BOOKS: Astro: The Steller Sea Lion

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2010:
(Actual press date November 3.)

Astro: The Steller Sea Lion by Jeanne Walker Harvey
Sylvan Dell Publishing (612 Johnnie Dodds, Suite A2
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464), 2010. * 32 pages, paperback. $8.95.

No one knows how the baby sea lion washed upon the shore in
Morrow Bay Harbor, near San Luis Obispo, California, in December
2008. A scientist who saw the abandoned pup took him to the Marine
Mammal Center in Marin County, just across the Golden Gate Bridge
from San Francisco. Staff and volunteers named the sea lion Astro.
At ten months of age, when Astro was healthy enough for
release into the Pacific, he was fitted with a satellite tag so that
the Marine Mammal Center could monitor his travels. Astro was
returned to the beach where he was found, but the sea did not
interest him. Neither did the other sea lions lingering on the sand.
Astro waited for two days for his human friends to return for him.

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Pete Bethune vs. Paul Watson

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2010:
(Actual press date November 3.)
FRIDAY HARBOR, Wa.–A split between Sea
Shepherd Conservation Society founder Paul Watson
and Pete Bethune, captain of the sunken racing
trimaran turned anti-whaling vessel Ady Gil,
flared into view on October 5, 2010, attracting
global notice as result of statements Bethune
made to New Zealand National Radio, but vanished
from his web site and that of the Sea Shepherds
just a few days later.
Joining the Sea Shepherd fleet for the
winter 2009-2010 campaign against Japanese
whaling, the Ady Gil caught up to the whalers in
early January 2010, joined on January 6 by Sea
Shepherd vessel Bob Barker. Later that day the
Ady Gil was cut in two when rammed by the
whale-catcher Shonan Maru #2. The Bob Barker
took the aft part of the Ady Gil under tow, but
the tow proved difficult as the Ady Gil took on
water. The Ady Gil was stripped and scuttled on
January 8.

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Net-cutting claimed by German activists fails to free dolphins from “The Cove”

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2010:
(published October 5, 2010)
TAIJI, Japan–Japanese authorities, coastal whalers,
longtime opponent of coastal dolphin-killing and capture Ric O’Barry,
and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society observers at the Taiji
dolphin-killing cove Scott and Elora West all appeared surprised on
September 28, 2010 by a web-posted announcement that “Divers from
the European conservation organisation Black Fish last night swam out
and cut the nets of six holding pens in Taiji, Japan, that were
holding dolphins caught during a dolphin drive hunt a few days

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BOOKS: Do Fish Feel Pain?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2010:
(published October 5, 2010)

Do Fish Feel Pain?
by Victoria Braithwaite
Oxford University Press (198 Madison Ave.,
New York, NY 10016), 2010.
194 pages, hardcover. $29.95.

Victoria Braithwaite, a professor of fisheries biology at
Pennsylvania State University and a visting professor at the
University of Bergen, Norway, had no idea in 2003 that she was
about to make a discovery that would change her life, the direction
of her field, and the perception that much of humanity has of fish.
Braithwaite certainly did not foresee, as an animal researcher,
that she would open a whole new direction in animal advocacy. Even
three years later, when Braithwaite summarized her work in an op-ed
essay for the Los Angeles Times, she was surprised by the intensity
of the response she drew from readers.

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Greenpeacers sentenced

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2010:
(published October 5, 2010)
TOKYO–Greenpeace Japan anti-whaling campaigners Junichi Sato,
33, and Toru Suzuki, 43, were on September 6, 2010 convicted of
stealing more than 20 kilograms of whale meat from a warehouse in
April 2008, and were sentenced to a year in jail each, suspended
for three years. Sato and Suzuki contended that they took the whale
meat as evidence that members of the crew of the whaling ship Nissan
Maru were illegally selling meat from whales who had been killed in
the name of scientific research. The case, the award-winning film
The Cove, and the July 2010 deportation of Sea Shepherd
Conserv-ation Society activist Pete Betheune, whose boat the Ady Gil
was sunk by a Japanese whaler in January 2010, have greatly raised
Japanese awareness of the nation’s involvement in whaling.

What the Sea Shepherds did during the summer in the Galapagos, Faroe Islands, and Tokyo

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 2010:


FRIDAY HARBOR– The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
celebrated but pledged to remain involved in the Galapagos Islands on
July 28, 2010, after the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organiz-ation’s World Heritage Committee voted 14-5 to drop
the Galapagos from the UNESCO list of endangered World Heritage
sites. Added to the list in 2007, the Galapagos were downlisted in
recognition of improved environmental protection by the government of
Ecuador– including restraining alleged economic exploitation by
senior officers in the Ecuadoran navy.
The Sea Shepherds began helping the Galapagos National Park
Service to patrol the Galapagos Marine Reserve in late 2000. In
early 2001 one of the first Sea Shepherd missions undertaken with the
park service exposed the involvement of Ecuadoran navy vessels in
support of shark poaching. The Sea Shepherds later donated the
patrol boat Sirenian to the Galapagos National Park Service, and
established a permanent office in the Galapagos in support of ongoing
anti-poaching efforts.

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Tadpoles screaming underwater show unsuspected sentience

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2010:
BUENOS AIRES–The ethical significance of the discovery that
tadpoles scream when threatened may take some time to occur to
scientists, ethicists, and animal advocates. A breakthrough in
scientific recognition of animal sentience, the finding took more
than three years just to win widespread notice after formal
publication in a leading journal.
Tadpoles might have been audibly screaming when threatened
for more than 200 million years before Guillermo Natale, Ph.D. of
the National University of La Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina heard
the multi-note metallic sound emitted by tadpoles of the horned frog
Ceratophrys ornata.

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U.S. backs deal to let Japan legally kill whales in the Southern Oceans

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2010:


WASHINGTON D.C.–Japan is likely to be authorized to engage
in commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and
coastal waters, and Norway and Iceland are likely to be allowed to
continue commercial whaling, now with International Whaling
Commission approval, at the 2010 IWC meeting in Agadir, Morocco,
to be held June 21-25.
Japan has engaged in “research” whaling at commercial levels
throughout the global whaling moratorium declared by the IWC in 1982,
and has killed whales within the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary ever
since the sanctuary was designated in 1994. The IWC has not
previously addressed Japanese coastal whaling, which mostly kills
species smaller than those regulated by the IWC. Norway has killed
minke whales in coastal waters since 1993. Iceland has wobbled
between authorizing and prohibiting whaling.

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SeaWorld trainer death & Oscar for “The Cove” convince Solomon Islands dealer to free his dolphin inventory

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2010:

ORLANDO, HOLLYWOOD (Calif.), VICTORIA–A third fatality
involving the captive orca Tillikum and an Academy Award for
anti-marine mammal captivity activist Ric O’Barry convinced Solomon
Islands dolphin broker Chris Porter to seek O’Barry’s help in
releasing the last 17 dolphins in his unsold inventory.
Porter captured as many as 170 dolphins in 2003 and about 50
in 2007, 83 of whom were eventually sold to resorts in Dubai and
Cancun, Mexico. Pending sale, the dolphins were kept in heavily
guarded sea pens at Fanalei on the island of Malaita.
“I have decided to release the remaining animals back to the
wild,” Porter confirmed to Judith Lavoie of the Victoria Times
Colonist during a late March 2010 visit to his part-time home in
Victoria, British Columbia. “It’s driven by the incident with
Tilikum. I’m disillusioned with the industry,” Porter said.
Porter trained Tilikum at Sealand of the Pacific in Victoria
before going into the dolphin capture business. In 1991 Tillikum and
two other Sealand orcas battered and drowned trainer Keltie Byrne,
20, during a water show. All three orcas were sold to SeaWorld when
Sealand went out of business in November 1992.

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