Blue Whales

From: Jennifer Philips (jphilips@hawaii.edu)
Date: Thu Jan 24 2002 - 21:10:08 EST


My name is Matthew Barone. I am in second grade at Thunder
Hill Elementary School in Columbia, Maryland. I am
conducting a research investigation about Blue Whales. My
project goal is to teach others about the importance of
saving the blue whale from extinction and ways each of us
can help to protect their environment.

I am writing this message to get information about the blue
whale’s environment and ideas that my fellow classmates and
our family can do to make a difference in protecting the
oceans and possible food supplies for the blue whale. I
have selected this topic because I thought it was
interesting how the largest living animal lives solely on
one of the smallest living food sources.

Some specific questions I would like answers to are as
follows:
· Why is it important to save the Blue Whale?
· Are whales still hunted by whalers or anyone? Legally or
illegally?
· Are there other things that could further endanger the
blue whales?
· Where does the largest current population of blue whales
live?
· What can one individual do to protect the blue whales?

Please send me any links, brochures, articles, and other
information regarding this subject or other possible
organizations that may be able to provide similar
information. My address is: Matthew Barone, 9441 N.
Penfield Road, Columbia, MD 21045.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
            Sincerely,
            Matthew Barone

Matthew,

Your have some good questions about blue whales! Here are my
answers:

· Why is it important to save the Blue Whale?

Blue whales, like any other species of animal or plant on
the planet, has a right to continue to live and thrive.
Humans have the responsibility to ensure that our actions to
not hurt other animal species. If we find that we have hurt
an animal species, we have the responsibility to help that
animal recover. The blue whale also lives and eats and
migrates, and does all the things blue whale do. Without
blue whales, there would be a hole in the ecology of the
oceans they live in. That means they have a job to do - if
they do not do their job, then the world changes.

· Are whales still hunted by whalers or anyone? Legally or
illegally?

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) makes whaling
illegal, and one of the species they protect is the blue
whale. However, a few countries (Japan, Norway) do not agree
with the IWC and hunt whales anyway. They have agreed with
IWC to only hunt certain species of whales that are not
endangered, but they often break that agreement and hunt
other species, including blue whales.

· Are there other things that could further endanger the
blue whales?

Probably the most important threats to whales of any species
right now, other than whaling, is pollution, habitat loss
and fisheries. Human activities in the areas whales rely on
for, say, food, threatens them, as does over-fishing of
their food. For example, blue whales love krill, but then so
do people. If people take too many krill out of the oceans,
blue whales do not have enough to eat. This could severely
impact the populations of blue whales, preventing them from
thriving and recovering from near-extinction numbers.

· Where does the largest current population of blue whales
live?

The largest current population lives in the North Pacific,
and numbers approximately 2,000 - 4,000. Other populations
are found in the Antarctic (400 - 1000) and the North
Atlantic (1,000 - 2,000).

· What can one individual do to protect the blue whales?

Good question! The most important thing a person can do
right now is to pressure politicians and policy makers in
our government to continue to enforce protection of the
great whales. The IWC needs to continue its current ban on
whaling, and controls on fisheries, pollution, and habitat
encroachment must be put in place and strengthened. Write a
letter to your politicians, let them know what you think.
And keep writing. Get people you know to write. Have
petitions signed and sent in. Let them know that you are
watching them and that you expect them to protect the
endangered species of our world.

Here are some links that you might find interesting:
http://www.oceanlight.com/html/blue_whale.html
http://www.panda.org/resources/publications/species/whales/t
hreats.html
http://www.iwcoffice.org/Default.htm
http://www.gygis.com/blue_whale.html

Thanks for your question to Whalenet!
Jen Philips



This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon Aug 19 2002 - 10:33:04 EDT