“Endangered/threated whales need more protection”

Whales are the largest mammals that are alive in the ocean today. Even though they swim and live in the water they are not fish. In ancient times maybe millions of years ago, whales probably walked upon land. Gradually, they made the change from land to ocean life. Over time gradually, the whales back legs disappeared and their front legs became flippers so they could live in the ocean.

Whales are threatened today from whale hunting.

Whale hunting not needed

Whale hunting not needed

Thousands are killed every year. The whale hunting nations insist that their are plenty of these huge creatures left, so their whale hunters take to the seas every year to catch their quota. Even though the International whaling Commission has ruled that Norway, Japan and Iceland should stop this practice, they continue. Seems that the only potentially good news is that Norway’s whale catches are set to fall to the lowest in more than a decade in 2009. The reason is debatable Norwegians claim that the industry is having financial problems and by environmentalists say the population of whales is decreasing the decreasing demand for whale meat. There fatty meat has absorbed so many toxins from the polluted oceans that their meat is not safe to eat.

Intelligence and social skills

The whale is probably one of the most intelligent, if not the smarted and most socially closely bonded groups of animals on the planet. These animals suffer when their kin are captured and killed and baby whales are left to fend for themselves or taken in the slaughter with its mother.

Minke mother whale and her calf

Minke mother whale and her calf

Challenges the whales face

The group numbers are decreasing from over hunting this could cause social problems, Whales could stop breeding. All whale species used to be more numerous. They all would need decades of uninterrupted breeding to recover. Blue whales have recovered from a low of 400 in the 1970s to around 2,200 today, but that is believed to be only one per cent of their numbers 500 years ago. In a 2007 study by the Iceland Marine Research Institute the numbers of whales are reported to be significant decrease in the population of minke whales since 2001.

Numbers of whales killed yearly

Japan and Norway killed more than 1,600 minke in 2007. Besides hunting. so many whales are injured or killed by vessel strikes, entanglements in fishing nets, pollution, destruction of habitat and acoustic disturbances from sonar and depth sounding devices, climate change and acidification of the oceans driven by global warming and plastic and toxin pollution could also sharply reduce the number of krill, which are the mainstay of the whale diet. “The Norwegian market for whale meat is in decline, as elsewhere on the planet,” said Truls Gulowsen of Greenpeace. “The Norwegian government should phase out whaling.” May the decline continue.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of Reuters.com/environmentNews

Excerpts courtesy of Dailymail.co.uk/news/Lonely-whales-losing-live-hunting.html

Image courtesy of Treehugger.com/whales-ocean-h-002.jpg

Image courtesy of  Wildlifeextra.com/whales/october_2009/Minke_wspa@body2.JPG

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