January 27th, 2011 by J.H. Soeder
What do Gray Whales, Japanese & US PR, and killer whales have in common?
Before I answer that question, let’s look at a bit of background “current events”.
Recently the California Gray Whale Coalition put together and extensive report /petition (with the aid of the Mexican government) of documented evidence that the number of Gray Whale calves have been downtrending for at least the past ten years.
What does that mean?
Well, for one, it means that the Gray Whale population is actually decreasing in size.
The truth is, of the populations studied throughout the world, the only Gray Whale population promoted by the US and Japan as healthy and thriving is the Pacific Gray Whale.
First of all, actual “counts” are speculations at best. It is like looking into a large crowd and then writing that over ten thousand people attended, when in fact it was actually half that number. What the Mexican government and scientists have discovered is that the whales are far thinner and have less calves. And this is documented by several independent creditable sources.
Second of all, Sea Shepherd is actually creating an impact on Japan’s illegal whaling in Antarctica.
And I say illegal, because even Japan’s newspaper columnists state the fact that whales are killed through a loophole for research, while the meat is sold on the open Japanese market. In recent weeks it was exposed by Wikileaks that Japan was telling the U.S. that the Sea Shepherd was actually interfering with their whaling in the Southern Seas. Japan’s hunt for whales may be curtailed in the next years because of the tremendous ship, manpower and fuel costs which are not turning a profit.
So where would Japan go for more whales? For one, Iceland. But also the Pacific Ocean.
US PR has stated that Gray Whales are on the rise in the Pacific and took them off the Endangered Species list. The above petition was submitted to the US Marine Services and it was denied, even though independent resources advised the USMR to consider the claims as real! Is there a connection? What do you think?
Then it comes to Killer Whales. As if Gray Whales do not have enough problems staying healthy (krill counts are way down throughout the world) their calves are sought after by Killer Whales. This is a natural thing. However it means that Gray Whales have no respite from man or another species.
Add to the fact several other points. One is that Gray Whales used to exist in the millions and now in about 20 thousand (I suspect the actual reporting counts). Another point is that Killer Whales are not hunted by any country, and so it’s population is actually on a dramatic increase. So more calves are eaten. And with less of a whale population, the species dwindles toward extinction.
Third point. I mentioned earlier that scientists around the world have discovered huge decreases in krill.
That is due to man’s overfishing and of a lesser known fact: whale feces.
You see, when then whales were a larger population (millions), their feces fed plankton, which in turn fed small crustaceans including krill.
Less whales, less plankton, less krill. And you thought you had to be a rocket scientist to figure that out.
Go to the head of the class.
Finally, Japan has expressed an interest in hunting the Pacific Gray Whales, as they are a “sustainable species”.
Well, if you have read my earlier blogs, I believe the Japanese are tremendous “wordmeisters”. They use words that appear correct, but their actual definition use is different. In this case I believe it refers to how much whale meat they can keep reasonably full in their refrigerators. The word “sustainable” actually has nothing to do with a species surviving. It is the same with “research”. In this case research might mean “to find out how much whale meat we can get into our food lockers before the world gets wise to us.” That definition works for me. How about you?
In the not to distant future we will see the Gray Whale population (for that matter all whales) with less than 1,000 throughout the world, our seas barren of fish, recognize that they have been in jeopardy by governments who turn a blind eye for diplomatic or financial favors.
And at that time, as with the lion, the rhino and the panda, the meat, skin, horns and teeth will be more valuable to people than the live creature. Poachers will kill the remaining creatures. It is happening today.
And our children will only see them in videos and hear their songs from a digital recording.