Yet Another Study Reveals We're Destroying Whale Habitat
It’s a good thing that California has more parcels of ocean set aside as protected than most other states because a study published in today’s jounal Conservation Letters revels that every single spot of ocean off the California coast is adversely impacted by humans in one way or another. In fact, according to Ben Halpern, a scientist at the University of California Santa Barbara, the states oceans are affected by “10 to 15 human activities annually.”
This study looked at the location of twenty five human caused sources of ecological stress including commercial fishing, climate change, and land based sources of pollution and used this information to the composite map you see below.
Halpern says that the dramatic results mean that "Ocean management needs to move beyond single-sector management and towards comprehensive ecosystem-based management if it is to be effective at protecting and sustaining ocean health.”
These waters are also home to some of the most beautiful Marine Sanctuaries in existence and waters which are critical to many species of whale and dolphin. Blue Whales, the largest animal to ever live on earth, regularly migrate along these waters and Grey Whales migrate through these troubled waters annually on one of the longest known migrations between feeding grounds near the bearing sea and calving grounds in Baja California.
"The results are a wake-up call," Halpern says "We are significantly affecting the oceans." This isn't just a wake up call for California, but one which echo’s continued plea’s to protect our oceans and the wildlife within them. Human's are impacting nearly every possible inch of ocean in a bad way and we're working for innovative solutions for both animals and people. Learn more about IFAW’s work on both the California grey whale and the critically endangered Western Pacific Grey Whale. By supporting IFAW you can help us protect these wonderful species and many others.