Earth Day 2014: Whales at the White House

"Mz. Blue," a Life-Sized 90-Foot Inflatable Blue Whale, in Washington, DC's Freedom Plaza in 2013

“Mz. Blue,” a Life-Sized 90-Foot Inflatable Blue Whale, in Washington, DC’s Freedom Plaza in 2013

Join Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, Founder, Mission Blue/Sylvia Earle Alliance, along with Dr. David E. Guggenheim, the “Ocean Doctor” (president of Ocean Doctor and Board Member of the Great Whale Conservancy), with Michael Fishbach and Dr. Gershon Cohen, Co-Directors of the Great Whale Conservancy, for a unique Earth Day event on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 (Earth Day) at 2pm ET on the Ellipse below the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC.

Special Guest of Honor: Mz Blue, Great Whale Conservancy’s life-size 90-foot blue whale inflatable (see photo to right)!

Purpose:  To ask President Obama to direct the Navy to remove its objection to the use of an alternate shipping lane in California waters to reduce the killing of blue whales from ship strikes. 

Earth Day
Earth Day Speakers
Sylvia A. Earle

Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, Founder, Mission Blue/Sylvia Earle Alliance; National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence

Gershon Cohen, Co-Director, Great Whale Conservancy

Dr. Gershon Cohen, Co-Director, Great Whale Conservancy

Michael Fishbach

Michael Fishbach, Co-Director, Great Whale Conservancy

David E. Guggenheim

Dr. David E. Guggenheim, President, Ocean Doctor; Board Member, Great Whale Conservancy

Background: The officially sanctioned commercial shipping transit lane along the Southern California coast cuts through critical blue whale feeding habitat.  “Ship strikes” – collisions between the whales and the ships result in many whale deaths.

Blue whales may be the largest animal to ever live on Earth, and they are remarkably intelligent and agile, but they are dwarfed by these ships which are usually unaware a strike has even occurred. No one knows why the blue whales are often unable to avoid the ships, it might be due to the noise from multiple vessels or because they are so focused on feeding – blue whales must consume tons of krill every day to survive.
 
There is an alternate shipping route, supported by the Coast Guard, which if used during the four critical months of July-October could reduce the number of ship strikes on blue whales by 80-90%.  Members of the industry have stated their willingness to consider using an alternate shipping lane if the Navy’s objection is dropped.
 
Great Whale Conservancy will be submitting a letter to the White House regarding this matter signed by NGO’s working around the world to protect whales, along with ~120,000 signatures from an on-line petition.  

 

Download the Press Release:
Great Whale Conservancy: Earth Day 2014 (4/18/2014)
Great Whale Conservancy: Earth Day 2014 (4/18/2014)
Great-Whale-Conservancy_Earth-Day-2014_EDay-PR-3.pdf
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Great Whales Still Face Grave Threats

by Gershon Cohen, Ph.D.  — Co-Director, Great Whale Conservancy

A magnificent Blue Whale fluke (Image courtesy of Michael Fishbach, Great Whale Conservancy)

A magnificent Blue Whale fluke (Image courtesy of Michael Fishbach, Great Whale Conservancy)

The Great Whales need our help.  They face multiple threats today in many parts of the world: “scientific whaling,” ship strikes, habitat encroachment, decreasing food supplies, ocean acidification, etc.; it is up to us to take on these threats and do what we can to protect these magnificent, sentient beings.

The Great Whale Conservancy was created in 2010 to answer this call, and the first problem we are focusing on is the ship strike issue that plagues whales in oceans around the planet –where great whales and cargo ships, oil tankers, and cruise ships try to occupy the same place at the same time.  The whales have no choice: they need to follow their food and consumes tons of protein every day to survive.  The ships have a choice: they can adjust their transits to minimize the time they spend in Great Whale habitat. [Read more...]

World’s Largest Animals, Blue Whales, Threatened by Strikes from Ships

Great Whales Near the Farallones, California Coast (Photo by Dan Shapiro, Courtesy of NOAA)

Great Whales Near the Farallones, California Coast (Photo by Dan Shapiro, Courtesy of NOAA)

Whale populations, still recovering from centuries of hunting, continue to face a myriad of threats. But it’s often a surprise that one of the leading causes of death among whales around the globe is ship strikes. Now researchers are concerned that blue whales — the largest animals that have ever lived on the planet — are especially vulnerable to ship strikes in the Indian Ocean, according to the New York Times:




[Read more...]

Have We Saved the Whales?

The Ocean Doctor on WebTalkRadio.net
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September 26, 2011: It was a battle cry in the ’60s and ’70s — “Save the Whales” bumper stickers reflected a burgeoning green movement and deep concern about the decimation of the world’s whale populations. But decades later, do the whales still need saving? The important answer and much more about whales — including his dramatic rescue of humpback whale, “Valentina” — from Michael Fishbach, co-founder and co-director of The Great Whale Conservancy. Also: The planet’s missing heat may be found; why you should NOT eat a ray to save the bay; and Happy Birthday, Greenpeace!

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. Or listen to us on your iPhone, Android phone, WebOS phone, BlackBerry or tablet, including the iPad, with the free Stitcher SmartRadio app. See the complete list of episodes. Follow The Ocean Doctor on TwitterBecome a Fan on Facebook! Submit a question and I’ll try to answer it on the air. Even better, record your question or comment on our special message line and I might play it on the air. Call: (805) 619-9194. You can also leave questions and comments for this episode below. Like the show? Learn how to become a sponsor. [Read more...]

Eating Our Way Out of the Ocean’s Problems — A Chef’s Perspective

The Ocean Doctor on WebTalkRadio.net
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?Hear Us on Stitcher!

August 15, 2011: Our special guest is National Geographic Fellow and acclaimed chef, author, and speaker Barton Seaver, who seeks to restore our relationship with the ocean, the land, and with each other through dinner. His new book is For Cod and Country: Simple, Delicious, Sustainable Cooking. If you’re not hungry, you will be by the end of this show! Also: A giant sea monster discovered in the UK and a close encounter with the largest animal that’s ever lived.

The Ocean Doctor airs weekly on WebTalkRadio.net. Want to listen on your iPod, iPhone or mp3 player? Download the mp3 file or subscribe on iTunes and don’t miss a single episode. Or listen to us on your iPhone, Android phone, WebOS phone, BlackBerry or tablet, including the iPad, with the free Stitcher SmartRadio app.?See the complete list of episodes. Follow The Ocean Doctor on TwitterBecome a Fan on Facebook! Submit a question and I’ll try to answer it on the air. Even better, record your question or comment on our special message line and I might play it on the air. Call: (805) 619-9194. You can also leave questions and comments for this episode below. Like the show? Learn how to become a sponsor. [Read more...]

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