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New California Bill Seeks to Ban Orcas in Captivity

If passed, legislation will mean an end to killer whale shows at SeaWorld, San Diego

A new bill has just been introduced in California that would phase out orcas captivity in the state. Assembly Bill 2140 (pdf), introduced by Assemblymember Richard Bloom last week, seeks a ban on keeping killer whales in captivity for human entertainment and…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – March 12, 2014

The International Marine Mammal Project

Keeping Up the Fight in Greece and Japan

The International Marine Mammal Project is working with grassroots activists in Japan to stop dolphin killings and keep in place a Greek ban on captive dolphin performances. photo Steve JurvetsonWith help from IMMP, Greek activists defended a Greek ban on dolphin shows. Dolphin shows are cruel and numbingly repetitive for dolphins, as well as bad education for viewers, because they are more about dominance of animals than about the natural history of…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – Spring 2014

A Tragic Love Story Between a Friendly Orca and his Human Neighbors

Book Review: The Lost Whale: The True Story of an Orca Named Luna

Luna was a small (which means still rather large) young orca separated from his pod and mother, who began to come up to boats and people in a manner that could only be characterized as “friendly.” Which astonished a number of people…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – February 28, 2014

Chimps and Bonobos Prove that Moral Behavior is a Product of Evolution

Book Review: The Bonobo and the Atheist

Dr. Frans de Waal doesn’t want to change your religion. He does, however, want to change some misconceptions about our human ethical and moral values; values he feels are very much a part of our evolutionary heritage. He finds his evidence in…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – January 17, 2014

Take My Advice

Letters to a Young Scientist
By Edward O. Wilson
Liveright, 2013, 256 pages

“Charming” is not a word one would normally associate with a book about how to be a scientist. But Edward O. Wilson’s new book, Letters to a Young Scientist, is indeed charming, as well as by turns inspirational and practical. To cut to the chase: If you have children who are interested in a career in science, or if you know young people already launched on that pathway, buy them this book.…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – Autumn 2013

Feds Deny Georgia Aquarium Permit to Import 18 Beluga Whales

Lucrative US captive marine mammal market barred to the beluga hunters for now

Yesterday, the US National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) denied Georgia Aquarium’s request for a permit to import 18 beluga whales caught in the wild in Russia citing “requirements of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA).” The whales were destined for several aquariums…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – August 7, 2013

New US Fisheries Rule Will Help Resolve Dolphin Safe Label Dispute with Mexico

Regulation extends current protections for dolphins to tuna-fishing operations across the world

The United States issued a new federal fisheries rule on Tuesday that extends current protections for dolphins to other tuna fisheries around the world. The new rule will improve reporting on the safety of dolphins and at the same time resolve a…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – July 11, 2013

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