The International Court of Justice finally banned the hunting of whales by Japan earlier this year.
It even looked for a few weeks that the government of Japan had acquiesced and agreed to end the horrid hunt.
Well that good news didn’t last long the Japanese are now saying they will find a way to continue the whale hunt. I guess the Japanese supplemental testosterone shots they take to counteract the effect of all that soy estrogen is taking over.
Regardless of what the Japanese do now it is time to immediately begin to replenish and restore the ocean whale pastures to begin to bring back the more than 2 million whales exterminated in the past hundred years. The whales will help! They know how.
So many people seem to think that whales and other forms of life merely live on this blue planet and do nothing but take advantage of eating what suits them. This is very wrong as whales are and always have been the farmers and stewards of their vast ocean pastures.
With every gulp of tiny plankton and fish a whale receives nourishment that it needs but the vast majority of what a whale eats is ground and composted within its vast gut only to be pooped out as a rich organic fertilizer and mineral nutrient that sustains plankton growth. Like any farmer a whale is enormously concerned and caring for the condition of their ocean pasture. It is their watery home where they live and rear their young, they take pride in a healthy home. See this post Whales Are Worms
As we have so successfully exterminated the vast majority of whales we have in the same deadly strokes killed off millions of the world most important farmers. With them we have devastated the productivity of vast ocean pastures leading to dramatic drop in fish populations.
Anyone who has watched whales cavorting with obvious joy in the ocean knows at a glance that these are not wild monsters intent only on eating. They live in families and tight-knit clans within great tribes that inhabit whole oceans and in doing so they stay in close communication even across entire oceans. We call their communication whale songs. To hear them sing is to hear angels who sing glad tidings to each other and unto the entire ocean world.
We on the other hand have, until today, hunted them down ruthlessly to where there is but perhaps only few percent of the numbers of whales who once farmed the seven seas. Here and there even with this important whale hunting ban there are still those who hunt whales, but they too will one day soon see the tragedy in what they do.
Still another risk to whales is that of being run down by ships as they sail full speed ahead through vital ocean whale pastures near many major ports. Restoring ocean pastures away from those dangerous shipping waters will draw whales safely out of the fast lane of the ships.
This will go a long way to helping them come back. This means for helping solve the crisis ships and whales we are told will be enthusiastically received and supported by the shipping industry.
A glorious fact coincides with the new international amnesty for so many whales. We have shown we can replenish and restore their ocean whale pastures and in doing so help them recover their numbers and their jobs as the primary farmers of those pastures. We’ve proven it works. In the summer of 2012 I and a small group of shipmates, a dozen in all, replenished one of the most important whale pastures in the NE Pacific. The means and method to accomplish this is something I and a small number of ocean scientists have been working to perfect on for more than two decades. Given my own work to replenish ocean salmon pastures has brought salmon numbers back to all time historic highs we know IT JUST WORKS!
The how is not so difficult. We took 100 tonnes of mineral dust, iron rich dust, like that which we call iron ore, and spread it incredibly thinly over 10,000 sq. kilometers of ocean. This made an infinitesimal change in the concentration of bio-available iron from the background concentration of 3 parts per trillion up to our new replenished level of 30 parts per trillion. To put this into context you and I and every red blooded whale and other creature must have 100 parts per million iron in our blood or we are deathly anaemic. (Hint – that’s a million times more iron in you than the ocean needs to be in good health.)
Over some weeks the replenished pasture area spread until it was more than 35,000 sq. km. Our ocean pasture and its phytoplankton bloomed and grew to levels of abundance as high and productive as ever recorded. The ocean came alive and where before our bloom began we counted but one, or two, or a few whales on any given day during the bloom we counted whales by the score many times a day.
The salmon that returned last fall to SE Alaska tell our success story best. Where 50 million of those salmon were expected, a large run, 219 million arrived to be caught the largest return of salmon in all of history! Those salmon when they were out at sea and without our work destined to mostly starve were instead nourished and sustained.
The catch of salmon in Alaska was so great that a super abundance of this healthy wild salmon now is in inventory that the USDA has just purchased nearly 100 million servings to send to hungry and needy children in the USA as highly nutritional food aid. Our simple work as stewards of ocean pastures feeds babes of all kinds, whales, fish, and our own.
While at sea in the summer of 2012 working on our ocean pasture our captain, who’d counted his years at sea at more than 50, one day called me to his window on the bridge of the boat. “There, look there, they are sneaking up on us to take a look”, he said.
And surely he was right as I could see a trio of famously shy giant fin whales were swimming a few dozen meters from the bow of the boat coming toward us. Moving slow and steady and clearly breathing in a very controlled manner so as to not be producing their tell tale spumes of watery breath they were indeed sneaking up on us.
They swam to within a few meters of the captain and I who had moved to the bow of the boat to look over the side to watch them, and they were watching us. It was as if they were coming to say thanks for the spectacular abundance of our bloom. Two enormous females and a young one not even half their size. They eased off ever so slowly and once 100 meters from the ship resumed their spectacular breathing spumes and sped away.
So to do our part we are presently planning work to restore ocean whale pastures and nurseries to begin later this year. It is the that least we can do. It will take a mere $75,000 worth of mineral dust, a few hardy shipmates, a sound but modest ship, and some grub and grog.
We’ll be spending just a small fraction of the millions the whale hunters spend or the Whale Warriors lavish on their television extravaganzas. We are fueled by heart and soul but the call of the sea has always helped out in that department.
I must go down to the seas again to the lonely sea and sky
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by
And the wheel’s kick and the whales song and the white sail’s shaking
And a gray mist on the sea’s face, and a gray dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again for the call to restore ocean life
Is a wild call and a clear call That may not be denied
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying
And the flung spray and the blown spume and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again to the vagrant gypsy life
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
John Mansfield with liberties ed.
Want to get even more in the mood to empathize with the whales. Here’s some music that gives a haunting reminder of a time of the hunting of whales now gone. It is up to us to create new stories so that new words can be penned to go to this beautiful music.
Below is a 10 minute podcast about whales and their songs by a leading whale expert.
Roger Payne – Songs of the Humpback Whale Podcast
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WE CAN AND WILL BRING THEM BACK TO HISTORIC HIGH NUMBERS!