May 18th, 2002

Dear Dolphin and Whale Lovers,

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is meeting next week in Japan to decide the fate of the whales.  Japan and other countries are pushing to lift the moratorium on whaling, and continue to slaughter these magnificent beings, that is, those that are left.  THE WHALES ARE IN GREAT DANGER and action must be taken now!!!  There are a couple of websites you can visit to learn what you can do: - This website includes letters that you can 
send online to the Japanese embassy in your country - sign their position statement 
against the RMS (revised management scheme) that will allow whaling to continue. 

International Fund for Animal Welfare | Help Stop Whaling Now 
Global Whale Alliance 

Please do not save this for later, the meeting is next week!!!

We are asking for 5 minutes of prayer and visualization for the whales and 
dolphins on Monday,  May 20th at 12:00 noon eastern mountain time (US).  Please stop what you are doing for five minutes and pray for the safety of the whales and dolphins and oceans.  Visualize the dolphins and whales swimming free and safe from harpoons, tuna boats, pollution, LFS (the Navy's high pitched frequency sounds that kills dolphins and whales).  Let's see what the power of prayer and visualization can do to stop the many threats against them now.  Please tell EVERYONE you know!!! *************************************************************
In November, we were visited by Animal Planet star Jeff Corwin and his crew who filmed a show about our part of the world, Costa Rica.  The crew stayed with us for three days, filming the monkeys, toucans and other wildlife in our area.  We also took them out on the water, where three humpback whales (Mom, baby and escort) breached several times in front of our boat while Jeff talked about them (yes, he is as funny in person as on television!!)  This show will be aired on May 26th at 9:00 pm on Animal 
Planet (check your listings for your local air time).  It should be a lot 
of fun!!  Don't miss it!!
We are making this newsletter short as we really want you to visit the 
websites above and take action to stop whaling.  We did want to include the short story below for you to think about. Thank you for caring!!!

President, Fundacion Delfin de Costa Rica 
In alliance with:  &


by Daniel Knaub

Where in the world is Salt? She was last seen October 13 on Stellwagen 
Bank, near Cape Cod, MA. You may think it would be hard to misplace 
something that is 55 feet long and weighs more than 100,000 pounds (the 
same as six or seven elephants). Where is she? She is probably swimming 
towards the Caribbean and great danger.

Salt isn't there for the sunshine or time off from work. She is there for 
only one of two purposes: if she became pregnant on last year's migration, 
she is going to give birth, if not she is going to try to get pregnant.
Her migration is going to take nearly 30 days and will cover 1500 miles one 
way. She faces many dangers including: entanglement in fishing nets, 
getting stranded on shore or even hit by large ships. But her most 
dangerous time is on the calving and breeding grounds and her death there 
will never be an accident.

The island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines decided that their 
culture was lacking in a very important event, the slaughter of whales. 
Each spring, usually in March, islanders board a small boat, armed with 
harpoons and large caliber guns. They celebrate the killing of a humpback 
whale and its newborn calf as a cultural necessity, even though they gave 
up whaling decades ago. They need to kill a calf because the mother will 
not abandon it.

Who is Salt? She is a female humpback whale first sighted in 1976. She was an adult then so no one knows her age today. In fact, no one can answer the most basic of all questions: how long do humpback whales live? We do know that Salt is at least 28 years old.

Salt is called the Grand Dame of Stellwagen Bank for good reason. She was the first whale to be given a name and treated as an individual. Her dorsal 
fin is covered with white scars. The individual who named her thought it 
looked like someone sprinkled salt on her back. Her companion was named 
Pepper. Since that time more than 1200 humpback whales have been named in the Gulf of Maine.

Twenty-six years of research yielded astonishing facts. Salt has returned 
from the Caribbean with eight calves. Her first calf was named Crystal 
(1980), and started a long tradition of naming Salt's calves with a name 
related to her name. Keeping this in mind, her other calves have been 
named: Halos, Thalassa, Brine, Bittern, Salsa and Tabasco. Her calf of 2000 still needs a name.

There are more than twenty humpback whales known to be grandmothers and Salt is a member of this group. Salt's third calf Thalassa (1985) returned with her own calf in 1992.

Whale watchers in the Gulf of Maine (more than a million people go between April and October) are never more excited than when a naturalist yells, "There's Salt, the one with the white dorsal fin!" They may see her hit the water with her tail or flippers, or with a wide-open mouth full of fish and thousands of gallons of water, or witness the most spectacular behavior in the animal kingdomâ¦breaching! If she has a calf with her, Salt is well 
known for her visits beside the boats.

Salt is an individual, with a distinct personality, a strong family history 
and an interest in humans. The most amazing thing I have learned from 
hundreds of trips to visit these animals in their home, is that the species 
of whale we most want to see, is the species most interested in us!

As long as there are whaling quotas, individual whales like Salt are at 
risk. Japan and Norway kill more than one thousand whales annually, and 
consistently try to get permission to kill even more. St. Vincent is 
helping them realize their dream: a return to commercial whaling. This 
year, Japan is hosting the International Whaling Commission meeting and 
buying pro-whaling votes from nations in the Caribbean.

Salt spends nearly nine months in US waters. She is in Caribbean waters for just a few short weeks, the rest of the time is during her migration. It is 
my opinion that no nation or island should remove this source of awe from 
so many.

I don't know Salt's future, but I hope it is thrilling whale watchers, not 
cut up on a beach somewhere, surrounded by smiling, laughing, dancing 
islanders, celebrating their culture.

Dan Knaub is the founder and owner of The Whale Video Company in 
Mechanicsburg, PA. The company has documented 15,000 whale watching trips on videotape.

Thank you for caring!!!

President, Fundacion Delfin de Costa Rica

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