Extinction?

Many, many years ago I had the opportunity to take a vacation whale watching off the east coast of Canada. I didn’t know what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised and amazed at what I was able to experience. I saw several different kinds of whales and dolphins but my most poignant one was the several times I saw the Northern Right Whale. They had been considered extinct but were discovered by a Professor from my old university.

Every day we would go out on the boat and hope to see . . . something. One day we were approached by two whales, a mother and a juvenile. By law we have to stop our engines when whales are near and so we did and what happened over the next several hours was incredible. I don’t know the dimensions of the wooden boat we were on but Mama was bigger. Junior was almost the same size. And he (I don’t know what sex it was) was fascinated. He particularly liked the zodiac that we had attached to the stern. He kept coming up underneath it and forcing it into the air. Our captain was not well pleased. He would run out onto the deck of the boat yelling at the whale. Like it made any difference at all. Ha ha ha ha.

The next thing Junior would do was circle the boat waving his fins. Think of his arms. If mine had been slightly longer I could have touched his fin. He was that close. And Mama? She kept her distance but she kept going around and around and around the boat. Not the least bit intimidating!

A few nights ago, I saw a documentary on these Northern Right Whales and I realized how exceptional it was for me to have that experience. They are so endangered right now that they may not survive as a species. There are less than 350 individuals left and of those, less than 100 are breeding females. In my lifetime I could witness their extinction. Because of us.

The majority of the deaths, actually the only deaths on record lately are due to the fishing lines they get entangled in and propeller cuts. Their backs are sliced by the propellers of boats. Shipping lanes are too close to the Whales. And we do a lot of shipping. This saddens me. How many species have been lost in the last hundred years? I don’t want to look it up. I’m afraid it will be too many. Not just animals but plants as well. As a species we take what we want, use it up and then discard what we don’t want. We are selfish. I know people are trying to change this, trying to save what is left but is it too little, too late?

 

The North Atlantic right whale is one of the world’s most endangered large whale species; the latest preliminary estimate suggests there are fewer than 350 remaining. Right whales are baleen whales, feeding on copepods (tiny crustaceans) by straining huge volumes of ocean water through their baleen plates, which act like a sieve.

By the early 1890s, commercial whalers had hunted North Atlantic right whales to the brink of extinction. (They got their name from being the “right” whales to hunt because they floated when they were killed.) Whaling is no longer a threat, but they have never recovered to pre-whaling numbers, and human interactions still present the greatest danger to this species.

 

 

This information and picture are from the NOAA fisheries website. Their mission is the protection of our oceans.

43 thoughts on “Extinction?

  1. Murphy’s Law

    What we humans have done to destroy our planet and its inhabitants is beyond words. Your picture of the whale just breaks my heart because it looks so sad. They are another species of gentle giants.

    I can’t wrap my head around the fact that so many species of animals that were once plentiful and thriving are now near extinction or are extinct….because of our greed. We’re the interlopers, not them.

    I wonder if it had been the other way around…..if we inhabited the earth first and then came all the different species of animals ….would we now be near extinction? I think not. I think the animals would have learned our ways and how to co-exist with us.

    What the hell is wrong with the human race! And we’re supposed to be the intelligent ones!

    Sobering post my friend.

    Ginger

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Mark Lanesbury

      Agreed Ginger, they have a dollar note for a brain. I tried to leave a post Pam but its started to spit me out again lately 😦 I think WordPress has a breathalizer and I don’t pass the test…I was under the influence, too much chocolate on my breath to write 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Murphy’s Law

        Thanks Mark. There’s a lot of us who would never pass a breathalyzer test for chocolate! Lol! In fact, I’m eating Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses right now. 🤗

        WP seems to eat a lot of my comments. They just disappear never to be seen again. Maybe that’s a red flag I’m not seeing!
        Ginger

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Mark Lanesbury

        I found two Ferrero Rocher’s that somehow survived the Christmas, New Year break. I don’t know how, I can smell an empty chocolate wrapper 5 miles upwind while being chased by 6 wild elephants, 2 lions and a cheetah 😂 And now I only have 2 packs of chocolate coated sultana’s left…withdrawals are starting 🤣 I made a new years promise to reduce my intake back to 2kg’s a month…well, it was 3kg’s 😂🤣
        And WordPress IS a red flag 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

  2. pensitivity101

    How wonderful! I went on a whale watching trip in Kai Kora when I was in NZ and it was fabulous. I was so excited I forgot seasickness and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I got some photos, though they’re not very good but it is something I will never forget.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. quiall Post author

      I agree with you. We should be the caretakers. You know, taking care. I hope that they survive but with so few breeding females, they may not. I hope I’m not around to see it.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. quiall Post author

      And you shouldn’t be expected to know. There are so many ways in which we are destroying this planet, it is mind-boggling, terrifying and so sad.

      Like

      Reply
  3. Widdershins

    How wonderful. 🙂 … I went ‘swimming with the fishies’ on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, oh, many years ago now, snorkeling really, and it was a truly magical experience, and looked exactly like all those pictures we used to see in glossy magazines (this was definitely the Age Before Personal Computers! 🙂 ) … afterwards our tour guide led us through an aquarium featuring some of the wee beasties we’d just seen in the wild, and others from around the world.
    I felt physically sick when I saw those beautiful creatures swimming around around in their glass prisons.
    I haven’t been near an aquarium or zoo for many decades.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Extinction? – Urban Fishing Pole Lifestyle

  5. rangewriter

    I wonder if we saw the same program. I saw part of something that sounded quite similar about Right Whales. But I tuned in late.

    What a magnificent experience you had! I can imagine the boat captain worrying about destruction and liability, but too bad. It’s the whales’ home his boat was trespassing upon. I’m glad he had to power off.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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