Whales-gray, Icelandic and beluga!
MK Nature Design speaks of the gray whales in Russia, whales in Iceland and the Beluga in the St Lawrence, Canada. Whales are biological indicators and as such should be protected!
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has a panel of scientists that have to be consulted by an oil and gas company (Sakhalin Energy) to meet the requirements of funding (IUCN World Conservation Congress Hawaii 2016, September 3, 2016). This panel of scientists has been working with the company and in so doing has helped the population of western gray whales off the coast of Russia. This cooperation has resulted in the population growing by 3-4% from 2004 to 2015 (115 whales in 2004 to 174 whales in 2015). The grey whale population is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. Sakhalin Energy has shown that it is possible to ameliorate their impact on whales and still operate effectively. The funding agencies should be proud of this achievement. Now more companies have to start doing the same. The gray whale is still in danger. More can be read in this article.
The International Federation for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and IceWhale (The Association of Icelandic Whale Watchers) have a campaign called Meat us Don’t Eat Us which is working towards reducing the consumption of whale meat in Iceland by tourists to zero (www.ifaw.org, Sept 2016). The campaign states that only 3% of Icelanders really eat whale meat and that there are whale friendly restaurants in Iceland that don’t serve whale meat. Also the whaling industry didn’t start up until 1948. So the campaign is discouraging whale consumption in Iceland. The place for the slaughter of whales in Iceland is right next door to the whale watching area. Whale meat consumption by tourists has halved since the beginning of the campaign. For more information and to sign the petition not to eat whale meat, follow this link.
The Quebec belugas are now officially listed as endangered (The Ocean Update, September 3, 2016). This is due to pollution, habitat degradation and human disturbance. Now that the population is considered as endangered the federal government will have to “create a recovery plan in collaboration with scientists, industry representatives, local fishing organizations, Indigenous groups and other affected groups” (The Ocean Update, Sept 3, 2016). Prior to 1885 ten thousand belugas existed in the St. Lawrence Estuary and Gulf, in 2012 only 900 existed. Read more here.
MK Nature Design is in awe of the whale. It is such an intelligent and majestic creature. The bottom line is that it is a mammal like we are and therefore a biological indicator (meaning a warning sign) of what may effect us in the future. So the contaminants, like mercury or radiation, that affect whales would also affect humans. Not only that, it’s lonely call in the ocean resonates with my soul and makes them almost human. Whales are critical to our survival and should be protected!
Attached is my pastel painting of the Beluga whale. Unfortunately it has already been sold. However prints of the painting are available! Please view the Contact and 2016 Price List option above.
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