1) As we already have heard countless times, whaling nations have blamed the whales for depleting fish stocks.
The Icelandic Minke Whaler’s Association states on their website dramatically with the headline, Whales or Life! on 21.02.2008. The following statement can be read (a rough translation):
Minke whales or life!
Now when the size of the cod stock is reduced, and when the capelin fishing is cancelled , one must start to look more closely what impact the minke whale feeding habits have here around Iceland.
the minkes consume 2 million tons of food each year. Of this, krill accounts for 37%, capelin 23%, cod 6 % and sandeel 33%.
During a NAMMCO meeting, that was held in Iceland 2005, facts were presented , that made one believe that the size/proportion of cod in the minke whale diet was larger than previously believed.
This is also in accordance with the samples of stomach content in minkes, which have been carried out during the last years.
Anyway , it’s certain, that the minkes have a big impact on the fish stocks and the marine ecosystem, now and in the future.
Last autumn the scientific hunt ended. Next spring, the whalers estimate to use maxim um 3 whaling ships for the hunt.
2) More problems for critically endangered Northern Right Whales in US waters:
Damaging delay to protect the North Atlantic Right Whale
We discussed the fate of the North Atlantic Right Whale back at the thread :
One would have guessed that the situation would have improved for this species radically one year later, since the loss of even one right whale per year could mean to push the species towards extinction. According to WDCS, at least nine right whales have died since 2004 through vessel strikes.
“A damaging year-long delay to release vessel speed rules is impacting the survival chances of critically endangered right whales off the East coast of the USA. “ :
According to IFAW, an estimated 4 Right Whales are killed by ships annually.
“One year ago, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) approved a policy requiring ships to slow to 10 knots in whale populated waters, a speed which has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of injury and death to whales. Unfortunately, White House politics and the shipping industry have blocked this policy from becoming law”
Even if much money and resources have been poured into saving the North Atlantic Right Whales, mighty shipping and fishing interests seem to take overhand as usual when trying to protect a critically endangered species .
3) Another critically endangered whales, the Western Gray Whales ( Okhotsk –Korean Whales), are threatened by oil contamination : Oil in the diet of Sahkalin Whales.
4) Excellent BBC reporter, Richard Black, writes article, “ Small signs of whaling compromise” from a seminar in Tokyo organised by the Pew Charitable Trust. Excerpt from the article:
“There were hints from Japanese officials that a further downsizing of the Antarctic hunt might, perhaps, be offered one day.”
“Ending the whaling standoff will not be as easy as some in Tokyo suggested; for many people, it is anything but a trivial issue, more emotive than climate change, and a more potent indicator of the human attitude to nature than the global loss of biodiversity.”