased shipping, climate change and
ocean acidification, which affects the prey stock.

The NOAA said in a release announcing its proposal that protection and
restoration efforts have led to an increase in humpbacks in many areas.

Under the plan, two of the populations would be listed as threatened, in
Central America and the Western North Pacific. The agency said these whales
at times enter U.S. waters.

The other two populations — in the Arabian Sea and off Cape Verde and
northwest Africa — would remain listed as endangered.

Humpbacks are found around the world. They weigh 25 to 40 tons and can grow
up to 60 feet long, according to NOAA’s website. The whales are primarily
dark gray with some white spots, and their pectoral fins can get as long as
15 feet.

If the proposal passes, the humpback populations that are removed from the
endangered list would still be protected under the Marine Mammal Protection

The public has 90 days to comment on the recommended changes.

Tell Yahoo! to stop featuring endagered whale products on its site

Goal: 15,000 Progress: 12,919
Sponsored by:The Animal Rescue Site

It wasn’t all that long ago that online retail giant Amazon was in hot water for its sale of whale products from Japan. Now, Yahoo! is under fire for doing the exact same thing.

Yahoo! Japan features products like whale jerky, bacon, and canned whale meat from endangered whale species. Yahoo! has banned the sale of endangered animal products from its other sites, but continues to profit from the sale of whale commodities on its Japanese site. Many of the products come from species of whales that are protected by the International Whaling Commission — regulations that Yahoo! is blatantly shirking.

As one of the Internet’s most prominent corporations, Yahoo! should know better than to sell products that are harmful to any animal species. Tell Yahoo!’s CEO Ross Levinsohn to obey the international moratorium and to stop selling endangered animal products immediately.
&amp;amp;lt;div class=”scriptWarning”&amp;amp;gt;JavaScript is required to sign this petition!&amp;amp;lt;/div&amp;amp;gt;

Makah Whaling – Whales Must Be Protected in U.S. Waters

Makah Whaling – Whales Must Be Protected in U.S. Waters

March 11, 2015

Commentary by Sea Shepherd Founder, Captain Paul Watson

Gray WhaleGray Whale
Photo courtesy of Wiki media commons.

Sea Shepherd Legal (SSL) will make a presentation on April 27th in Seattle at a hearing to be held by NOAA Fisheries on the proposal by the Makah Tribe to kill gray whales in the waters off Washington state. SSL’s position is that this permission should not be granted and that whales must be protected 100% in U.S. waters.

SSL is also exploring legal avenues of opposition to this proposal. Tradition and culture must never be a justification for the killing of whales and dolphins or for violating international conservation law.

In 1998, Sea Shepherd exposed documents released under the Freedom of Information Act that exposed negotiations between the Makah and the Japanese whaling industry that would have sold meat from the “traditional” hunt to the Japanese market.

As Makah Tribal Elder Alberta Thompson said at the time, “This is not tradition. It was part of our culture to weave baskets and to pick berries in the mountains. It was part of our culture to speak our language. No one want to weave baskets or to speak Makah. What they want to do is to kill a whale with an anti-tank gun – and that has never been a part of Makah culture.”

Sea Shepherd Legal is a 501(c)(3) entity, operating separately from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Makah tribe grey whale hunt question reopened by NOAA report

Immediate Help Needed: Keep Whales and Dolphins Out of Captivity


March 5, 2015


NOTE: I think it important that form letters and emails be avoided and that the calls not be identified with an organization to help prevent reactions from legislators who will vote against anything “animal”.

Immediate Help Needed: Keep Whales and Dolphins Out of Captivity

Who: All Washington State residents, any age. Young people who do not want to see whales and dolphins in captivity are encouraged to call when their parents do.

What: Contact your legislators. Washington State Legislature House Bill 2115 would prohibit captivity of whales, dolphins and porpoise for entertainment and exploitation. It is under attack and being blocked from leaving the Rules Committee which decides if a bill will proceed to debate and vote by the full Washington State House of Representatives.

When: Now. All bills must be voted out of the House by Wednesday or they die.


a)      If your Representative is on the Rules Committee, call their office or email them.

b)      Call your Representatives who are not on the Rules Committee. If many people call their Representatives, your voice will flow to the Rules Committee.

c)      If you need to find who your Representatives are in Washington State, go here.

Please act now!