whale conservation

From: Phil Clapham (pclapham@whsun1.wh.whoi.edu)
Date: Wed Oct 08 2003 - 17:49:47 EDT

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    > hi, I am doing a school project and i have a few questions that i cant
    > get answered.

    1. Ho does the endangerment of whales affect or planet?
    In the sense that whales are a major part of their ecosystem, and by
    removing so many of them with whaling we changed the ecosystem quite
    substantially. About two million whales were killed in the Southern
    Hemisphere alone (and lots of others in the north) in just the 20th
    century alone. That's a lot of predators taken out of a system, so the
    system was changed by all that.

    > 2. How does the endagermant affect our food chain?
    That's a complicated question. By removing high predators in a food chain
    (and whales are fairly high, depending on the kind of whale and what it
    eats), then that means that all those things that whales used to eat
    either become prey for other creatures or go uneaten. Either way the food
    chain and all its rrelationships are affected. But it teerms of how it
    affects US, that's less clear - and actually overfishing by humans has
    affacted the marine food chain, and our part in it, much more than whales
    ever did (despite what japanese whalers are trying to argue now, that
    whales eat too much of "our" fish).

    > 3. What can we do to stop the deaths of whales and other sea creatures?
    One big problem today is with whales and other sea creatures dying from
    entanglements in fishing gear. We can try to modify fishing gear so that
    it allows fishermen to continue fishing but lowers the risk that whales
    and other animals will get caught in it accidentally. As for what you can
    do, supporting the organizations that are trying to save whales and marine
    life is a good thing to do. And being aware of the problems, and telling
    others about them.

    Phil Clapham

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