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Rambler's Top100
22.12.08 We wish Happy Holidays to everybody with our Greeting Card!
22.11.09 Total allowable catches for marine mammals for 2010
30.10.2009 On the page Publications the pdf-file of "Marine Mammals of Russia" is now available
07.10.09 First Guidebook to all Russian Marine Mammals Published
The Marine Mammals of Russia ( ) is published today in a Russian only edition.
The 208-page handbook is the first guide to all 47 species of marine mammals of Russia, including the Russian Far East (Pacific), the vast Arctic, the Baltic and the Black seas. Illustrated with more than 300 colour photos, maps and illustrations, the book contains accounts of each of the species, precise identification keys and chapters on how to study whales in the wild and conservation concerns.
Funding for the book has come from a partnership project with Pacific Environment Conservation of Pacific salmon in Kamchatka, supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The funds were provided through the Kamchatka Branch of the Pacific Institute of Geography. Additional help with layout and distribution was provided by WWF Russia and WDCS, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.
The book was written by Alexander Burdin, Olga Filatova and Erich Hoyt, from the Far East Russia Orca Project (FEROP), with distribution maps, illustrations and layout by Ivan Fedutin, plus photographs from Russian and international research groups.
Burdin, A.M., Filatova, O.A., Hoyt, E. 2009. . (Marine Mammals of Russia). Kirov Regional Printing House, plc, Kirov, 208pp. [ISBN: 9785881868505]
26.09.09 Our field season is finally over. The second half of the summer we have spent in two different places: part of the team continued our long-term orca research in Avacha Gulf, while the others went to Beringa Island, in the Commander Islands, 500 km away, where we have conducted a project on whale monitoring since 2007. The work was interesting and productive in both places. In Avacha Gulf we observed our familiar orcas, monitored the year-to-year changes in social structure, sounds, habitat use and ways of foraging. At Beringa Island we mostly encountered new, unknown groups, though some familiar groups from Avacha Gulf were also present. For the second year in a row, we met an albino orca. It was a different animal than in the previous year. This time it was a big adult, presumed female. Maybe white orcas are not as rare in the North Pacific as we thought: there were also some reports of white individuals from the Aleutian and Kuril Islands and from the Okhotsk Sea.
Besides orcas, we have also worked with humpback whales at Beringa Island. We have photographed them for individual identification, which allowed us to find several matches with previous years.
28.07.09 We have finished the first stage of our field season in Karaginsky Gulf. This area is about 800 km to the North of our usual study area in Avacha Gulf. Some of the orcas we met were new to us, but others were our familiar orcas from Avacha Gulf Ikar, Nemo, Drkin and Drkin's friends' matrilines. Now we are preparing to depart to Beringa Island (Commander Islands) where the next stage of our project will take place. Part of our field team has been working in Avacha Gulf since mid-July and will remain there.
28.06.2009. St. Petersburg, Russia. WDCS, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, and its homes for whales campaign owes a huge debt of gratitude to Oleg Zherebtsov and Team Russia sailing in the Volvo Ocean Race. With its banner we sail for the whale on the mainsail and the name of the boat being Kosatka, the Russian word for killer whale, Team Russia has exposed many people to the plight of whales and dolphins in the worlds oceans. Since the launch of the race in Alicante, Spain, last October, it has been an incredible year for the homes for whales campaign, reports Erich Hoyt, who heads up the WDCS Marine Protected Areas Programme. Tens of thousands of people have signed the WDCS petition to create significant marine protected areas and networks around the world. Since January, WDCS has been riding the crest of a wave as five very large protected areas were created in the waters of the Pacific, followed by the largest ever protected area in Antarctic waters. Finally, we are getting some worldwide momentum for our efforts, adds Hoyt. This month WDCS and the flagship Far East Russia Orca Project (FEROP) will initiate new detailed studies in the North Pacific to identify important habitats for whales. This was a key recommendation of the first international conference on marine mammal protected areas (ICMMPA) held in Maui, Hawaii in April this year. WDCS and FEROP salute Kosatka and Team Russia as they sail into St. Petersburg and are pleased to share in the celebrations welcoming the Volvo Ocean Race fleet for the first time to Russia. For more information on the homes for whales campaign and to sign the petition, go to www.wdcs.org/homesforwhales.
08.06.09. Saving the seas for marine mammals - check out this article (and extensive comments) on the BBC website explaining why large marine protected areas are needed to ensure the long term survival of marine mammals such as whales and dolphins. Written by FEROP co-director Erich Hoyt.
19.02.09 Today is an International Whale Day. In 1986 members of the International Whaling Commission entered into a moratorium on all commercial whaling beginning in the 1985-86 season. However, the moratorium considers only big whales, and small whale and dolphin hunting is regulated withing each country. In Russia hunting on some whale and dolphin species is still allowed. Every year the Federal Fisheries Agency approves the amounts of total allowable catches for marine mammals. You can see approved allowable catches for 2009 here

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