*The fate of our brethren, the highly intelligent and sensitive cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises), is very grim. The hideous man-made Sixth Mass Extinction is accelerating more than 1,000 times faster than the previous five others.
Legendary biologist and animal activist Farley Mowat meticulously documented the human destruction of cetaceans in Sea of Slaughter. He estimated that humans murdered in excess of five million whales in 18th, 19th and first half of the 20th centuries.
A more recent account by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) workers found that 2.9 million whales were slain between 1900-1999.
In 2003, Duke University and the University of St. Andrews researchers sounded the alarm on discarded fisheries gear slowly drowning 308,000 cetaceans annually. Instead of the world leaders addressing this ocean crisis they subsidize it by more than $250 billion per annum.
The World Animal Protection conservation group blew the whistle in 2017 on 640,000 metric tons of fisheries gear, mostly petroleum-based plastics, discarded annually. They estimated that the life span of those nets and hooked lines was 600 years.
This week, a detailed account by Whale and Dolphin Conservation revealed that more than 40 countries savagely hunt 100,000 dolphins and small whales each year. Heartbreaking carnage. These glorious masterpieces are tortured and slowly executed, then disdainfully used as shark and tuna bait.
Some 13 million miles of longlines with a couple billion hooks indiscriminately kill 50 million sharks and another 50 million are ruthlessly annihilated annually. 100 million butchered sharks each year.
…more than 40 countries savagely hunt 100,000 dolphins and small whales each year.“
The top annual offenders driving dolphins and small whales quickly to extinction are:
- Peru (15,000 for bait and shark finning);
- Nigeria (10,000 meat market and fishing bait);
- Brazil (several thousand for fishing bait);
- Venezuela (several thousand for meat and fishing bait);
- India (several thousand for meat and fish bait);
- Madagascar (several thousand for meat and fish bait;
- South Korea (several thousand for meat);
- Malaysia (several thousand for meat and fish bait);
- Greenland (3,100 for meat) and
- Japan (about 2,300 for meat).
Over the previous two decades Denmark’s Faroe Islanders have hacked and sliced up more than 18,400 dolphins and small whales.
The worst cetacean-killer of them all is Japan. Japanese ocean-killers have exterminated 173,662 dolphins and small whales.”
As if this insatiable human lust for cetacean cruelty isn’t enough to sicken you, there’s more.
At the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting on September 4, 2018, in Florianopolis, Brazil, Japan intends on introducing and passing a motion to resume commercial whaling. Recently, Japan went on a Caribbean buying spree to attain votes ahead of the whaling meeting. Japan is well known for its overt bribing of government officials from industrialized developing countries in order to control the IWC.
Each year, Japan kills hundreds of pregnant minkes in both the Southern Ocean and the North Pacific. But that is not enough. They want more whale blood, not for human consumption, but rather, as dog treats. Repugnant.
Japan acts as though they own the world’s oceans therefore they murder all sea life with impunity.”
In addition to all this human-induced mayhem, cetaceans face deadly ship strikes by 100,000 ocean vessels daily as well as constant propeller noise pollution. Hundreds of thousands of crab pot lines entangle cetaceans and slowly, painfully kill them. Fish farm microbes and viruses poison them along with as many as 51 trillion pieces of ocean plastics.
Worst of all, 242 decibels of incessant global seismic surveys every 10 seconds for weeks or months on end that deafen them, as humans scour the sea beds for every last drop of climate-wrecking subsidized fossil fuels. A deaf whale is a dead whale.
Already, deadly fossil fuel pollution has claimed 337 giant sei whales in the largest mass stranding of filter feeders ever recorded. The whales were victims of man-made fossil fuel heat. They ate squat lobsters laced with domoic acid from a heat-induced red tide along the shores of Patagonia.
At this current rate of unrelenting persecution the cetaceans have no chance of survival. Not only is this amoral and criminal, it is suicidal for the human race. Without the whales, dolphins and porpoises the oceans will collapse.
It’s time for each of us to double-down and reaffirm our morals and love of Nature.
“Ethics is nothing other than Reverence for Life. Reverence for life affords my fundamental principle of morality, namely, that good consists in maintaining, assisting and enhancing life, and to destroy, to harm or to hinder life is evil,” wrote Dr. Albert Schweitzer.
Do not purchase cetacean-killing country products or services. Refuse to support their tourism. Refuse to support the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
Dr Reese Halter is an award-winning broadcaster, distinguished conservation biologist and author.