Subject: Whale conservation

Jennifer D. Philips (jphilips@soest.hawaii.edu)
Thu, 30 Apr 1998 21:01:07 -1000

>> Hi ,
>> The question I would like to know is approx how many organizations are
>> there around the world devoted to saving whales? How can we help save
>> the whales?
>> Thank-you,
>> Laura :-)
>


Laura - 

There are literally thousands of organizations, some official, some not
official, involved in the fight to save the whales from endangerment and
extinction.  The largest, official organization, is the IWC, the
International Whaling Commission. This of course sounds strange, saying
that a "whaling commission" is involved with saving whales, but it is true
that the fundamental goal of the IWC has been to bring whaling practices
under control, and to stop them all together if that was necessary to
prevent causing more severe harm to the whale populations.  Many world
countries are members of the IWC, and most agree to its provisions of an
all-out ban on whaling.  A couple countries (Japan and Norway), however,
continue to whale, though they are members of the IWC.  They make use of an
IWC provision of allowing killing of whales if it is necessary for
scientific purposes.  Other than IWC, many other government agencies have
been formed to enforce the laws that each country and state has to regulate
whaling and the treatment of marine mammals in general.  Everyone realizes
that the scientific fact is that most whale species have already been
hunted enough to cause severe harm to their populations, almost to the
point of extinction for such species such as the Northern right whale and
the bowhead.  Laws must be made and enforced to stop further destruction to
whales.  Other than governmental agencies, there are hundreds of private
agencies whos primary goal is to protect whales, and many many others that
include whales in their long list of causes.  Greenpeace is one of these
agencies.  Greenpeace has actually done a lot to help.  

The best way for a person like you to help is to take action yourself.  Do
not necessarily just give your money to an organization that promises to
use your money for the cause (even if they are completely honest).  I
recommend actually contacting the people who make a difference and
convicing them they should care.  For example, contact your congressmen.
Right now is a good time, because of the upcoming election, so make your
voice heard.  They want to hear what their constituents have to say.  You
should do your research and be informed and the issues that are important
right now with whales.  For example, the gray whales in the Sea of Cortez
may be impacted by a water desalination plant project.  Or the Northern
Right Whales off the coast of Cape Cod.  Or the continuation of whaling by
Japan and Norway.    You might also want to think about volunteering for an
organization.   

Good luck!  I hope this information has helped.  

Aloha - 

Jen 
__________________________________

Jennifer D. Philips		
jphilips@soest.hawaii.edu

Marine Mammal Research Program
HIMB, University of Hawaii at Manoa
PO Box 1106			
Kailua, HI  96734
voice:  (808) 247-5063
fax: (808) 247-5831
__________________________________