As aware as you and me

Black Fish and other films have thrown a harsh light on keeping whales and dolphins in marine parks. A film in the news shows in even more dramatic fashion that whales are as sentient as human beings.

The YouTube video of a beluga whale playing with and teasing a bunch of kids is both amazing and very sad. The whale is interacting with these children. A debate will take place as to whether this is happy play or aggression or the bahaviour of a bored and frustrated intelligent animal confined against its will in a ridiculously small space.

What does appear clear, from the behaviour displayed in the film, is that the beluga whale is aware of itself, understands the concept of play, recognises the children as small sentient individuals, understands emotions including fear and curiosity, and understands complex interaction with other sentient beings. Isn't this just how human adults interact with young children?

And please don't think that the beluga whale in this film is somehow mistaking the children for seals that it wants to eat. Beluga whales feed on salmon, eulachon, tomcod, smelt, char, rainbow sole, whitefish, saffron and arctic cod, herring, shrimp, mussels, octopus, crabs, clams, mussels, snails and sandworms.

So we at moon pool ask 'by what right are human beings keeping these amazing and sentient beings enslaved in tanks'?

Sponsored Walk for Whales

We will be joining one of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation sponsored walks on the 29th June, to help raise funds for the organisation. Just deciding which one! Scarborough is nearest. Nine days ago we were in Whitby, just two days after a pod of a hundred dolphins had appeared in Whitby Bay. Very jealous.

Raising awareness of the threats to whales and dolphins around the UK and across the world is something we very much support. Hope to see you on one of the walks!

Grab a thinking doughnut and get your teeth round this, as Keisha would say.

This post is all about dolphins and their amazing echolocation abilities. Imagine you are out walking with a group of friends and you see something interesting. Right now, you can either tell the others what you want them to look at or you can point. But what if you could send a message that not only told them where to look but also ... Read more

How do you see the Moon Pool characters?

We would love to know how you see the characters in Moon Pool and we are POD. Whether it is the principle characters of Sam, Rafael and Michel, or the younger characters of Fred and Keisha, or Sam's mum. Or the bad guys. Or the mysterious and ambivalent Sven.

You can either send us drawings / paintings or tell us what film or television stars could play their role. We'll post the best images and suggestions on the blog!

Norway is one of a handful of nations that are still hunting whales, but for the past eight years they have killed only half their self-allocated quota of Minke whales. And it looks like the secret may be pizzas. Whale hunting in Norway appears to be slowly fading away.

'Year on year the quotas aren't being taken,' says Truis Gulowsen, president of Greenpeace Norway. 'It isn't a huge problem though. It is an activity that is on the path to extinction because consumers prefer pizzas to whale meat.' Read more

It's getting exciting now. The website is being assembled, cover art and wallpapers are being finalised. We can't wait to get everything finally up and running!

Behind the scenes, working is now progressing on book three of the Moon Pool trilogy. We can't give you the title yet but, if you subscribe, you'll be the first to know!

Gary Stokes knows there's a real world to protect. He has lived the dangerous opening chapters of we are POD for real.

Gary is the director of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, SE Asia. He has been inside illegal tuna pens where criminal gangs keep thousands of bluefin tuna destined for the sushi bars of Japan. That is how he took the dramatic bluefin photos on our website.

The bluefin tuna of the Mediterranean are being pushed to the brink of extinction, but there are a few first signs that Japan may finally be ... Read more

We've been watching Chris Packham's BBC series Inside the Animal Mind. It's amazing how quickly our understand of animal intelligence is developing. Only a few years ago it was believed that Human beings were the only animals that displayed consciousness or made and used tools or showed an ability to reason. How things have changed in the past forty years! Read more

we are POD is off to proof reader

We are Pod, volume 2 of the Moon Pool trilogy is finished and we are almost ready to go! Christian is now busy writing the third volume - we cannot even tell you the title yet but if you sign up to stay in touch then you'll be the first to know.

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