Confession: we at LSS could never really get on with Moby Dick, Herman Melville‘s nineteenth century classic. Yes, we know you’re not supposed to judge books by the standards of a later age. But for us the one sided, money driven slaughter was insupportable. An old soldier, who had fought real men with real guns, once told us that he didn’t like hunting because it wasn’t very brave at all to go up against animals when you have guns and they don’t.
The slaughter of intelligent whales and dolphins seemed especially barbaric, given their well-known intelligence and importance to the ecology. If these people really wanted to be ignorant and aggressive, why didn’t they just get tanked up on cheap beer, apply to demolish Chartres Cathedral, and replace it with a superstore? Anyway, by the nineteen seventies it really looked as if all cetaceans, including the Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) were on the way out forever.
However, due to the tireless and often brave efforts of conservationists and other educated people, it really does seem that there is now a chance. Lauren McWhinnie, in The Conservation has a really heart warming piece about the return of all kinds of whales to their ancestral feeding grounds in the Antarctic. There’s a couple of good pictures and lots of facts for you to jump off from, as Lauren’s piece is part of their Oceans 21 series for this year. An old friend and sometime contributor to these pages recently took a holiday in the southern oceans, and told us how marvellous it was to see these living treasures returning again to their ancient waters. A victory of sorts for learning and intelligence over aggression and greed. We need a lot more.
#antarctica #southernoceans #conservation #whales #dolphins #whaling #oceans21