Sunday, 6 March 2016

The Whale's Song

Industrial whaling began in the 17th century, by the 20th factory ships & 'whale harvesting' developed. By the 1930s, more than 50,000 whales were killed annually. In 1986 the International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned commercial whaling.

Despite the ban some countries refused to stop whaling.
Pro-whaling countries, Japan-Norway-Iceland, want to hunt certain whale stocks. Anti-whaling countries & environmental groups oppose lifting the ban - unless whaling is stopped, whales could become extinct.

Now, whales are mysteriously dying - during January 2016, 29 sperm whales got stranded and died across Europe. It seems they became lost in shallow waters, but why? Were they affected by something humans did – busy shipping lanes, seismic testing, military noise or the ‘invisible’ threats of toxic chemicals in the seas...

The tails of two fin whales caught off the western coast of Iceland in 2009. (Photo: Halldor Kolbeins/AFP/Getty Images)

It is amazing that in the year 2016, with the diminishment of biodiversity and with species after species going extinct, that there are still people so alienated from reality that they continue to engage in contributing to the death of the ocean. We humans are literally killing the ocean by diminishment of the life within. Many Faroese overfish, they slaughter puffins and other seabirds and they murder whales and dolphins. 
This is the lunacy of our times, whales are killed in order to secure whale meat that is inedible because of the toxic levels of mercury in the bodies of the whales

Whale Song: A Culture All Of Its Own

'The first whale culture to be discovered was the ‘song’ of the humpback whale in the 1960s. At the time researchers did not know that what they were observing was cultural transmission between the whales, but they and the general public were so struck by the discovery that the whales were ‘singing’ that humpback whale song was even included in the Golden Record sent into outer space in the late 1970s on the Voyager spacecraft. 
Since its first discovery humpback song has been studied in many parts of the world. Male humpbacks sing the longest, most complex songs in the animal kingdom. Songs consist of a complex series of whistles, squeals and deep calls. Their songs may last for as long as half an hour and are divided into 'verses' which are sung in a specific order.' Source = WDC here.

From the Greenpeace Article January 2016
''Shocking and sad images have been all over the media in the past few days as some massive sperm whales have washed up dead on British beaches. Normally humans and these deep water leviathans live far apart, so it’s understandable that we are surprised and distraught to encounter them like this.
But why does it happen? And what can you do?
Sperm whales are huge. They have the biggest animal brain on the planet, and make some of the deepest dives in the ocean, where their legendary battles with giant squid fuel our imagination. Immortalised by Moby Dick and Pinocchio, their fictitiously fearsome reputation sometimes overshadows the fact that these were the first whale to be decimated by industrial whaling to be turned into oil. They tend to live and travel in groups, and you don’t normally see them in shallow water like the North Sea.

Every year hundreds of dead whales, dolphins and porpoises wash up dead on British beaches. Amongst them there are usually a few sperm whales. Recently it seems that a whole pod of sperm whales has somehow got lost in the North Sea, stuck on beaches and tragically died.

That then begs a question as to how they got lost? Were they chasing prey? Was it freak weather? Were they affected by something humans did – busy shipping lanes, seismic testing, military noise or something else? There are also the ‘invisible’ threats that whales in our seas carry, most notably a heavy burden of toxic chemicals which could have played a part somehow.
Across the world, as whale populations recover from decades of commercial whaling, they increasingly face a range of new human-generated threats, which are much less visible, but just as deadly. That’s been shown in the pilot whales killed by underwater noise, and the killer whale that got caught up in fishing gear.

What should you do if you see whales or dolphins stranded on a beach or in shallow water?If they are alive – contact your local Wildlife Trust, or British Divers Marine Life Rescue.
If you find a dead whale, dolphin or porpoise on a beach, then get in touch with the UK strandings network. It’s also a good idea to keep a distance as there might be nasty infections around, and decomposing whales have a tendency to ‘explode’.

The WDC are running a campain to protect the Whales from Antarctic hunting

Don't let the EU sell out 4000 whales

The EU and Japan are looking to increase trade in goods and services with each other – in other words make loads and loads of money. They are close to signing a new trade agreement.
Great BUT…
A. Japan hunts and slaughters hundreds of whales each year. It wants to kill 4,000 in the Antarctic over the next 12 years!
B. The EU does not support whale hunting. Most of the people in the EU do not support whale hunting!
We can’t allow a trade agreement between the 'whale friendly' EU and a country like Japan - a country that has just announced that it will ignore an international court ban and kill 333 whales each year for the next 12 years in Antarctica.
Let’s stop the slaughter for good.  Ask the EU to use its power and say ‘no new trade agreement until the whaling stops’.

Oh the whale is free, of the boundless sea
He lives for a thousand years;
He sinks to rest on the billow’s breast,
Nor the roughest tempest fears.
The howling blast, as it rushes past,
Is music to lull him to sleep:
And he scatters the spray in his boisterous play,
As he dashes – the King of the deep.

Whaling song, 1850s