Humpback Whale Population Leaps Back From Near-Extinction — From Just 450 To Over 25,000
A new study explains how the humpback whale population has gone from near extinction to numbers that were seen before commercial whaling began.
The researchers believe that these numbers are close to pre-whaling numbers.
The study was co-authored by Grant Adams, John Best and André Punt.
The study, published last month in the journal Royal Society Open Science, is one that argues against an assessment that was conducted between 2006 and 2015 by the International Whaling Commission which claimed that the population of humpback whales had only recovered approximately 30 percent of its pre-exploitation population. That being said, since that assessment was conducted, new data has come forth that, according to this study, provides more accurate information on life-history, catches and genetics. It’s great to see positive change on the planet in the midst of several issues and the constant bombardment of ‘negativity.’ Whaling once represented one of the world’s most destructive forms of exploitation of natural resources. As the study points out, ...many species were hunted for centuries and/or across vast geographical areas and, as a consequence, were nearly extirpated. Protection was afforded at different times during the twentieth century (e.g. right whales, Eubalaena spp., were protected in 1935 and humpback, Megaptera novaeangliae, and blue whales, Balaenoptera musculus, in the mid-1960s). However, removals thereafter by illegal whaling brought several populations to dangerously low levels until the moratorium on all commercial whaling was implemented by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) for its member states in the mid-1980s. Prior to these practices, indigenous populations were quite in-tune with mother nature and the preservation and maintenance of its species. After having completely lost our connection for a period of time, we have come a long way in areas like the restoration of the humpback whale population. A long period of exploitation from pre-modern and modern whaling drove the WSA humpback whales to the brink of extinction.
The population declined abruptly after the onset of commercial whaling and remained small, with less than 1000 individuals for nearly 40 years. Once protected, WSA humpback whales have recovered strongly, and their current abundance is close to 25 000 whales.
The population status is much more optimistic than previously thought and abundance should reach its pre-exploitation level within the next 10 years or so, assuming mortality from anthropogenic threats remains low. Lead author Alex Zerbini of the UW’s Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean stressed the importance of providing population assessments without biases, but says these findings come as good news— an example of how an endangered species can come back from near extinction. This isn’t the only good news when it comes to our marina family. Canada, for example, has completely banned the captivity of whales and dolphins, although their capture is still permitted for certain scientific purposes, which is absolutely brutal. Scientific study of these majestic, empathetic and extremely intelligent beings should be limited to observation, and those that have passed away. Furthermore, Marine Land seems to be exempt for that law, and they are permitted to keep the ones they have in captivity there for life.
They will probably breed them as well allowing for the sustainability of the park, which is heart-breaking. What gives us the right to do what we do to animals? This has all been the result of brainwashing and marketing. Anybody who is in touch with their heart and has qualities of empathy would never condone the capture of any animals. It hurts to see another hurt, and those who don’t think it’s hurtful and traumatic for these animals are severely misinformed. Not long after the news came out of Canada, for the first time in 17 years, there will be no whaling in Icelandic waters, at least for this summer. Because of a shrinking international market for whale meat, and an overall shift in consciousness on the planet to a more compassionate and empathetic stance, along with an expansion of a no-fishing coastal zone, both of the nation’s biggest whaling companies are apparently putting a halt to their hunting season.
The way we treat animals on our planet is very concerning and heart-breaking. Large corporations have exploited animals, and still do, while we live our lives not really knowing what’s been happening to them. It’s still a big problem, and all industries that exploit animals are in opposition to the values that we need to return to on our planet: compassion, empathy, and love. We are here to live in harmony with animals, and not use them for our own selfish purposes.
The exploitation of animals is not needed and it’s completely unneces.
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