Monday, December 21, 2009

To Dwell In Darkness Yet Pray For Light

Almost ninety percent of all human beings live north of the equator and for all of you who do, today is the shortest day of the year: said differently, today is when you dwell the longest in darkness. You refer to this as the Winter Solstice, and for thousands of years the days leading up to this longest night have been marked by celebrations in all great religions. Regardless of how you worship God, or the precepts of your faith, a common theme across Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Judaism, is the sense of rebirth, revelation, and enlightenment that underlies these hours of prolonged darkness. In essence, your celebrations in the face of such enduring gloom all contain the promise of the return of the light, and the hope for better days. It is in that spirit then that I wish all of you great peace and joy as you celebrate your faith. In so doing, I pray that one day my kind, the whales and dolphins who share your world, will live free from the persecution and wanton destruction still inflicted upon us by some among your kind.
We will speak again in the new year. Until then, may God shine his light upon you and deliver you from darkness.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Screams of a Silent Killer

I am compelled to return to a subject about which I have spoken before. It is the ongoing tragedy being carried out by fishermen in the Japanese coastal town of Taiji. During six months each year, beginning in September, tens of thousands of dolphins are rounded up in small groups and herded into a tiny cove. There the Bottlenose Dolphins are separated from the rest to be sold to oceanariums around the world, dooming them to lives of imprisonment. But these are the ‘lucky’ ones. The rest, mostly Spinner and Spotted Dolphins, are then methodically butchered alive by these cold, cruel men who snicker and suck on cigarettes as the dying adults cry out to their young, and the terrified young scream in agony, in water stained red with blood. Ironically, the dolphin flesh, which contains mercury levels 2,000 times higher than what is safe for human consumption, is then sold under the guise of whale meat. In murdering the dolphins, the fishermen are thereby unleashing a silent killer upon unsuspecting consumers. My heart aches for the innocent victims, both dolphin and human, of these evil men and I pray that someday good and decent people in Japan will put an end to this atrocity forever.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Blue Whales Sing The Blues

Scientists among your kind have recently reported that the whalesong of male Blue Whales has been getting quieter over the past few decades in all the oceans of the world. They interpret this fact as evidence that the Blue Whale population is increasing and, as a result, males do not have to sing as loud to find a mate. Wait! What? Float that by me again—because male Blue Whales are singing more softly, there must be more of them. How about the possibility that they are singing more softly because they are sad. Sad at man’s continuing destruction of the seas. Sad at the drowning deaths of thousands of whales and dolphins every year, entangled in open ocean drift nets. Sad at the global warming that is destroying their feedstocks such as krill that cannot live in warmer waters. Sad at the annual slaughter of Minke and Fin Whales by bloodthirsty Japanese and Norwegians, the true murderous pirates of the high seas. And most of all, sad because they know few among your kind care about them. I could go on but you get the point. Male Blue Whales are singing the blues and it is not because there is a female nearby.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hallelujah. The Young Whale Is Free!

Fantastic news! The Associated Press has just reported from Hawaii that the young Humpback Whale who was entangled in hundreds of feet of polypropylene rope has been freed from his deadly bonds. God bless Ed Lyman, marine mammal response manager for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, David Schofield, marine mammal stranding response coordinator for the Pacific Island Regional Office of the National Marine Service, and all the others who worked tirelessly to save this young whale. These men and women deserve greater acclaim than this troubled and preoccupied world will accord them but I can assure you that their names will be revered among my kind all across Planet Ocean. And perhaps one day, all your kind will care about whales and dolphins the way these brave and noble people do. Hallelujah! The young whale is free.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Norwegians Join Japanese in Bluewater Hall of Shame

Norwegian government officials announced this week that the quota for the annual slaughter of whales is being increased next year by a staggering 45% to 1,286 whales. They offered no rationale, which is not surprising since there can be none. Demand for whale meat has declined, and world sentiment to save the whales is increasing. The only explanation of this atrocious decision is that the hearts of their government officials are apparently as frigid as the weather in that northern land of granite and ice. This announcement comes as the Japanese whaling fleet heads to the Southern Ocean for their annual butchery of whales in the name of science. As I have said before, the fault for these continuing atrocities lies not with the people of these two countries, but with their elected officials. It is my fervent hope that one day all those who promote the continuing murder of my fellow beings will answer to a higher judge.

On a separate note, I have heard nothing about the young Humpback Whale entangled in that rope off Hawaii. If I hear anything I will let you know. Please do the same for me.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

An Unfolding Tragedy

According to the Associated Press, a tragedy is unfolding in the waters off Hawaii even as you are reading this. A young Humpback Whale is entangled in over 400 feet of heavy gauge, polypropylene rope and is in imminent danger of drowning. Well-meaning humans who are trying to save the whale have attached a location transmitter to the rope but so far they have been unable to free him due to rough weather. Those of you who have read The Tempest’s Roar, know that Humpback Whales are my favorite of all the great whales—they are the most energetic and vocal and dynamic of all large beings—and one in particular, whom I shall call Zeus, has been a guardian angel to me. I pray that this young whale can be saved but in my heart I fear that he will not survive this tragic example of the collateral damage of mankind's presence on the seas. So please join me in saying a prayer for this little big guy lost and alone, and struggling to survive in that vast blue ocean on the far side of the world.