Saturday, December 27, 2014

It's Just a Game Folks... Just a Game

Greetings everyone! Tonight I will be looking at a bit of a different topic, but bear with me here cause there is a point to what I'm about to say. Tonight's blog will be focusing in on sharks.... and video games. In the past I've gone out and blogged about Shark Week and shark movies and other things regarding sharks in the media, but never video games. As a type little descriptions about these games keep in mind what the point of these games are... Then I'll get to the point sort to speak.


Jaws is obviously named after the hit movie with the same name and was released on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987. The point of this game was to navigate your boat around the ocean while occasionally controlling a scuba diver to combat sea life with a spear gun. Eventually Jaws would appear and you would try to kill him by driving your boat through him after zapping him. So your main objective here is to kill the shark.

In more modern times video games have greatly changed their tune. If a game like Jaws from 1987 came out today, chances are it would flop. No what people want nowadays is not to play the hero, but play the monster. Jaws Revenge was released on the Itunes App Store back in 2011 and continues to be updated today. The objective of this game is simple. You control Jaws and eat everything and anything in your path. Leaping out of the water to snag helicopters out of midair, catching water skiers, and combating military are just a few of the things that you can do as you play. Oh and there is plenty of blood and screaming to go around.

In 2006 Jaws Unleashed was released on Sony's Playstation 2 as well as Microsoft's Xbox and PC. The game was a dream come true for anyone who wanted a crack at being a monster shark and literally be able to tear people limb from limb. As Jaws, here are some of the things that you could do in this game. Drown people, tear people's limbs off, eat people, make people somehow explode by slapping them with your tail, sink boats, cause boats to explode by landing on them, kill an orca, eat dolphins, blow up an offshore oil drilling operation,.. The list goes on... More often than not, the water you swim in will be red and you die via getting too hungry...

Alright I'll stop there with my nerdy video game things. So why did I bring these three in particular up (There are PLENTY more, but I'll spare you all that for now at least)? There is a common trend here. The first Jaws game on the Nintendo was somewhat based on the movies, but the key was when it was released. The terror of Jaws was very real and very alive and well during that time period. People were, and still are petrified to go into the water for fear of that monster shark getting them. While we look at this really silly game today as well... silly... people still had a fear of sharks and here was something to take that fear a bit farther. Now though I don't think anyone can find this even remotely intimidating on a TV screen...

Jaws Revenge is on the Itunes store for free. That means a lot of people have played it and not all audiences that have played it probably should have. I'm talking not about people with a fear of sharks, but children in particular. Here's a game of hungry hungry hippos where the shark is the hippo and humans are the little balls. That idea that sharks eat people is drilled into the head of kids so much already that believe it or not, I've personally had kids ask me if sharks do what they do on this game. It's kinda scary to me that that is even a question, but for a child who knows nothing about sharks, it's a legit question to ask. Of all the shark games that can be found on the Itunes store, this is probably the one that a lot of people (myself included)  have tried out largely thanks to it's title.

Jaws Unleashed is another beast entirely. It is flat out brutal in terms of the image of sharks. Obviously there would be no game without the big killer shark and if you were the little diver against the shark, it'd probably be a terrible gaming experience. As I said before, things in gaming have changed so much and there is now a want to be the monster and not the hero. Well in this game you are the monster and a mindless eating machine. Nothing more to say there...

The point I would like to get across here is this. Video games are just that. Video games. They (in most cases) do not depict real life. However, in the case of shark video games, there are people that will take these games, play them, and think that what they are seeing and doing are what sharks actually do. I've had kids ask me about Jaws Revenge stuff and I've had kids ask me if a shark could jump onto a beach, struggle up the sand, grab someone and take them back into the water. I've also had people ask me if a shark has the ability to think and fight it's way out of an aquarium setting (one of the first things you do in Jaws Unleashed). It's scary that some people take these games as real life. The name Jaws to this day continues to strike fear into the hearts of countless people and continues to draw the attention of countless others. Attaching that name to a shark game brings in so many more people who really do not know what these animals are and takes it for real life.

From a business standpoint, that is a splendid move. From a conservation standpoint, it is a nightmare. Here we are fighting to save these animals yet we wind up having to deal with things such as shark reputations thanks to how they are put out in movies and videogames. As I have said with Shark Week. Remember folks, it's just media and in this case, it's just a game. Nothing more. Nothing less!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry Fishmas/Merry Christmas/Year in Review Blog

Hello again everyone. I would like to thank each and every one of you who has helped to make this blog what it is today. I started this blog a couple years ago with the objective of opening just one person's eyes to what is going on in our oceans. I never for a moment thought we'd be where we are now. So again I would like to thank all of you as without you this blog would probably have fallen to the wayside years ago. I know I have not been very active over the past few months, but that will now hopefully change as it seems more things are starting to fall into place that will allow me to blog more once again! So lets take a look back at this year and retouch on a few topics that I touched on to perhaps clear some things up or just remind us all that they are actually happening in the world around us.

2014 started off with Sea Shepherd once again hampering Japan's whale poaching campaign in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
West Australia laid out it's plan to cull sharks. Remember that during the upcoming cull that over 100 tiger sharks would be slaughtered in an attempt at killing great white sharks in which zero were killed.
Iceland in a strange move decided to place whale beer on the market in an attempt to sell people on eating whale. The beer sold from late January through late February.
An extinct species of shark, the smoothtooth blacktip shark was rediscovered!
Finally, Taiji, Japan returned to news headlines following the capture of a superpod of bottlenose dolphins in the killing cove. Let's touch on this once again as it was and is still a huge moment.
Embedded image permalink 
The albino dolphin in this photo would become known as "Angel" and is currently housed in the Taiji Whale Museum. Her family was divided up. Some slaughtered, others driven back out to sea after several days of not eating. Thanks to Anonymous, Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project, and Sea Shepherd Taiji made news headlines for the first time since The Cove was released. Sadly though the attention on Taiji has fallen back off while Japan continues to slaughter dolphins at will with no regard to what the rest of the world thinks.

The first shark in West Australia's shark cull was caught. The shark was claimed to be a bull shark buuuuut..... Embedded image permalink
As this image that flew ll over the place notes, the shark was not a bull shark but a tiger shark. This image really tells the tale of what the shark cull would be. Uneducated paid "fishermen" killing whatever sharks they wanted to kill. It wouldn't be long before most rules would fly out the window with these guys. Remember this shark cull happened to make beaches safer.... By baiting the water and attracting sharks...Many of the sharks that were released by fishermen were too badly injured and died soon after release. All of the released sharks were small and had not yet had a chance to reproduce. Some were returned to see after having their throats slit, others after having a hook hacked out of their heads.

The cull continued and eventually bycatch became an issue as a small dolphin appeared to have been killed, but was never confirmed by the fisheries agency. It was one of the few animals to be taken to the dumping grounds covered by a tarp which only made suspicions grow.

Illinois and California shark fin laws showed some bite as arrests were made on people possessing and selling shark fin products.
The world court found Japan's whaling operations to be not scientific and had to be altered if it were to continue. This helped to lead us to where we are today. As I type this blog, Japan is NOT whaling in the Southern Ocean. Rather, they are redesigning their "scientific" whaling program to meet the standards that are required. Chances are they will return to the Southern Ocean to hunt whales next year, but for at least one year, the whales an swim safe in a whale SANCTUARY.

The West Australia shark cull came to an end and with it came the final figures. Here are the final figures for catches from start to finish...
0 great whites
1 very small bull shark
157 tiger sharks
1 northwest puffer (bycatch)
1 spinner shark (bycatch)
1 dusky whaler (bycatch)
3 mako shark (bycatch)
7 stingrays (bycatch)
Out of all the sharks caught roughly 70% were undersized and were released though the condition of the sharks at the time of release were far from acceptable. West Australia aimed to continue the program for another 3 years.

The Maldives granted protection for 18 species of rays, including manta rays.

Denmark showed it's support for whaling by sending the Danish Navy to control Sea Shepherd in the Faroe Islands.

This blog was hacked! Still not sure by whom or from where, but clearly I had angered someone :)

Something truly amazing happened. In the state of Maryland a sand tiger shark was caught alive and well with it's fins cut off. The wounds from where the fins were cut were healed over and the shark appeared to be healthy! My personal feelings remain that this is possible due to sand tiger sharks being able to store air in their bodies. This causes them to become neutrally buoyant and not sink if they need to stop swimming. This ability is exclusive to the sand tiger shark. Luckily it seems the major arteries at the base of the fin was not severed which could have led to the animal bleeding to death. It also brought back the realization that just because shark finning is illegal doesn't mean it does not happen. Still though it was quite an amazing discovery to see that animal alive and well.

Well there it is folks. Another year is coming to a close. What happened in October/November/ most of December while I was MIA? On the topics that I cover here, not too much really. The listing of several sharks and manta rays to CITES Appendix II went into effect so those animals now have stricter trade regulations which will greatly help all involved species. Japan has continued to hunt and kill dolphins. West Australia has taken the word overreaction to a whole new level (View my previous blog to discover why) and poachers are apparently allowed to poach in the ocean freely (Again, view previous blog).

Sooooo to wrap up this blog, the last blog before Christmas, but probably not the last blog of the year, I want to again say thank you. It really has ben an incredible ride with this blog. I want to wish you and your families a very merry Christmas if you celebrate and if not I wish you a very happy Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or whatever holiday you will be celebrating in the near future or are celebrating now.

Poachers in the Southern Ocean. Government in West Australia

Hello everyone it's been quite a while hasn't it? Well to be honest with you all I've spent the time between my last blog and now doing a wide variety of things from school work to digging around for something new to blog about to working in general to various other things. Over the last few days though a couple things have come up that have stood out to me as noteworthy recent events. So as I blow the dust off the keyboard here, let us take a look into what is going on.

Lets start with a quick not on dolphins. Things are pretty much as they have been in the world of dolphins as far as how it pertains to this blog. Taiji continues to slaughter and make insane profits off of various species of dolphin.  The fight to see the killings in the cove of Taiji, Japan continues to roar on. Sadly, the killers continue to perform their slaughter with absolutely no remorse or regard for the animals they hunt. I've documented what goes on in Taiji a great deal in earlier blogs, so for now there is something else I want to address in relation to this blog and dolphins. I am no longer following one of the movements that I was following earlier this year as a result of various issues that I am not going to address here, so I apologize if you are still looking for information on that particular movement, but I will not be discussing it any further. Stay tuned though as more dolphin related things are sure to surface here!

Now that that little bit of business is taken care of, lets move onto the main portion of this blog. I feel like the following is something out of a video game or movie.
 Location: West Australia.
Objective: Catch and kill a great white shark
Reason for objective: Shark swam too close to a beach.
How to we find the shark: The tag.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, West Australia is once again on the hunt for a shark. This time they are on a hunt for a shark that has a tracking tag on it that simply swam close to a beach. The shark has not bit anyone, it has only swam near a beach. To me that sounds like something in a game where you place a tracking beacon on an enemy to hunt them down later. Same idea it sounds like. Back to reality though. How is West Australia trying to catch this shark? Well by deploying drumlines of course. The government has placed drumlines out over the past few days in the area in which the shark had been detected. So far the shak has not been caught.... However..... In a photo that can be seen on Western Australians for Shark Conservation Inc's Facebook page, you can see that another shark has been caught.
The shark in the picture is a tiger shark. The photo is a harrowing reminder of the cull that took place last year in which over 100 tiger sharks were killed. This shark was released with the hook still through the shark's skull. The government views the great white as an imminent threat. I understand that the presence of a great white along a shoreline can be a bit intimidating, but how and animal chasing snapper and seals around is an imminent threat I'll never know. Should they have closed the beaches? Yes, that is the only way to say 100% that the shark or any other animal that lives in the ocean and has gills will never bite anyone. We're talking about a fish doing what a fish does. We are not talking about a monster hunting for human flesh along the coast.

Apparently some kind of deal has been reached in West Australia that allows the state to take action against a shark if it posses an imminent threat or has attacked someone. This agreement came to be sometime after the EPA ruled against the state's shark cull back in September. Yet here we are at a time of year where great whites return to West Australia to hunt fish and seal and the drumlines are in the water. By the logic of the government, every shark should be considered an imminent threat. To me this whole scenario is just another way for the government to establish what they want, a way to kill sharks. Now not only do they have the drumlines, but fancy tracking tags that they say are used only to act as a tracking device to increase public safety (hunting device sounds better to me). I hope that this shark that keeps popping up close to shore continues to avoid the drumlines and make the West Australian Government look like a bunch of foolish children who are overreacting about a shark minding it's own business. Just when you think the West Australian Government couldn't overreact about sharks any more than they had in the past.....

Now to a developing story from the Southern Ocean. In light of Japan not conducting whale poaching in the Southern Ocean this year, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society set out to tackle illegal toothfish fishing in the same area. The conservation group sent two ships, the Bob Barker and the Sam Simon down to the Southern Ocean to fight against toothfish poaching. It is believed that there are 6 toothfish poaching vessels operating in the Southern Ocean. The Bob Barker has confronted one of the vessels named "Thunder" and the response from Australia, New Zealand, and France has been disappointing to say the least. The "Thunder" currently has an Interpol Purple notice out on it for illegal fishing activities as can be seen here.

The 'Thunder', which Sea Shepherd claims is illegally fishing in the Southern Ocean.

As you can see from the photo above, this vessel is in fact the "Thunder". Sea Shepherd notified New Zealand, Australia, and France as to the whereabouts of the vessel and the poaching that it was doing when they found it, but the response from New Zealand was simply "show restraint". That is where we are in the world of protecting threatened ocean life. Here you have a fishing vessel with an Interpol notice and restraint and caution is the way to go in dealing with them? Regular fishermen have applauded Sea Shepherd for finding this vessel and yet the governments fail in their job of delivering justice. So here is the scenario now. On one side Sea Shepherd won't back down. If they do the illegal ("ILLEGAL") fishing will resume. On the other side, the crew of the "Thunder" are only going to keep running for so long. The vessel apparently sent out a distress signal to three other poaching vessels in the area which may now be en route to back the "Thunder" up. Meanwhile the Sam Simon is over 600 miles away looking for the remaining vessels. We are talking about poachers here. There is no difference between them and the people that go shoot tigers and rhinos in the jungle. Not one bit of difference other than the fact that apparently what they are doing is perfectly fine judging from the response of three nations.

Coming into question now is the safety of the crew on board the Sea Shepherd vessels. If these poachers are like the poachers we see on land, chances are pretty good that they are armed and will use those weapons if they feel they need to do so. So far they have tried to escape through thick ice in which the "Bob Barker" is able to cut through with an ice class hull and continue to try to run in all different directions. As with the Japanese poachers, every day that these people are not poaching, they are losing money and given the nature of the operation, that can only last for so long before the "Thunder" gets desperate. It is truly disappointing that three different countries refuse to do anything about the illegal fishing going on thanks to a boat that has a purple notice out on it. I wonder if they will feel any remorse should a headline come up involving the "Thunder" sinking or crew of the "Bob Barker" shot?

This folks is the state of our oceans. If it's international waters, it's free game apparently. Poaching is apparently allowed to occur with no enforcement from any country. Meanwhile the fishermen who play by the rules and depend (in this case) on the toothfish will eventually be forced to find something else to rely on cause thanks to all this poaching, they eventually will be gone just like the countless species of fish that have been driven to extinction via poaching and a general lack of care from the people of this world.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Shark Finning Survivor Found in Maryland

Greetings everyone. I know I said my next blog would be about the mako shark unless something big came up. Well, something big has come up and it involves the sand tiger shark and finning in the United States. Keep in mind during this blog a few things. One, what I am about to explain is most likely a species exclusive thing which I will dive into a bit more as to why. Two, shark finning is alive and well in the United States despite being "illegal". No enforcement of a law makes that law a pretty weak one and it seems like that may be the case in the waters off the Northeast coast of the United States.

Sand tiger sharks are a very unique species of shark in that they will actually surface from time to time and gulp air. They will then store that air in their bodies which will actually assist them in becoming neutrally buoyant (like a scuba diver). This means that if a sand tiger shark stops swimming it will not simply sink to the bottom of the sea, rather it can drift through currents without having to put much effort at all into swimming. When other species of shark are finned, they are unable to swim for long at all and wind up sinking down to the bottom and die from either drowning, starving, or being eaten by other animals. It has been thought for a long time that no species of shark can survive the finning process, until now.

Just a few days ago, a sand tiger shark was caught by a local fishermen. To his surprise, the shark was finned! The sand tiger shark was missing her pectoral fins, dorsal fin, as well as 3/4 of her caudal fin. Chances are the shark did not bleed out as the people responsible seemed to have missed vital veins that would have spelled even greater disaster and probably death had they been hit. The wounds on what is left of the sharks fins also appeared to be fully healed, meaning that this shark was probably finned at least a year ago! Another observation that was made is that she appeared to be quite large, possibly with pups. If that is actually the case, wouldn't that be something? We will probably never know though as the shark was quickly released. While being released, the fishermen noted that the shark was swimming like a snake would through the water and still had a ton of power despite not having the majority of her caudal fin. In fact, the fishermen thought he was going to be knocked when she powered away from him. I'd like to give a special shout-out to Melissa Michaelson for sharing information of this story with me! Below you will find images of the shark...

All photo credit goes to: E.L. Jehi

So what do I take out of this? I take that somewhere off the east coast of the USA, there is a shark finning ship that has no idea about the species they are finning. Apparently this is not the first sand tiger that has been caught finned and alive. Something needs to be done. It is obvious that shark finning is happening in our waters and yet nothing is being done about it. Back in 2010 a sand tiger was caught with it's fins cut off in Delaware. The animal did not appear as healthy as this one and the wounds were not completely healed. Here we are years later and more and more of this is being seen and something needs to be done about it.

 Another interesting note about the sand tiger shark is that they are a species of shark that have been known to develop spinal issues. Even with their fins attached, sand tigers sharks will, from time to time, swim in a similar fashion to a snake where their entire bodies are aiding in swimming. This shark now has to do that whenever she wants to make any kind of real progress while swimming due to her lack of fins. In the end this is both a sad story and an amazing one at the same time. We have proof that sand tiger sharks can potentially survive being finned far longer than other species. We have also learned that there very well could be a shark finning operation going on off the east coast. Most importantly, we have learned that even though these animals are protected, they are by no means safe from finning and exploitation. The laws are in place, but now more than ever, they need to be acted on and the people responsible need to be brought to justice for their crimes against sand tiger and no doubt other species of shark as well!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Two Little Stories of the Big 2

Greetings everyone. As always, I hope all is well. Before I get started here I just want to say that I am finally 100% rid of the spam bots and what not that have been spamming comments on this blog. I've done more than enough deleting trying to keep everything on topic and not going on about ways to enhance your love life and what to do with certain illnesses. So with those out of the way, let's get going! Today's blog is about two different incidents that have happened over the course of the past month. Strangely, each incident involves a species of animal that is far, far beyond the size of a human and well.... a human! The first little story involves the manta ray.

The location of this incident was off of Bat Island in Costa Rica. Two divers were in the water and had either approached or were approached by a massive manta ray. Whichever way it happened, the animal did not swim away from the humans and allowed them to approach. The divers noticed that the ray had a large amount of fishing line tangled around it. If the line was allowed to remain on the ray it could do serious damage as it slowly cut into the animals and could have even potentially killed it. This ray though was either very lucky or very smart. One thing for sure is that this ray was very trustworthy of the two divers. The divers quickly went to work on freeing the gentle giant that had apparently slowed it's swimming to allow the divers to free it from the fishing line. Mr. Brian Thompson of Canada freed the animal who is now swimming somewhere with no fishing line attached to it! I'd like to say a big thank you and congrats to you Mr. Thompson for aiding this gentle giant!

This next little story I find to be a bit more humorous. The media reaction to this story is also quite comical. First off, we all know how the media reacts whenever something takes place between a shark and a human. Terror! Fear! Attack! Teeth! are all words that we see the media use in relation to sharks. Well this is another one of those stories. Media sites have been using the words terror, and... ready for this now.... Whale Shark Attack to describe this story. Yes ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, some people are calling this a whale shark attack... Anyway the story is that a pair of divers were spear fishing off of Ascension Island in the South Atlantic when a whale shark ran right into one of the divers and the proceeded to grab hold of the bag of fish the other diver was carrying. The diver that got hit proceeds to scream in terror as if  death itself were staring him in the face. meanwhile, the whale shark just keeps swimming along like nothing happened. The divers were not hurt and after the video had apparently decided to swim with the whale shark for a little bit. Must have been a bit of a shocking experience to turn around and see a whale shark literally in your lap, but the screaming in fear over it gets me every time!


So what do either of these stories have to do with this blog? It's simple really. Both of these videos show me something. The manta ray willingly allowed the humans to come up to it and free it from the fishing line without panic or swimming away. Even after it was free, it was in no rush to leave and seemed to largely hang around until the video ended. We know so little about manta rays its really a wonder as to whether or not that animal knew that the divers would help it. Could it have come in contact with people before? Given it's location, it probably had, and given it's location, it probably has had no bad experiences with divers and I'd even go out on a limb and say that there was a sort of either respect or trust on the part of the manta towards the humans. We have virtually no idea how smart manta rays truly are and with all the sad things we hear about them being hunted down for their gill rakers, it's nice to see people helping them out. Fishing line can do so, so much damage to any kind of marine life. That my friends, is one very lucky manta ray and a diver that should be very proud of himself.

The whale shark story really tells a simple lesson. Do not be in the way of a whale shark and it's snack. They will not move to avoid the little 100+lb human when they weigh over a ton. At the same time though, they will not attack a human either. The whale shark literally swam into the person like he wasn't even there and the diver was uninjured. I do worry a little bit about this story being taken out of proportion as the incident happened in August, but over the past few days it has really started to blow u with news headlines sighting an attack or a ramming or some other form of violence on the part of the animal. No folks, this was not a whale shark version of Jaws. This was simply an animal with one thing on it's mind at the time. That one thing was getting that bag o' fish that was drifting just out of reach. If I was that big and someone put a bowl of ice cream in front of me, I'm pretty sure I'd run into whatever I had to too. Please everyone reading, do not look into this story as an attack. It wasn't.

So those are the two little stories about the big 2. The next blog I do, barring something pressing happening, will be a blog about mako sharks. As a tiny preview I'll give you this...
The shortfin mako shark is the world's fastest shark. They are capable of reaching speeds of (find out later)mph and can leap over (find out later)feet into the air. They are one of the most beautiful species of shark on our planet, but like so many others, they are in serious trouble and now extinction is beginning to loom over them. Tune in next blog to learn more about this species of shark and just what is happening to them, in particular off the coast of New Jersey. Till next time!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Two Bloody Days in Taiji

Greetings everyone and welcome back. Today I bring sad news to those who have not heard. Over the course of the past two days, two pods of Risso's Dolphins were herded into and brutally slaughtered in the killing cove of Taiji, Japan. Out of the dolphins slaughtered, none of them were taken into captivity as Risso's are apparently not as cute and pretty as bottlenose and other species. It has truly been a rough two days following 14 days that were free of killing including a couple miraculous escapes by dolphin pods. Since this is my first blog on this topic for the season I guess I should inform those who do not know what all this is about to just what the Taiji dolphin slaughter is all about.

Depending on who you ask, you will get one of two answers. You will either here it is all about making money by selling dolphins into captivity or their meat to facilities, or you will hear that it is an honored tradition dating back hundreds of years. To give you an idea which side to choose, first consider this. The Taiji dolphin slaughter as it is now started in the 1970s, Given the history of the world, odds are that the killing of dolphins in Taiji probably did happen earlier, but it was in the 1970s that things really picked up right alongside the growing popularity of dolphin parks around the world. Another thing to quickly consider is that thing called tradition. I don't know about you, but to me tradition is doing something the same way it has always been done year after year after year. In the case of whaling (including small cetaceans such as a dolphin) tradition was being lucky enough to find a whale on a wooden ship and using spears and what not to kill the animal. Certainly it is not a humane way of doing things, but here is my point. Since when does tradition utilize motor boats, cellphones, radar, and scuba gear? Last time I looked Japan's "traditional" hunts never had the advantage of those technologies. So we can throw the "tradition" out the window on that. If they cut out the technology they are using and did it the way they did it hundreds of years ago, then they can call it a tradition. Moving on...

The number one thing that is driving this slaughter is money (big shock right). Live dolphins sell for an insane amount of money.

This one dolphin would sell for over $50,000 USD.

Last year, this baby bottlenose dolphin, Angel, was to sell for over 1 million dollars USD, but complications arose and the dolphin is now living at Taiji Whale Museum.

So you can see the sheer amount of money that a single dolphin can make. If the pod is in good shape, the majority of the pod can be sold into captivity for a simply incredible profit. The rest of the pod is brutally slaughtered. It seems that only when the world is watching via live stream does Japan set a portion of the pod free. The killing of the dolphins really has no purpose outside of an attempt at scrounging up a few more dollars. Dolphin meat is pretty cheap and does not sell for much. In fact, it is so unpopular that it is often sold as larger whale meat. We can find similar issues on the east coast of the United States where stingray is often labeled as scallops. So this kind of thing does intentionally happen.

Above you can see Taiji's quota for the year. Pretty big numbers they are after once again. The drive hunt itself is a massive scare tactic. The dolphins are extremely sensitive to sound and as a result, the fishermen bang on objects in the water to create a sort of sound wall that literally herds the dolphins towards Taiji. There, the dolphins are often times divided into a few groups. Next trainers from marine parks around the world pick out the dolphins they wish to purchase. While they are still present, the rest of the pod is brutally slaughtered bringing into question just how much these "trainers" and facilities actually care for the animals they claim to want to protect.

If you want to help these animals, you do have a voice while sadly, they do not. Take to social media, Twitter and Facebook are excellent options and tell others about this slaughter. At the end of this blog I will be putting up some photos from Taiji (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES) to give you an idea as to just what we are dealing with here. Feel free to spread those pictures far and wide. You can also follow these groups.... Sea Shepherd's Cove Guardians are on the ground in Taiji and bring the slaughter to the world via live streaming on their website. Check out the Facebook link above for more and follow them on Twitter here Ric O' Barry's Dolphin Project is also in Taiji and are documenting the slaughter as well. Follow them on Twitter at

The last group I recommend following is that of the Anonymous Collective. We are Operation Killing Bay and we are a collective of people just like you who have had more than enough of this slaughter. We stand against it, we hate it, and our hearts break each and every time we see those boats leave Taiji harbor in search of dolphins. We are dedicated to spreading the word about Taiji and bringing it back to major headlines. The time to fight against this slaughter is now. It takes nothing to join us. If you have a voice, use it. Tweet on Twitter using #OpKillingBay and visit as we prepare for our next tweet storm on September 19th. Those are just a few of the things you can do to help out against the Taiji dolphin slaughter.

Thank you as always for reading!!! (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES AHEAD)

Angel continues to live at the Taiji Whale Museum in what is described as a filthy and undersized tank. Her mother was brutally slaughtered.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Major News For A Voice For The Voiceless... and Sharks!

Hello everyone. It has been quite some time since my last blog. I do not want to go into what has been going on in my life here as far as why I basically fell off the face of the Earth for quite some time here. What is important here is that I have returned and am nearly ready to once again set sail with this blog. I am going to do some things a little different than I had in the past. Usually I split this blog into two campaigns. One campaign spanned the fall and winter months while the other spanned the spring and summer months. I am planning on stopping that format once things get back underway.

The short story is that I simply do not have the time right now to blog as often as I'd like and as a result I need to turn down the heat sort to speak on what I'm doing with it in an effort to continue bringing as many educational and news centered blogs on the main causes I'm fighting for. With that being said here is the plan for the near future when I pick this thing back up.

 This blog will be focused on three causes. First and foremost, this is and always will be a shark first blog. Since I will be limiting the amount things I will be blogging about, I will be able to bring more educational blogs on the most misunderstood animals in the world to this blog, which I am excited about. Second, I will continue to blog about the Taiji Dolphin Slaughter. As I type this blog there are actually two pods of dolphins being driven towards the killing cove of Taiji. For me, it is not about captivity, it's about ending the killings and the easiest way to do that is to end the sale of these animals into captivity. I will also continue to support and blog about Operation Killing Bay and Sea Shepherd's Cove Guardians. Finally, I will continue to blog about manta rays. These animals have really found a way into my heart and we really have no idea just how many are left and what kind of an impact we are having on their populations. All I know is that there is still a ton to learn from these animals so I will continue to blog about them as well.

The groups and organizations that I support have not changed at all, so if there is any major news coming from say Sea Shepherd, I will blog about it here still. This includes the annual Antarctic campaign against whale poaching in the Southern Ocean. I will only be bringing major news though, so expect those blogs to be few and far between at this point.

So that's the game plan sort to speak. I am actually pretty excited to see how this new direction will go. There is still a ton of work to be done and I am nearly ready to really get back to work here fighting for mantas, sharks, and dolphins. Now for some (nearly) BREAKING NEWS!

This morning a verdict came down on the West Australia Shark Cull. The EPA has deemed that the shark cull must be cancelled. I can say with a great big smile on my face that the sharks will be able to swim by West Australia without being caught on massive hooks, shot in the head, and dumped back to sea. Young sharks won't be caught and forced to endure a horrific experience at the hands of what were apparently uneducated fishermen who didn't know the difference between a bull shark and a tiger shark. This also presents an opportunity for West Australia's Government. Rather than simply killing sharks, which really does nothing for beach safety, the government can now seek out alternative ways to making beaches safer. There are way that exist in the world to keep swimmers out of a shark's path. Shark safe nets exist and other countries are experimenting with ways of keeping surfers, bathers, etc safe while NOT having to kill sharks. To the EPA I have to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

Stay tuned for the new beginning of this blog. I am back and will be back to work very soon! Till then, I hope you all take care and are well!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

From the Ashes: Operation Killing Bay Reborn

Greetings once again everyone! I apologize for the recent silence. Things have gotten very busy over here. First of all I am currently trying to deal with two spamming blogs that are attacking and spamming this blog with advertisements and what not. Hopefully that issue will be resolved soon. In the mean time I'll be running around deleting comments as they pop up. I apologize for the spam. It should be cleaned up soon. The main part of why I've been so busy is that I've been preparing for the fall. Why is that you ask, well if you read the title of this blog, you can probably figure it out for yourself. Yes Operation Killing Bay is back, and it is back in a big way.

As I type this blog is currently down thanks to Operation Killing Bay. The operation is back and is back with more drive than ever before. The people who are heading this operation know how to get things done and they are determined to see the dolphin slaughter in Taiji come to a grinding halt. As I did last year, I will be following along with the Anonymous Operation Killing Bay. We are not in it for the fame. We are not in it to make money. We are doing this simply to see the lives of innocent dolphins be spared. If you ask me, there are way more than enough dolphins in captivity as it is. There is no reason in the world for anyone to still be taking them out of the wild, let alone making a massive profit off of their suffering.

So Operation Killing Bay sets sail once again. Last year our voices were made well known to Japan and they, along with their enablers wound up taking a lot of damage. Perhaps the worst of that damage was the extent of awareness that grew during the operation. Normally Taiji has to deal with Sea Shepherd and it's supporters along with a few other groups and that's about it. Last year though, the internet became Taiji's worst nightmare and for the first time in several years, Taiji made news headlines. Unlike years prior, it was not just activists and conservationists protesting Taiji. No it was all of that plus an untold number of people who simply browse twitter, facebook, and other social media sites and saw horrific images plastered all over the place. Images that can grab the attention of any feeling person. This will once again be what Taiji has to deal with. They will have to deal with not only Sea Shepherd and other groups on the ground, but they will have to deal with an untold number of people who will be watching with an interest they may not have even had until last year. The numbers against Taiji are growing. The ultimate question is how long will Japan fight? How many marine parks will have to close their doors from people not showing up anymore to drive the price of a dolphin into the dirt?

Once the demand for these animals in captivity dies, Taiji will die. The killing is not tradition. It is not for food. It is 100% for profit. Without a demand for more of these animals there is no profit to be made and those responsible for the killing will financially suffocate if the killings would not end. The fishermen are paid far too much for Japan to allow the killing to continue without captivity being involved. WAZA, IMATA (though your website is currently experiencing technical difficulties lol), Sea World, Georgia Aquarium, and other aquariums around the world that have supported Taiji in the past and present. Change your ways.

Demand that the killings in Taiji stop. Stop being the voices of the powerful and become voices of the voiceless. Do not continue to say one thing and do another. Do not continue to enable these people to kill the animals you claim to love and care so much about.

Sea World, your pockets are hurting badly. Your reputation is in shambles over this issue as well as the orca issue that you continue to fight against tooth and nail. Turn it around. Speak out against the Taiji killings. I'm not typing this as a empty the tank movement. That is not my concern here. My concern is with those animals that are still in the ocean that face a life changing nightmare this year. You are still the most powerful marine park in the world. Make a move for the animals and not for your own self interest. Ignoring the problem is no longer good enough and you are now a full blown Taiji enabler as a result. For the dolphins of Taiji this year it is not too late. Your word is still heavy among other institutions. If you were to start telling them not to buy from Taiji or any other place like it, you would be able to quickly see the animals you claim to love swimming more and more freely. Of course in order for that to happen you would actually have to prove to the world that you actually care about those animals as opposed to seeing them as a profit for the industry.

Operation Killing Bay is back. Stay tuned here and on Twitter using the hashtag #OpKillingBay. Last year we started a new movement. This year it continues!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Hunting NBC's Shark Hunters

Greetings everyone. I hope all is well with you all and you are enjoying your summer or winter, depending on where you are, to the fullest. Today’s blog is going to be another calling out of a T.V. station. For once it will not be Discovery Channel, but I’m sure they’ll be getting theirs once again soon. No today I am going to be blasting NBC. Ironically I probably watch NBC Sports Network more than any other channel as they host most of the NHL games throughout the year. Despite that fact, they still have made a massive programming error that they need to correct sooner, rather than later.

Recently the show Shark Hunters returned to NBC. The last time NBC aired the show, it was quickly taken off the air due to the massive backlash that the company received my shark conservationists and advocates from around the world. I’m not going to go into what the plot of the now six part series is as I am in no shape or form going to promote it or even explain anything about it other than this. This is a show in which fishermen put themselves into “dangerous situations” in order to catch and kill the biggest shark they can in order to win hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is the year 2014 and we have a T.V. show glorifying the killing of sharks. Wow… Just wow… Of all the things that NBC could have come up with… They chose the killing of sharks. Don’t get me wrong. I think all of those stupid hunting shows need to be scrapped. There is no reason to glorify the killing of any animal. Back to this brain-dead show though.

The trailer for the show, which again I refuse to put in this blog, is all that needs to be said about the show. I’m going to dissect it and without even showing you all the video, you will probably be able to get the majority of what this “show” is about. Some of the first words of the trailer are “mystery, danger, fear”. Right off the bat the viewer’s blood is supposed to start pumping. Then we see some old news footage with people in panic over sharks being sighted near swimmers. Very similar to this that happened just days ago in Florida...

(Hammerheads are not even dangerous. Funny how that deadly shark decided not to follow the swimming people right?)

Then we hear the ever so famous “nightmare hunters of the deep”. Sharks are far from nightmare hunters. Far, far from it. The way that a shark hunts is far more complicated than how the idiot fishermen in this show go about killing these animals.Again, we also have that word nightmare. What is a nightmare? Scary. Sharks are scary then? No. This is again, nothing but mere fear mongering in an attempt to grip an audience. It's a shame it works. Following that we have the famous "Show me the way to go home" lyrics from Jaws as we meet those "brave" souls who are going out to try and catch the biggest shark they can to bring home boatloads of cash. The show says it's man vs shark in tournaments about seamanship and courage. I'm sorry, there is nothing courageous about celebrating the death of any animal. The trailer wraps up with the words "this is Shark Hunters". Of course as they say that a bloodied mako shark is being dragged onto the boat. Very nice NBC. Now a claim has come about that the show has a conservation aspect.

The fishermen claim that conservation and science is why they are on the water. That sounds like those trophy hunters that claim they are killing lions and what not for conservation. That's like Japan saying they are killing whales for science. In other words, it's a load of trash. There is zero educational value in this show on any level including conservation. There is no mention of the plight sharks are fighting. No mention that those same kill tournaments are actually a very real threat to local shark populations. No information about tagging or anything like that. Nothing. Oddly enough, these fishermen are exclusively hunting down and killing species of shark that will probably soon be Endangered. All of them are listed as "Vulnerable" on the IUCN's Red List and include the shortfin mako, thresher, and porbeagle sharks. No folks, this show has nothing to do with conservation or science. This show is NBC literally glorifying the killing of sharks that are threatened with extinction.

NBC ought to be ashamed of themselves for putting this show on their lineup. They are doing everything that conservationists and activists and scientists are trying to change. They are driving fear into the minds of the public by showing overly dramatic scenes of sharks thrashing around on fishing lines. Not for nothing on that, but I'm pretty sure you'd be thrashing around if you were on a hook as well. They are glorifying the killing of these animals with a prize of a massive paycheck. Shark kill tournaments are a very real thing still and it is a danger that many people are now working to change. The populations of mako, thresher, and porbeagle sharks are in decline worldwide and now NBC is promoting the hunting of them. Shame on that network. Discovery Channel may have their faults and may not use their programming how they should, but at least they are not openly promoting the killing of these animals. NBC, cancel your ridiculous show. If you want a "shark hunting show", make it one that involves tagging sharks or something of that nature. Then again, I guess there is no fear do drive ratings and money to inspire people.  

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sea Shepherd 1 Faroe Islands/Denmark's Navy 0

Greetings again everyone. Good new out of the Faroe Islands this morning. For the first time since Sea Shepherd arrived in the Faroe Islands, pilot whales were spotted. Due to nasty weather, the Faroese did not start a grind as they believed that the whales would remain in the fjord overnight. Well Sea Shepherd was not going to allow that, even in terrible weather. The whales were apparently spotted during the night by Sea Shepherd's land crew and the conservation group acted quickly to get their boats in the water and drive the whales back out to sea. Sea Shepherd plans to continue to keep an eye out for these or any other whales that may be approaching the Faroe Islands and steer them clear of what would be a certain death.

Needless to say the Faroese people are probably none to happy about this situation. This would have been the first grind to take place since May. The first battle of Sea Shepherd's Operation has gone to the conservationists. The Danish Navy paid a visit to the Sea Shepherd camp during the night, but no arrests were made as Sea Shepherd had not broken any laws. While it is illegal to interfere with a grind in progress, no grind had been called by the local government officials. Here are two bits of Faroese law regarding the grind....

When the message of a whale drive is communicated, the district administrator can designate a particular area, whether on land, in the sea or in the air, as a whaling area. In this connection the district administrator can decide who is permitted to be in the area and he can order vessels, aircraft or people to leave the area immediately, regardless of whether or not they are participating in the whale drive.

In addition, the district administrator can at any time cordon off an area as a whaling area, whether on land, at sea or in the air and order anyone to refrain from entering the said area. It is not permitted to impede any drive or kill for which the district administrator has given permission in accordance with §§ 8 and 9.

So there it is in black and white. No grind was called, so now laws were broken. Had a grind been called, this situation would certainly be different, but the Faroese wanted to wait for the weather to clear before engaging in their mass slaughter. The beaches are blue in the Faroe Islands for another day thanks to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society!

Photo: Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!

Yesterday the Sea Shepherd boat “Thor” successfully persuaded a pod of pilot whales to return to sea, foiling plans by the Grind Master at Klaksvik, Karl Johansen to call for a Grind (a slaughter) as soon as the weather cleared.

It was a daring venture in nasty weather and the “Thor” and the “Mike Galesi” and their crews ventured miles offshore in order to secure the safety of the whales.

After the boats returned from their mission and just after midnight the Danish Navy paid a visit to where campaign leader Lamya Essemlali was staying with the boat Mike Galesi. They were looking for the “Thor.”

Karl Johansen had reported “Thor” as well as SSCS for violating the “Faroese Law of Whaling”  Specifically he is quoted as saying that nobody is allowed to chase a group of pilot whales without any permission from the local sheriff or local whaling foreman.
This is not however what the law says. In previewing the complete Grinakunngerd (Executive Order on the Pilot Whale Drive) the part that is relevant reads as follows:
Driving pilot whales § 8
The district administrator decides in consultation with whaling foremen from the different whaling bays and the boat which has first sighted the whales, which way the whales shall be driven. The whales must be driven to an authorized whale bay in accordance with § 13. Whaling foremen must follow the orders of the district administrator in accordance with §§ 8-12.
2) The most suitable whaling bay shall be chosen in relation to the size of the school of whales, as well as with regard to prevailing conditions and currents. It is not permitted to drive whales unless it is under the supervision of district administrators and/or whaling foremen.
(The first obvious flaw with Karl Johansen argument is that there was (according to his own words) no grind or drive called. He was just observing the whales until a proper time and weather permitted a drive. He never called for a grind.
The second flaw is with the definition of a “drive” there is no definition provide by the law but  the word “drive” used  in the context of the Executive Order contemplates a “drive” as a grind or a push to a killing beach.  There is no conceivable argument  to made that Thor was “driving” whales to a killing beach.
If a grind had been actually called then Thor and SSCS would have been in violation of Section 11)
§ 11
When the message of a whale drive is communicated, the district administrator can designate a particular area, whether on land, in the sea or in the air, as a whaling area. In this connection the district administrator can decide who is permitted to be in the area and he can order vessels, aircraft or people to leave the area immediately, regardless of whether or not they are participating in the whale drive.

2) In addition, the district administrator can at any time cordon off an area as a whaling area, whether on land, at sea or in the air and order anyone to refrain from entering the said area. It is not permitted to impede any drive or kill for which the district administrator has given permission in accordance with §§ 8 and 9.

It is not the intent of Sea Shepherd volunteers to violate Faroese law despite the fact that the law is heavily weighed in favor of the killers.

Despite the fact that Johansen has accused Sea Shepherd of violating the law, it is clear from the reading of the law that Sea Shepherd remained in compliance with the law.

The Sea Shepherd crews are feeling very satisfied knowing that this particular pod was spared a brutal extermination at the hands of the whalers.

They ventured where others feared to go and they were rewarded with lives saved.

Sea Shepherd has for years taken to heart the sentiments expressed by American poet Walt Whitman when he wrote the following in Passage to India.

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go,
And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

Photo: The pod of whales saved by Sea Shepherd yesterday
Paul Watson's photo.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Operation Bleeding Seas II Attacked

Greetings everyone. So. At some point either late Monday night or Tuesday, my email and this blog were both compromised by someone. Now however, I am back in control of this stuff and hopefully it is now more secure than it was. I see that there is a small blog post in Japanese. I will be removing that blog after I type this blog as the translation for it is quite profane and this is a family blog gosh darnit. As for who did this, I don't know and frankly I do not care. I probably angered some pro Faroe Islands kid or something like that. Whatever happened, I don't plan on it happening again and if it does well that's just something I'll have to deal with right? So anyway...

All this shows me is that A.) There are really people out there with nothing better to do with their lives than attack random people's emails and such. B.) This blog is reaching it's goals. C.) There is now more of a reason to keep this blog going. It saddens me that someone actually felt the need to break onto this blog to merely post an obnoxious comment involving a lot of F bombs and what not. Why not just try to argue with me in the comments or something? I'm always open for discussion. The fact that someone felt the need to do this means that the word about the stuff that gets blogged about is getting out there. Shark finning, manta ray gill raker harvesting, whaling, overfishing, and dolphin slaughters are all things that have no place in the world and that fact angers some people who feel like I and other people are trying to take their lives away or something. Goals are being reached. People are starting to wake up and with over 14,000 views here I would like to think that this blog has opened at least 1 person's eyes. Lastly. The above fact is just more of a drive to keep this blog going. When it gets to this point in any campaign I have to think about if I want to dedicate myself to another 6 month campaign (hard to believe this one ends in September already). Following this I know that people are seeing this stuff and some are not liking what they see. The truth can hurt and can expose a lot. So I will keep going here no further question about that.

So with that being said, I'm pretty much back to square 1 with the blogs I mentioned in my last actual blog. So stay tuned!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Operation Bleeding Seas II Update

Greetings again everyone and welcome to what will probably not be the final blog of July, 2014. So here is where we are and where we are going to be heading as we hit the last full month of Operation Bleeding Seas II. Since the start of the operation, this blog has continued to grow which I have to thank all of you for. The blog has reached now over 13,000 viewers. Far more than I could had ever hoped to have reached.

On the fronts of Operation Bleeding Seas II I'll be waiting and watching to comment on Discovery Channel's Shark Week. Also I'll be keeping an eye and ear on any shark news. There are still plenty of shark blogs to come as we continue on here. Sharks are and will always be the number animals of this blog. I'm currently looking into doing a special mako shark blog that will focus exclusively on the situation that is affecting the fastest shark in the world in New Jersey. That blog is in the works now and will probably be up in early August.

News has been pretty quiet on the manta ray front as of late. Still, I would expect a couple more manta ray blogs to come out by the time this operation wraps up. Manta rays are very interesting animals that humans do not know too much about. I might give an education blog a shot on the manta rays to try to give anyone whose interested a better view on what these animals are as opposed to them simply being massive rays.

I am currently working on a bluefin tuna blog as some pretty big news came out a few days ago regarding them. I know the bluefin has not been as large a part of this campaign as I had originally hoped it to be, but for those of you with an interest in these endangered fish, stay tuned because they are (hopefully) coming to Operation Bleeding Seas II very soon!

Recent events in the Faroe Islands have really grasped much of my attention when it comes to this campaign. The Danish military threatening peaceful activists, the Faroese people continuing to insist on killing pilot whales, and Operation Faroes Killing Bay are all things that I've either been participating in or watching very closely. With that being said, things in the Faroe Islands can blow up at anytime. It has been a quiet summer thus far, but the tension in those islands continues to rise and a lot of the anger from the Faroese people is starting to spill over onto the internet where Anonymous thrives. The problem for them is that Anonymous is not on their side. So far Anonymous has really showed patience and restraint in dealing with the obviously angered Faroese people, but that can only last for so long before a statement is made. This coupled with the Danish navy following Sea Shepherd has created an interesting powder keg that could potentially go off the moment a pod of whales is spotted. Despite their differences, I have a hard time believing that Anonymous will simply sit idle if the Faroes kill whales or the Danish navy harms Sea Shepherds. I could be wrong with that, but I just have a hard time believing that would be the case.

On the movie making scene... I've finished a rough run of the first portion of the video for this blog. I still cant say when it will be out since well, blogging, school, work, and other things come before it, but it is coming along!

While I plan on doing more blogs on sharks, manta rays, and bluefin tuna, the Faroe Islands are going to be at the forefront of the campaign from here on in. If things get too dicey over there I may have to shift my focus to just the Faroe Islands and sharks to wrap up the campaign. I've done similar things (without saying anything) in the past with Taiji's dolphin slaughter and West Australia's shark cull. The other animals will still be a part of the campaign, but may wind up more on social media than on the blog if that makes sense to everyone.

We are getting close to the final stretch of Operation Bleeding Seas II. I hope you all are enjoying the ride so far and what has been explored, exposed, etc. There is still plenty more to come as Operation Bleeding Seas II rolls on.  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Denmark Flexes Military Muscle On.... Wildlife Conservationists...

Greetings everyone and welcome to blog number 150! It feels like yesterday that I did blog number 100, but alas here we are 50 blogs later, knee deep in a battle against the Faroe Islands. So before I really get into what the main topic of this blog is going to be about, I'd like to recap a personal experience that happened to me a couple days ago on Twitter. I'm not going to post the pictures here out of respect for the person I was conversing with as he/she was very open to what I had to say once we got to talking. So, a Faroese person responded to a post on Twitter that I was tagged in by a member of Operation Faroes Killing Bay. The person made a remark that was pro whaling and seemed to be trying to get a rise out of us. The short of it is that this person really did not know the extent of what goes on in those islands. The person believed that the whales died a quick and painless death from a cut just behind the head. After showing this photo,

the person realized that something was not right with their belief. In that moment he/she seemed to realize that the foolproof way that the Faroese go about killing whales was really not all that foolproof and the animals do endure a lot of pain before their deaths. In the end, the person seemed to be indifferent on the topic of whaling, but seemed to really get that the slaughter was not really what he/she was brought up being told it was. This was a young Faroese person who is very proud of their country in general, as I'm sure many of us are wherever we may live for one reason or another. Just like us this person wasn't too keen on seeing their country attacked and tried to defend it only to (hopefully) realize that the actions that they wre defending were not worth defending at all. That brings me to my next point.

I think I've been called a racist by the Faroese people more than I have been called racist by the Japanese and Chinese over whale hunting, dolphin killing, and shark finning. It's incredible how quick these people are to throw out the race card. I explained to the person on Twitter exactly what I am going to say here. My issue is not with the people of the Faroe Islands. I do believe that there are a large number of people who do not support the grind over there and I'd love for those people to stand up and make their voices heard. At the same time though, I know that there are people over there that do support it and as nasty as it may sound, even lust for it. I am opposed to any slaughter of animals. If that much isn't clear I don't know what is. That includes the United States killing Sea Lions in the West for eating... I don't care the nationality or race. I am against the killings and that is my issue with the Faroe Islands. I think the country itself is beautiful and pictures can certainly prove that, however, I will never go to or support anything that the Faroe Islands do or want to do due to the fact that their government and a few hundred citizens have a blood lust for pilot whales. I may poke fun on Twitter, I may say things that are not the nicest, but it is nothing against the good people of the Faroe Islands, it is all aimed and directed at those who are directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds if not over a thousand pilot whales every year. It doesn't matter who you are or where you are from, if you participate in the slaughter of any of the animals in these blogs that I do, then you are an enemy of this blog. On that same page, if you are just now learning the truth about what is going on in the Faroe Islands and ma be experiencing a change of heart, I say welcome and thank you for being open minded. Another thing that I am also against using the military to discourage conservation organizations which is the main reason that I am typing up this blog today.

This morning I read an article posted by Sea Shepherd Captain Paul Watson that the Danish Government has sent naval units to prevent Sea Shepherd from preventing the slaughter of the whales in the Faroe Islands. First of all... Massive grey area. Denmark has time and time again said that the Faroe Islands are self governing and can do nothing involving the whale killings despite the Faroe Islands being largely under Danish influence. However, Denmark will move military vessels and people to defend the Faroe Islands from a conservation group? I guess Denmark has nothing better to do in a country where having intercourse with animals is widely accepted by the Danish government. I'm not going to go into any details on that as this is not a blog about dogs, but the facts are facts as disgusting as they may be to you and me. Getting back on track here... Yes, the Danish Navy is currently in the Faroe Islands following Sea Shepherd's every move.

The Faroe Islands have threatened Sea Shepherd with violence since they've arrived on the islands, but to my knowledge, outside of trying to block Sea Shepherd vessels from getting into the water, there has not been much in the way of physical violence towards the visiting conservation group. The Faroese continue to state that the grind will go on as planned as soon as whales are seen (apparently none have been seen since Sea Shepherd showed up). So Denmark has gotten themselves involved in something they told the world time and time again that they cannot get involved with. What exactly do I think these Danish navy vessels will do? I have no idea. I don't know if they are there for intimidation purposes or if they are going to try and arrest the protesters in the event that whales are seen. They may be there to shoot down Sea Shepherd drones if they try to live stream? Again I have no idea what a nation's military is doing or trying to prove in going up against what equates in this case to a small group of unarmed boats. They are certainly not showing the world that they are a force to be reckoned with and I would think if any harm comes to Sea Shepherd vessels or crew that an international event would kick up given that Sea Shepherd is really a global group as their crews are from all over the world. If anything that would cause more people to seek education as to why the Danish navy is there and in turn learning the truth about the grind.

Again, I have to ask the question. Does Denmark really have nothing better to do? They leave the Faroes to govern themselves and basically be their own country with their own police force, yet they need to run to their protection over unarmed conservationists? Can't the Faroese police handle those big bad Sea Shepherds if they are breaking any laws? Apparently they are not actually doing anything illegal as they are not being arrested for any crimes in the Faroes at this point. Denmark really should pull its Navy back to Denmark where it belongs. If something takes place between the Danish navy and unarmed conservationists, what then? Is Denmark really willing to risk an international issue over whaling in a country that they apparently have zero control over? The upcoming months will tell on that story. I hope nothing physically violent ensues between the Danish military and Sea Shepherd, but we will all have to watch and wait on that one.

While the Danish military seemingly takes aim at Sea Shepherd, we continue to watch and learn. The Faroese seem to think that Anonymous is not that big of a threat when it comes to their whaling program. That is simply not the case.

While Anonymous may not be out there on boats staring battleships in the face, they are educating and spreading the TRUTH about the grind. Should the worst happen and whales are killed, I would not be surprised for the tactics to change and become damaging in more than one way. Operation Faroes Killing Bay has taken the vacation hashtag of the Faroe Islands on Twitter and has already alerted many vacation goers of just where they would be going if they chose to visit the Faroe Islands. The thing that the Faroes are not getting is that Anonymous is not a group. It is an idea. The people involved in Faroes Killing Bay are more than capable of changing the minds of people in regards to the grind as I can personally state given the story at the start of this blog. You can't kill an idea. Even if Sea Shepherd gets booted out of the Faroes, Anonymous will remain and be the voice of the voiceless. I will continue to bring you as much as I can about Operation Faroes Killing Bay as it progresses and what it achieves. The Japanese learned the hard way during Operation Killing Bay that the Anonymous collective is one that should never be taken lightly.

Me? I'll just be continuing to blog and attack the Faroese on Twitter and Facebook. I buy into the notion that you can't kill an idea and as long as I have a voice, I will continue to use it for the pilot whales of the Faroe Islands. Operation Bleeding Seas II will stand and fight side by side with Operation Faroes Killing Bay until the killing of pilot whales stops (at some point Operation Bleeding Seas II will be given a new name for the fall campaign, but you get what I mean).Stay tuned for more Faroe Islands stuff in the near future and as a side note... Should Denmark decide to openly attack conservationists I might have to stray from the norm here and do a special blog on dogs... Just for Denmark.... and all dog lovers out there.....

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Operation Bleeding Seas II Playlist 2

Greetings again everyone. Back at the start of this campaign I posted a blog that was largely comprised of videos that I found to be either educational, factual, or useful in one way or another in getting the word out about the animals involved in Operation Bleeding Seas II. Well as a change of pace I will be making a second playlist of videos in this blog. As with the previous set of videos I hope you enjoy them, learn something from them, and spread them far and wide. After the videos I'll have a special announcement regarding something new for the blog!

The first video of the evening is going to be a quick look at why Bluefin Tuna populations in the Mediterranean continue to be in decline despite more protections being put into place.

The fact that these laws are not really being enforced or obeyed comes at no surprise to me and frankly that can be seen all over the world as commercial fisheries do what they need to do to make the most amount of money. Next up is another bluefin tuna video that summarizes the entire problem that the endangered species is facing.

While the bluefin tuna did not go extinct in 2012, this video offers a great insight as to what is going on in the world of the bluefin tuna. These animals are STILL endangered and are STILL facing extreme pressure from all over the world. We may have extended the bluefin past 2012, but extinction is still a very real threat to these animals unless something is done sooner rather than later.

Next up we'll return to the world of sharks. The first shark video of the evening will focus in on what sharks are facing globally and what some real live people who were bitten by sharks are doing as well. Goes to show that life as a person knows it does not have to end following a shark bite.

The only thing I can correct in this video for you is the estimated number of sharks killed annually. This video came out in 2012 while a 2013 study revealed that an estimated 100,000,000 sharks are killed annually. No matter what sharks are in peril and many species are now being pushed to the brink. The next video starts off sad, but is actually quite heartwarming.

It's not everyday that people would free ANY shark from a fishing net. Sadly sharks, including whale sharks are often times caught in nets when they are not supposed to. Lucky for this whale shark the divers found it, but so many more are not this lucky. Whale sharks do become the victims of shark finning operations so do not think for a moment that many fishermen would simply release this animal in Indonesia where this video was filmed. To wrap up the shark videos for this blog.... I feel like ending on a funny/happy note where a whale shark gets some revenge on some fishermen.

No matter how many times I watch that video it makes me smile. That is one happy whale shark by the looks of it! Alright next up is a video about the new Manta Ray sanctuary that was established a short time ago in Indonesia.

So the bittersweet news for the rays continues as they seem to be getting more protection, but at the same time demand for their gill rakers continues to rise. The next video will speak for itself.

This is the animal that I am fighting to save. That and well... This too...

THIS is the animal that I am fighting for. An animal that is so majestic, so beautiful, and so capable of doing incredible things. It is sickening that an animal as gentle and majestic as these rays are being killed for their gill rakers. Remember... The gill rakers have been scientifically proven to do nothing so far for human health, but do contain dangerously high levels of arsenic.

Okay the final video of this blog may disturb some viewers and does need a small intro. Every year the Faroe Islands claim that the pilot whales they kill are to feed the island as part of a tradition. This video destroys that claim as far as I am concerned. The Faroe Island pilot whale slaughter is nothing more than a sick, sick game that an island nation plays.

Shocking isn't it. I figured some were not consumed and were disposed of. Never did I expect this. Once this video was shown to me by a member of the Anonymous Collective it was game over for the Faroe Islands in my eyes. Operation Faroes Killing Bay will be the punishment that the Faroe Islands will have to deal with for these horrible crimes since governments simply refuse to do anything about this wholesale slaughter. If this video disturbed you as much as it did me, feel free to visit and join Operation Faroes Killing Bay. It is open to anyone who wants to make a stand for these animals that are being brutally slaughtered in the name of FUN... Click here to visit Operation Faroes Killing Bay

Well that concludes the second Operation Bleeding Seas II Video Playlist. I hope you were able to take something from at least one of these videos. Feel free to spread the fun of a whale shark stealing fish from a net and manta ray flying through the air. Spread the word about the dangers facing sharks and bluefin tuna by sharing these videos and of course expose the truth of what the Faroe Islands are really doing with many of the whales they kill. Now for a special announcement...

Odds are you don't know this (unless you actually know me), but I am quite the gamer in my free time. Back in 2012, an album was released by Theophany entitled Times End: Majora's Mask Remixed (The original game the music is from is entitled The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask). The final track on that album is entitled "Time's End" and I have been given permission to use that song in a video for this blog! So stay tuned as I have started working on what will be a slideshow video of what this blog is and what it is that it fights for and against. So THANK YOU THEOPHANY for letting me use "Time's End"! Check out their website and like them on Facebook! Till next time everyone!