Starvation or hunting? Which kills more whales? Lets see the research!

What do I love – calamari dosed in smoked paprika and pepper, sauteed on the barbeque with capsicum and maybe a bit of celery or parsley and topped off with a smidgeon of meltingly luscious goats cheese.

That's what I used to love.  But not now.   It leaves an ugly taste in my mouth.

Of course we complain – how can the Japanese and Norwegians hunt all those whales and eat them?  How can they perform those atrocities in our oceans?  Those beautiful whales. How could they?

But now we have the starving whales.   The reports are coming in now.  First internet report that I can find cites that in 2007 in The News Scientist citing starving Eastern Grey whales were being found along the coasts of Mexico, in the Western Pacific Ocean.  Another malnourished dead grey whale washed ashore on Angel Island, California in 2010. The Independant discusses implications of gray whale starvation in an excellent 2007 article.

In 2010 a fin whale found in the Vejle ford in Denmark was found undernourished.  These whales should live for 50 years, this one was only about 15.

Are we connecting the dots that it might not merely be commercial fishing of whales causing the suffering to these mammals of the sea.  It might be just plain old starvation.  There could be all sorts of explanations, ranging from natural ocean variations, global warming (but wouldn't increased ocean surface open up more whale hunting grounds?) to maybe, just perhaps, bottom trawling fishing and overfishing of our oceans. 

These whales get their hydration as well as nourishment from squid.  Simply put, they are dying of thirst and hunger.

Marine biologist, and associate professor at AUT university Steve O'Shea has been studying whales for 20 years and their food source, squid, for 7.  He believes a greater number of whales beaching themselves are simply starving.  Of 21 pilot whales beached in 2010 near Raglan in NZ, to date, 100% of them were showing signs of starvation.  

I am sure many will say, how do we know this hasn't been happening for millenia?  Of course the weakest animals will die and naturally be washed up on beaches.  This has always happened.

But can't we do the research and see the stats year after year to see if this really is a problem, or do we call it 'skinny whale syndrome', and just say 'oh well, never mind'?

Why don't we speak with the Japanese and Norwegians.  Why don't we see what their information is on this subject?  Why don't we use their research?

Because as far as I can tell, our own inaction could quite possibly be causing at least as many deaths as the activities of the Japanese and Norwegians.

About Jodie

It is only by questioning and discussing and attempting to view the world our childrens children will live in, that we start to understand that life isn't a linear process - it is a room of dominoes falling. Our world has a lot of special interests and stakeholders that by default, keep science undone, and economics hooked in the 1920's - resulting in governments that don't address the complexity that is challenging our world. From pollution to mental health (and the cost of food) to the health of our freshwater - it's complex and dynamic. What equilibrium do we want to reach - a healthy vital one or a suffering one?
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