Researchers and conservationists in 40 countries warn that the risk of extinction for whales is “real and imminent”. At the same time, Norway catches hundreds of whales every year.
«We, the undersigned researchers, raise our greatest concern about the risk of extinction of many species and populations of whales».
How to start patent, signed by 350 researchers worldwide.
The professionals involved in the uprising, who are specialists in whales, believe that the situation is now critical. Whales, dolphins and porpoises are in danger of extinction.
– Let this be the historic moment where we realize that the whale is in danger, and that it triggers a powerful wave of action to save our oceans, says former whale trainer for SeaWorld, Mark Simmonds, according to BBC. He then asks regulators, researchers, politicians – and the population – to take action.
The petition is coordinated by the University of Bristol and Humane Society International.
The northern cape, the great baleen whale, is highly endangered, the researchers point out. There may be as few as ten Californians left.
Trapped in nets and killed
The biggest threat to marine mammals is that the animals are accidentally caught in fishing gear and nets. This kills an estimated 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises a year, writes BBC.
But the whale is also caught with full knowledge and will. Last year, nature presenter Sir David Attenboroug criticized Iceland, Japan and Norway for conduct commercial whaling.
International Whaling Commission (IWC) stopped commercial whaling in 1986 because the whale was close to extinction. Norway and Iceland reserved themselves against the ban, and since 1993 are Norway is the only nation that catches minke whales by quotas.
In 2019, Norway caught 429 minke whales.
– It’s sad! By protecting the whale, we have managed to save this magnificent animal from becoming extinct. Many countries joined forces and decided to trade together. It is very sad that Norway has gone back on this, he said Attenborough to VG last year.
There are several threats that threaten the whales’ existence, says whale researcher at the University of Tromsø, Audun Rikardsen, to NRK.
– Boat collision, noise pollution, habitat damage and not least pollution are threats we see to the populations that worry researchers, says Rikardsen.
He shares the concerns about extinction at the global level, but that the situation in our immediate areas is better than elsewhere in the world.
– When we come to the North Atlantic where we are, the situation is actually a little different. Here we have seen that many of these species have increased after the catch has stopped, and in fact quite sharply in the stocks. This especially applies to humpback whales, fin whales and as far as killer whales, says Rikardsen NRK.
Sensitive and smart
The whales are valued as sensitive, intelligent and inspiring creatures, it is said in the uprising. The researchers point out that «we will not deny future generations the opportunity to experience them».
The marine mammals are like caretakers for the health of our oceans, the researchers remind. These animals play an important role in the ecosystem, which is important not only for their survival, but also ours.
Previous studies has shown that whales play a very important role in the oceans. A study from the USA and Canada in 2014, estimated that all whales that die, store up to 190,000 tons of carbon a year.