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Right Whales in today's environment - Research Paper Example

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Name of Professor Right Whales in Today’s Environment Scientists are still uncertain about the exact origin of right whales, but they are certain that right whales have existed much longer than human beings…
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Right Whales in todays environment
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Download file to see previous pages They are slow swimmers and usually perform short shallow dive successively before going under water. They normally move from place to place in small numbers or on their own. They also give out soft sounds that could be their means of communication. Most of these huge whales live in temperate waters, and are located more frequently in coastal waters, particularly throughout the breeding period (Knowlton & Kraus 193-194). King Sancho the Wise, in 1150, awarded rights to Navarre, an area in northern Spain, to collect or impose fee on whalebone. This is the beginning of whale hunting, which killed thousands of right whales. The name of the species came from early whalers, who believed that this whale was the ‘right’ whale to hunt (Knowlton & Kraus 193). Their slow movement, their proximity to land, and their ‘output’ or uses made them profitable to hunt. At present, very few right whales exist. Ever since whaling stopped in the 1930s, equally reduced species, like the right whale of the Southern Ocean, have shown remarkable restoration. Unfortunately, the population of North Atlantic right whale failed to recover. Very few are being born, while numerous are dying, usually due to human activities like fishing and shipping. Because right whales are located in coastal areas, it is highly at risk of human activities. With a decimated, slow-increasing population, even minor threat could have a huge effect. The impact of pollutants on the vulnerability of right whales to disease and reproductive functioning is becoming more and more an area of concern. For instance, studies have revealed that North Atlantic right whales are substantially exposed to harmful substances (Schick et al. 5). Today experts are teaming up, employing various approaches, methods, and tools, to examine the health and habitats of right whales; their migration patterns; and, the changes in their population over time. An accurate understanding of these factors can significantly contribute to the development of appropriate and effective conservation and management systems that can boost the recovery of the species. Researchers in the 1950s largely shared the opinion that the North Atlantic right whale was either endangered or already extinct. However, several whale researchers in the 1960s observed a small number of right whales. The message was obvious—North Atlantic right whales survived (IFAW ‘Ending Commercial Whaling’ para 1). A research was published in 1990 that reported that the major reasons for the death of right whales were entanglements in fishing nets and ship collisions (Knowlton & Kraus 193-194). By the latter part of the 1990s marine biologists already knew that right whales will eventually become extinct due to harmful human activities. A major factor in the decimation of North Atlantic right whales is manmade mortality. Not like the recuperating population of Southern Ocean right whale, which moves to less trafficked and inhabited waters, North Atlantic right whales are widely exposed to accidents, like ship collisions. These accidents result in lethal distress to whales, such as fractured ribs, brain cases, and jaws. Right whales also collide with fishing gears (Greenpeace International para 4-5). Some of them can free themselves from entanglements, while others cannot. Being caught in fishing gears causes death to right whales. Unfortunately, preventing collisions between whales and ships is very hard. Sometimes, right whales are not able to avoid or identify big ships. Thus far, there are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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