• Don Lichterman

Dolphin Outlook, Canada Passes Bill to end Captivity, 41 new (MCZs), Scotland’s Argyll Coast & more!

Canada passes 'Free Willy' bill banning whale and dolphin captivity

Canada's House of Commons passed a bill Monday to make it illegal to hold a whale, dolphin or porpoise captive, punishable by fines up to $150,000 USD.

It's known colloquially as the "Free Willy" bill, named after the 1993 movie in which a young boy frees a killer whale from a US amusement park."Nothing fantastic ever happens in a hurry. But today we celebrate that we have ended the captivity and breeding of whales and dolphins. This is news to splash a fin at," animal rights group Humane Canada said in a tweet

The bill is expected to become law. It was introduced in the Senate in December 2015 and was already approved there but must return now and gain "royal assent."

Frustrated by the increase in family homelessness she saw across Washington DC, Kelly Sweeney McShane and her organization Community of Hope decided to try something different.The Green Party of Canada celebrated in a statement Monday.

"These intelligent, social mammals will now get to live where they belong -- in the ocean," the party said.Dozens of supporters of the bill used the hashtag #emptythetanks to celebrate on social media.

The bill makes exceptions if the animals are rescues, in rehabilitation or licensed for scientific research, or when it's in the animal's best interests."A person may move a live cetacean from its immediate vicinity when the cetacean is injured or in distress and is in need of assistance," the bill states.

As Americans head to the beaches this summer, it’s easier than ever to feel grateful for our beautiful oceans and coastline. But President Trump is trying to expand dirty and dangerous offshore drilling, and that could change the face of America’s beaches forever.

Make no mistake, opening the floodgates to dirty and dangerous offshore drilling is a catastrophe waiting to happen for ocean wildlife, coastal communities and our oceans. It simply isn’t worth the risk.

Right now, your member of Congress has the power to block President Trump’s shortsighted plan – and needs to hear from YOU before this important vote.

President Trump’s offshore drilling plan would open more than 90 percent of our oceans to offshore drilling, and it’s time for Congress to ensure this does not happen. We desperately need 30,000 Wavemakers like YOU to contact your lawmakers and say with one united voice: Protect our coast from new dirty and dangerous offshore drilling!

Tell your Representative Norcross: Vote YES on amendments to H.R. 3052 to protect our coasts from dangerous offshore drilling before our oceans, marine life and communities pay the ultimate price

I emailed you today because your Representative is preparing to vote on H.R. 3052, the Interior-Environment funding bill, and this is a huge opportunity. Proposed amendments to this bill could block expanded offshore drilling and Atlantic seismic airgun blasting! We can’t let this opportunity slip by.

If there was ever a time to make your voice heard, it’s now. President Trump’s radical offshore drilling plan is a clear example of special interest politics over people, which is why it is vital we continue to fight back and keep the pressure on lawmakers.

Opposition to dirty and dangerous offshore oil is widespread and bipartisan. Over 2,200 elected officials from the local, state and federal level – Republicans and Democrats – have opposed or expressed concern with expanded offshore drilling and exploration, as well as:

  • Every East and West Coast governor

  • More than 360 local municipalities

  • Alliances representing over 46,000 businesses and over 500,000 fishing families

It’s on us to make sure our elected leaders protect our coast by ensuring no new drilling and spilling poisons along our shores – not now, not ever.

Tell your Representative in Congress to do everything in their power to protect our coasts from new offshore oil drilling by voting YES on amendments to H.R. 3052

Scotland’s Argyll Coast and Islands have been declared a Hope Spot – the first in mainland United Kingdom – to shed light on the immense beauty, rich history and vibrant life along the country’s west coast and to recognize the four community networks (CAOLAS, CROMACH, Friends of the Sound of Jura and Save Seil Sound) that have banded together under the Coastal Communities Network, Scotland, to raise community awareness of the need to encourage protection of Scotland’s unique marine ecosystems. Read More!

Dr. Sylvia Earle says, “The Argyll Coast is a place of great beauty but also of great importance. Thank you for doing what you’re doing to ensure a healthy future for the Argyll Coast and for the rest of the world’s oceans. Congratulations on the first Hope Spot in Scotland and mainland United Kingdom!”. Read More!

New Marine Conservation Zones Declared in the U.K.!

In exciting marine conservation news, the United Kingdom has declared 41 new marine conservation zones (MCZs)! There are now a total of 91 MCZs in the U.K., with 89 in English waters and 2 in Northern Ireland offshore waters. This action is a step in a three-stage process, and a leap in the right direction to allow the marine ecosystems in the UK– and all over the world–  a chance to recover and flourish for the next generation.  Read More!