New maps and reports reveal increasing dangers along the “super highways” of whales around the world

Credits: Oregon State University

Comprehensive new maps and reports tracking whale migration around the world show whale migration on the high seas and the cumulative impact of animals on industrial fishing, ship strikes, pollution, habitat loss and climate change. I’m emphasizing.

“Protecting Blue Corridors” was developed through a joint analysis of 30 years of scientific data provided by more than 50 research groups. Marine scientist From Oregon State University, University of California, Santa Cruz, University of Southampton and more.

The reportReleased today by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on February 20th, is a visualization of the 845 migratory bird satellite tracks. Whale World wide. The report also poses a variety of threats to whales in important marine habitats (where they feed, mate, give birth, and raise children), as well as on migratory highways and blue corridors. It outlines what you are facing.

“Contributing to years of data from Oregon State University’s satellite tracking research pioneered by marine mammal researcher Bruce Mate, we are nationwide and High seas Daniel Palacios, co-author of the report, said he was an associate professor at OSU’s Marine Mammals Institute at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. The institute is part of OSU’s University of Agricultural Sciences and is now retired. , Former director.

The cumulative impact of human activity creates a dangerous and sometimes deadly obstacle course Marine lifeWWF’s world leader in whale and dolphin conservation, said Chris Johnson.

“The most deadly thing to date is the entanglement of fishing gear. It kills an estimated 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises each year. Worse, it’s happening from the Arctic to the South Pole,” he says. I did.

Six of the 13 whale species have been classified as endangered or vulnerable by the International Nature Conservation Union, even after decades of protection after commercial whaling. Among the most endangered populations is the endangered North Atlantic right whale, a species that travels between Canada and the United States. That is the lowest point in 20 years, with only 336 people.

It is estimated that about 86% of the identified right whales have been caught in fishing gear at least once in their lives. Between 2017 and 2021, 34 North Atlantic right whales died on the coasts of Canada and the United States due to ship strikes and entanglement of fishing gear.

Palacios is an expert in the study of whale movements related to environmental conditions and human threats. His contribution to the report, especially in the eastern Pacific.

“For reporting this nature, we needed to incorporate data and expertise from many colleagues doing similar work in other parts of the world,” he said. “For the first time, we were able to globally map whale movements and identify their ultrahighways. This map has become an essential marine variable for many efforts to assess biodiversity changes. , Provides information on important policy initiatives such as the future. Public Sea Treaty under the United Nations Maritime Law Treaty. ”

Protecting the Blue Corridor requires a new conservation approach to combat these growing threats and protect whales through enhanced cooperation at the local, regional and international levels. Of particular urgency is the involvement with the United Nations, which was set up in March 2022 to finalize negotiations on a new treaty for the high seas.

Ali Friedlaender, a whale ecologist at the University of California, said: Santa Cruz was formerly an associate professor at the OSU Institute for Marine Mammals.

The benefits of the protected blue corridor go far beyond whales. Increasing evidence shows that whales play an important role in maintaining marine health and global climate. One whale captures the same amount of carbon as thousands of trees. The International Monetary Fund estimates that a whale is worth more than $ 2 million, which is more than $ 1 trillion in the world’s total whale population today.

Endangered whale entwined with fishing rope and gave birth

For more information:
Blue corridor protection:… lue-corridors-report

Quote: New maps and reports reveal increasing dangers along the “Super Highway” of whales around the world (February 17, 2022). .html

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New maps and reports reveal increasing dangers along the “super highways” of whales around the world

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