Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Reviewing scientists say proposed conservation measures unlikely to help whales

31.01.2005


Humpback Whale breaching


Ocean sanctuaries are unlikely to fully protect whales, say three independent scientists charged by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) with reviewing their sanctuary program to manage whale populations.

In a Policy Forum article forthcoming in the January 28 issue of the journal Science, Arizona State University marine biologist Leah Gerber, Duke University marine biologist K. David Hyrenbach, and University of Victoria geographer Mark Zacharias argue that the current sanctuary plan is not scientifically sound because it does not sufficiently consider the migratory behavior of most whale species, does not factor in threats to whales besides whaling, and would be difficult to evaluate once implemented.

"The scientific basis for the sanctuary program is not really valid," said Gerber.



"The sanctuaries are arbitrary in their boundaries because they were designed largely based on political considerations rather than by scientific criteria. Our analysis shows that the science-based harvesting plan known as the Revised Management Procedure (RMP) would be much more effective in encouraging growth of whale populations."

Models developed by the group show that the RMP would likely result in significant increases in whale populations over a hundred years, regardless of whale behavior. If whales are largely not migratory in their behavior, then the sanctuary plan would work as well or better, but if at least 50 percent of a given population migrates, then the sanctuary plan would be significantly less effective. If most whales are migratory, then virtually no growth would occur in whale populations under the sanctuary plan.

The sanctuaries designated by the IWC are four large areas in the South Atlantic, South Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans. While the areas are large, the scientists believe that the whales that the sanctuaries are meant to protect also spend part of the year in areas where they would be vulnerable to capture by whalers.

"There is a growing body of literature on marine reserves and empirical evidence about the effects of reserves from around the world. There is a general consensus among scientists that these are a really useful approach to conserve endangered species and to recover over-exploited populations. More recent research suggests cases in which they are or are not effective," said Gerber. "If we are going to create these sanctuaries, let’s use some data about the distribution and habitat requirements for these species to identify their potential efficacy."

The article proposes that a refined program of whale conservation that uses both the RMP and a sanctuary plan "designed to protect populations of whales during certain time periods or throughout their entire ranges" would be the most effective approach to maintaining and building populations once commercial whaling starts again. The scientists also propose that "scientific permit whaling" be terminated, since the practice effectively amounts to unregulated whaling and is thus counter-productive to whale conservation.

"We really can’t establish an ecological baseline for whales if there are no untouched populations. And without this science, there is no way to really effectively manage whales and whaling," Gerber said.

James Hathaway | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.asu.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

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

nachricht International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

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: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>