Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Disappearing dolphins clamour for attention at whale summit

25.06.2009
Small whales are disappearing from the world's oceans and waterways as they fall victim to fishing gear, pollution, and habitat loss – compounded by a lack of conservation measures such as those developed for great whales, according to a new WWF report.

Small cetaceans: The Forgotten Whales, released today, states that inadequate conservation measures are pushing small cetaceans – such as dolphins, porpoises and small whales – toward extinction as their survival is overshadowed by efforts to save their larger cousins.

"Although great whale species of the world are by no means secure and still require conservation attention, the situation is just as critical for these smaller, seemingly forgotten species," said Dr. Susan Lieberman, Director of the Species Programme for WWF-International.

While great whales are now protected (to an extent) by the international commercial whaling moratorium, in effect since 1986, small cetacean hunts continue around the globe, largely unmanaged and unchecked by the international community.

For example, the hunt of 16,000 Dall's porpoises every year in Japan is considered unsustainable. Yet several of the pro-whaling nations taking part in the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting this week object to discussing small cetacean conservation.

"It is time for the IWC and its members to take full responsibility for the conservation future of all whales great and small. The IWC – and the world - must not ignore the small whales of our planet until it is too late," said Dr. Lieberman.

A significant disadvantage smaller whale species face compared to great whales is a crippling lack of data on their numbers and habits. Forty of the 69 small cetacean species, or 58 percent, are classified by IUCN as 'data deficient', meaning that there is not enough information available to even determine whether they are threatened or not.

"It must never be assumed that "Data Deficient" means that the species is out of danger— rather, it means that the world's top scientists just don't know," the report says.

Only four out of 15 Species, or 27 percent, of great whales are listed as data deficient, even though many of the reasons why smaller whale species are difficult to study also apply to the great whales.

According to the IUCN Red List, population trends – whether the species is increasing or decreasing in number – are unknown for 60 of the 69 small cetacean species. The nine remaining species are in decline.

Great whales also have more protection in international conservation efforts. Almost all great whale species, for example, have the strongest level of protection offered by CITES – a conservation convention which regulates international trade in protected wildlife species – compared to just 17 percent of dolphin and porpoises species. In addition, the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) protects 87 percent of great whale species, but less than half of smaller whale species.

Small cetaceans fulfill a critical role in their environment, stabilising and ensuring a healthy and productive ecosystem. They also are part of the highly profitable whale and dolphin watching industry worldwide, which generates over US $1.5 billion each year.

"If small cetaceans are not central to negotiations on current whaling, it is possible that conservation successes achieved for great whales could simply result in a shift of problems from great whales to small cetaceans," the report states.

IWC 61 runs June 22 to 26 in Madeira, Portugal.

Sarah Janicke | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wwfint.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society

nachricht Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>