Humans are affecting the Right Whale and Olive Ridley Turtle population!3 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
The right whale is a beautiful sea-tizen of the North Atlantic and Pacific waters, often found near the coast. An adult right whale weighs close to 70 tons and is 50 feet tall!
If you thought buses are big, you might find it hard to believe that this whale is bigger than that!
They are the rarest of all whale species because of their enormous heads. The heads themselves contribute to 33% of their entire body weight.
The mama whale keeps the baby whale in her womb for one whole year which is why their population grows slowly.
Add to this, unruly human activity, and we find that the whales are inching close to extinction.
Rising global temperature is warming the ocean causing the right whales to move to cooler waters in unprotected zones. Here, they are prone to entanglement in fishing gear laid out for fishes, lobsters etc
Observe the illustration below-
The right whales can get entangled in the lines connecting the buoys with the traps. Many right whales are also lost to strikes from ships/boats and other vessels in the ocean/sea.
Owliver Obscure Observations:
A sea is just an ocean close to the coast. Therefore, as a part of it, it is smaller than the ocean.
Since 2011, these instances have caused the death of about 218 right whales at an average of 24 a year. The number of right whales in the world right now is estimated at lower than 366 with less than 100 breeding females. That means that out of 3 existing whales, only one could have a baby, who could further carry on the existence of this species.
Therefore, immediate steps need to be taken to ensure that the existing number does not fall further. Several environmental organisations sued the Fisheries Service for failing to create provisions that prevented the entanglement of right whales in lobster lines in the Gulf of Maine. The judge ruled in their favour ordering the Services to take immediate action.
Simple acts by our own species can cause a massive difference.
If the judgement is not evidence enough, let’s look at the story of the Olive Ridley sea turtles
On the beautiful breezy beaches of Sonora state in mexico, the Seri community released 2250 olive ridley turtles into the Gulf of California. Earlier, only 500 were released every year.
Fishing and tourism activities disturbed the beach nests of this endangered species. However, the restriction imposed by the COVID-19 spread allowed the nests to breathe easy and allowed the beach (and the sea) to welcome the little babies for their first swim.
Human activities have a deep impact on how other species survive on this planet. We must choose to be aware of how our actions are influencing the environment.
Head on over to this article to find out how you can create a positive ripple in the sea, ocean and the world, at large.
Remember, an ocean is made drop by drop and the earth is made, effort by effort.
Think with Owliver:
Find out about other marine species close to extinction and let Owliver know in the comments.