Whales are the most famous and well known creatures in the world. For thousands of years, people have tried to understand whales, and in recent times, there has been a sudden growth in scientific research into whales and their world-wide distribution. In fact, in recent years, there has been more scientific research into whales than into any other animal on earth. There are several reasons for this, including the fact that whales are a species apart, and no one has yet been able to capture a whale alive (least since sperm whales are not very difficult to catch dead).
Now, the Southern Ocean has proven to be the most promising location in which to do some whale research. There, researchers have found nine new colonies of whales, and they are just now starting to document these new findings. Even though the quantity is small, and the number of whales observed in a single location is even smaller, it is considered to be important by many researchers. In fact, it is considered to be even more important that whales are documented from all nine locations, as a result, whales are being threatened with extinction in the southern region of the South Pacific.
Some of the most recent findings have also been done in the North Pacific. For the last few decades, whales have been seen frequently along the shoreline near Santa Barbara, California. Researchers have been studying whales there for more than 40 years, trying to determine where these animals go when winter arrives. Through the use of a special kind of camera and tracking equipment, researchers were able to follow a whale through its annual migration, and now they know that they exit the area for the northern part of the year.
Another reason why whales are becoming endangered is because of the commercial whaling industry. The practice of commercial whaling is one of the main reasons that drives whales toward extinction. For centuries, people have relied on the great white whale to help them as their source of protein, but now it is just a memory. The International Whaling Commission has now banned all commercial whaling, which means that instead of companies paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to take whales out of the southern ocean, they will now pay just a few thousand. If no action is taken, this ban will become permanent.
As mentioned earlier, there are many different aspects to whales research, including whale watching tours, and research on how to give birth to calves without harming the female. Some of the options available to scientists include giving birth at sea, so that the calves are not in danger of being born into captivity. There have also been discussions about allowing pods of whales to mate together, which would lead to larger numbers, and would be better for the marine ecosystem. Many people are simply trying to help make sure that whales do not face an imminent doom.
One aspect of whale research that is often overlooked, is the role that the navy plays. There is a lot of interaction between the whales and their environment, and the navy is one of the main players. It is important for the government to pay attention to what is going on, and to make sure that scientific programs are giving direct benefits to the whales as well as the environment. Perhaps you will consider all this in 2021.