Killed for no reason

31 03 2010

 

Whaling is the hunting of whales for their meat and oil. This began in prehistoric times and was confined to coastal waters. The early whaling affected the developing of widely disparate cultures for example Japan. Although prehistoric hunting and gathering is generally considered to have had little ecological impact, early whaling in the  Arctic may have altered freshwater ecology.

Whaling began in the Arctic and then spread to all of the oceans across the world. By the end of the 18th century there were 200 British whalers. By 1842 there were a total of 594 American whalers.

Today whale oil isn’t commonly used,  though the meat is used for food. The most common of the whale species hunted today are the Common Minke Whale, Antarctic Minke Whale and Baleen Whales.

Many people believe that whales have been protected by the 1986 world wide ban on whaling. This is not true. Killing, captures, bombings and pollution continue to threaten these peaceful creatures.  The idea that troubles many people around the world is why these harmless, gentle giants are killed. Not only does killing whales reduce their number, especially the critical species, it also greatly affects the environment. Whale slaughter affects the food chain. For example, normally whales feed on seals, but when the number of seals decreased by 80%, the whales started to feed on sea lions. When the sea lions decreased, the whales moved onto sea otters which in turn eat sea urchins. The population of sea urchins has now increased significantly as there are not enough sea otters to eat them. The increase in sea urchins has resulted in destruction of kelp forests.  

Whaling deeply affects me because of my love for whales. If in 10 years whales  become extinct I would be really devastated. Whales aren’t part of the ocean for killing; they are there to be admired by everyone and everything. To know that these, quiet, harmless creatures are being killed just for food or oil doesn’t make sense. People need to realize how important these whales really are and without them our eco system will be destroyed.

By Kaylah Bulow

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