Phil worked as a commercial fisherman for more than 29 years before joining Greenpeace as a Senior Oceans Campaigner in 2007. He has been quoted in the USA Today, The New York Times and Newsweek among others.
138,500 whales and dolphins will be injured and possibly killed
It was only a couple months ago that Greenpeace celebrated a big victory on the West Coast when the California Coastal Commission voted to deny the Navy permission to conduct seismic testing in the Pacific Ocean, risking the lives of whales, dolphins and other marine life.
The Navy's plan to test sonar and explosives underwater will directly impact whales like this humpback.
Over the past couple of years the Obama Administration has demonstrated great international leadership on the conservation of whales. This includes the US supporting the creation of the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary at the last International Whaling Commission meeting, President Obama imposing diplomatic sanctions on Iceland for their commercial hunting of endangered fin whales and numerous other conservation initiatives. However here at home it’s a very different story with the Obama administration supporting multiple activities that will result in the harm to millions of whales and dolphins. Continue reading →
I’ve been involved in fisheries management reform for over two decades and in all that time there has only been a couple of times I would say that an action taken by the politicians who manage out nation’s fisheries have done something historic. December 14 was one of those historic moments when the Atlantic States Marine Fish Commission (ASMFC) adopted the first ever management plan for Atlantic menhaden. The ASMFC heard from more than 120,000 of our online activists urging the commission to take action on menhaden protection. Thank you! Continue reading →
Whale lovers it’s time to CELEBRATE and thank the California Coastal Commission (CCC) for protecting whales, dolphins, sea otters and a long list of other marine wildlife from the devastating impacts of a proposed seismic testing project by PG&E. Last Wednesday, the CCC voted unanimously to deny PG&E’s application to conduct seismic testing in California’s coastal waters adjacent to the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. Continue reading →
Humpback whales like this one rely on the menhaden as a critical food source
If striped bass could tell us what they want for Christmas they would shout menhaden (and lots of them) along with bluefish, humpback whales and a long list of other marine species that depend on menhaden not only for their Christmas dinner but every day all year long. Continue reading →
My Greenpeace colleagues aboard our new flagship the Rainbow Warrior in the Indian Ocean shared a heartwarming experience when a frolicking group of humpback and minke whales put on quite a show. The excitement of their encounter just reverberated through their email and I can see from these photos why they were so pumped. It’s not a stretch to say these whales were happy and playful. Why wouldn’t they be as the entire Indian Ocean is a whale sanctuary where they can live in peace? What a contrast this is to other parts of the world where whales not only don’t have protections but face a myriad of direct threats from humans. One huge emerging threat to whales, dolphins and other marine wildlife is happening now in the coastal waters of California. Continue reading →
This marks the first time there has ever been a meaningful limit on how much menhaden can be caught. It’s almost unbelievable that it has taken into the 21st century to actively manage such an important forage species.
If the ASMFC follows through on their commitment to reform menhaden management it will take us one step closer to once again having menhaden fulfill their role as the “most important fish in the sea” as prey for striped bass, blue fish, sea birds, whales and a myriad of other species. I say IF they follow through. After all, there’s a lot of political pressure and lobby dollars pushing the ASMFC to delay reform allowing Omega Protein to continue plundering menhaden, all for one company’s profit. That’s where you can help by asking the ASMFC to not delay by passing the draft plan on August 8th and send it out for public comment thereby setting the stage to make it final at their following meeting. After working to get to this point for more than a decade let’s not allow the ASMFC backslide now.
Healthy oceans are only possible with healthy ecosystems. Maintaining the robust fish populations upon which we depend for food and recreation requires protection of their food source. This means protecting the entire oceanic food web. Little fish are hugely important to big fish yet they’re often overlooked in conservation efforts when tuna and whales take center stage. However, recent reform by Mid-Atlantic and New England fishery mangers means a big victory for little fish and increased protection for our oceans. This victory took years of advocacy to accomplish, and will help ensure there’s plenty to eat for the big fish we love.
During the first week of July, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) is set to meet in Panama. At the IWC meeting last year, a measure was passed that makes it much more difficult for Japan to keep paying small, developing nations to vote with them on their agenda to restart commercial whaling. While a noteworthy achievement, whale conservation overall has gained a little momentum.
From the freezing waters of the Antarctic to the warm waters of the equator, this area of the Atlantic is vital to total and true whale conservation and protection. Most of the great whales are highly migratory, feeding in the nutrient-rich waters of the Antarctic before traveling to tropical waters where they give birth and suckle their young. These incomparable animals then make the long migration back to their feeding grounds. Continue reading →