well, you certainly know how to hit the difficult questions! that
question is the big one in whaling politics, because japan claims that
whales take too many fish and therefore they're in compteition with human
fisheries (and therefore need to be culled). none of this makes any
sense; if it did, human fisheries should be doing really well right now
after whaling greatly reduced populations of whales, but they're not.
human overfishing by japan and others is the reason for declining fish
stocks, not whales. and the biggest predators of fish are not whales, but
anyway, there's no clear answer to your question. the whaling industry
removed maybe 80% of the whales from the Antarctic in the 20th century
(95% for some species like blue whales), and most of those animals fed on
krill. with them gone, that should have prompted what's called
"competitive release" - you get rid of one predator, and there's a lot
more of the prey to go around for other species. this may have happened
in the antarctic, where some other krill-eating critters became more
abundant after whales were removed; but it's a VERY complicated ecosystem
relationship and no one entirely agrees on the outcome.
this probably doesn't help, but i'm afraid there's no straight answer!
-- Phillip J. Clapham, Ph.D. Large Whale Biology Program Northeast Fisheries Science Center 166 Water Street Woods Hole, MA 02543
Tel (508) 495-2316 Fax (508) 495-2066
> hey, its Amey again > i was just wondering if you could help me with something again. > ok the question is: > seals and blue whales are hunted for fur and blubber. if these species > were to become extinct, what effect would this have on the food web > (food web includes = killer whale, phytoplankton, birds, penguins, > fish, and krill) > > thank you for your time. im sorry bout troubling you. if you could > answer it i would be very greatful. > > cheers , amey
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