Pacific Whales

From: Kim Marshall (kimm@oceanalliance.org)
Date: Sat Dec 21 2002 - 00:05:35 EST

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    Question: My name is Patrick. I am 8 years old. I'm in the third grade. I
    live in San Francisco, California. I would like to know if there are more
    than 300 whales in the Pacific Ocean. I wanted to be a kid hero and help
    save the whales from getting hit by boats or ships needlessly. What can I do
    to help save the whales?

    Reply:
    Dear Patrick,
    Several different species of large whale live in the Pacific Ocean,
    including the bowhead whale, pacific gray whale, and humpback whale. They
    are believed to be about 7500 bowhead whales, over 20,000 gray whales, and
    around 2,000 humpback whales. Not all whale species contain this number of
    whales. It is believed that there are only about 300 to 350 Northern Right
    Whales left in the North Atlantic Ocean, and they are showing few signs of
    increasing. Although some of the populations in the Pacific are increasing,
    they still face many threats. There are also orcas (killer whales), many
    species of dolphins (small whales) etc. Patrick, if you want to help
    protect our oceans, whales, other marine animals from the threats of ship
    strikes you must learn as much as you can about the whales, Pollution is
    another major threat to whales. The following is a list of some things that
    can be done that will help keep whales safer:
     
    1. REDUCE, REUSE, RECYLCE
    2. Always pick up litter
    3. Rinse and reuse plastic bags and containers
    4. Buy dolphin-safe tuna
    5. Buy products with less packaging
    6. Buy recycled products
    7. Compost food scraps
    8. Cut plastic six-pack rings
    9. Don't release balloons into the outdoors
    10. Give eco-friendly gifts
    11. Go on a whale watch or nature hike
    12. Grow your own vegetables
    13. Help your parents recycle paper, plastic, glass, aluminum, and tin.
    In your area there may even be more things you can recycle
    14. Investigate new products that are environmentally safe, like cars
    that emit less pollution, or try to walk or take the bus to close places
    instead of driving
    15. Look for and try to buy environmentally conscious products, like
    biodegradable soap
    16. Make toys out of scrap pieces of wood, cloth, or other materials
    that might otherwise be thrown away
    17. Organize a beach cleanup
    18. Certain paints, batteries, cleaners are poisonous. Use non-toxic
    alternatives - make your own cleaners using borax, vinegar etc.
    19. Plant trees because trees absorb carbon dioxide and reduce the
    amounts that can hurt the atmosphere
    20. Read books, watch documentaries etc. to stay informed
    21. Replace gas powered equipment with solar or battery powered
    components - will reduce air and noise pollution
    22. Turn down heat in winter
    23. Turn off AC in summer
    24. Turn off lights when leaving a room
    25. Use both sides of the paper
    26. Use canvas bags at grocery stores
    27. Use less water when you shower, brush your teeth, and wash clothes
    and dishes. This helps the environment by reducing the amount of energy
    used to move the water to your house.
    28. Use recycled, non-bleached paper for your schoolwork and for
    drawing
    29. Write to your local politicians and ask them to vote for policies
    that will help the environment. If you know about something that is hurting
    the environment, write a letter to your representative and get all your
    classmates to sign a form saying that they agree with your concerns. Try to
    think of a feasible solution to the problem.
    30. Last but not least, keep learning more about whales and the
    environment through organizations like Whale Conservation Institute and
    through your local school and public libraries!



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