It is time to stop whale watching tours and start asking yourself, “Do we save the whales?” It is not just three-year olds who are upset that their younger siblings get to watch the grownups swim around with the monster creatures in the ocean. Ask your colleagues and neighbors what they think about it. You will no doubt hear a lot of callousness, prejudice and outright hatred. Some will argue that whales are cuddly animals that should not be harmed. Others will insist that whales are intelligent and can be trained to behave properly.
The truth is that there are too many whales dying in the wild to ignore. Many are hit by ships, and there have been conflicts with boats that have capsized or have ran aground. Just like other large predators such as sharks and bears, the great white variety of whales is known for its voracity. They are more likely than other marine species to come up with the deadly “zap” maneuver when confronted with a hunter. This could result in their extinction.
In fact, whales are not only in danger in the ocean, but they also face threats from pollution in our rivers, seas and lakes. Industrial pollution has caused the death of so many whales that the National Oceanic Association has called on all nations to clean up their waters. They have also stated that nearly 20% of all the species in the southern hemisphere are threatened with extinction due to human interference. This includes whales.
One of the most obvious signs of pollution is the reduction of whale populations. If we keep eating more garbage and resort to fishing to catch more fish, we are in danger of reducing the food chain in the oceans, and that means fewer hungry seals, and less food for whales. Even when we consider the big marine animals that feed on the surface of the water, like the seals, we should be concerned about the damage that plastics and other types of waste are doing to their digestive system. When more of these creatures die, it will lead to smaller food chains. This makes feeding more of these animals more difficult.
It is not just the loss of whales that we need to worry about. A great deal of aquatic life relies on the oceans for a nutritious diet. Fish, crabs, snails and other crustaceans depend on the ocean for their food. These creatures are vital to the marine ecosystem. And when they go missing, it can have a devastating effect on whale food chains.
There is hope. We can help to bring an end to the whaling industry once and for all. We can work towards stopping these senseless deaths, and preventing more whales from being killed. By putting a halt to these cruises, and by pushing for a ban on whale meat sales, we can help to save the whales and their families. And that has got to be our highest priority.