Global Warming and Climate Change and Whales
Dr. Payne addressed a long list of various problems related to environment: coastal pollution, dead zones, fish diseases, removal of wildlife from the seas, invasive species, removal of top of the food chain species, plastic pollution , noise pollution, ghost nets, long lines, destruction of coral reefs, acidification, etc.
He focused his career on studying the apex predator, the blue whale. For whom we must address multiple threats with campaigns like ÒSave the WhalesÓ. Globally, we first addressed the challenge of whaling by setting international laws/regulations under the IWC. But the problem was that we lacked international controls on the harvesting of whales and national enforcement codes for ensuring survival. Moratorium on commercial whaling was passed in 1982 but only came into effect in 1986. Retold the history of the passing of IWC and lack of success initially. They decided to transition of treaty language from Ôcommercial whalingÕ to Ôscientific whalingÕ. But this just meant that whalers were still fishing under the scientific clause. The Japanese abused this clause and continued commercial fishing, employing factory vessels that gained them access in far away tropical waters. Basically, they were buying votes of developing countries and creating political divides between the IWC body. Clearly we were not succeeding to manage whales.
Iceland dropped out of the IWC and then popped back in. Then a revised Management Procedure came about. Norway tried to create the impression of compliance by ÔtweakingÕ the standards of compliance and doctoring the catch numbers. Some Japanese researchers believe that whales die more from strangling or ship strikes than from whaling. Lots of continued threats from POPs, Endocrine Disrupters, ongoing. Impacts accumulate over time impacting each predator up the food pyramid more and more. This same phenomenon of bioaccumulation ultimately impacts humans as well, whether via swordfish or other fish. These impacts are especially significant on pregnant women. We need to know what the concentration of EDCs in fish are. How do you as a consumer know when fish you are eating is safe? Same impact passed along by mammals to their young, through breast milk. Pollutants in whales are enormous. For all these reasons, the Ocean Alliance Institute took it upon themselves to take samples of skin/blubber for sperm whales around the world. This was a 5.5 yearlong study. They tried to assess the contaminants in the skin using 950 samples total. They are looking for more funding to help continue this assessment. They are finding chromium, mercury, among other toxins. The Wise Lab at USM helped to identify contaminants. Impacts measured by genotoxicity or chromosomal investigations. Cells significantly die off with exposure. Increased concentration means increased impact. Many humans are actually working in factories manufacturing products that have chromium in them suffer human health impacts.
In conclusion, we need to look for ways to work with businesses, with filmmakers (e.g. ÒThe CoveÓ). Shocking massacre of dolphins/whales depicted in this film. Apply different approaches to conflict resolution: A. Those who live by the sword, die by the sword. But even Sea Sheppard boats while attention getting, donÕt actually change the minds of the enemy. Alternatively, we need to work and engage in conversation with fishermen, whalers, to sway their thinking. Need to embrace the challenge before us as a team, and collaboratively.
For More Information or to get involved contact:
The Blue Frontier Campaign
T: (202) 387 – 8030