Whalers Get It Wrong Again
Those in favour of whaling make many claims about why it would be better if numbers of whales are reduced. Often they speak about the threat posed by whales to international food security. More recently they have suggested that one whale species may be adversely affecting another and, in particular, that high numbers of minke whales in the Antarctic are hindering the recovery of other rarer whale species. This is based on the notion that minke whale numbers have greatly expanded in the area in the absence of the other whales and are now out-competing them. Like the proposed
‘threats’ to food security there seems to be little science to support this and now a new scientific paper shows that this claim is simply wrong.
The authors of the new paper, which is published in the journal Molecular Ecology, used analyses of genetic diversity to estimate that the long-term population size of Antarctic minke whales. They found that this falls within the range of estimates from three modern-day surveys of minkes in the Southern Ocean. This shows that there has been no significant expansion of the minke whales and, hence, the whalers claim is fundamentally flawed.
Source and fuller details: Lenfest Ocean Program