A whale frolics with swimmers off the back of Great Escape. Photo: Courtesy of Great Escape Charter Company

Big nature comes calling up north

Man’s interference in the marine environment presents challenges for our species, and those that live in it.


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Sea Shepherd's campaign in the Southern Ocean is not about saving individual whales so much as protecting the ecological integrity of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. Sea Shepherd is an anti-poaching organization and the Japanese whalers are poaching. What is the point of establishing a whale sanctuary when whales can be illegally slaughtered within that sanctuary. This is not about numbers, it is about international law. Finally whatever the appearances, all whales are endangered as is most life int he sea. Since 1950 we have seen a 40% diminishment of phytoplankton populations in the ocean and phytoplankton is the foundation of life on this planet supplying some 70% of the oxygen produced. Phytoplankton receive a great bulk of nutrients i.e. nitrogen and iron from the whales. More whales are good news for phytoplankton, fewer whales are bad news. Our oceans are dying. There will never be too many whales or too many sharks but there are too many people consuming the resources from the sea and polluting the waters.

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