Traffic in Sri Lanka’s Waters Threatens Blue Whales – NYTimes.com

2 Jul

MIRISSA, Sri Lanka — In early April, whale watchers off this country’s southern coast were greeted by a disturbing sight: the lifeless body of a 60-foot-long blue whale floating in the water about 12 miles offshore.

The body was swelling rapidly, and suckerfish swarmed across its skin. Even more unsettling was the condition of its tail, which had been nearly severed from the body.

“It was very obviously from a ship’s propeller,” said Mazdak Radjainia, a structural biologist and underwater photographer from the University of Auckland in New Zealand who happened upon the whale. “It must have been a really cruel death, because it was such a massive injury.”

Researchers say ship strikes are a leading cause of death among whales around the globe. Many that are killed are from endangered populations like blue whales that are barely holding on.

The problem is particularly troublesome here in Sri Lanka, where a largely unstudied population of blue whales, possibly numbering in the thousands, has come under increasing pressure from commercial shipping and from a boom in unregulated whale-watching boats.

via Traffic in Sri Lanka’s Waters Threatens Blue Whales – NYTimes.com.

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One Response to “Traffic in Sri Lanka’s Waters Threatens Blue Whales – NYTimes.com”

  1. Charlie Keil July 3, 2012 at 6:59 am #

    Since reading the the little Rifkin chapters in the middle of his Entropy book (1980) everything looks, smells, feels, sounds different. Probably because I’ve been thinking about Bateson’s three autocatalytic “wheels” — Hubris, tech, population — for so long, I can finally understand that the verb “to entropize” and the verb “to anthropize” are the same operation. In Italian, “antropizzazione!” We are turning the entire world, the whole planet, to “pizza”. It’s not just one blue whale’s tail we are slicing,
    all our asses are being sliced, diced, spliced, slung
    and finally hung out to dry in the blazing sun.
    From now on anything “new” i write or sing or beat on a drum or blow through a horn has to do with reducing the transformations of energy, reducing human perturbations of the cosmos, limiting and then stopping the destruction of our nest, our home, our habitat.

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