Marine mammals face myriad dangers thanks to humans
Yo-ho-ho mateys! Today we celebrate the many ways man has
pillaged marooned f**ked over plank-walked marine mammals everywhere.
Off Hawaii, boats have hit a record number of humpback whales (go team human! high score, baby!), including some of the 1,000-or-so calves born this year. Though some say the increase in “hits” is due to a growing population of the endangered whale [happy face here], I ask, what about the growing population of whale-watchers, which now totals some 300,000 every year in Hawaii alone? [Reality check here]
Then there’s the story about the “dozens” of dolphins found dead on Bulgaria’s Black Sea shore after being tangled in fishing nets. “Dozens” sounds like maybe 24 or 36 dead dolphins … but we’re actually talking 55 found within a span of 10 days near the town of Shabla (clearly the hometown of Bob Loblaw). And last month, the death of 11 dolphins on a nearby Romanian shore was blamed on poaching. Don’t even get me started on the whaling happening off the coasts of Japan, Norway, and Iceland.
And let’s not forget the U.S. Navy, which continues to use mid-frequency sonar despite research suggesting its role in numerous mass stranding events. The latest study names naval sonar as the most probable cause for a stranding of some 200 melon-headed whales in Hanalei Bay, Kauai, in 2004. The Navy maintains the connection is “virtually impossible.” In denial much?
Arrr, me hearties. Marine mammals are of particular research interest to this here wench. We’re talking about intelligent creatures with complex communication that may include identifying each other by name, a new study claims. (Props to Laela Sayigh, a prof of mine at UNCW who co-wrote the study!) There’s so much more to learn, but will these critters be around long enough for us to even scratch the surface?