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 Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The disappearance of common species
01.02.2018 | Technical University of Munich (TUM)

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: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>