WATCH: Western African Talks on Cetaceans and their Habitats

Meeting organized by the UNEP Convention on the Conservation of Migratory
Species of Wild Animals (CMS) as part of the Year of the Dolphin

WATCH - Western African Talks on Cetaceans and their Habitats

WATCH is a series of scientific and inter-governmental meetings on
marine mammals that will take place in Adeje, Tenerife, Spain, during
the week of 16-20 October 2007.

WATCH will be divided in three main sessions:

1) A one-day session open to governments, institutions,
non-governmental organisations and the private sector to discuss threats
to and challenges for the conservation of cetaceans in the Eastern
Atlantic Ocean;

2) A one-day whale watching capacity building workshop to present
and discuss best practices in the region and worldwide, including a
whale watching tour;

3) A three-day negotiation session between the Range States (open
to invited observers) to agree on a Conservation and Action Plan for
Small Cetaceans in Western African Waters, and determine the scope and
format of a new CMS instrument for the Conservation of the West African
Manatee and Cetaceans of the Eastern Atlantic Basin.

More information on the background of CMS's initiative, the meeting and
logistics can be found at http://www.cms.int/species/waam/watch.htm,
which is regularly being updated.

For all queries, please contact:

Ms Heidrun Frisch

Marine Mammals Officer

UNEP/CMS Secretariat

Leafy Seadragon Demonstrated in Boston

Leafy Seadragon, the first open source application to research cetacean communication by using two-way underwater acoustic interactions, was successfully demonstrated at the 3rd International Workshop on Detection and Classification of Marine Mammals using Passive Acoustics, on July 24, 2007, in Boston.

Ken Ekstrom from MIT did a great job with his audio equipment and personal whales and dolphins recordings. Thanks to Ken, we had a very entertaining poster session, with lots of whales and dolphins recordings.
Friendships were re-enforced and new friendships started.

Tourists Witness Japanese Killing of Beaked Whale

From Yahoo! News:

Bloody whale hunt off Japan shocks tourists: report

Sat Aug 25, 1:46 PM ET

TOKYO (AFP) - Whale watching tourists encountered hunters in waters off northern Japan and witnessed the bloody killing of a Baird's Beaked Whale, a report said Saturday.

Some 20 tourists on board the whale-watching ship Evergreen, some of them foreigners, witnessed the hunt Friday morning off the eastern coast of Hokkaido island, touching Okhotsk Sea, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper said.

The crew on Evergreen initially noticed a whaling ship and sprays from a whale's blowhole in waters about 3.5 kilometres (roughly 2.2 miles) away from them, the newspaper said, citing a Japanese whale watching guide.

When Evergreen approached within about 100 metres (330 feet) of the whaling ship, the tourists saw a harpoon shot into a Baird's Beaked Whale, according to the guide, the newspaper said.

Two other whale watching ships were also in the area, and the hunt sickened a few tourists and shocked children, the guide claimed, the Mainichi said.

Baird's Beaked Whale is not considered to be endangered.

"Our job is to show whales, and their job is to hunt. But can we do something about this situation?" the Evergreen's captain told the newspaper.

Meanwhile, the whaling ship has asked local authorities to warn tourism vessels that they have been getting too close to the whaling ship and operating dangerously, the Mainichi said.