decline of whales

Topics: Ocean, Oceanography, Pollution Pages: 4 (965 words) Published: January 3, 2014

The Decline of the Whales

Whales are the largest living mammals in the world. “Whale lifespans are about 40-100 years” says John Corbett from the Marine Life Museum. (1) Scientist have concluded that whales are intelligent creatures because they have their own language in which they communicate, it is called echolocation. Whales have intricate social behaviours and live in social groups just like humans do. So it is fair to say that whales are important creatures because they have their own intelligence and social behaviours unlike other sea creatures, which can be compared to us humans. With that in mind, it is difficult to understand that the whale population is in decline, as they are soon to become extinct. “About a decade ago there were 5, 961, 843 whales in the world’s oceans, but now there are only 3,087,700 whales in existence,” states the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. (2) From this we can see that the population of whales have declined.  There are two main causes to the decline of whales. One being natural causes and the other being man created disturbances. Climate changes are the natural cause. Man created causes are overfishing, vessels attacks, human disturbance chemical and noise pollution, and direct human impacts. The decline of prey can be both a man created disturbance and natural cause.

Man created disturbances:
over fishing
vessel attacks
pollution (chemical, noise)
Decline of prey
direct human impacts (pollution in the oceans and imprisonment)

Natural Causes:
climate change
decline of prey

One of the main reasons why the whale population is declining is because of the over fishing. “In 1982 the “International Fishing Committee” (IWC) banned killing whales since it was getting overfished. But the Japanese, Icelanders, and the Norwegians decided to disobey the rule and go whaling instead. ”...
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