Gray (or Grey) Whales have certainly been in the news a lot lately, and not in a positive way. First comes a report from Southern California that the number of sightings of Northern Pacific Gray Whales has dropped alarmingly this year, to about one-fifth of normal. This observation, combined with the fact that the International Whaling Commission in June is going to consider allowing NPG whales to be hunted again, has created concern among all those who care. The California Coastal Commission has pressured NOAA to update the Gray Whale study to determine whether the species is in decline. Unfortunately, these results will not be known until after the IWC makes its decision.
Meanwhile, much to the astonishment of marine biologists, a Gray Whale (gender unknown) has been spotted in the Mediterranean Sea off Israel. Since the North Atlantic population of Gray Whales was hunted to extinction in the 18th Century, it is presumed that this whale swam across the Northwest Passage (now largely free of ice thanks to global warming), through the Atlantic Ocean, and into the Mediterranean. Sadly, the whale appears to be alone and emaciated, which is not good, and the chances for its survival are poor.
With both of these troubling matters preying on your mind, please keep these and all other whales, and dolphins in your thoughts and prayers. Let’s hope our future isn’t gray…or grey.