Whale Dangers and Predators
Whales have no natural predators in the water so they have been able to live for many years in the water if the conditions are right. However, there are plenty of dangers to whales that you may not be aware of. Some of these dangers are so significant that they have lead to some being classified as endangered species. This is certainly information to pay attention to if we don’t want to see them become extinct.
Humans are a huge predator of whales and that continues to be a concern. It is illegal to hunt whales in some areas of the world but it continues anyway. Parts of the whales can be used to make oil, weapons, tools, and more. The blubber from the whales which is fat is a prime ingredient that can be used for many products. Others hunt whales to eat for food or for a sport. They are enormous mammals so the thrill of the hunt is one that may people are interested in.
With the increase in the number of boats in the waters, whales are in danger of being hit and killed by them. This is especially true during the migration patterns when the whales are moving at very fast speeds. They follow the same patterns year after year but when the number of people using boats in these areas increase then so does the risk of these creatures being harmed.
Technology has allowed large ships to put out pods and other forms of devices to capture fish, crab, and lobster in the waters. However, there is also an increase in whales being tangled up in them. Even if they don’t die, they can be severely injured due to these devices.
Whales can only live in the water, so when it is polluted and affected then so are they. Spills of oil and chemicals into the waters can result in them dying. The fact that other aquatic life is also killed means that their food sources are significantly reduced as well. Whales must eat large volumes of food each day to maintain their layers of blubber. That is how they stay warm. If they don’t get enough food then those layers of fat diminish. As a result the whales can have a hard time regulating their body temperature.
It is believed that sonar in the water from the United States military can also cause harm to the whales. There is plenty of controversy over this and the goal is to get stricter laws in place to prevent this. For right now the government has at least limited the areas where the sonar can be used in an effort to save these whales from additional problems. By identifying where the migration routes are for whales as well as their natural habitat, hopefully these sonar problems will be taken care of.
There are plenty of advocates out there on the behalf of whales. Their goals include educating people about whales and the actions they can take to protect them. They also fight to get laws in place to regulate the hunting of whales. Hopefully such efforts will help to keep those in danger of extinction from being only a part of history. Since it can take 7 to 14 years for a whale to mature, they don’t reproduce very fast. Therefore if the numbers get to low it can take decades for them to even start increasing again.
Right now there are some whale species on the endangered list. The goal is that by 2012 they will all be removed from that list. In order to achieve such results though aggressive measures have to be taken right now in order to help them survive. These efforts can include keeping some of these whales in captivity to help ensure they have the means to reproduce.