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Whale Strikes by Tour Boats Increasing Off Hawaii

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posted on May, 8 2006 @ 09:58 AM
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Encounters between Humpback whales and whale-watching boats in the whales' seasonal calving area in Pacific Ocean waters near Hawaii increased dramatically this year, accounting for over 20% of the collisions between boats and whales in the last 30 years in a single season. Between 1975 and 2005, there were 33 documented whale strikes by boats in Hawaiian waters. The 2006 season has seen 7 so far. The increase has been attributed to an increased number of Humpback whales, with up to 1000 calfs being born this year, and the mother whale's increased tolerance for the tour boats.



Greg Kaufman says his whale-watching boat was doing everything by the book: cruising below 13 knots and staying 100 yards from any visible humpback as a crew member scanned the ocean atop a lookout.

Still, it wasn't enough to prevent the Pacific Whale Foundation vessel from running over a calf that surged from underneath March 9.

It was one of seven confirmed encounters in the current breeding season, which is drawing to a close but already has set a record for such accidents. Between 1975 and 2005, there were 33 reported strikes involving whales and boats among the islands, with no more than three in one single season.

Environmental groups call the trend alarming, but researchers hope it has more to do with a rebound in the endangered species' population than with negligent boaters.

"It's some combination of increasing number of whales and just boats and whales in the same area at the same time," said Jeff Walters, co-manager of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.


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[edit on 8-5-2006 by Icarus Rising]




posted on May, 8 2006 @ 10:22 AM
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they should leave the whales alone. what mother isn't going to try and protect her kids? every so often we find ourselves mixed into a pod while fishing off the north east of the US. whales playing is an amazing and dangerous site. they can easily come up under the boat.

when it happens we immediately pull up our lines and move to a very very safe distance. While we love seeing them and we love spotting the various wonders the ocean holds (giant sea turtles, whales, dolphin, seals (once but it was cool as hell) and my personal favorite ocean sunfish), the truth is our boats are often a danger to them so we leave them be. kinda ironic that we would leave them alone while trying to bring up other fish for sport and/or food.



posted on May, 8 2006 @ 01:40 PM
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I can remember back in the late '70s seeing gigantic pods of pilot whales in the Santa Barbara Channel between LA Harbor and Catalina Island. It was awe inspiring and a little scary to find yourself in the midst of a pod of 15-20 foot whales that stretched as far as the eye could see around you. This from a 26 foot boat.

I was appalled to see pictures a short time later of very possibly the same whales being herded into shallow water in coves on the Islands of Japan and slaughtered by the thousands because they were competing for the same fish resources as the Japanese fisheries.

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This next link is to a PDF file that shows a gruesome photo of the ongoing slaughter.

blood bay

Despite the enlightened, eco-sensitive world we supposedly now live in, when corporate and environmental interests clash, it is often the environment that suffers.



posted on May, 8 2006 @ 02:09 PM
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Originally posted by Icarus Rising




Environmental groups call the trend alarming, but researchers hope it has more to do with a rebound in the endangered species' population than with negligent boaters.

"It's some combination of increasing number of whales and just boats and whales in the same area at the same time," said Jeff Walters, co-manager of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.


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[edit on 8-5-2006 by Icarus Rising]


The world is changing at an alarming rate and I noticed they didn't mention how many more boats there are in the water in 2006. It sounds like a bit of a spin to me to say the population is increasing that much without any numbers or estimates. I think the wales are sick and dam tired of people try to pay for a look at them. We can't use the ocean for one of our own petting zoo's. Nature will eventually fight back.
Go Wales!
Sorry bored and the rest of the threads are boring!



posted on May, 8 2006 @ 02:25 PM
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This kind of reminds me of the sad story of Luna, the orphaned whale.

After being separated from his pod, the friendly killer whale started hanging out with people and rubbing up against boats. Luna ended up being killed by the propellers on a tugboat she was snuggling up too.



It is not known how L98 came to be alone in Nootka Sound, but through continued observation and behavioural assessments scientists have determined that it is unlikely that the whale will reunite with L-pod on its own. L98’s interactions with humans have increased significantly over the summer or 2003. The Luna Stewardship group has been out on the water in Gold River educating boaters and encouraging them to stay away from the whale. L98 has become more assertive in seeking human contact by approaching boats, rubbing against them, and sometimes disabling them. Concerns for the whale’s health, the impact of boaters interacting with the whale, and the risk to public safety has led the decision to intervene.

Killer Whale L98 (Luna)

The government wanted to try and reunite Luna with his pod, but a First Nations group interfered saying it was the spirit of their late chief returning to them.

Whales are very friendly animals, and acclimating them to the presence of humans and boats is very dangerous for them. I know it sounds fun to go out and look at the whales, but it's really just kind of selfish.



[edit on 8-5-2006 by Duzey]



posted on May, 8 2006 @ 03:26 PM
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Originally posted by Duzey I know it sounds fun to go out and look at the whales, but it's really just kind of selfish.



pointless and dangerous too. you can get your pictures from a safe distance and you can still see what very few people are ever lucky enough to see.



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