According to research from the University of Washington, California blue whales have rebounded from close-to-extinction population statistics caused from whaling because of our continued protection efforts.
“The recovery of California blue whales from whaling demonstrates the ability of blue whale populations to rebuild under careful management,” offered Cole Monnahan, a University of Washington (UW) doctoral student whose further qualifications include the leading author of the research.
This is particularly good news when you realize that California blue whales were hunted to near-extinction during the previous century. From 1905 to 1971, a whopping 3,400 blue whales were whaled out on the California coast. Today, the researchers proudly claim, the whales have experienced a huge revival thanks to a renewed sensitivity to the purpose that blue whales serve within the ocean environment.
That being said, the comfort obtained today is no reason to start getting careless again tomorrow:
“Our findings aren’t meant to deprive California blue whales of protections,” Monnahan continued. After all, California blue whales have made a comeback because lawful actions were implemented to cease catching and begin monitoring– if such tangible steps hadn’t been taken, the population may have reached near extinction, which has been the end result for many other blue whale breeds, he goes on.
The horrific impact of whaling is seen around the globe, which makes actions to protect whales even more important.
According to Ted Danson, who wrote Oceana, it’s amazing to think back just a few centuries ago, when there were so many whales in the water that early New England colonists didn’t even have to depart from shore to find them. “Masses of whales pushed so close to the rocky coastline that the townsmen set up on-shore whaling stations, and…they’d hurriedly launch their boats, kill the whale in no time, and haul it ashore,” he said. Eventually, though, coastal populations of whales were completely fished out– making it so colonists had to begin going further out to sea to find them.
Though whaling undoubtedly was destructive, there is hope knowing that efforts of conservation are showing results and helping to properly restore whale populations throughout the Atlantic.
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