Whale watching San Diego is a fantastic experience that lets you see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. However, this inspiring pastime may not always be available; many whale species are endangered, their numbers dwindling every year.
So what can be done? As it turns out, you can play a part in saving these incredible animals and doing so can have positive effects all over the world.
What Threatens Whale Populations?
There are several major threats to whale populations, all of them man-made:
- Commercial whaling
- Climate change
- Commercial fishing
- Trash dumping
The first threats emerged in the 1800s with the commercial whaling industry. Whale bone and oil were in high demand, and whales were hunted to near extinction. Though many places have made hunting illegal, certain countries, such as Japan and Norway, still allow it.
Climate change is a more recent threat, but it’s just as dangerous as purposeful killing. As the earth warms, so do the oceans, which affects the species that act as whales’ food source. If these key animals die off, whales risk starving to death.
Another modern threat is commercial fishing, which has grown into a huge industry to meet world-wide demand. Whales can become entangled in nets or be killed when struck by large ships that cross migration corridors.
Finally, the increasing levels of garbage in the ocean are slowing killing many species. With the amount of plastic in the water, whales are likely to accidentally eat it or eat animals that have consumed plastic. This can cause obstruction in their intestinal tract, leading to a painful death.
Why Are Whales Important to the Environment?
Though it’s understandable that human beings get excited about the best time to see whales in San Diego, these marine mammals are more than entertainment — they actually play a crucial part in maintaining a healthy environment. Not only do they keep smaller species’ populations in check as the predators at the top of the food chain, but they may actually be able to help fight climate change.
Whales play a key part in the ocean’s ecosystem: They introduce nutrients to the surface, where vital flora and phytoplankton use them to perform photosynthesis. This chemical process takes carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, thereby reducing the amount of greenhouse gas that causes global warming.
What Can You Do To Help?
With such a wide-spread problem, you may sometimes feel helpless to make a difference. However, there are things you can do to bring about change:
- Donate to conservation organizations such as Whale and Dolphin Conservation, the Pacific Whale Foundation and the World Wildlife Foundation
- Support legislation that protects endangered species and promotes conservation, environmental standards and fighting climate change
- Call on your government leaders to do more to protect whale species through petitions, calls, emails and demonstrations
Without action, there may be no more whale watching sailing tours San Diego. However, it’s completely possible to save these amazing animals by banding together and demanding action. Whales are essential to the planet’s health, which means everyone benefits from conversation efforts. You can start today with a simple donation or email to your government representative.