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Study Warns: Move Shipping Lanes To Save Endangered Whales

Study Warns: Move Shipping Lanes To Save Endangered Whales

Hey, freight ship, watch out for that whale!

A new study showed that more than 10,000 endangered blue whales were found feeding off the West Coast right in the way of shipping vessel routes. Researchers concluded by asking policy makers to move shipping lanes to preserve the species.

The study was published this Wednesday on PLOS ONE. Blue whales were painlessly tagged using air-powered guns and crossbows and then were tracked by scientists via satellite and radio for 15 years. In that time it became clear the whales, which eat about four tons of krill per day, favor the area where freight ships travel to get get their meal, putting them in direct danger.

“It’s not really our place to make management decision, but we can inform policy-makers and in this case it is pretty straightforward,” stated one of the co-authors of the study, Daniel Palacios. “You will eliminate many of the ship strikes on blue whales by moving the shipping lanes south of the northern Channel Islands.”

The director of the Marine Mammal Institute that tagged the 170 pound whales also agreed that their job as researchers was only to make the fact known and now it’s up for policy makers to make the necessary changes.

“We’ve pointed out that our new data should be useful to the shipping industry and to the various agencies concerned with the lanes that lead to San Francisco and Los Angeles,” he said. “But we’re not out beating the drums, because it’s not our job to decide how those lanes should be moved. That’s up to all the stakeholders.”

PLOS ONE Journal Study

Written by Natalia Galbetti, Ecorazzi

Read more: Nature, Nature & Wildlife, , , ,

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

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Megan, selected from ecorazzi

Ecorazzi has been providing the latest in green gossip since August 2006. The environment is serious stuff. The same goes for animal rights and humanitarian issues. But that doesn't mean that it needs to be complex and boring! Ecorazzi takes the latest in celebrity gossip and entertainment news and filters out all of the fluff. What's left are fun and interesting stories that you want to hear about, without the guilt.

80 comments

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12:16AM PDT on Aug 19, 2014

whales CAME first...whales should COME first!

4:35AM PDT on Aug 13, 2014

The human should respect other living lives

4:34AM PDT on Aug 13, 2014

ty

3:20AM PDT on Aug 13, 2014

Thanks for sharing!

1:03AM PDT on Aug 13, 2014

Mankind needs to be less selfish.

2:56PM PDT on Aug 12, 2014

Thanks for sharing....move the lanes

7:57AM PDT on Aug 12, 2014

thanks for sharing

4:44AM PDT on Aug 12, 2014

thank you

4:34AM PDT on Aug 12, 2014

Let's move those shipping lanes!

11:03PM PDT on Aug 11, 2014

...with other sea creatures.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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