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The Man Who
Knew Too Much
Eye of
the Whale



Articles, news and notices


Monarch Butterfly Update

Latest update on the efforts to preserve the monarch butterflies, translated from the Spanish Newspaper: La Jornada, Saturday, March 1st. 2014, p.34:

Trilateral group ready to protect
monarch butterfly migration
by Arturo Sánchez Jiménez

As stated by the director of SEMARNAT Juan José Guerra Abud: NGOs, scientists and specialists in Mexico, USA and Canada will be part of a working group that will be established to protect and conserve the migration of the monarch butterfly.

The creation of a trinational group is a consequence of the commitments that the presidents of Mexico, USA and Canada agreed upon during the 2014 North American leaders´ summit that was held in Mexico on February 19th, 2014.

The working team will be formed by WWF, Nature Conservancy and the Group of 100, all NGOs with a presence in the three countries.

Each nation will designate scientists who will join the team. Mexico has proposed Blanca Verónica Juárez Jaimes (Researcher at UNAM); Gloria Tavera (Director of the Monarch Butterfly Reserve) and Carlos Galindo from CONABIO to be part of the team.

The director for Wildlife at SEMARNAT Jorge Maksabedian and the Commissioner of CONANP Luis Fueyo Mac Donald will also be part of the team, as well as representatives of the National Forestry Commission and the Federal Attorney's Office for Environmental Protection.

Guerra Abud was in Washington early this week where he met with environmental authorities from the US and Canada with whom he agreed to form this working group.

He said that a meeting with wildlife representatives from the three countries will be held in May in Queretaro. He said that by then, they hope to have concrete proposals that will be presented to a high level group (formed by environmental authorities from Canada, USA and Mexico) during the meeting of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (NAFTA) that will be held in Canada in July.

On the other hand, Fueyo Mac Donald said that the monarch butterfly is not going to disappear. This species is widely distributed and will continue to exist on the planet. What is in danger, is that they might no longer arrive to Mexico or that the migratory phenomenon will cease to exist. It is this phenomenon that is registered on UNESCO's World Heritage list, he pointed out.

Here's the link to the article in Spanish.

and here's a link to the SEMARNAT press release
(with photos) covering the first meeting.

- Dick Russell


The Last Word on the Assassination

At the end of January, I participated in a historic event in Las Vegas. Before a live audience, producer John Barbour showed his remarkable documentary about the investigation of Jim Garrison into who really assassinated JFK, followed by a panel discussion among myself, Jim Marrs, and Joan Mellen. The DVD is now available through Amazon, and today cracked their top 100 best-selling documentaries. You can obtain a copy from the link below. - Dick Russell

Click here:
The Last Word on the Assassination: John Barbour: Movies & TV


Monarch Butterfly Update

The White House recently released a joint statement from the presidents of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, following their meeting in Toluca to discuss "building the most competitive and dynamic region in the world." Thanks to the petition campaign organized by Mexican poet/activist Homero Aridjis, and signed by dozens of scientists and writers from the three nations, the leaders' official statement included these words:
"Our governments will establish a working group to ensure the conservation of the Monarch butterfly, a species that symbolizes our association."

Definitely a step in the right direction. - Dick Russell



On Friday Jan. 31, I'll be part of a panel discussion and film showing about the Kennedy assassination, scheduled as a live Webcast starting at 7 PM Pacific Time, from the campus of the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

(click to enlarge)

Here's what producer John Barbour has to say about the event: "The 50th anniversary of John Kennedy’s assassination has come and gone, but the major questions remain. On January 31 at UNLV’s Greenspun Auditorium, a panel including some of the world’s best known and most credible assassination researchers will participate in a live, world-wide webcast about JFK, in particular, the investigation launched by former New Orleans DA Jim Garrison. Longtime TV host and producer John Barbour will screen his groundbreaking film about Garrison, and the panelists will take questions from the audience. The onstage guests will include author Jim Marrs, whose book about the JFK plot was one of the inspirations for the Oliver Stone film, longtime assassination researcher and author Dick Russell, and historian-author Joan Mellen. Barbour says the panelists will tell what they know about Garrison’s investigation which constitutes “the greatest true story never told”. The 7 p.m. event is free and open to the public. Among those helping to get the word out about the UNLV event is comedian and JFK researcher Richard Belzer." And to learn still more, here is a YouTube video about "The Last Word."

- Dick Russell


I recently did a 90-minute Podcast conversation with Michael Lerner of the New School, titled "Getting to Know James Hillman" and focusing on my biography of the archetypal psychologist published last year. Anyone interested in listening can go to this link


Here is the trailer for a new documentary by Shane O'Sullivan, "Killing Oswald," which premieres this week in Texas. It features yours truly and the whole show will be available soon on DVD. - Dick Russell

click here: Killing Oswald


My Internet radio interview with the Sync Book, on my biography of James Hillman, is now available for listening online...

click here: The Sync Book – 42 Minutes


My latest lecture on my biography of James Hillman will take place this Thursday evening, Nov. 7, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, in Room 607 of the main campus of the California Institute for Integral Studies, 1453 Mission Street in San Francisco.

click here: The Life and Ideas of James Hillman Volume 1: The Making of a Psychologist

I'm also the guest on a new episode of Buzzsaw with Tyrel Ventura, focusing on my new book with his father Jesse Ventura, "They Killed Our President: 63 Reasons to Believe There Was a Conspiracy to Assassinate President Kennedy." It's spent two weeks on the New York Times Best-Seller List, reaching number 14.

click here: JFK Assassination Truth After 50 Years of Conspiracy with Dick Russell | TheLip.tv

And my latest editorial for the Martha's Vineyard Gazette on the plight of the Atlantic striped bass was published in this week's paper.

click here: Conservation Is Essential to Save the Striper | The Vineyard Gazette - Martha's Vineyard News

- Dick Russell



My talk, as described below, will take place at the CG Jung Foundation in New York City, 28 East 39th Street. They do charge $70 for non-members to get in (Jung Foundation Members $55), but I hope that some of you might still be interested in attending.

Life and Ideas of James Hillman:
The Making of a Psychologist

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
a daylong program led by Dick Russell

James Hillman, is considered the founder of archetypal psychology, an important post-Jungian school of thought. With Hillman's authorization, Dick Russell has been working on his biography for more than seven years. Volume One of Russell's The Life and Ideas of James Hillman was published in June by Helios Press. This workshop will include the personal story of Russell's relationship with Dr. Hillman, and he will read a number of excerpts from the book, with particular emphasis on some of the critical experiences that led Hillman to Zurich to study with Jung and on the evolution of Hillman's relationship to Jung.



I'll be giving a two-hour lecture on "The Life and Ideas of James Hillman: Vol. 1," at the California Institute of Integral Studies, 1453 Mission Street, San Francisco, on Thursday, November 7, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. The event is open to the public, and free of charge.

For the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, I'm scheduled to speak at two conferences in Dallas. On Thursday morning, November 21, I'll be the LANCER Conference at the Adolphus Hotel downtown, 9:45 to 10:30 AM, talking about my research into Richard Case Nagell. On Saturday morning, Nov. 23, I'm part of a panel at the COPA Conference, 10:30 AM, at the Hotel Aloft. That evening, I'll be speaking from 6:45 to 7:30 PM, at a free conference at the Eunice Center in Arlington, just outside Dallas.

- Dick Russell


Recently I made my debut as a "talking head" on the Web-based weekly talk show, Buzzsaw, hosted by Tyrel Ventura on LipTV. For this episode, about 40 minutes long, we talked about Syria, economic inequality, 9/11, and climate change.

- Dick Russell


Book Review:
The Life and Ideas of James Hillman:
Volume One

by Dick Russell



Asunder by Chloe Aridjis

review in The Guardian

review in The Independent

Chloe Aridjis - daughter of Mexico's award-winning poet/novelist and environmental activist Homero Aridjis, a close friend - has just published her second novel, in England. Judging by the critical acclaim that "Asunder" is already receiving, there is little doubt that Chloe is "following in her father's footsteps"!

- Dick Russell


I'd like to urge everyone to watch these two short documentary-style films, both around 15 minutes in length. "One of These Mornings" was created by Valery Lyman, a remarkable young film-maker whom I've known since she was a child. The subject is Election Day 2008, when Barack Obama became president of the United States. Valery had asked many friends and acquaintances, including myself, to call her that momentous day and leave messages about how we felt after voting. I think you'll find her combination of images with the voices-of-the-people inspiring. More than a year later, it brought tears to my eyes several times. Click on this link: One of These Mornings.

The other film is an interview with a longtime close friend of mine, Ross Gelbspan, an award-winning journalist who has written two books on climate change ("The Heat Is On" and "Boiling Point.") Ross has been sounding the alarm about the planetary crisis for more fifteen years, and this film with him speaks directly to what we must do to prepare for a very uncertain future. I think you'll find it compelling, sobering, and timely viewing - something we all need to think about, especially in terms of what our children and grandchildren will be facing. Click on this link: The Heat Is Online.

- Dick Russell

Articles and Editorials
by Homero Aridjis, Dick Russell...

Toward a Real Kyoto Protocol
by Ross Gelbspan

Kyoto and Beyond
Sign the Petition:
The People's Ratification of
the Kyoto Global Warming Treaty

Kelpie Wilson Interviews Ross Gelbspan
t r u t h o u t Thursday 24 February 2005

Feeling the Heat,
2004 book of essays about climate change,
including Dick Russell's chapter on the Caribbean.

Carl Oglesby, a friend and colleague for many years, wrote the Foreword to my first book on the Kennedy assassination, "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1992, new edition 2003). His first book, "The Yankee and Cowboy War," remains the finest examination of the opposing forces behind the assassinations and Watergate that has ever been written. I will always remember long talks with Carl about recent American history and current politics. He will be deeply missed, and the following obituary tells more of his remarkable story.

- Dick Russell

Click here: '60s activist Carl Oglesby dies in NJ at age 76 - San Jose Mercury News

Failure to Report

On March 26 [2011], I participated in a journalists' panel at a conference on how Building 7 came down on September 11th, which took place at the University of Hartford. The discussion was hosted by Mark Crispin Miller, among myself, Craig Unger, and Leslie Griffiths. It covers a lot of territory in terms of what the media refuses to cover, from the Kennedy assassination to global warming.

Click here: YouTube - Failure to Report: A Panel Discussion Among Journalists


Finally, the powers-that-regulate have seen fit to take some action, but it needs to happen sooner rather than later. I was interviewed for this article, which appears in the Martha's Vineyard Gazette. - Dick Russell

Click here: ‘Scary’ Decline In Striper Stocks - 5/6/11 - Vineyard Gazette Online

I'm very excited that my latest book with Jesse Ventura, "63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want You to Read," has made its debut as Number Four on the New York Times hardcover non-fiction best-seller list on Sunday Apil 24.

Click here: Best Sellers - The New York Times

Journal of Dreams

(interview with the poet Homero Aridjis) by Francisco Ruiz Udiel

January, 2011

Journal of Dreams is the latest anthology of the Mexican poet and writer, Homero Aridjis (Contepec, Michoacan; 1940), one of the greatest living poets and writers in Spanish. The work, to be published by Fondo de cultura Económico de México, resulted from dreams he had several years ago and which, when he wrote them down, became poems. Ever since “El poeta niño,” published in 1971, he has sought to recover who he had been before the serious accident he had suffered in January 1950 and which nearly cost him his life. Indeed his life was spared and when he “recovered”, he says, he began to read and to write poetry.

So it was that in 1970, finding himself in New York and his first daughter, Chloe, about to be born, he began dreaming about the child he had been before the accident, as a way of reconnecting with his own self, since that part of his past had been blotted out.

Night after night he dreamed, and upon waking and as if obeying a kind of oneiric discipline, he wrote down his dreams and these, linked into a literary sequence, provided him with a forgotten portrait of himself. The habit of writing down the dreams and turning them into poetic material stayed with him and, in the latest dreams, has become more intense. So that now “I confuse poems with dreams and dreams with poems. The result is that this new anthology consists of pieces of myself merged with experiences and memories.”
In this book Homero explores the themes of unreal reality and real unreality, which, in the end turn into dreams


My first writing was erotic. The great French writer André Pieyre de Mandiargues (1909 – 1991) once asked me when I was going to write another erotic work like Perséfone. I told him “never,” because I am never going to be 26 years old again, an age when one sees the world differently and is becoming interested in new subjects in the light of other experiences. For example, I experience love at the age I am now which is different from when I was 18.

Complete article here

The latest article from Homero Aridjis:

Jan. 23, 2011

"Annus Horribilis"

Homero Aridjis' daughter, Eva Aridjis, is hopefully soon to embark on her latest film project. Check out the preview here, and a way to become a backer - Dick Russell

The Blue Eyes, a supernatural thriller set in Chiapas, Mex by Eva Aridjis — Kickstarter

Feb. 28, 2011

An encouraging response
from H. Bruce Franklin

author of a recent book on the menhaden called
The Most Important Fish in the Sea


Thanks for all your great work here.

On the menhaden front, there are encouraging developments:

The Maryland House of Delegates may be about to lead us in the fight to save menhaden before it's too late. A bill that is about to be reported out of the Rules Committee would ban the sale in Maryland of any product made from menhaden. The state's attorney general has given the bill a green light, and there is strong support in the legislature. Omega's representatives are telling the Maryland delegates that this would force them to shut down their Atlantic coast facilities. I doubt that one state's action could do that, but if we get a movement going for the same legislation in other Atlantic states, this might indeed save the day.

I think this is a terrific idea. At a very minimum, it will raise public consciousness about the importance of menhaden, the crash of the population, and the insanity of the reduction industry.

A few hours ago, I learned that Maryland Governor O'Mally told people he has a copy of The Most Important Fish in the Sea and says, "I am now ready to pull out my sword" to defend menhaden.


Mar. 1, 2011

A Dialogue with Carl Safina

A response to my piece from my friend Carl Safina, a prominent oceans advocate whose latest book is "The View from Lazy Point":

SAFINA Email: My question: Did outsider pressure speed the end of Japan’s Antarctic whaling or prolong it?

From www.carlsafina.org, February 28th, 2011

Japanese Whaling Ship

Japan’s Antarctic whalers have given up the season early, having killed few whales.

But I wonder: If Westerners had ignored Japan’s whaling, would its whaling have died sooner, of its own internal economic problems?

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, whose boats have for several years harassed Japan’s whaling vessels in the Antarctic, claim victory

Sea Shepherd contended as recently as Feb. 19, 2011, that, “The Japanese government is posturing and talking big in an effort to save face. The reality is that the Japanese whaling industry is an antiquated, dying industry.”

That’s my point: 1) whaling is a dying industry, 2) whaling has been forced to “save face.” Forcing Japan to save face distracts Japan’s fisheries officials and public from focusing on the fact that whaling loses money.

I am not saying Western protest has not been felt. I’m saying it has. My question is whether that has caused push-back that has delayed modernization in Japanese policy. Junichi Sato, executive director of Greenpeace Japan, wrote on Feb 22, that for the past decade he and his colleagues have attacked whaling at its economic core, “showing the Japanese public the corruption that is rife inside the whaling industry. It’s Japanese taxpayer’s money that is continuing to bankroll ocean destruction, through the subsidies required to put the fleet to sea every year. As Japanese people become more aware of the corruption that has been propping their government’s bogus ‘scientific’ whaling, they are also becoming increasingly more vocal about ending it.”

If I were a member of Japan’s public, I might be more outraged by foreigners telling Japan what to do, but more convinced that whaling should end if I learned of wasted money and corrupt officials.

Japan’s officials have never apologized to foreign critics for whaling (or for excessive tuna fishing), but Greenpeace Japan reports that because it exposed internal scandals, “several Fisheries Agency officials publicly apologized for taking whale meat as gifts.” The second in command of the agency subsequently left his job. “We are seeing many signs that Japan no longer wants to go whaling,” says Junichi Sato, “Its current economic climate is just the tip of the iceberg.” The other problem: whale meat isn’t selling, and even before this hunting season, Japan was faced with what Greenpeace Japan called a, “ridiculously excessive stockpile of frozen whale meat.”

Sato, however, believes pressure must be maintained both from inside and outside Japan.

Back in May, the New York Times ran an article by Martin Fackler which explained that, “While few Japanese these days actually eat whale, criticism of the whale hunts has long been resented here as a form of Western cultural imperialism. Whaling was… a rare issue where Tokyo could appeal to conservatives by waving the flag and saying no to Washington.” In Fackler’s article, a lawmaker from the northern island of Hokkaido named Tadamasa Kodaira says—in reference to Sea Shepherd’s boats harassing Japan’s whalers—“We can’t change now because it would look like giving in.”

I realize it’s not that simple. Inside Japan, some say the real reason the ministry wants to keep the whaling program going is to secure cushy retirement jobs for ministry officials. “It is really just protecting bureaucratic self-interest,” said Atsushi Ishii, a professor of environmental politics at Tohoku University in Sendai.

So back to the question: Does outside protest speed or slow the demise of whaling? Let’s ask Isao Kondo, 83, retired after a career as a manager at the now-defunct Japan Whaling Company. Fackler quotes him as saying, “Japan doesn’t like being told what to do. But like it or not, whaling is dying.”

Carl: The question you raise is an interesting one. They definitely don't like to be told what to do. I think it more likely that they left the whaling ground seemingly caving in to the Sea Shepherds, in exchange for a quid pro quo to whale off their own coasts.

I do think the Japanese have felt a lot of pressure from "The Cove," don't you? - Dick R. ["The Cove" is the Academy Award-winning documentary about the annual Japanese dolphin hunts in the town of Taiji].

Safina's response: My general distinctions are:

If it’s profitable and thriving, it’s worth outsider pressure to weaken it (ie. The Cove).
If it’s economically non-viable, and it’s a matter of national pride that could delay its collapse (if abandoning it would look like caving in to outsiders), it might be worth walking away and watching it fall.
Throughout, insider pressure from within the countries involved is probably always valuable and more powerful.

The Warning

For the past six months, I've been assisting a production team in putting together a new, web-based documentary called "The Warning." It's a very timely film, which incorporates interviews with five prominent authors - Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Naomi Klein, Joe Conason, Naomi Wolf, and Chris Hedges - concerning the perilous pass that American democracy has come to over the past eight years. I hope you'll click on the image at left to check out the dvd, and then click here to order "The Warning."

Dick Russell

A "Warning" To Us All

October 30, 2008 in News by Michael Austin

"Patriotism is not pinning a flag pin to one lapel to free up both hands, so you can tear up the U.S. Constitution." -Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., in The Warning.

The new production company/website Truthtopower.tv has just released its powerful first film, The Warning, featuring exclusive interviews with five recently-published authors Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (Crimes Against Nature), Naomi Wolf (The End of America), Chris Hedges (American Fascists), Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine) and Joe Conason (It Can Happen Here). Director/Writer/Producer J.P. Sottile wisely steers clear of cinematic fireworks, keeping a tight focus on the writers’ frightening observations about the subversion and erosion of American Democracy in recent years. Privatized warfare, illegal torture and wiretapping, corporate and religious influence, the ballooning power of the Executive and more are exposed as the film warns just how slippery a slope the U.S. is sliding down. The Warning is an excellent example of the kind of patriotic dissent the country needs right now. Find out more and get your own copy here.

The film was shown recently on LinkTV (Tuesday Nov. 4 at 8:30 pm...)


Your film "The Warning" is the most analytical, comprehensive, and uncompromising of the many DVD reports now available on the crises facing the United States as a democracy and a world leader. Your panel of experts are all genuinely expert. They are articulate, informed, and interesting. The film is also brilliantly cut and edited. I hope that you get a large audience and that the film plays a major role in the forthcoming national debate on how to reform the American system after the disasters of the Bush-Cheney years.

My congratulations.

Chalmers Johnson,
Author of Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic.

Invictus Sunday, March 1, 2009

Five Remarkable Interviews in "The Warning"

The producers of a unique documentary sent me a DVD copy of their independent documentary, "The Warning." They hoped they would get a good review, and they needn't have worried.

"The Warning," written, produced, and directed by Joseph P. Sottile, consists entirely of interviews with five well-known liberal authors (see below). Rather than questions and answers, the interviewees are allowed to speak for themselves. Occasionally, they even read appropriate selections from their works.

But rather than a boring word fest, the seriousness of the work gives it a riveting feel. The subject is nothing less than the descent of the United States into a ruthless totalitarian state, which relies on state torture, an imperial executive, widespread surveillance, the conscious use of fear-laden propaganda, a docile press, and the influence of a radical Christian core of believers to spread the program in institutions throughout civil society.

If we are not yet a fascist state -- and the film steps back from going that far -- we are clearly moving towards that. I would add that the election of Barack Obama may have slowed that descent, but to date, all the factors behind it remain in place, particularly what Kennedy in the film calls "the merger of state and corporate power."

The following text comes from the film's website (emphases in original):

Terrorism. Cronyism. Surveillance. The suspension of basic Constitutional protections. The Patriot Act. Pre-emptive War. Bad intelligence. Torture. Corporate power. Mercenaries. Occupation. The Unitary Executive. Neo-Cons. A never-ending war against "terror."

Something very strange has happened in America. Since 2001, America has taken a radical turn.

Five authors stood up and spoke truth to power, exposing shocking trends towards a police state, an accelerated corporate integration with the state and the blatant subversion of the U. S. Constitution.

Five mavericks asked questions the mainstream media refused to ask, and looked into the dark corners of a closing democracy, a changing economy and growing empire.

  • Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy
  • Naomi Wolf: The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot
  • Chris Hedges: American Fascists; the Christian Right and the War on America
  • Naomi Klein: The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
  • Joe Conason: It Can Happen Here: Authoritarian Peril in the Age of Bush

They expose the forces at work in the transformation of our democracy into a Unitary Executive that uses fear, emergency powers and the supremacy of military command to gather power into the office of the Presidency. The Warning traces the radical steps America had taken toward a new, wholly unconstitutional form of American government.

  • The rise of super-patriotism
  • Disdain for the importance of human rights and the rule of law
  • Use of torture and secret prisons
  • Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause
  • Suppression of dissent
  • A controlled mass media
  • Obsession with national security
  • Religion and ruling elite tied together
  • Power of corporations protected
  • Rampant cronyism and corruption
  • Fraudulent elections

These steps lead to a potential tipping point, from democracy to something different. Something ominous.

T2PTV has created an affiliate program for the film for interested webmasters. I have chosen not to participate, in part because I want to keep this website ad free, but also because I'd rather all monies for this film go to its intrepid makers and marketers. The film is one I can recommend honestly, and because its message is important. Posted by Valtin at 11:19 PM

Archetypal Psychologies: Reflections in Honor of James Hillman
Edited by Stanton Marlan
ISBN: 978-1-882670-54-3
524 pp.
Price: $32.95

This unique collection of essays was inspired by the wide-ranging work of James Hillman. In keeping with the "polytheistic" spirit of archetypal psychology, Hillman's writings have enriched the entire spectrum of our cultural imagination, challenging thinkers in such diverse fields as philosophy, religion, history, mythology, language, urban studies, politics, the men's movement, feminist criticism, ethics, art, film studies, poetry, analytic practice, and more.

In this volume, Stanton Marlan brings together the work of 29 leading scholars, practitioners, and new voices as a testament to the fecundity and influence of archetypal psychology around the world. Archetypal Psychologies highlights the importance both of Hillman's original contributions and of current developments in this field. Featured in the volume are an excerpt from the developing official biography of James Hillman, a provocative current interview with Hillman, and a series of rare photographs. This work provides a fascinating exploration of the innovative ideas and current controversies generated by archetypal psychology and of how its many-faceted approach to life and culture intersects with and enriches contemporary society. It is certain to become a classic text in the field of archetypal psychology.

Chapter 2. Legacy of the Ancestors by Dick Russell

Dick will be responding to questions about his new book, On the Trail of the JFK Assassins, at The Education Forum, where the discussion has already begun...

Jesse Ventura's Appearance Schedule 2009

5/11 "Larry King Live" / CNN-TV
5/18 "The View" / ABC-TV
5/18 "Hannity" / FOX News Channel
5/19 "FOX & Friends" / FOX News Channel
5/23 "Geraldo at Large" / FOX News Channel

5/15 "Sean Hannity Radio" / WABC-AM
5/18 "Brian and the Judge" / FOX News Channel
5/19 "The Howard Stern Show" / SIRIUS XM Radio
5/19 "The Opie & Anthony Show" / SIRIUS XM Radio
5/19 "Vinnie Politan on Stars Too" / SIRIUS XM Radio
5/19 "Chris T & Meredith on Road Dog" / SIRIUS XM Radio

5/6 "The Brad Davis Show" / WDRC-AM (Bloomfield, CT)
5/6 "Gary O'Brien and Friends" / WDWS-AM (Champaign, IL)
5/7 "The Dave Elliott Show" / WGUF-FM (Bonita Springs, FL)
5/8 "The Jim Engster Show" / WRKF-FM (Baton Rouge, LA)
5/18 "The Jim Kerr Rock 'n Roll Show" / WAXQ-FM (New York, NY)
5/21 "The C4 Show" / WBAL-AM (Baltimore, MD)
5/22 "Toucher and Rich" / WBCN-FM (Boston, MA)
5/22 "Trapper Jack anf the Morning Show" / WDOK-FM (Cleveland, OH)
5/22 "The Rocky and Sue Show" / WKRZ-FM (Pittston, PA)
5/22 "Connie and Fish" / WQBW-FM (Greenfield, WI)
5/22 "Paul & Young Ron Show" / WBGG-FM (Miami, FL)
5/22 "The Regular Guys" / WNNX-FM (Atlanta, GA)
5/22 "The KBCO Morning Show with Bret Saunders" / KBCO-FM (Denver)
5/22 "The Todd N Tyler Radio Empire" / KEZO-FM (Omaha, NE)
5/22 "Jen and Steve Morning Show" / WXLO-FM (Boston, MA)
5/22 "The 98ROCK Morning Show" / WIYY-FM (Baltimore, MD)
5/22 "Tony and Kristie in the Morning" / WRMM-FM (Rochester, NY)
5/22 "The Jorge Sedano Show" / WAXY-AM (Miami, FL)
5/22 "The Rod Ryan Show" / KTBZ-FM (Houston, TX)
5/22 "The K92FM Morning Show" / WWKA-FM (Orlando, FL)
5/22 "Zito and Garrett" / WJBX-FM (Estero, FL)
5/22 "Atlanta's Country Morning Show" / WKHX-FM (Atlanta, GA)
5/22 "The Johnny Dare Morning Show" / KQRC-FM
5/22 "Danny Joe Crofford Mornings" / KABZ-FM (Little Rock, AR)
5/22 "Andrew Z in the Morning" / WVKS-FM (Toledo, OH)
5/22 "The Danny Bonaduce Show" / WYSP-FM (Philadelphia, PA)
5/22 "TJ Trout" / KZRR-FM (Albuquerque, NM)
5/22 "The Morning Show" / KINK-FM (Portland, OR)
5/22 "Lewis and Floorwax Show" / KRFX-FM (Denver, CO)
5/22 "Mikey Morning Show" / KIOZ-FM (San Diego, CA)
6/1 "Rover's Morning Glory" / WMMS-FM (Independence, OH)

5/6 "Talk Radio News Service" / Washington, D.C.

5/8 "Common Sense with Dan Carlin" http://www.dancarlin.com/disp.php/cs

Dick Russell's Appearances and Media schedule


Dick Russell will deliver the keynote address

March 13, 9:40 AM

Mid-Atlantic Forage Fish Workshop

Sheraton Hotel
173 Jennifer Road
Annapolis, Maryland.


Northeastern University

430 Nahant Road,
Nahant, MA 01908

Tuesday, October 10, 2006 - 7:00 pm

Dick Russell, author of "Striper Wars" will be presenting the first lecture of the 2006-2007 year. "Striper Wars" tells the remarkable story of how one species was brought back from the brink of extinction – only to face new and even more daunting threats. When populations of striped bass began plummeting in the early 1980s, author and fisherman Dick Russell was there to lead an Atlantic coast conservation campaign that resulted in one of the most remarkable wildlife comebacks in the history of fisheries. As any avid fisherman will tell you, the striped bass has long been a favorite at the American dinner table; in fact, we've been feasting on the fish from the time of the Pilgrims. By 1980 that feasting had turned to overfishing by commercial fishing interests. Striper Wars is Dick Russell's inspiring account of the people and events responsible for the successful preservation of one of America's favorite fish and of what has happened since.

Call Tracy Hajduk for more information
or email hajduk@neu.edu
Phone: 781-581-7370 ext 321
This lecture is free to the public.
Light refreshments served at 6:30 pm.
The lecture begins at 7:00 pm and is roughly an hour long.
The Marine Science Center is wheelchair accessible.

Dick Russell's Appearances and Media schedule

Striper Wars - 2006

January 17 (Tues)Riverkeeper eventco-hosted by the Beczak Environmental Education Center, 35 Alexander Street, Yonkers, New York 7:00 pm
January 19 (Thurs)Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center23 Harbor Loop, Gloucester, Mass. 7:00 pm
January 21-22 (Sat-Sun)The Fly Fishing Show Royal Plaza Trade Center, Marlborough, Massachusetts presentation and book signings,
Sat 1/21, 1:00 pm, Release Rm.
Sun 1/22, 1:30 pm, Catch Rm.
January 24 (Tues)Nashua Public Library2 Court Street, Nashua, New Hampshire 7:00 pm
January 26 (Thurs)Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences1900 Ben Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, Pa. 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
January 28-29 (Sat-Sun)The Fly Fishing Show Garden State Exhibit Center, 50 Atrium Drive, Somerset, N.J. presentation and book signings,
Sat 1/28, 3:00 pm
Sun 1/29, 11:30 am.
January 30 (Mon)Explorer's Club46 East 70th Street, New York City 6:30 pm ($15 admission)
February 25-26 (Sat-Sun)Fly Fishing ShowOntario, California, Ontario Convention Center.  

Dick Russell

on Baja Talk Radio

Tuesday, January 17, 2006, 3:00-4:00pm, Pacific Time

It's the beginning of whale watching season in Baja and we begin 2006 with author Dick Russell as our special guest. He has written "Eye of the Whale", a book about these fantastic creatures. We also discuss whale watching in Baja and announce upcoming events...
Listen to the Show:
  Part 1Author Dick Russell is our guest and we discuss his book, Eye of the Whale.
 Part 2Dick discusses the plight of the gray whale, as well as his book, and a typical whale watching tour.
 Part 3Author Dick Russell discusses whale watching and answers your questions.

Dick Russell

Now on NPR's

Living on Earth

Listen to the Striped Bass show,
starting Friday evening, Oct. 7, on the website,


and throughout the weekend
when local stations air the show.

Dick Russell's blog at the Oceana Network

Liquefied Natural Disaster?

Thu Oct 6th, 2005 at 02:19:12 PM EST

Maybe there will be one up side to Katrina and Rita's recent roaring up the Gulf of Mexico - rethinking whether to site an open-loop Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal off Louisiana's Southeast coast.

Back in July, a coalition of fishermen and environmental groups calling themselves the "Gumbo Alliance for Safe LNG" came together to voice their strong opposition to the Freeport McMoRan company's plans to draw in a constant stream of fresh seawater -- more than 100 million gallons a day -- along 16 miles offshore. That process would eliminate billions of fish eggs, larvae, and plankton drifting in the seawater, creating a fish-killing machine in the midst of one of the Gulf Coast's premier areas for redfish, shrimp, crabs, and more.

I've been following the rush to site new LNG facilities - despite concerns about their vulnerability to natural disasters or terrorist attacks - for several years, ever since Mexico's Baja coastline became a favored target of U.S. corporations, with LNG terminals slated to block the annual migration of the gray whales. (See Articles.)

Now big energy companies want to build 30 to 40 new such terminals, mostly in American coastal communities. Massachusetts fishers are up in arms about plans by Excelerate Energy to place an LNG terminal only a mile from the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, in the midst of critical fishing grounds.

In Long Island Sound, another body of water that should defy industrialization, a joint venture between Shell and Transcanada Corporation wants to do the same. A Mitsubishi subsidiary is looking to build a $450 million LNG facility off Long Beach.

But the Bush Administration isn't about to let these and other states make up their own minds about liquefied natural gas. The president wants federal control in deciding where terminals get built, saying that a lengthy approval process might hurt the economy. Overriding the objections of state governors, the Senate already voted in July to give the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the final say.

One can only hope that the terrible example of the Gulf Coast is giving someone pause.

The Fish Farming Sham

Wed Oct 5th, 2005 at 10:16:47 AM EST

First, you need to try to picture it: thousands of tuna, salmon, cod, and other species being bred in steel cages up to 200 miles offshore, across 3.4 million acres of ocean (about the land area of the lower 48 states).

That's the legislation recently put forward by the Bush Administration, a fish-farming "panacea" aimed at replacing all the wild fish runs that have been so badly over-harvested. It's also an attempt at reducing the 70 percent of seafood that the U.S. now imports every year, thus helping shrink our trade deficit. Besides which, aquacultural pioneers (subsidized by U.S. taxpayers) will reap all those benefits from their industry growing by a factor of five, to a projected $5-billion, over the next two decades.

Meantime, the Commerce Secretary would only need to put forward specific environmental safeguards "if necessary." After all, offshore is out-of-sight, out-of-mind - for what would essentially be one big ocean feedlot.

Stanford economist Rosamond Naylor has estimated that such an expanded industry in U.S. waters would create as much nitrogen discharge as untreated sewage from more than 17 million people (or the entire North Carolina hog industry). Yet not even national marine sanctuaries would be off-limits. That, says biologist Rebecca Goldberg of Environmental Defense, is akin to "putting industrial hog farms in national parks."

Consider what's already been witnessed with inshore aquaculture operations: farm-raised fish getting loose to spread disease and parasites, or compete for food and interbreed with their wild cousins. Think about the fact that it requires as much as three pounds of wild fish - ground-up and added into the feed - for every pound produced of farmed salmon. Not to mention all the antibiotics needed to minimize disease in fish packed so closely together.

This looks more like a recipe for disaster than a way to alleviate what's happening to our beleaguered fisheries. It doesn't seem accidental that the Bush bill coincided with the National Oceans Protection Act submitted by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). Among many other promising proposals, Boxer's bill would prohibit the federal government from issuing any leases for fish farms in the ocean until national standards are written that consider the downside risks.

ESPN Outdoors -- Bush: Fish farming up to 200 miles off coasts
NPR : Fish Farming Headed for US Seas
White House Seeks to Boost Fish Farms by Expanding Into Open Waters
President Bush and Sen. Boxer ocean bills conflict on fish farms

Bush and 'Bycatch'

Tue Oct 4th, 2005 at 11:08:47 AM EST

I wish we had a more ignominious term than "bycatch" to describe one of the greatest threats to our marine environment. Maybe fishing vessels could be found guilty of "fish-kill in the second degree."

According to the United Nations, fully one-quarter of the fish taken in nets, seines, and longlines are discarded as unwanted or unintentional catch. Literall, tons of fish die in this way, not to mention the 300,000 marine mammals, more than 250,000 turtles, and 100,000 albatrosses killed each year after becoming entangled in fishing gear.

What is our government doing to alleviate this problem? Less than it did before, if the new fisheries legislation proposed by the Bush Administration is passed by Congress. Reporting of bycatch by fishermen need happen only "to the extent practicable." Not explained is how the managers can possibly reduce bycatch without even knowing how much there is.

This latest "comprehensive" package actually weakens the current federal requirements on trying to curb overfishing. While claiming to be getting "serious once and for all about this," it ignores just about all the recommendations of a presidential commission. All the current administration really seems serious about is replacing the devastated wild fish populations with massive offshore fish-farming operations - a subject we shall examine in more detail tomorrow.

Some Bycatch links:
Greenpeace Oceans Campaign: Dead or Alive
Monterey Bay Aquarium: Seafood Watch Program - Issues - Bycatch
Rhode Island Sea Grant Fact Sheet: Bycatch
Ocean Planet Perils - Bycatch
NOAA Fisheries Feature

Managing for the Ecosystem

Tue Sep 27th, 2005 at 02:43:58 PM EST

It's conceivable many of you have never even heard of a small, bony, inedible member of the herring family called Atlantic menhaden. Yet they are one of the most important fish in the sea. Moving through the water in schools numbering sometimes in the millions, these silvery sea-strainers are a "filter feeder" that consumes huge quantities of microscopic algae which otherwise chokes the Chesapeake Bay estuary. Menhaden are also a critical food source for a wide variety of larger fish, seabirds, and marine mammals (high in protein, their fat content is about four times higher than most other forage fish).

With menhaden in decline, the recovered population of striped bass aren't getting enough to eat. Emaciated stripers are being seen all along the Atlantic coast. Up to 70 percent of striped bass in the their primary spawning territory of the Chesapeake are suffering from a bacterial infection that will ultimately prove fatal. This, many scientists believe, is stress-related, due to lack of food.

Why are menhaden in shorter supply? They're being overfished by the Omega Protein Corporation, owned by billionaire Malcolm Glazer and operating out of America's third largest fishing port in Reedville, Virginia. They're being ground up into fish meal that goes into poultry and swine feed. And they're being "refined" into fish oil for the Omega-3 vitamin supplement industry.

Nothing points up the critical need for ecosystem management more than the menhaden situation. We've got to look holistically at our fisheries, at how taking one species impacts another, and at the overall habitat. To its credit, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission recently put a cap on the Atlantic menhaden landings, although the majority of testimony at public hearings favored a moratorium. Whether continuing to allow as many as 300,000 fish at a time to be vacuumed into the holds of factory fishing boats can really make a difference, is very much an open question.

Striped Bass - The American Fish

Mon Sep 26th, 2005 at 12:30:53 PM EST

When I became involved - much to my surprise - in a campaign to save the Atlantic striped bass in the early 1980s, I must confess I knew next-to-nothing about the environment. Most recently I'd been a staff writer in TV Guide Magazine's Hollywood bureau, doing profiles on folks like Bob Hope. I was, however, enamoured of recreational fishing - and especially the vaunted striper, a wily fish known to get as big as 100 pounds.

So, when the striped bass suddenly disappeared, I became involved in a grassroots campaign to curtail overfishing, one that ended up changing my life. I became a journalist/activist, organizing fishermen coastwide into a coalition that ultimately resulted in a fishing moratorium. The resurgence of the striped bass is today considered the primary global example that, if you give an endangered fish a fighting chance, it will come back.

In telling this story in my new book, Striper Wars: An American Fish Story, I came to realize that this particular fish truly is "the aquatic equivalent of the American bald eagle." Striped bass enabled the Pilgrims to survive their first winters, were the subject of our first conservation and then fishery management laws, and later became the fulcrum behind the first environmental impact statement and passage of the National Environmental Policy Act.

Now they are a harbinger of something else: the need for more holistic, ecosystem-based management of all our fisheries. They are imperiled once again in the Chesapeake Bay due to a shortage of their food-of-choice, the Atlantic menhaden. That story, we shall examine tomorrow.

Oceana's guest blogger
starting Monday, September 26, 2005

Introducing Dick Russell

:: By Jason :: Fri Sep 23rd, 2005 at 02:31:58 PM EST

I want to say thanks to Susan Casey for taking the time to guest-blog with us over the last few days, and introduce you to our next guest: introducing Dick Russell, Oceana's guest blogger starting Sep. 26.

Dick Russell has dedicated most of his professional and private life over the past 20 years to fighting for the environment, a passionate pursuit fueled by the crisis that's fast pushing the world's fisheries and oceans to the point of no return.

A longtime recreational fisherman, Dick spent the better part of three years fighting for stronger regulations to protect the endangered Atlantic striped bass, organizing a national conference in Washington, D.C., and appearing on numerous radio and TV programs. For his efforts, he was awarded the citizen's Chevron Conservation Award in 1988. Today, the return of the striped bass is considered the foremost example of the resiliency of the oceans - provided a species is given a chance to recover. His new book on this subject, Striper Wars: An American Fish Story, was published this summer by Island Press/Shearwater Books.

Striper Wars has been very well received. Critic Sandy Bauer said in the Philadelphia Inquirer: "This book is one of the most amazing fish stories I've ever come across, and that's counting John McPhee's sturgeon book, John Hersey's exploration of the bluefish, and Mark Kurlansky's ode to the lowly cod. It's a conservation textbook, a testament to human fortitude and wily tactics, not to mention a splendid yarn about a fish that Russell calls the aquatic equivalent of the bald eagle."

And this, from H. Bruce Franklin in The American Scientist: "Can a book about a single species or genus of fish teach us more about ourselves and our interrelationships with our environment than it does about that fish? "Yes" is the answer suggested by a rapidly growing literary genre....To this genre we must now add Dick Russell's wonderfully rich and provocative Striper Wars: An American Fish Story."

Here's a link to Dick's book on Amazon:

Recently, Dick was a guest at Oceana, where he met and had a chance to speak with other longtime warriors in the battle for the oceans. Among topics discussed at the breakfast meeting were some of Dick's previous books, including Eye of the Whale (Simon & Schuster hard-cover; paperback edition by Island Press/Shearwater Books), which upon publication was named among the Best Books of 2001 by the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Eye of the Whale is an account of his following the migration of the California gray whale, from Mexico's Baja peninsula all the way to Alaska and Siberia.

Dick also is a respected and long-established magazine writer, having penned dozens of stories about other environmental issues for a broad variety of publications ranging from The Nation to Parenting and is an active member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and PEN USA.

Among his many non-environmental works is the acclaimed The Man Who Knew Too Much (Carroll & Graf, 1992), a book hailed by Publisher's Weekly as "a masterpiece of historical reconstruction" focusing on the Kennedy assassination.

For more details of Dick's rich and varied career, please visit his website, www.dickrussell.org.

Please welcome Dick Russell as Oceana's guest blogger!

Dick Russell's Appearances and Media schedule

Striper Wars - 2005

July 5 (Tues)NRDC Action Fund sitewww.nrdcactionfund.org guest blogger for 10 days
July 6 (Weds)Island PressWatch Hill, Rhode Island fundraising dinner  
July 12 (Tues)New England AquariumCentral Wharf, Immersive Theater, Boston, Massachusettspublic lecture and book signing7:00 pm
July 13 (Weds)North Cove Outfitters75 Main Street, Old Saybrook, Connecticutlecture and book signing7:00 pm
July 15 (Fri)Woods Hole Oceanographic InstituteRedfield Auditorium (corner of Water and School Sts.), Woods Hole, Massachusettspublic lecture and book signing12:00 pm
July 18 (Mon)"The Point"WCAI/WNAN, Cape and Islands NPR, Massachusetts.radio interview9:30 am - 10:00 am
July 18 (Mon)Cape Cod Museum of Natural History869 Route 6A, Brewster, Massachusettslecture and book signing7:30 pm
July 19 (Tues)Center for Coastal StudiesWOMR Radio, 494 Commercial Street, 2nd floor, Provincetown, Massachusettslecture and book signing7:00 pm
July 21 (Thurs)New Bedford Whaling Museum18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, Massachusettslecture and book signing8:00 pm
July 22 (Fri)Bunch of Grapes BookstoreKatharine Cornell Theatre, Vineyard Haven, Massachusettstalk and book signing7:30 pm
July 26 (Tues) Coastal Conservation AssociationJD's Restaurant, 206 East 52nd St. (corner 3rd Avenue), New York Citylecture and book signing7:00 pm
July 27 (Weds) Menhaden Matter / National Coalition for Marine Conservation. Capitol City Brewing Company, 2 Massachusetts Ave., NE, Washington, D.C. 20002meeting with policymakers and book signing. By invitation only5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
July 28 (Thurs) "Good Morning Annapolis"WNAV-AMradio interview9:10 am - 9:20 am
July 28 (Thurs) Chesapeake Bay Foundation6 Herndon Avenue, Annapolis, Marylandlecture and book signing7:00 pm
July 29 (Fri) Tight End Fishing ClubGregory's Hotel, Shore Road and Delaware Ave., Summers Point, New Jerseyluncheon12:00 pm
July 31 (Sun) Unitarian-Universalist Church13411 Shire Lane, Fort Myers, Floridalecture and book signing3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
August 2 (Tues) World Wildlife Fund1250 24th St. NW, Washington, D.C., Conference rooms 2004 A/B/C"Brown Bag Lunch with Dick Russell," talk and signing12:00 pm- 1:00 pm
August 3 (Weds) Diane Rehm ShowNational Public Radio.radio interview11:00 am
August 3 (Weds) National Zoo3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C.lecture and book signing7:00 pm
August 4 (Thurs) Audubon Society of Rhode IslandEnvironmental Education Center, 1401 Hope Street, Bristol, RIlecture and book signing7:00 pm
August 6 (Sat) Toadstool Bookshop12 Depot Square, Peterborough, New Hampshire, (603--924--3543)lecture and book signing11:00 am
August 7 (Sun) WBCN-FMBoston, Mass.radio interview8:30 am
August 9 (Tues) Writers-at-LargeThe Odyssey Theatre, 2055 So. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, CApanel discussion: "Writers of the Storm"6:30 pm
August 18 (Thurs) Adventurers ClubLos Angeles, CA. lecture and book signing, members and their guests only.
August 20 (Sat) Air America Radio"Ring of Fire" with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.5:00-7:00 p.m. EST Saturday, rebroadcast from 3:00-5:00 p.m. EST Sunday.


Friday, March 4, 2005
Dick Russell with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
in San Rafael, California
Click for Information

Report on Sea Turtle Conference - Chris Pesenti. - 2002
Decline of the NW Orcas (Ocean Realms) Winter 2000/2001
Britain backs scheme for 'managed slaughter' of whales - Marie Woolf - June 2001
Whales' deaths to be probed - June 2001
Number of Grey Whale Calves on the Decline - June 2001
Iceland rejoins International Whaling Commission - June 2001
Navy Sonar: Why it must be stopped by Dick Russell
Testimony for NMFS Hearing / Navy Sonar, April 2001


Decline Of the NW Orcas

Published in Ocean Realms Magasine, Winter 2000/2001 Issue

Editor's note: since this article was published, 6 more orcas from the southern residents have mysteriously disappeared. The population is plummeting and now sits at 78 whales.

Breaching skyward in an explosion of foam, J-1 sends a two-foot Chinook salmon tumbling, before it lands, stunned and motionless on the sea's surface. J-1, a 50-year old bull orca better known locally as 'Ruffles', quickly captures and consumes the fish, then deftly arches below the surface to begin the maneuver anew.

But for Ruffles, and the other members of his extended clan in the northwest, prey isn't always readily available. In fact, a regional salmon shortage is contributing to the alarming, fast-paced decline of J clan, commonly known as the 'southern resident' orca community.

Northwest researchers and environmentalists are concerned. This past summer, the southern resident orca community, comprised of J, K and L-pods, has dropped in number to only 82 remaining whales. This decline represents a decrease of 14% since January 1999, and a 17% overall decline since the middle 1990s. This drop is also in stark contrast to growth dynamics of other Pacific orca stocks in British Columbia and Prince William Sound, which appear to be increasing at a rate of 3% per year.

Lower Survival Rates

"We've recently compared survival rates on the southern resident population from 1974; comparatively these last few years, rates are at the lowest they've ever been," observes researcher Paul Wade, who with colleagues Ken Balcomb and David Bain, produced a draft population report at a National Marine Mammal Laboratory (NMML) workshop in Seattle this past April. Recent whale mortalities, including that of Ruffle's nephew J-18, a young, relatively healthy bull (and his mother J-10 a month later), have prompted biologists to gather and discuss that matter, and possibly seek to obtain an 'endangered species' listing for the southern resident population.

"The main factors which seem to be contributing to this decline are toxic chemical contamination, scarcity of prey, and the growing impact of marine vessel traffic present around orcas during their peak feeding and breeding periods," says researcher David Bain from the Whale Museum on Washington's San Juan Island. These three specific factors were also identified as prime concerns in the report published after the NMML workshop in April.

Toxic Contamination

Toxic contamination, particularly the accumulation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) in fatty tissues, have given these orcas the distinction of being the most chemically contaminated marine mammals in the world. "These animals are literally considered 'toxic waste' when they wash up on shore," adds Robert McLaughlin, SeaWolf boardmember. "In fact, concentration levels in this orca population run almost twice as high as in the St. Lawrence beluga whales controversy," adds McLaughlin, "While PCBs have been outlawed in the US for some time, these orca have accumulated a 'legacy' of contamination that they continue to pass on, from mother to calf, generation to generation." PCB accumulations are known to weaken mammalian immune systems, and make injured of sick whales more susceptible to infections and other illnesses.

Combined with the added stress associated with prey scarcity, some whales, like J-18, seem destined to die in what would otherwise be their prime breeding years. While PCBs have been outlawed in the United States for more than two decades, the toxin persists in ocean sediments and continues to enter the food chain through prey species and, ultimately, into top level predators such as orcas.

Chemical contamination from other sources, such as industry and consumer-based toxins dumped into stormwater drains, rivers and streams leading to the ocean have also impacted survival and spawning habitat for salmon and other prey fish. "Certainly, the recent listing of Chinook salmon as an endangered species in the northwest is also a factor," says Ken Balcomb, a whale researcher who heads the Center for Whale Research on San Juan Island. "To make matters even more complex, Puget Sound's herring stock – the prey that the salmon themselves feed upon - may be the next candidate species to win a federal 'endangered' status listing," adds Balcomb.

The decline in available prey cause orcas to range further afield to forage, and may have an additional impact on time needed for crucial resting, socialization and mating activities. "The solution to this problem is fish restoration," Comments Balcomb, "Not just with salmon, but also herring, groundfish and all other declining fish in the orcas' ecosystem – unless we do something about that, the southern residents may be gone in as few as three generations (25 years)."

Stress From Eco-Tourism

Ironically, the growing eco-tourism industry itself is now considered a cause contributing to the decline. Ken Balcomb's colleague David Bain recently concluded a study that suggests the growing marine traffic around these whales might be adding to the impacts, and threatening their long-term survival. "While the southern residents don't appear to be leaving their foraging area altogether, we do have periodic disappearances – and we have observed that their daily activities have changed as a result of vessel intrusion," says Bain.

Changes in behavior could be caused by the impact of increased stress and energy output resulting from boat avoidance maneuvers, deep-lung inhalation of poly-aeromatic hydrocarbons (gasoline fumes) from surrounding boats, and the interruption of necessary socialization behaviors such as breeding, bonding and instructing younger whales to forage for prey. "Boating restrictions around these whales is an issue that we can control," adds Bain, "Perhaps it's time to implement some access or proximity limitations and encourage the public to switch toward shore-based whale watching."

Live Captures Contibuted to Decreased Birth Rates

One other significant factor suspected of contributing to the current decline involves the historical live capture operations of the 1970s, that removed many breeding age orcas from this population for exploitation by the marine parks entertainment industry. Today, all but one of these captured whales are dead, but the sole survivor – a perfectly healthy and contaminant-free breeding age female from L-pod named "Lolita' – could become a mother to any entire generation of healthy offspring. Unfortunately Lolita is a performing orca in a Florida theme park, and her owner has no intention of releasing her to the researchers who would rehabilitate and return her to her wild family in the northwest.

Yet this last option might be one way to stall the decline. Today, only seven sexually mature male orcas remain in the southern resident clans, two of these (including J1) are approaching the maximum life span estimated for males. And since orcas do not breed outside of their clans, there is validity to the observation that mortality will continue to exceed the current birth rate. Even if the southern resident orcas where to adapt and be capable of dealing with the immediate factors of prey shortage, pollution and vessel traffic, there are not enough new whales being born to reverse the overall decline.

Loss of Biodiversity

Ultimately, the issue at hand appears to be whether the southern residents are headed toward extirpation. While there are an unknown number of killer whales roaming the world's oceans, each population, or stock, is thought to be genetically distinct. "The southern residents harbor unique genetic, social and linguistic characteristics," concludes SeaWolf's McLaughlin, "If these orcas were to disappear completely, we won't simply be losing a cultural and ecological cornerstone of Pacific Northwest identity – we would also be losing irreplaceable biodiversity from our seas."

The loss of a pinnacle predator species in any ecosystem is a dramatic signal that the world's ocean are not well. While the Canadian government listed the southern resident orcas as a "threatened species" last spring, the United States is still awaiting the data necessary to consider a similar listing for the stock in 2001. Currently, the decline continues; what is evident is that new, proactive and immediate actions must be implemented to prevent the extirpation of the southern residents altogether.

In the Haro Strait, 'Ruffles' and his sub-pod continue to forage freely, leaving the inland sea periodically when the seasons change, or a migration of prey draws them to the outer coasts. For generations, his clan has endured climatic and ecological changes in their home waters, returning each spring to grace the Haro Strait with their breath-taking acrobatics and haunting underwater vocalizations.

There is still uncertainly of the fate that ultimately awaits the southern resident orca community; perhaps they will recover and replenish their ranks, or perhaps some turn of the tide will change the health of the northwest ecosystem so that their clans can flourish and begin a new cycle of ecological prosperity. Yet it may also come, one spring, that the inland seas will remain, simply, silent.

What lies ahead is unknown, but one fact does remain clear – without the songs of Ruffles and others of his clan, who have roamed these coastal waters for so many centuries, the northwest will be a far emptier place.

### **Please Note SeaWolf Address Change!

Project SeaWolf
P.O. Box 929
Marysville, WA 98270


View Our Website Review of Northwest Eco-tourism Operators — "Make Sure You Only Select The Best!"


Britain backs scheme for 'managed slaughter' of whales
6/20/01 - 2:30 pm - By MARIE WOOLF

Britain is to change policy to back a scheme allowing commercial whaling to resume.
The Government, which led the move to introduce an international ban on killing whales, is to allow "managed" slaughter of populations of minke and humpback whales.
Its policy shift, to be announced at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) conference in London next month, could lead to hundreds of whales being harpooned for the Norwegian and Japanese markets.
The compromise scheme follows attempts by pro-whaling nations to bring to an end the international moratorium on commercial whaling.
Pro-whaling nations such as Iceland have joined Norway and Japan on the IWC in trying to out-vote the anti-whaling nations and scrap the ban, which came into force in 1986.
Environmental groups fear that the change in policy and the introduction of the so-called revised management scheme (RMS) for whaling will give a green light to the "cruel" trade.
Greenpeace warned last night that allowing managed whaling to proceed would be the first step to scrapping the international ban.
"Greenpeace is very clear about this. We are opposed to all commercial whaling," said a spokesman.
"If the RMS is agreed at the meeting it may well lead to the lifting of the moratorium. It will legalise and legitimise commercial whaling.
"A government spokesman said Britain was preparing to back the "practical" solution to try to ensure that the ban holds.
"We are formally opposed to whaling. If we support the RMS it is for practical reasons," said a spokesman for the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
"It is exploring ways to keep everybody happy. We believe that the alternative may be if you don't bring one in it could become a bit of a free for all."
The RMS would include a structured system for counting, monitoring and killing whales where the population is healthy.


To view more stories please visit the NZ Herald Online at http://www.nzherald.co.nz

Whales' deaths to be probed
Published Tuesday, June 19, 2001, VERO BEACH --

The heads of two beaked whales were on their way to the Woods Hole marine institution in Massachusetts Monday for high-tech MRI examination. Researchers want to know what caused the marine mammals to run aground north of Vero Beach on Sunday.

There was early speculation that Navy "shock testing" — underwater explosions -- conducted earlier this month in the Atlantic east of Jacksonville may have damaged the whales' sensitive navigation system.

But by Monday afternoon experts were downplaying that possibility, saying that the whales were badly emaciated and suffered other maladies.

"There is absolutely no indication right now that the death of these two whales had anything to do with any kind of Navy activity,'' said Chris Smith, spokesman for the Southeast Region of the National Marine Fisheries Service, the agency charged with, among other things, marine mammal protection.

There were three shock tests in just under a week, ending June 11, a Navy spokesman said.


The MRI testing will determine whether there might have been damage to the sonar portion of the whales's brain. ``Whales see with sound, hunt with sound and communicate with sound,'' said Greg Bossart, a researcher at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Fort Pierce. Anything that damages that mechanism could be fatal.

The larger whale, a 13-foot, 2,000-pound female, was dead by the time would-be rescuers got there, and the smaller, a 10-foot, 1,500-pound male, was in such poor condition he was put to death.

Both animals came ashore early Sunday morning north of Vero Beach.

In March 2000, about 15 beaked whales stranded in the Bahamas. Those that died and were examined showed bleeding in hearing areas of the skull, suggesting damage possibly caused by anti-submarine sonar testing.


The Navy is experimenting with a new kind of sonar that sends a very loud, low-frequency pulse into the ocean.

The pulse is capable of picking up the presence of ships and submarines at much greater distances than current methods.

The problem is that, up close, the pulse is like standing next to a rocket being launched.

The sound is powerful enough to damage or destroy the sonar of dolphins or whales that are close to the source. An explosion could produce similar damage, so ``shock tests'' are conducted under heavy environmental scrutiny as well.

A Navy spokesman said the tests — in which underwater explosives were set off to check the seaworthiness of the Navy's newest guided missile destroyer, the U.S. Churchill — were delayed twice, once when a school of dolphins came within two miles and again when a lone sea turtle was spotted within 1.5 miles of the test area.

There were 20 researchers and veterinarians on the Churchill, Smith said, making sure the tests complied with environmental restrictions.

An examination of the blast area after each blast revealed no damage to sea animals, Smith said.

Miami Herald

Lowest Number Seen In Eight Years Of Surveys
VICTORIA, 9:55 a.m. PDT June 13, 2001 —

No dead grey whales have washed up along British Columbia's shoreline so far this year but the number of new calves making the long journey north with their mothers continues to drop.

Low birth rates and higher than usual numbers of deaths and strandings in recent years have prompted researchers to closely watch the population of grey whales, which pass by Vancouver Island on their annual migration north from Baja, Mexico, to the Bering and Chukchi seas.

Last year, 15 boxcar-sized corpses of starving whales turned up in British Columbia, out of 300 along the Pacific coast.

Grey whales are a popular draw for whale-watching firms on Vancouver Island, as well as in the United States.

In spite of past deaths, the population remains healthy at about 26,000 animals, however, counters have spotted 87 new calves, the lowest number seen in eight years of surveys, said Wayne Perryman, biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Services in La Jolla, Calif.

The California count wrapped up last week.

The total number of new calves is estimated at between 255 to 265.

Not all the new ones are seen by spotters, who watch for the calves only during daylight and do not count on Sundays.

Last year, Perryman figured there were 279 calves and in 1999 when there were 428. Those numbers are far below 1997 when 1,520 new calves appeared.

"Reproduction has been down for three consecutive years for this population," he said.

Theories about what is affecting the population includes the possibility there is less food in their northern feeding grounds, leading to less-healthy animals.

Grey whales eat tiny crustaceans such as amphipods.

Perryman believes there's a link between the amount of ice in the feeding grounds and the calving rate.

The ice has been slow to recede in the last three years and in the years when that happens, fewer calves are born, he said.

He also agrees that other factors, such as less available prey, may affect the whales.

"Give us another five or six years, then hopefully we can figure this out," he said.

(The Victoria Times Colonist, Victoria, B.C.) *****

Iceland rejoins International Whaling Commission
Sapa AP June 11 2001 at 03:37PM Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland has rejoined the International Whaling Commission, nine years after quitting the organisation in protest, the Foreign Ministry said Monday.

Even as it came back into the fold of the IWC, the government reiterated its opposition to the group's 1986 global ban on commercial whaling.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the government feels it can best influence the whaling debate from within the IWC, which is hosting an international convention on whaling regulations in London next month.

"There are signs within the IWC that support is increasing for sustainable whaling in some form," it said.

The island nation of 250,000 people grudgingly stopped its hunts in 1989, three years after the IWC moratorium was enacted to protect the giant sea mammals.

However, in 1992, the same year Norway announced plans to resume its own commercial whale hunts, Iceland quit the whaling commission, claiming the organis! ation set up to manage whaling had become one devoted only to preventing all hunts.

That view was re-expressed by the Foreign Ministry. It called the IWC "a non-whaling commission rather than a whaling commission. Regrettably, this development has not been undone yet."

Iceland's parliament passed a resolution in 1999 to resume hunting, saying the country had the right to use all marine resources within its territorial waters.

But Iceland has yet to restart the hunts, mostly due to fears that it could adversely affect the country's fish exports. Several supermarket chains in Europe and North America refused to sell Icelandic fish when it was a whaling nation.

Norway is the only country that hunts whales for profit. It is not bound by the ban because commission rules allow its members to reject its rulings.

- Sapa-AP

by Dick Russell

In March, the National Marine Fisheries Service proposed a rule allowing the U.S. Navy to deploy a controversial new sonar system, known as "Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active Sonar" (or LFA, for short).

What is it? LFA has been in development by the Navy for years. It uses vessels to tow sonar arrays that shoot low frequency sound waves through the water and reads the returning echoes to find submarines. The Navy contends that the system fills a need for improved detection and tracking of new-generation subs at a longer range and that SURTASS LFA should be deployed in the interests of national security. With proper safeguards in place, the Navy claims the system will have a negligible impact on marine life.

    • This is one of the loudest man-made sound sources ever deployed, operating at levels millions of times more intense than is considered safe for human divers and literally billions of times more intense than the level known to disturb large whales. It's a system so powerful that a single sound source can flood hundreds of thousands of square miles of ocean at a time with intense sound.
    • Whales and other marine mammals are especially vulnerable to such noise pollution, because they rely on hearing as much as we rely on our sight. Already, it's been confirmed that sixteen whales and a dolphin that beached themselves in the Bahamas in the spring of 2000 had hemorrhaging around the brain and ear bones caused by mid-range Navy sonar in the vicinity.
    • Adding sonar to the other industrial sources of noise in the ocean – from supertankers to giant air guns used in oil exploration – is madness. Entire species and the very integrity of our oceans is at stake!


My name is Dick Russell, and I am a journalist who has specialized in writing about ocean-related issues for nearly twenty years. In the course of researching my latest book, "Eye of the Whale," which will be published in August by Simon & Schuster, I interviewed a number of scientific experts on acoustics and marine mammals and, in particular, the impact of Navy sonar upon whales. I came away deeply concerned about what I learned.

Even the least cautious of the marine scientists I spoke with was of the opinion that much more needs to be known before LFA is allowed to be implemented, if at all. Dr. Peter Tyack, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, was one of the marine biologists contracted by the Navy to conduct its experiments to see how near-shore whales would react to high decibel levels of LFA sound. Dr. Tyack told me he is most concerned about deep-ocean, deep-diving toothed whales, such as the sperm and beaked whales, in area where sound refracts downward and the animals could face jeopardy when foraging in the depths where the LFA energy concentrated.

The sound tests he conducted in the presence of gray whales, which always stay near the coastline as they migrate, determined conclusively that LFA sonar disturbed these whales and should be kept away from such inshore areas. The Navy's supposed compromise was to limit operation of its system to at least twelve miles from shore. But as another researcher into whale acoustics – Dr. Lindy Weilgart of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia - said to me, "if inshore whales are clearly shown to avoid LFAs, then the problem may not be using LFA just in that particular environment but everywhere. Perhaps the offshore migrating whales – those that reacted less – were already more damaged or marginal individuals. Anything that has the potential to change, even slightly, a whole population of migrating whales should be viewed with great caution. If something serious befalls these migrating animals, it means that the whole population is doomed."

Can we put at risk the whales, dolphins and other marine life which could be impacted across 80 percent of the world's oceans, flooding thousands of square miles of ocean at a time with intense sound for the sake of a submarine detection system whose very capability is already in doubt? This is not only a waste of taxpayer's money – it could have far greater consequences of creating a wasteland of our seas!

I strongly urge the National Marine Fisheries Service to follow through on its mandate under the Marine Mammal Protection Act – and outlaw any further deployment of LFA sonar.

Sincerely Yours,

Dick Russell

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