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Saving A Whale, Saving Ourselves

2011/08/06

The oceans are starting to feel the impact of human’s polluting the planet in many different ways, including ocean acidification and the huge garbage patch in the Pacific. Here is a video that reminds us of what there is to be lost if we don’t act quickly to reverse the fouling of our nest, our home the earth. In this amazing video, Michael Fishbach narrates his encounter with a humpback whale entangled in a fishing net. Gershon Cohen and he have founded The Great Whale Conservancy to help and protect whales.

More links:

Go to Great Whale Conservancy’s website, or Facebook page, and join Michael and Gershon in helping to save these magnificent beings.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Julie Power permalink
    2011/08/10 9:53 pm

    They not only need us to protect them, we also need whales. Whales play a part in maintaining the ocean ecosystems, provision of oxygen for the planet and carbon sequestration.

    “It is estimated that between 70% and 80% of the oxygen in the atmosphere is produced by marine plants . Nearly all marine plants are single celled, photosynthetic algae.” http://ecology.com/features/mostimportantorganism/

    The iron in whale excrement helps to fertilize the oceans, which promotes the growth of algae and phytoplankton.

    “A blue whale has a biomass of 90 tons, with 9 tons of carbon stored in its tissues. Only a large tree has more carbon, Pershing says.

    Compared to phytoplankton that have life spans measured in days, whales and large fish live for decades. Carbon accumulated in their bodies is sequestered — out of the atmosphere — for the life of the animal. Because of their potential to store carbon for years, marine vertebrates such as whales are comparable to trees.

    And because of their size and few predators, whales and other big marine vertebrates can efficiently export carbon from the surface waters to the deep sea. Those that die natural deaths transport their carbon to the ocean depths, away from the atmosphere…

    The researchers estimate that 100 years of whaling removed 23 million tons of carbon from marine ecosystems. Populations of large baleen whales now store only 15 percent of the carbon they had before whaling.”

    http://www.physorg.com/news202985104.html

    • Christine permalink*
      2011/08/11 9:38 am

      Thanks for sharing that interesting perspective on whales and carbon storage, Julie. My sense is that we are only at the very early stages of understanding all that the ocean, and its biosystem, does to support life above it.

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