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NEWS
October 19, 1988 | From Times Wire Services
Below-zero temperatures and shifting winds continued to threaten three stranded whales Tuesday as rescuers readied for a dangerous, go-for-broke attempt to free the animals. The effort has become a race against time, complicated by the wind, bitter cold and shifting ice. Observers said that the young California gray whales were tired and at least one has pneumonia.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 2014 | Tony Perry
Putting the brakes on a controversial bill to ban killer whale shows at SeaWorld San Diego, an Assembly committee Tuesday called for additional study that could take at least 18 months. Naomi Rose, a marine mammal scientist at the Animal Welfare Institute, one of the bill's sponsors, said she was disappointed by the move but pleased at the idea of more study -- although it remained unclear how the study would be conducted. John Reilly, president of SeaWorld San Diego, said he doubted a compromise is possible with people backing the bill.
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NATIONAL
June 13, 2007 | From the Associated Press
A 50-ton bowhead whale caught off the Alaskan coast last month had a weapon fragment embedded in its neck that showed it survived a similar hunt -- more than a century ago. Embedded deep under its blubber was a 3 1/2 -inch arrow-shaped projectile that has given researchers insight into the whale's age, estimated at 115 to 130 years old. "No other finding has been this precise," said John Bockstoce, an adjunct curator of the New Bedford Whaling Museum.
OPINION
April 8, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The lives of captive killer whales are nothing like those of their wild counterparts. Instead of roaming for miles every day in close-knit family groups, captive whales perform for audiences in tanks that, though roomier than those of early marine parks, are far too small for such large ocean predators. In the wild, killer whales have not been known to kill humans or one another. The same cannot be said for the whales in amusement parks around the world, even though they represent only about a tenth of a percent of the numbers in the wild.
OPINION
March 23, 1997
Re "Future of Whales' Lagoon Grows Murky," March 13: While I am no eco-terrorist, I am saddened that one of the few remaining whale breeding areas might be threatened by a salt mining concern, especially one not based in this country. I do not want to state that salt mining is wrong per se, and it may be helpful to other areas, but whales are increasingly limited and still mysterious as to their intellect and sentience. JAMES DITCHIK Woodland Hills
OPINION
April 3, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
It was well known for many years that Japan's "scientific whaling" program was a sham, designed to get around the international moratorium on hunting whales. Almost no research on the animals came from Japanese scientists; instead, whale meat kept showing up in restaurants and school lunches. Finally, Australia, a whaling country until 1978 and now an avid opponent, called Japan's bluff over the hundreds of whales it killed each year in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary surrounding Antarctica.
NATIONAL
January 24, 2014 | By Saba Hamedy
Officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found 25 dead pilot whales off Kice Island, Fla., on Thursday, adding to the state's high whale death toll. Although Blair Mase, NOAA stranding coordinator, said such incidents "come in spurts," the number of pilot whale strandings in the last year is higher than usual. "It's unusual and something we are looking at," Mase told reporters on Thursday. The 25 dead mammals -- 16 females and nine males -- were discovered just two days after eight other pilot whales were found dead about 40 miles north of Kice Island in Lovers Key. In December, 51 pilot whales were stranded in the Florida Everglades . Eleven died after beaching themselves in the Everglades and 11 others died in the Florida Keys, about 70 miles away.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 11, 2010
The annual Dana Point Festival of Whales celebrates the 5,000-mile journey of the California gray whale down the coast. Dana Point is a natural landmark against which the whales check their migration route, and the community marks the occasion with whale watching, live music, educational programs, recreational activities and ocean-themed events. Dana Point Harbor. 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Activity schedule and prices vary; see website for details. (888) 440-4309. www.festivalofwhales.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 16, 2013 | By Tony Perry
The Navy's five year-plan to use sonar in training exercises off Southern California and Hawaii was approved Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But several environmental groups, represented by San Francisco-based Earthjustice and anticipating the approval, immediately filed a lawsuit in Hawaii federal court to block the training on grounds that the underwater noise poses an unacceptable threat to marine mammals. NOAA, after a review by its fisheries division, concluded that the promised mitigation measures by the Navy will "minimize effects on marine mammals.
NEWS
September 17, 2013 | By Rosemary McClure
Just in time for the annual migration of California gray whales, La Paz, near the southern tip of Baja California, has beefed up its fleet of whale-watching tours. Seven outfitters are now available, including Fun-Azul Fleet , which kicked off new eco-tourism dive trips. An estimated 18,000 California gray whales, which spend the summer months in the Bering Sea, migrate south in the fall, ending up in the quiet lagoons of Baja California to spend the winter. The 12,000-mile round trip may be the longest migration of any mammal on Earth.
BUSINESS
April 3, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
Amid ongoing controversy over its killer whale shows, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. reported a 13% drop in attendance for the first three months of the year. The attendance numbers were included in a notice to the Securities and Exchange Commission that SeaWorld was buying 1.75 million of its own shares from private equity firm Blackstone Group. The notice said attendance for the quarter that ended March 31 dropped to about 3.05 million visitors from 3.5 million in the same period in 2013.
OPINION
April 3, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
It was well known for many years that Japan's "scientific whaling" program was a sham, designed to get around the international moratorium on hunting whales. Almost no research on the animals came from Japanese scientists; instead, whale meat kept showing up in restaurants and school lunches. Finally, Australia, a whaling country until 1978 and now an avid opponent, called Japan's bluff over the hundreds of whales it killed each year in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary surrounding Antarctica.
NEWS
March 7, 2014 | By Jay Jones
Visitors to Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island can join in a free whale-watching experience on March 29 when they will not only be on the lookout for whales but also be counting them. Humpback whales come to Hawaii each winter to mate and calve, and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary tracks their numbers during the Sanctuary Ocean Count that's held one Saturday morning each January, February and March. About 2,000 volunteers are needed for the counts, which take place at 62 locations scattered across the three islands.
SCIENCE
February 26, 2014 | By Geoffrey Mohan
Scientists have uncloaked the mystery of an ancient fossilized graveyard of dozens of whales lying side by side with bizarre, walrus-faced dolphins and swimming sloths. The fossils, unearthed about three years ago during a road-widening project in Chile's Atacama Desert, probably record a series of mass strandings about 6 million to 9 million years ago that were caused by blooms of algae fed by the iron-rich sediments of the Andes Mountains, according to a study published online Wednesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The international team of researchers believes about four waves of carcasses washed into what once was a placid tidal basin within a period of weeks, then were buried in sediments that accumulated over 10,000 to 16,000 years, said the study's lead author, Nicholas D. Pyenson, curator of fossil marine mammals at the Smithsonian Institution.
SCIENCE
February 12, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
A satellite orbiting Earth has spotted 55 southern right whales hanging out in the shallow waters off Argentina. It turns out that these particular whales are quite easy to spot from space, said Peter Fretwell of the British Antarctic Survey. They got the name right whales because they were once considered the "right" whales to hunt. They are large and slow, and they spend a lot of time lolling near the surface of calm ocean waters. For this reason, their numbers dropped from a pre-whaling population of 55,000-70,000 to just 300 by the 1920s.  "The same reason they are the right whales to catch makes them the right whales to look for by satellite," said Fretwell.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 2014 | Alicia Banks
Martin Byhower has trekked across Chadwick School's Palos Verdes Peninsula campus for 30 years. Fossils scattered across the hilltop grounds often caught the eye of the seventh-grade life sciences teacher. Two years ago, he spotted one that particularly interested him. And on Wednesday, staff from the Natural History Museum excavated it and carefully loaded it onto the bed of a truck. Soon, researchers will begin cleaning it to learn more. This much is known: It appears to be the skull of a juvenile sperm whale, and it is 12 million to 15 million years old. Byhower contacted different groups to ask them to identify the fossil; he got a response from the county museum.
BUSINESS
February 3, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
A procedural rule will keep SeaWorld shareholders from considering a plan by animal rights activists to invest in whale sanctuaries. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals tried to bring the idea to shareholders in response to the documentary "Blackfish," which alleges mistreatment of captive killer whales at the parks. SeaWorld has refuted the allegations raised in "Blackfish. " As owners of 80 shares in SeaWorld Entertainment, PETA can suggest proposals to be included in proxy material mailed to all shareholders.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 27, 2014 | By Louis Sahagun
The National Marine Fisheries Service violated federal law when it authorized the Navy's use of sonar in training exercises off Hawaii and California through 2018, an environmental group said in a lawsuit filed Monday. The agency's own analysis had determined the war games would result in 155 marine mammal deaths, more than 2,000 permanent injuries and about 9.6 million instances of temporary hearing loss and disruptions of vital behaviors - an 1,100% increase over the previous five-year period, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
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