“As long-lived species, they enhance the predictability and stability of marine ecosystems”
“Consider the subtleness of the sea; how its most dreaded creatures glide under water, unapparent for the most part,” wrote Herman Melville in Moby Dick. Today, we no longer dread whales, but their subtlety remains. “For a long time, whales have been considered too rare to make much of a difference in the oceans,” notes University of Vermont conservation biologist Joe Roman. That was a mistake.
In a new paper, Roman and a team of biologists have tallied several decades of research on whales from around the world; it shows that whales, in fact, make a huge difference — they have a powerful and positive influence on the function of oceans, global carbon storage, and the health of commercial fisheries. “The decline in great whale numbers, estimated to be at least 66% and perhaps as high as 90%, has likely altered the structure and function of the oceans,” Roman and his colleagues write in the July 3, 2014, online edition of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, “ but recovery is possible and in many cases is already underway.”
“The continued recovery of great whales may help to buffer marine ecosystems from destabilizing stresses,” the team of scientists writes. This recovered role may be especially important as climate change threatens ocean ecosystems with rising temperatures and acidification. “As long-lived species, they enhance the predictability and stability of marine ecosystems,” Roman said.
The Latest on: Whales
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The Latest on: Whales
- Ark: Genesis delayed until February, but on the plus side it'll have giant space whaleson January 24, 2020 at 11:52 am
The first chapter of Ark's next expansion has been pushed back an extra month.
- Massive aerial walkway the weight of 14 blue whales moved down airport runwayon January 24, 2020 at 11:12 am
The aerial walkway, which is for the airport’s international arrivals facility, is the size of a football field and weighs as much as 14 blue whales. If stood on end, it would be 150 feet higher than ...
- They're back: Right whales return to bayon January 24, 2020 at 5:18 am
PROVINCETOWN -- The first North Atlantic right whales of the year have been spotted in Cape Cod Bay. According to the Center for Coastal Studies, the center's aerial surveillance team saw two of the ...
- Ørsted, US Unis to Study Whales in OWPon January 23, 2020 at 8:55 pm
“Our project will help to minimize the impact of wind farm construction and operation on whales so that both we and the whales can reap the long-term benefits of clean energy,” said Mark Baumgartner, ...
- WATCH: Dolphins and whales splash around in the Monterey Bayon January 23, 2020 at 6:24 pm
Drone video shot by the Monterey Bay Whale Watch shows a gray whale adult and calf surrounded by a playful group of dolphins in the Monterey Bay. According to marine biologist Nancy Black with the ...
- Right whales spotted south of Nantucket; Boats urged to slow downon January 23, 2020 at 12:36 pm
(Jan. 23, 2020) The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has established a voluntary vessel slow-down zone south of Nantucket after several right whales were spotted in the area Jan. 22.
- See mesmerizing view of whales migrating from California to Mexicoon January 23, 2020 at 10:56 am
Drone video taken January 22, 2020, shows six whales migrating south off the Southern California coast near Newport. Shot by Newport Coastal Adventure, a whale watching tour company, the video shows ...
- See captivating seagull’s-eye view of six whales cruising, cavorting off California coaston January 23, 2020 at 7:57 am
A video taken Wednesday captured a mesmerizing view of six whales migrating south off the Southern California coast. Shot by Newport Coastal Adventure, a whale-watching tour company, the drone video ...
- Whale Watching! Check Out This Breathtaking Drone Footage of Migrating Gray Whales!on January 23, 2020 at 5:50 am
Whale lookie here! Check out this amazing drone footage of 6 gray whales off the coast of Newport, California. Buzz60's Mercer Morrison has the story.
- Iceland didn’t hunt any whales in 2019 – and public appetite for whale meat is fadingon January 21, 2020 at 5:49 am
For the first time since 2002, Iceland – one of just three countries that still allow commercial whaling – didn’t hunt any whales, even though its government had approved whaling permits in ...
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