Subject: Whale stress/mortality

Al Romero (romero@macalester.edu)
Sun, 31 Jan 1999 20:08:33 -0600

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---------- Forwarded message ----------


At 04:39 PM 1/31/99 -0800, you wrote: 
>
> My son is trying desperately to find the answer to a question his teacher
has
> asked him for his school speech on killer whales. He has been asked to find
> out how many whales have been killed due to stress/injury when trying to be
> taken into captivity for aquariums.. eg. seaworld etc.  I'm not sure if
there
> is a number per year or a number total.. we would take either.. 
>  Thank-you in advance for your time and consideration of this question.. He
> is getting desperate.
> reply to.. cosford@bserv.com


I do not think that there are specific figures on what happened in the past
when many species of whales (like the "killer" or orca) and dolphins were
being
captured for aquarium display, except that we do know that longevity was
greatly reduced.  For example, did many animals die because of stress while
trying to escape from being capture? Were there abortions because of the same
stress on females? We know that happened with the capture of dolphins in
tuna-fishing operations, but to what extend did that happened when these
mammals were pursued for commercial display?, we do not know.  Because the
U.S.
severely restricts the capture and/or importation of marine mammals for
display, numbers of cetaceans killed due to stress/injury in the last
decade or
so must be very low.  However, such regulations do not exist for most other
countries in the world.  Furthermore, those countries rarely release mortality
figures out of fear of being targeted by environmental/animal rights groups.



Aldemaro Romero, Ph.D.
Director and Associate Professor
Environmental Studies Program
Macalester College
1600 Grand Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105-1899
(651) 696-8157
(651) 696-6443 (fax)
romero@macalester.edu 

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At 04:39 PM 1/31/99 -0800, you wrote:
My son is trying desperately to find the answer to a question his teacher has asked him for his school speech on killer whales. He has been asked to find out how many whales have been killed due to stress/injury when trying to be taken into captivity for aquariums.. eg. seaworld etc.  I'm not sure if there is a number per year or a number total.. we would take either..
Thank-you in advance for your time and consideration of this question.. He is getting desperate.
reply to.. cosford@bserv.com

I do not think that there are specific figures on what happened in the past when many species of whales (like the "killer" or orca) and dolphins were being captured for aquarium display, except that we do know that longevity was greatly reduced.  For example, did many animals die because of stress while trying to escape from being capture? Were there abortions because of the same stress on females? We know that happened with the capture of dolphins in tuna-fishing operations, but to what extend did that happened when these mammals were pursued for commercial display?, we do not know.  Because the U.S. severely restricts the capture and/or importation of marine mammals for display, numbers of cetaceans killed due to stress/injury in the last decade or so must be very low.  However, such regulations do not exist for most other countries in the world.  Furthermore, those countries rarely release mortality figures out of fear of being targeted by environmental/animal rights groups.



Aldemaro Romero, Ph.D.
Director and Associate Professor
Environmental Studies Program
Macalester College
1600 Grand Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105-1899
(651) 696-8157
(651) 696-6443 (fax)
romero@macalester.edu

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