23 January 2019

Japanese Whale Meat Scandal…

The Japanese Government on behalf of the good people of Japan are determined to heap yet more ridicule and international censure on themselves.

For many years now the international community has witnessed commercial whaling by the Japanese in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary conducted under the loophole of Scientific Whaling.

When two activists exposed a huge corruption scandal in the whale meat industry in Japan immediate investigations were initiated as much public money is used to support this industry.

A few weeks later those who exposed the corruption were arrested and the investigation was dropped…for the full sad story click the link above.


Irish Oil Spill Russians Admit Responsibility…

After some high level talks between the Russian Federation and The Irish Coastguard the Russians have finally admitted responsibility for the oil spill that took place 10 days ago south of The Fastnet Rock and Lighthouse.

The Russians claim this took place when the bilges were “inadvertently” pumped. An estimated 150,000 gallons of waste oil and lubricant classified as “light crude” was pumped into the sea causing one of the greatest pollution scares in Ireland for a decade.

The slick, currently 40 miles south of Cork harbour and travelling east is thought to disipate further over the next few days and is unlikely to present a serious threat to the southern coastline.

Rafting bird species such as guillemots and razorbills caught up in the slick while it remains at sea will almost certainly die.

The Russians are thought to be currently considering “contributing” to the estimated €250,000 costs associated with monitoring this slick in the days following the discharge.

The initial response and subsequent action taken by authorities is considered to be poor as weather conditions during last week would have made skimming some of the oil from the surface of the sea a possibility provided action was taken sufficiently quickly.


Latest News on South Coast Oil Spill…

Recent tests on oil samples from the south coast oil spill indicate this is a “light crude”. The oil spill is currently around 50 miles south of Cork Harbour and moving, according to the Marine Institute, at around five nautical miles per day in a generally easterly direction.

A delegation from the Russian Federation including representatives from the Russian Navy continue high level discussions with Irish Government officials today. The Irish position appears to be that the 46,000 tonne Russian Aircraft carrier The Admiral Kuznetsov, the flagship of the Russian Navy, was responsible for the oil spill during refuelling operations. Although the Russian Federation deny responsibility for the spill they do admit that it could have occured during “cleaning” operations!

With winds predominantly from the northwest it is hoped that this oil spill will not make landfall along the Irish soutyh coast and disperse naturally at sea. Damage to rafting birds like guillemots and razorbill and even puffins will be significant while the slick remains at sea undispersed.

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) the Irish sea fisheries board are conducting tests on the extensive shellfish industry along the south coast to establish if any contamination has taken place during this incident.


Iceland to Conduct Commercial Whaling Again in the North Atlantic…

Despite pressure from international conservation groups and nations including Britain, Sweden, France, Finland, United States and Germany the interim Icelandic government of Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir has said it will allow the killing of 100 minke whales and 150 fin whales during the 2009 season.

Although the market for whale meat in the Icelandic home market is reputed to be small it is believed the meat from these kills will be sold to Japan for consumption there. In so doing both Iceland and Japan are flouting international law regarding the trade in endangered species and once again unilaterally breaking the moratorium on commercial whaling put in place during the late 1980’s when many of the worlds’ great whales stocks faced serious depletion and in many cases extinction.

The Fin Whale is still considered a species at risk in the North Atlantic.


More on the Oil Slick off West Cork…

Latest estimates put the oil spill at 1000 tonnes which equates to over 300,000 gallons. Russia is now denying they have anything to do with the spillage and if coast guard reports are accurate are preparing to leave the scene tomorrow.

Estimates put the slick as moving eastwards and fears are growing that this may make landfall along the south Waterford coast and even continue as far as west Wales if it does not break up and disperse before that.

We believe more should be done to contain the slick with booms followed by skimming with specially designed gear to remove as much of the oil spill as possible before the weather breaks.


Oil Spill Potentially a Serious Problem…

The oil spill off the southwest coastline has now been confirmed by RTE news as only 80kms off The Fastnet Rock. Authorities believe that the chance of it coming ashore is low but there is no evidence that dispersion activities are taking place at this time. Up to 300 tonnes is thought to have been discharged into the sea and the slick currently covers around 4 miles by 5 miles.

There appears to be little coverage of this item on local radio news.

If this slick, of what we believe to be bunker oil spilt during refueling activites between two Russian warships, comes ashore in west Cork it will deal a severe blow to the hard pressed tourist industry in this part of Ireland…

We really need to hear how the authorities are going to handle this clean up and how the slick is going to be dispersed. Astonishingly it appears that foreign warships are exempt from Ireland’s marine pollution directives.

Wildlife will die as a result of this spill but it represents a much higher threat should this oil come ashore. Offshore bird life is currently most at risk.

…keep you posted.


Oil Spill off the West Coast…250 miles off Kerry…

“…An oil pollution alert has been declared off the South West coast following an incident in which two Russian warships were involved in a fuel spill accident.

The Coastguard service says up to 12 tons of oil spilled into the sea about 250 miles off the Kerry coast. A 4 mile by 4 mile slick has developed in the area. Samples of the oil were taken by other boats operating in the area and were transferred to the Shannon based helicopter…”

Notified to us by

Ciaran O’Byrne
“Drivetime with Mary Wilson”
RTE Radio 1


Guided Nature Walks with County Cork Local Sports Partnership…

A recent press release regarding guided nature walks with County Cork Local Sports Partnership looks like something well worth supporting…



Guided Family Nature Walks

Padraig O Donoghue, Trails Coordinator, County Cork Local Sports Partnership is encouraging parents to introduce their children to walking in the great outdoors this spring.

Children always love exploring the great outdoors’ said Pádraig ‘and with this series of nature walks families will get the chance to discover new walking trails in the West Cork region. So get on your outdoor shoes and enjoy an afternoon’s stroll with your children!’

Padraig will be leading a series of five nature walks in selected locations throughout West Cork over the coming weeks.

The walks are suitable for children aged five up and will include nature awareness activities.

The Guided Nature Walks will take place in the following locations:

> Macroom, Warrenscourt Forest, 22nd Feb.

> Rathbarry, The Long Strand, 8th March

> Leap, Dromillihy Wood, 22nd March

> Bandon, Dukes Wood, 5th April

> Glengarriff, Nature Reserve, 19th April

All walks begin at 2.30pm and will start at on site car parks.
They will last for approx. an hour to an hour and a half.

All walks are free of charge.

Further Information and Directions can be found on the CCLSP website:

Link: www.cclsp.com

or by contacting Pádraig directly on 021 4665082 Mobile 086 8532470


The Fastnet Short Film Festival…

The Fastnet Short Film Festival…

The Fastnet Short Film Festival May 14th-17th 2009
Co. Cork

The Fastnet Short Film Festival is being held in Schull, West Cork, Ireland from May 14th – 17th. This festival has a category for all aspiring conservation film makers.

The category for Film that Best Encapsulates the Conservation Message will be judged by an international panel of film experts. The winning entry will receive a certificate and cash prize to the value of €500.

The winner of this category will be the short conservation film judged to get across the wider conservation message in the most novel, informative and educationally aware way.

Entry form, conditions of entry and postal address for submissions may be found on the Fastnet Short Film Festival website:


Fishermen Trying to Save Dolphins…

Fishermen are working hard off the coast of the Phillipines north of Manilla to save hundreds of dolphins that are accumulating in shallow water. Three animals that have already perished have been identified as Melon Headed whales a species well associated with stranding. Local marine biologists think they may have become disorientated by a recent earthquake.

This is another episode in a long line of recent cetacean strandings in different parts of the world. A couple of weeks ago a large group of around 45 Sperm Whales beached south of Tasmania.

The reasons for these catastrophic strandings are still unclear to the scientific community but probably result from several factors conspiring together.

Whale Wars in Ross Sea Continue…

Anti Whaling activists Sea Shepherd face increasingly violent reprisals from the Japanese whaling fllet that is in the Ross Sea, Antarctica. It is claimed that the Sea Shepherd group throw acid at the Japanese boats. This is in fact rotten butter, a long time tactic used by this group.
The Japanese whalers it is said are throwing back bits of metal, golf balls and whale blubber at the Sea Shepherd boat and now have resorted to bombarding the Sea Shepherd crew with high powered acoustic weapons designed for military use it is claimed.

More information may be obtained by pasting the following link into your browser.

LINK: http://planetark.org/wen/51520

I read of these clashes with sorrow and elation. Sorrow that whaling is still in the psyche of so many nations and is employed as a political instrument. Elation that there are men and women who will risk all to defend what they believe to be right.

I am reminded of the many wise sayings of the great Mahatma Ghandi…one that springs to mind…”Truth never damages a cause that is just”

Whale Wars in the Southern Ocean…

Clashes between the Japanese whaling fleet and the conservation group Sea Shepherd intensify in the Ross Sea. As the Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin attempted to hamper the transfer of dead whales to the factory processing ship the Nishin Maru there have been collisions between catcher boats and The Steve Irwin. As rotten butter are thrown at the Japanese fleet there have been reports of ball bearings and bit of metal and whale blubber being thrown back by Japanese crew men with some injuries being sustained.

Undaunted the Sea Shepherd groups resolve to continue their campaign of opposition in the Ross Sea counting every whale saved from the Japanese harpoons as a success. Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd, a founding member of Greenpeace, has been urging the Australian government to uphold election promises to hold the Japanese to account over their infringements of international law by continuing to harvest whales for commercial use in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Watson claims he will “back off” if Australia acts through the International courts. They are showing little sign of doing so.

The travesty of the Japanese claim to be hunting and killing these animals for research purposes is clear for all to see when the factory ship, the Nishin Maru, its scuppers running with blood and capable of butchering several whales an hour has the words RESEARCH emblazened on it’s side.

Dolphin Days Upgrade Website…

Vanessa and Mike Vanhorn of Dolphin Days have just completed a major update of their website to include upgrades to their species profile pages, Irish cetacean news and their SIGHTINGS page which is new and will provide an increasingly invaluable asset for those seeking more information and sightings details about Irish whales and dolphins.

They have asked that all interested members of the public and other wildlife groups patrolling the coast send in any sightings you may have including the following information:

> What species of cetacean you think you have seen

> How many animals were present. Best estimate minimum/maximum

> The time, date and length of time you watched the animals

> The location and distance offshore

> What behaviour was displayed and if there were sea birds present

> State of the sea & the weather conditions

“…if you have photo’s we love them! Email them to us along with your name & contact details…we really appreciate everyone’s input and we welcome everyone…” say Vanessa and Mike.