Thursday, February 08, 2007

Antarctic humpback whales

January, 2007

After being hunted to near extinction in the 20th century by steam-powered whaling ships, the humpback whale is slowly making a recovery here in Antarctica. The operative word here is slowly, as the humpback whale population is still only at a single-digit fraction of what it was prior to commercial whaling. Incredibly enough, Japan is returning to whaling humpback whales this year with a quota of 50 to be taken this season. It is hard for me to imagine wanting to slaughter one of these magnificent creatures after watching it play, swim, and breach surrounded by huge icebergs and snow-covered mountains. The irony is that the very ice and snow may be in danger as well as the animals that live surrounded by it...