Hooray! Dozens of Blue Whales Spotted in Antarctica For the First Time Since 1980s Whaling Ban!
Why is this a big deal? How does this impact us, and the world we live in. Read on to find out.
Where Did The Blue Whales Appear?
The blue whales have returned around the South Georgia Island. This place is off the coast of Antarctica.
What Happened At South Georgia Island?
For 60 years, the whales were hunted in the waters near this island. Beautiful sea creatures like the humpback whales, fin whales, southern right whales, and of course the blue whales were ruthlessly killed.
And their population drastically reduced. For the blue whales, their species was down by 97%!
What Is The Good News?
In 1982, an international moratorium on whaling came about. For decades, the endangered blue whales were protected. And the numbers started to increase.
Recently, more blue whales have been sighted than in past decades. They returned to the South Georgia waters to feed. It seems the rich phytoplanton life is an enjoyable feast for the animals.
Besides, the blue whales, there is evidence of 20,000 humpback whales as well as sightings of several southern right whales. This is very exciting as the whale population, not just the blue whale, is showing signs of recovery.
How the Blue Whales Can Save The Earth?
Dr. Ralph Chiami, an economist, and whale biologist, Michael Fishbach, recently presented at the World Economic Forum. They put forth that the whales play a massive role as storehouses of carbon.
When they defecate, the phytoplankton life feeds on the huge amount of feces. With the rich nutrients, the marine algae reproduces quickly and in large quantities.
Phytoplanton releases almost half of the oxygen into our world. More importantly, they take in the hundreds of billions of tons of carbon dioxide every year.
This makes the blue whale very precious. They really do help with the prevention of climate change.
What Are Blue Whales?
Blue whales are the largest animals to have ever existed. It can grow to a length that is about the lengths of three school buses. And can be as heavy as 15 schoolbuses.
One of the reasons that the blue whale can grow to such a large size is because of the habitat it lives in. The expanse of the oceans does not hinder the growth of the blue whales.
It is one of the reasons why the blue whales love to swim in the Southern Ocean. The waters are still pristine. And the vast wasters can support the large number of the whales.
Blue whales can eat up to four tons of food in one day alone. But do not be scared. They do not eat humans. They eat mostly a tiny crustacean called Krill.
It is sad to know that the blue whales are classified as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.
What Is The Whaling Ban?
The blue whales were abundant in nearly all the oceans on Earth until the end of the 19th century. Then humans discovered the high commercial value of whale baleen and whale oil. Since then, the blue whale was hunted to the point of near extinction.
Awareness led to the blue whales being under protection with the 1966 International Whaling Commission. With added local bans, the species to slowly rebounded. The population increased. And that is a clear sign that the protection from whaling has worked.
6 Ideal Spots To See The Blue Whales
Besides the Antarctica, there are many places where you can try to catch a glimpse of this magnificent creature.
BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR, MEXICO
The Sea of Cortez is awesome. So much biodiversity in the waters. Whales actually come here to give birth and breed.
Best Time To Visit – January to March
MIRISSA, SRI LANKA
Would you like to swim with the blue whales? You actually can! This place is one of the very few places in the world where swimming with the blue whales is allowed.
Best Time To Visit – March to April
MONTEREY BAY, CALIFORNIA
Join researchers on a whale watching excursion. The relatively larger number of blue whales here would give you a higher chance of seeing them.
Best Time To Visit – July to October
PICO ISLAND, AZORES
Around the Azores, an archipelago of 9 islands, the blue whale visits. The blue whale travels to this place as part of its migration journey
Best Time To Visit – February to March
REYKJAVÍK AND HÚSAVÍK, ICELAND
Iceland is such a pretty place to visit. While you are there, you can do some whale watching. The blue whale ventures here in search of food.
Best Time To Visit – May to August
SAGUENAY – ST. LAWRENCE MARINE PARK, QUÉBEC
Home to 1,600 marine species. There are at least 13 different types of whales. And the blue whale is one of them.
Best Time To Visit – June to September
Dozens of Blue Whales Spotted in Antarctica For the First Time Since 1980s Whaling Ban – My Thoughts
The blue whale has a special place in my heart. When I was a young boy, my parents bought me books about sea life. When I turned to the page about the blue whale, I was awed.
Such a big and magnificent creature. It amazed me how huge this sea animal is. I tried to imagine being in its presence. And I felt so small and humbled.
The good news that they are increasing in numbers makes me very happy. For some strange reason, I feel such connection with the blue whale. And I truly wish for the species to grow in numbers again.
Otherwise, the sea will be a little more lonely without them.
What are your thoughts about this story? Do you like whales? Do you plan to go to one of the above places to catch a glimpse of them? Leave a comment, and let me know?
Let us all keep thinking positive thoughts with visualization of a world where everyone is healthy and happy.
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Wishing you an awesome life filled with abundance, love and light