More reason to demand that laws protecting our own Southern Right Whale (SRW) population be upheld and expanded!
Australians can no longer afford a “she’ll be right” attitude. We need to DEMAND “NO PILE-DRIVING, SEISMIC TESTING or ROCKET LAUNCHING in the vicinity of whale sanctuaries or along migratory routes!” PLEASE SIGN the 2 PETITIONS at the end of this post.
Noise harms and kills whales both at the individual and population level. Greedy governments & corporations have turned a blind eye to this and other issues threatening the Northern Right Whale for over 30 years. NOW, due to delayed or inadequate policy-making, THE WHALE FACES IMMINENT EXTINCTION.
Numbering only 340 remaining individuals, more Northern Right Whales are dying each year than are being born.
So THE WARNING IS LOUD AND CLEAR, but will our Australian politicians actually take heed and act?
Already, AUSTRALIAN SRW RECOVERY IS SLOWING – just like that of it’s African counterpart. Australian SRW numbers may appear to be more stable, but CONTINUED RECOVERY of the species is being HAMPERED BY SLOWING REPRODUCTION RATES. Dr Claire Charlton presented evidence for this in a paper she published for Curtin University last year.
Like their African cousins, Australian SRW cows are calving less frequently. Consequently, it wouldn’t take much sustained interference from even a single ‘key threat’ – seismic testing for instance – to send SRW numbers into an irretrievable nosedive.
WE ONLY HAVE approx 3000 SRW WHALES in Australian waters and it’s taken over 100 years for the population to achieve even that number – A SLOW RECOVERY INDEED!
What’s more, this rebound (something of a misnomer) was made in much safer times.
For a long period POST THE CESSATION OF ‘WHALING’, SRWs ENJOYED RELATIVE SAFETY in the isolated waters of the Great Australian Bight. BUT NOW, short of our government stepping in to “really” protect our whales, SUCH TIMES ARE OVER. Apart from possible future threats posed by oil companies still seeking to drill there, in an abundant year, the Bight’s SRW breeding grounds have reached saturation point. This means for the recovery of the species to continue, SRWs MUST RISK MOVING EASTWARD where ONCE AGAIN THEY WILL ENCOUNTER the potentially devastating consequences of HUMAN CONFLICT.
Essentially, human society is still engaged in a form of ‘whaling’. Certainly, more whales than we can afford to lose die each year at the hand of human profiteering, albeit in a more indirect way.
The greatest threats SRWs face today emerge as a consequence of human interference in the marine ecosystem. These threats loom on multiple alarming fronts. Marine-based industry remains the ever-present grim reaper.
Please HELP SAVE our SOUTHERN RIGHT WHALES by ADDING YOUR VOICE to the CALL FOR ESSENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL REFORM.