Critically Endangered Blue Whales Make “Unprecedented” Comeback Off Antarctica Coast

Posted by on March 11, 2020 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

(TMU— Decades after the virtual collapse of the blue whale population, the largest animal on Earth has made a stunning comeback, proving that the efforts of conservationists to protect the massive animal have paid off.

Scientists with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have recently reported that after three years of expeditions to South Georgia Island, which lies off the coast of Antarctica, an “unprecedented” number of whales has been sighted—signaling a major comeback for the once-critically endangered Antarctic Blue Whale.

According to the BAS, there have been 36 separate sightings of the massive creature in the area this year alone, meaning that a total of 55 blue whales have been sighted in the area. The amount of sightings is a huge leap from 2018 when there were only 1 sighting and some acoustic confirmations of the blue whale’s presence.

In a statement, the research team said:

“For such a rare species, this is an unprecedented number of sightings and suggests that South Georgia waters remain an important summer feeding ground for this rare and poorly known species.”

The news comes as a strong vindication of conservationists’ work preserving the creature after the sub-Antarctic summer feeding ground for blue whales, humpback whales, fin whales, and southern right whales was transformed in the early 20th century into a killing field by the whaling industry. In only sixty years of the whaling industry’s presence on the island, over 176,000 whales were slaughtered, threatening to turn the source of life for the species into a watery graveyard.

However, following an international moratorium on whaling by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in 1986, the blue whale has bounced back after its population was reduced by a monstrous 97 percent.

Whale ecologist and project leader Dr. Jennifer Jackson said:

“After three years of surveys, we are thrilled to see so many whales visiting South Georgia to feed again. This is a place where both whaling and sealing were carried out extensively.

It is clear that protection from whaling has worked, with humpback whales now seen at densities similar to those a century earlier, when whaling first began at South Georgia.”

Researchers and marine biologists have greeted the news enthusiastically, noting that the number of whales signals a return to the pre-whaling norm.

Dr. Trevor Branch of the University of Washington told BBC:

“[It’s] truly, truly amazing.

To think that in a period of 40 or 50 years, I only had records for two sightings of blue whales around South Georgia. Since 2007, there have been maybe a couple more isolated sightings. So to go from basically nothing to 55 in one year is astonishing.”

The bounce-back of the blue whale population is not only great news for the species but also for the environment. According to economist Dr. Ralph Chiami and whale biologist Michael Fishbach, who recently gave a presentation to the World Economic Forum, the life of each whale is worth about $2 million due to their contribution to the fight against carbon emissions. This is mainly thanks to the tremendous amount of feces the whales produce, which in turn feeds iron to the phytoplankton population, allowing the marine algae to proliferate and capture carbon while providing oxygen to the planet.

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons |

Tags: , , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on YouTube

New Title

NOTE: Email is optional. Do NOT enter it if you do NOT want it displayed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FAIR USE NOTICE. Many of the articles on this site contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making this material available in an effort to advance the understanding of environmental issues, human rights, economic and political democracy, and issues of social justice. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law which contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. If you wish to use such copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use' must obtain permission from the copyright owner. And, if you are a copyright owner who wishes to have your content removed, let us know via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the site, and we will promptly remove it.

The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Conscious Life News assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms.

Paid advertising on Conscious Life News may not represent the views and opinions of this website and its contributors. No endorsement of products and services advertised is either expressed or implied.
Send this to a friend