Michaela is an aspiring journalist and word traveller from Florida. She loves to be outdoors, trying new things, taking pictures, and is filled with wanderlust and an appetite for adventure.Michaela Garretson
A Whale of a problem: What you need to know about Whaling, and how you can help protect Whales.
With the launch of our Dancing Whales print, it’s no secret that Zennor loves whales. Since these beautiful creatures inspired the new line, we thought we would bring attention to the current plight of whales and highlight what you can do to help.
Whaling, the killing of whales for their meat, oil, or bones, still goes on despite international laws that make it illegal. Whales are killed by grenade harpoons, which are tools with claws that dig into the whale’s flesh and unleash explosives, resulting in a painful and usually slow death. Often pregnant females are the ones killed, mostly because they are slower and whalers can’t tell what gender they are from above water.
Today, Norway leads the world with the highest number of whale killings – even after combining the total number of killings in both Iceland and Japan, two other large whaling nations, according to The Dodo. The European Union bans whaling, but in the Faroe Islands, FoxNews reported that Islanders annually kill whales “as part of a centuries-old hunt.” Here whalers use “spinal lances” which break the whale’s spinal cord upon insertion in the neck.
But it’s not only certain countries or individuals breaking no-kill laws that are harming whales. Garbage that ends up in the oceans, such as plastic bags or fishing nets, can entangle whales and lead to suffocation. Loud noises emitted into the ocean, such as from research vessels or military activities, can disrupt or confuse sound recognition in whales, who use sound to communicate and find food or breeding locations. It can even kill them, such as when pods of whales become beached after getting too close to shore. And spills from oil, chemicals and even human waste, can alter the ocean’s habitats where whales populate, according to Whale and Dolphin Conservation, a charity seeking to protect the lives of these mammals through creating awareness among the public.
What You Can Do:
The good news? You don’t have to be a scientist or a politician to have an impact on whales! In fact, you can do a lot with just your fingers. Be active on social media. Spread awareness through posts. Send tweets to companies that have untrustworthy environmental practices. Call them out! Email local, regional, and national politicians and government members and ask them to change public policy regarding ocean environmental standards or how much money is donated towards sustaining local whale populations. Buy products from companies that value ocean life.
Want to see whales in the wild without harming them? Research the company you want to do a whale tour with before you go. Read reviews from other customers to find out what practices they use. If they inappropriately entice the whales, use old boats that heavily emit toxins, or have bad reviews, stay away! If you can’t find any reviews, question the staff and management. Be cautious with what companies you give money to. A whale’s life is a lot more important than a short $40 tour. Adopt a whale or dolphin through accredited environmental protection agencies. Sign local and global petitions. Make your voice heard! You will have an impact!
We are super excited to announce that we are donating 10% to seashepherd.org when you purchase any Dancing Whales products! Their mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species.
Sea Shepherd uses innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd works to ensure their survival for future generations.
We are also very excited to announce we are now donating to savetheelephants.org check out our recent Elephant blog to find out how you can help!