Fish and Marine - PawNation

Fish and Marine .

TOKYO - Japan killed 251 minke whales during the 2014 Antarctic hunt, in what is expected to be the last "research whaling" mission in the Southern Ocean after an international court ruling. Minke whale. Credit: Getty Creative According to data released by Japan's Fisheries Agency on Tuesday, the catch was more than double last year's tally of 103 minke whales, but much smaller than the target of 935. The whalers caught no fin whales during the hunt, which ran between January 3 and March 13, the agency said. Japan is a signatory to the International Whaling Commission (IWC), which bans commercial hunting, but has insisted its operation was research -- even though it acknowledged the meat...

Oarfish, including the 36-foot-long (11 meters) giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne), normally elude human eyes in the depths of the oceans. However, a lucky group of tourists recently filmed two oarfish in the shallow, coastal waters of Baja, Mexico. The oarfish observers were kayaking as part of a cruise with the Shedd Aquarium. Oarfish live around the globe in temperate and tropical waters, down to 3,000 feet (915 meters) below the waves. Yet, despite the fishes' wide distribution, oceanographers and other humans rarely glimpse the four known species of oarfish in the deep sea habitat they prefer. Most encounters with oarfish occur when the animals wash up dead on the beach, or sick in...

Daily GIFs: April 2, 2014

Getting through the day can be tough, but you know what makes it easier? Adorable GIFs. Check out these furry mini-flicks floating around the Internet. It's probably the cutest way to waste time and wait for the weekend. 1. "Oh no! I'll save you, arm!" 2. The new eco-friendly transportation option for canines. 3. "I said flakes, not paté!" 4. "Are you my new best friend?" 5. The roads can be scary sometimes. Share this on Facebook Get another dose of adorable animals:...

OSLO - Norway maintained on Tuesday its quota of previous years to hunt up to 1,286 whales in its waters in 2014, despite whalers repeatedly catching less than the limit. Credit: AFP/Getty Images "This year too, we have decided on a quota which guarantees continuity and a good framework for the whaling sector," Fisheries Minister Elisabeth Aspaker said in a statement. Norway formally objected to the 1986 commercial whaling moratorium and does not consider itself subject to it. The Scandinavian kingdom and Iceland are the only countries in the world to hunt whales for commercial purposes. Both nations argue that the whale species they hunt have a sufficiently large population to not be...

THE HAGUE - The UN's top court will rule Monday whether Japan has the right to hunt whales in the Antarctic, in an emotive case activists say is make-or-break for the giant mammal's future. Credit: Getty Editorial Australia in 2010 hauled Japan to the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ), accusing Tokyo of exploiting a loophole by hunting whales as scientific research, despite a 1986 ban on commercial whaling. Australia has asked the world court to order Japan to stop its JARPA II research programme and "revoke any authorisations, permits or licences" to hunt whales in the Southern Ocean. During hearings last year, Australia accused Japan of doing nothing more than "cloaking...

A whale has just broken the world's record for holding its breath under water, having completed dives that last for over two hours and reach nearly 2 miles below the ocean's surface. Cuvier's beaked whale. Credit: Associated Press The new record holder is the Cuvier's beaked whale, according to a study in the latest issue of the journal PLoS ONE. This species is a deep-water master, preferring to swim and hunt at depths greater than 3,300 feet. RELATED: New Deep Diving Whale Discovered "It's remarkable to imagine these social, warm-blooded mammals actively pursuing prey in the darkness at such astounding depths, literally miles away from their most basic physiological need: air," lead...