- Denmark’s Request for Higher Whale Quota is Denied
- Research Shows Coral Reefs Will Bounce Back
- Cape Cod Warns Beach-Goers of Great White Sharks
Denmark’s request on behalf of Greenland to increase its quota for endangered fin and humpback whales in order to feed its people was denied yesterday, lost by a vote of 34 to 25. A recent undercover investigation conducted by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) in Greenland found that the majority of the whale meat was going to tourists in restaurants and supermarkets, rather than feeding its own people. Although the EU offered to amend the proposal to make it more palatable to the IWC, Denmark insisted that the original plan go to a vote, resulting in its defeat. Latin American delegates were the most critical of Greenland’s whaling, noting that their practice of selling the meat to tourists is hardly different than those of commercial whaling. Denmark further exacerbated the situation by claiming that Greenland’s whalers could kill whales with baseball bats if they wished. In the end, the EU made it clear to Denmark that Greenland’s selling of whale meat to tourists would not be tolerated, as it is in direct conflict with the international ban on commercial whaling.
The state of coral reefs has been the focus of great concern among researchers studying climate change, as bleaching and mass die-offs are directly linked to changes in water temperature, salinity, and pH. However, a new report from Yale Environment 360 shows that ocean temperatures have risen in the past; one such event about 4,000 years ago caused widespread collapse of coral reef systems that lasted for about 2,500 years. Seventeen-foot core samples taken from coral reefs off the Panama coast show that reefs stopped growing at a point when the El Nino and Southern Oscillation patterns were experiencing dramatic swings, resulting in higher than normal ocean temperatures. This period of coral reef collapse was not only happening near Panama, but as far away as Japan and Australia as well. With much evidence to support the theory that another collapse will occur, scientists are hopeful that coral reefs are as resilient now as they have been throughout history, and will once again return to the world’s oceans.
With the summer tourist season getting into full swing in Cape Cod, officials are warning all beach-goers that there are four great white sharks known to be swimming in the waters off of Chatham. Two of these sharks have been tagged by wildlife experts, and at least two have been photographed by Cape Cod Shark Hunters. No beaches have yet been closed, but officials state that visitors should stay at least 300 feet away from any seals, as that is the shark’s primary target in these waters.