Since 1970, the population of the Animal Kingdom has plummeted by almost 60 percent. Shocking reports multiply as the human-driven Sixth Great Extinction escalates. Nature is now losing species 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than natural rates. Dozens of species are going extinct each day.
This week the world watched in disgust as the whale-killing nation of Japan bullied, bribed and including using prostitutes to control the vote at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Portorož, Slovenia.
Japan, Iceland and Norway kill whales despite the implementation in 1986 of a global moratorium on commercial whaling. Japan buys Iceland’s whale meat, turning much of it into dog food. Sadly, the 20th century saw humans relentlessly massacre over 2.9 million whales.
Furthermore, each year an estimated 300,000 cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises) are indiscriminately slaughtered as by-catch in global fisheries and then haphazardly discarded. This is shameful ecocide condoned by the world’s leaders.
Earlier this week, Japan and its paid allies at the IWC meeting, once again, precluded 51 species of cetaceans from being protected in the proposed South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary. In order for the sanctuary to be approved it required 75 percent of the vote from member countries of the IWC.
Adding insult to injury, Japan and its IWC allies disdain for cetaceans stooped to an all-time low, blocking a consensus on a resolution to support conservation measures for the critically endangered vaquita porpoise of Mexico’s Gulf of California – there are less than 60 remaining creatures on planet Earth.
The IWC members did recognize the crucial ecological role that all cetaceans perform in maintaining the health of the oceans.
The fossil fuel heat stored in the ocean has disrupted cold currents from rising and carrying iron and nitrogen essential to grow phytoplankton, the basis of the entire marine food web. Phytoplankton, along with blue green bacteria, prochlorococcus, provides 7.4 billion people with almost two out of every three breaths of oxygen. The oceans are missing 40% of the phytoplankton because they have absorbed so much heat from humans burning fossil fuels.
The cetaceans fertilize the sea with their flocculent fecal plumes. Their feces is rich in iron and nitrogen, helping to re-grow the missing 40% of oxygen-bearing phytoplankton that fossil fuels robbed. The sentient whales, dolphins and porpoises are helping us breathe and fight the climate in crisis.
Protecting the whales amidst the Sixth Great Extinction is of paramount importance to the survival of the human race. That’s why my friends at Sea Shepherd Australia need your help in Operation Nemesis. Sea Shepherd will protect the whales of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary this December from Japanese whale-killers. Japan refuses to abide by the rulings banning whaling in the Antarctic Ocean by the Australian Federal Court and the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
Once again David is taking on Goliath!
Earth Doctor Reese Halter’s upcoming book is “Save Nature Now.”