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Whaling on the High Seas has got to be Stopped

By Randy Collins Subscribe to RSS | January 4th 2012 | Views:
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The Whale, as we all know is the largest living mammal on Earth. This magnificent creature comes in proportions that can humble us in awe. For instance, the Blue Whale a species that is endangered, can weigh up to 180 metric tons. With an impressive length of 30 meters or about 94 feet it is the largest living species of whales on this planet. The others that are endangered would include the Bowhead whale that weighs around 60 tons, the North Atlantic Right Whale that tips the scales anywhere between 40 and 80 tons, the North Pacific Right whale with an impressive weight of 60 to 80 tons and the Southern Right Whale that weighs around 40 to 80 tons. The lesser cousins would be the Bryde's Whale, the common Minke Whale and the Fin Whale that weigh a lot less and are not threatened to the extent of becoming endangered – as yet.

Humans have been hunting Whales since 3000 BC, with certain communities like the people inhabiting the Faroe Islands practiced it as a tradition. Industrialization of whaling (hunting these superb animals) began sometime in the 17th Century. They were primarily killed for their meat, oil that were used as fuel, blubber that was processed into lubricating oil that was much sought after by watch makers and repairers for lubricating the delicate parts of a watch. It was also used in the manufacture of soaps, varnish and cosmetics and even paint. Candles made from blubber fetched better prices than those made from tallow. The bones that were recovered from the Whale's skeleton were used as building materials. The smaller bones were used to make fishing rods, as umbrella ribs etc.

Ambergris is a dark waxy substance secreted in the digestive tracts of whales. The primary purpose of this secretion was to aid in digesting the harder parts of a squid that was the staple food of a Whale. Stories abound about its aphrodisiac properties. It was also used to make headache remedies and wine. It has also been used to enhance the shelf life of perfumes, hence was always sold at a premium. A single fully grown blue Whale could yield about 120 barrels of oil and always fetched a good price. This led to the systematic hunting and killing of these poor creatures. Factory ships were specially built and were fully equipped specifically for the purpose of hunting whales. The continued hunting resulted the Blue Whales to be driven to the brink of extinction. They are even today an endangered species.

With several governments and NGO's making concentrated efforts to save this splendid specimen of nature, the hunting has been greatly reduced. The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society or WCDS is doing its bit to stop the indiscriminate and cruel methods used to hunt these hapless creatures. A typical expedition consisting of several small motor boats would round up an entire family of whales and drive them towards the shore. When shallow waters are reached, blunt metal hooks would be inserted into their blow-holes and the whales would be dragged to the shore. The intense pain and stress these animals undergo would certainly be the heights of torture they undergo. Once they are beached, sharp knives would be used to sever the major blood vessels leading to a slow and agonizing death. However, WCDS has made a lot of difference, especially in the Faroe Islands by sending out mass e-mails to create awareness that resulted in worldwide outrage at this bestiality. They have also spread word about how toxic it actually is to consume whale meat. There is evidence that there are high levels of mercury and persistent organic compounds which lead to neurological delays and cardiovascular problems in babies whose mothers had consumed whale meat in the pre-natal period.

Similar programs are being aired regularly by popular service providers like Verizon FiOS TV which definitely helps in creating a general awareness of the many endangered species of animals on our Planet.

Randy Collins - About Author:
Randy Collins is a freelance writer and is concerned about conservation of endangered animals and is interested in spreading the awareness by watching more such related programs on Verizon FiOS TV.

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