Sunday, January 26, 2014

Big as a Bus

Weighing in at around 36 tons and as big as a bus, Humpback whales are a wonder of nature.  They typically travel around 25,000km each year, spending the summers feeding on krill and small fish in polar waters before migrating to tropical or sub-tropical waters in the winter to breed and give birth, which is where most of their positive interactions with humans occur.  Prior to the International Whaling Commission ban on commercial whaling in 1966, however, their interactions with humans weren't so great as their population had been decimated by 90%, but since then numbers have recovered to an estimated 80,000.  Over the next couple of months there are a couple of events celebrating these gentle giants, World Whale Day on Maui, Hawaii on February 15th and Whale Fest in (lovely but not as tropical) Brighton, UK, over the weekend of March 14-16.  Later this year there will also be a meeting of the IWC, and I for one sincerely hope that the conservation of whales and other cetaceans continues to be an important issue amongst the myriad of problems facing the world's oceans.     

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