Our salmon campaign has been very successful with alliances set up across the board. The M/V Wii Seeks heads to Friday harbor tomorrow to work with Orca Protection headed up by Captain Hobbes Buchanan. Scott West arrives tonight to help with the trip and we will start meetings to get the project funded. The Southern Resident Orcas are in real trouble. After a quick dry dock for needed maintenance we’ll be ready to go. Dr. Joe Valencic has helped set the boat up to live stream the situation that will allow law enforcement to watch the enforcement. The whale industry is pretty much an unregulated fisheries as boats of all sizes daily follow the pods to view these creatures.
Now I understand the wonderment of seeing whales, and much like the aquariums of old, whale watching serves as an educational opportunity… but is it working? Maybe for us humans, but it has become disastrous for the whales. Although there are laws to keep boats away, there is no enforcement. No one is there to watch and keep the boats at a safe distance. Some days there are up to 75 boats, many too close following the pods. Think about it. The pod is often surrounded and herded into better viewing positions.
All the heavy motor noise and close proximity of the humans kill any semblance of nature. The whales stop feeding and become confused and almost catatonic. There have been on surviving births in the southern orcas since 2015. The latest casualty was viewed recently live in the media. We all cared as the point of a mourning mother was brought into our homes. Huge amounts of funds were raised but little addressed the problem. Think of trying to communicate with your family with a half a dozen rock bands blaring rock music into your dining room? Would your family communicate? Could you talk to your kids? Make love? Hell no! This is what human viewing is doing to these whales. We are loving them to death.
Of course we all point our fingers at the other guy. Well, wake up and look in the mirror. It is all of us. Much like capturing these animals and putting them into tanks to entertain the masses, natural viewing has become no better. Regulation and boat free areas where the pods can escape are imperative to their future survival. I know that “jobs” are at stake as greater distance and few numbers will discourage tourists from paying whale watch operators, but something has to be done or the only viewing we will have in the future will be on TV. Do we all want to view nature in the future on TV? I do not.
It is not only whale watching that is the problem, but we can start there with regulation. They might even help… We need to educate ourselves, stop run off pollution and stop dumping sewage and garbage into the oceans; their habitat. The city of Victoria on Vancouver Island continues to pump un-treated sewage into the ocean… the ocean that is home to these whales. Did you ever swim there?
In this day and age with what we all know, this is unacceptable. Call the tourist bureau. Boycott the city and force them the wake up and join the 21st century no matter the cost. Money is always an excuse, but what will be the cost of extinction?
The time is now to change and give these animals a chance. Do what you can individually. Vote for change if you are Canadian, demand that whale watch operators obey the few laws that exist, and join the effort to enforce and make new laws to protect nature. Many of us have children and grand children… think of them. Love them to death so to speak, and leave the whales alone.
We at gaianetwork.net will do what we can, join us and become part of the solution.