I had the good fortune to be in the Sea of Cortez last month. And while we were exploring the waters and islands we found a good size group of blue whales. We spent an entire afternoon watching them very closely. These whales are the largest animals that have ever lived on the planet. You could fit five brontosaurs inside one blue whale or 25 African elephants or 1600 human beings or about 2000 fifth graders. In the Antarctic a blue whale was killed that reportedly weighed 130 tons. But no more, those big ones were all wiped out by the whalers. The blues we watched that afternoon were about 75 feet long, still big by any standard. They are also the fastest growing animal. Obviously they begin as a single egg and 12 months later at birth they weigh 5,500 pounds and be 23 feet long. Then the baby drinks 50 gallons of milk every day gaining an incredible nine lbs. per hour! When it is finally weaned at the age of seven months it weighs 50,000 lbs. and is 52′ long!Blue whales have been protected from whaling since 1966. Their recovery has been steady but slow. It is not necessary to travel to Baja to see these magnificent creatures. Nearly every summer and fall, blue whales congregate to feed around the Cordell Bank, the Farallon Islands, and off Half Moon Bay, sometimes in huge numbers.
Most large scale whaling was stopped by international agreement in 1986 but now Norway wants to begin aggressively whaling again. They want an annual kill 2,000 Minke whales, a small relative of blue whales.My concern is that if Norway is now allowed to kill the relatively abundant Minkes, they may eventually turn toward other more endangered whale species. Please join me and others who are boycotting all Norwegian products. Write to Prime Minister Brundtland and protest the massive commercial whaling about to begin. To their credit Burger King has already canceled a multi-million dollar contract for Norwegian fish.
Once they were protected Blue whales bounced back from the brink of extinction. If we don’t act to prevent Norway from killing Minke Whales, we’ll soon be fighting to save all of the whales once again.
This is Michael Ellis with a Perspective.