Watch this amazing whale tale of how a few lucky people helped free an entangled humpback whale in the Sea of Cortez.
Gershon Cohen, Ph.D., founder of CSAW and its Project Director for the past thirteen years, is co-director of the Great Whale Conservancy. He focuses primarily on implementing GWC’s political and market-based objectives. CSAW has been the lead organization working to stop the dumping of polluted wastes from cruise ships since 1999. Cohen co-authored the Alaska Cruise Ship Ballot Initiative adopted by statewide vote in August 2006, establishing the world’s strictest pollution rules and oversight policies for the cruise industry. He holds a Master’s Degree in Molecular Biology and a Ph.D. in Environmental Policy.
Michael Fishbach, a staff member of the Earth Island Institute‘s Campaign to Safeguard America’s Waters(CSAW), is co-director of the Great Whale Conservancy. Michael has been actively involved in conservation efforts, scientific research, education, and ecotourism related to blue whales for 18 years. He focuses on implementation of public outreach for the past two years, and has been actively involved in conservation efforts, scientific research, education, and ecotourism related to blue whales for 18 years. For GWC Fishbach focuses on implementation of public outreach and education. He is also currently working on blue whale habitat protection in the Sea of Cortez off Baja California.
You may have seen news reports that Humpback whales have been coming closer to shore in California then ever before, in search of food. There proximity to commercial shipping lanes has put them in serious danger.
On Monday, a petition was filed by four environmental groups to the U.S. Department of Commerce to instate a 10-knot speed limit for large commercial ships in four of California’s National Marine Sanctuaries in the Channel Islands, Monterey Bay, Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank, spanning over 8,000 square miles of ocean.
In the last 10 years, about 50 whales have been hit by ships off the California coast. The exact numbers are nearly impossible to determine given that many accidents will go unseen or unreported.
The NOAA did designate these shipping lanes as a “Whale Advisory Zone” in 2007, as a result of the death of four blue whales that were struck and killed by vessels. The advisories, however, are voluntary and do not always deter ship captains to use necessary caution, according to the environmentalists.
The petition filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Environmental Defense Center, Friends of the Earth and Pacific Environment is under review, according to World Shipping Council Vice President, Anne Kappel. The World Shipping Council represents nearly the entire commercial shipping industry.
This is the second time environmental groups have sought to enact stricter speed limits for the West Coast protected waters. Their last proposal of a similar nature was rejected by federal regulators in 2007.
How You Can Help The Great Whales Survive…
The world’s great whales face more serious threats today than at any time in the last 100 years from ship collisions, habitat destruction, chemical contamination, impacts on sonar communication, challenges to navigation, and increased hunting. If these magnificent animals are going to survive, they will need people to speak and work on their behalf. The Great Whale Conservancy was launched in 2010 to meet that need.