Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Right Whale Rights
Just noticed the NMFS has a right whale warning out for the Gulf of Maine. Near as I can tell one right whale has been spotted about 60 miles or so off the coast. It's not exactly in what would be considered a traffic lane, but it is in a place of fairly heavy commercial ship and fish boat traffic.
[Slight correction needed to the above statement. On further review, NOAA/NMFS has reported 40 whales (not one as mentioned above) sighted in an area approximately 70 nm SE of Portland, Maine.]
If you've read this blog or have been keeping tabs here intermittently, you know I am an environmentalist and animal lover and would never in my wildest, most extreme moments advocate anything less than total and complete adherence to the laws and even the spirit of conservation.
On the other hand, the right whale is one pathetic earthly creature, and I wonder if at some point man will just have to slap his giant baleen filled, callosity encrusted whale face and say: "Get your damn shit together!"
I've taken many a passenger on whalewatch trips, and I've seen multitudes of whales and other cetaceans. I have never seen a right whale in the wild, and I'm not exactly sure I would care if I did. In film footage, they appear lackadaisical and boring, sluggish and lazy. That, or they're just pompous asses that expect everyone else to get out of their way.
Is it any wonder more right whales get hit by boats than any other type of whale? Is it any wonder it was the easiest whale to hunt in times of old?
Maybe they're just indecisive. They don't know which way to go. Even their blow is indecisive. It streams out of their blow holes in two directions in the form of a "V."
Yeah, I know, we have to take care of these things. But Jeeze-Louise. They have responsibilities too. They could meet us halfway. They could dive once in a while, get out of the way, show some basic survival skills. I mean, at this rate, they'll be on welfare in a few years. We'll be feeding them at sea, then towing them around to keep them from sinking to the bottom and rotting. I ask you, is there a more melancholy marine mammal? Well, maybe the manatee.
You don't get the name sea cow because of your ability to chase down barracuda.