Gray Whale

I wonder what the green taliban will say about this

full-attack

Orca whales are awesome…especially when they carve up useless gray whales.

Nature’s truth and tragedy unfolded in a dramatic scene on Monterey Bay last week when a pack of 20 orcas attacked a mother gray whale and its calf.

The fight lasted more than two hours, witnessed and photographed by field scout Bart Selby, and dozens aboard whale watching boats that cruised at top speeds to the periphery of the scene and cut their engines.

[…]

Selby, a kayaker, wildlife expert and photographer, heard about the whales and headed straight to Monterey. In 2011, Selby paddled a kayak solo 25 miles from Santa Cruz to Monterey, and two weeks ago, reported sighting a mother gray whale and its calf lounging on the inshore waters at Whaler’s Cove at Pigeon Point near Pescadero.

Selby boarded the Point Sur Clipper with Monterey’s champion whale specialist, Nancy Black, and they quickly found the orcas, more than 20 in all, on the hunt.

Orcas find gray whales

At mid-afternoon, the orcas found a mother gray whale with a calf.

“They came in waves, like attacking swarms of hockey players,” Selby said. “When one group got tired, then the entire line would rotate out and orbit the center ring while a new swarm of orcas pressed the attack.”

Just as a pack of coyotes will try to separate a fawn from its protective mother, the orcas tried to pry the calf away from its mother as well.   Read more »

Eating baby seals is only the beginning

Apparently I eat babies…am evil personified…and should be ignored.

But you can’t ignore Killer Whales…you can only seek to understand them.

Fortunately The Atlantic earlier last year compiled a list of 7 reasons why Killer Whales are Evil geniuses.

Over at Wired Science, a photographer caught a stunning sequence of a killer whale in Monterey Bay flipping a dolphin out of the water and then eating it. Apparently, they do this regularly! “I have seen this with several different species of dolphins from various places around the world, so I think that killer whales probably do this regularly but not commonly,” a NOAA ecologist told Nadia Drake. “With slower swimming species, like seals and sea lions, killer whales prefer to use their tails to swat them out of the water.” Just go look at the ridiculous photographs.

Yikes. So that’s reason number one: they kill dolphins, and who doesn’t love dolphins?

Perhaps, though, we should more firmly establish that they are evil.* They kill baby things. So many baby things and in so many innovative ways!Baby sealsBaby sea lions. Even baby sperm whales!   Read more »

Whaling

There are two stories in the NZ Herald this morning about Whaling.

Firstly there is some outrage that South Korea wants to resume whaling.

South Korea says that it planned to start whaling through a loophole that allows the killing of whales for scientific research, following the lead of Japan’s controversial expeditions.

At talks of the International Whaling Commission in Panama, South Korean delegates said they would submit future whaling plans to a scientific committee of the global body and were not looking for approval by other nations.

The announcement immediately triggered criticism by Australia, New Zealand and other anti-whaling nations that have long been infuriated by Japan’s whaling expeditions in Antarctic waters.

Then there is outrage that Maori are being prevented from whaling.

Matiu Rei, chairman of Te Ohu Kaimoana which advocates for Maori fisheries rights, addressed the International Whaling Commission earlier this week and discussed the indigenous whaling catch.

The IWC members voted 48-10 to set quotas for the next six years. Caribbean nation St Vincent and the Grenadines will now be able to kill up to 24 humpback whales between 2013-2018 while Russia’s Inuits and other indigenous people can hunt up to 744 gray whales. Native Alaskans can kill up to 336 bowhead whales over the same period.

Mr Rei told the IWC which met in Panama City: “It is ironic that countries that have grossly exploited whales for uses other than food and utensils are now imposing their newly acquired ‘values’ on cultures that continue to suffer the effects and symptoms of colonial exploitation.”

Indigenous peoples were reduced to “groups that must seek permission to continue these traditions – from those whose tastes have changed with the wind – [it] is quite simply degrading”, he said.

“This commission is already a tool for limiting indigenous traditions through its quotas. Please … let them [indigenous peoples] continue to practice their traditions and exercise their customary rights.”

Let me get this straight…we are outraged and condemn South Korea talking of starting whaling, but supportive of whaling if Maori do it?

Riiiight…either whaling is terrible and no one can do it, or we allow whoever wants to go whaling to do so but with set limits. It is stupid to have a halfway house of mock outrage.