View Full Version : Plan to save whales

06-05-2008, 04:11 PM
These whales are among the most endangered species on the planet, with only about 300 of them still alive. But a measure aimed at protecting them is snarled and stalled in bureaucracy.

That measure is a proposal from U.S. government scientists to require commercial ships to slow to 10 knots inside a 30-mile "bubble" near ports where and when these whales are migrating.

"Collisions with ships are the number one cause of mortality, and entanglement in fishing gear is the number two cause," Lecky said.

Because this animal is an endangered marine mammal, the fisheries service, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is charged with designing a recovery plan.

Many in the shipping industry oppose the speed limit, saying it would be too costly. A federal study concluded that slowing the ships near the whales will cost shipping companies about $112 million, or less than 1 percent of the $340 billion East Coast shipping industry income.

The World Shipping Council, an industry group representing more than two dozen global shipping companies, filed documents with the U.S. federal government opposing the speed limits, saying the change would cause "significant economic costs."

The group even suggested that if large ships went faster through the whales' habitat, the chance of a collision would be lower.

In response to the group's theory, Lecky said, "Would you speed through a school zone?"

"I think many of the scientists who work for the government are very frustrated, and scientists outside of government are astounded to see the scientific method so abused by this administration. There's been a politicization of science to either ignore the science, rewrite it, or to suppress it," said Waxman, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Waxman said the Bush administration thinks the "science shouldn't bind them. They're going to do what industry wants."


06-05-2008, 06:02 PM
Hans, in the real world, stories about moose and whales do not represent "big news stories", as they do in canada.

06-05-2008, 07:04 PM
If they are down to 300 in total, I would say it's very big news.

06-06-2008, 01:14 AM
I wouldn't anticipate any action at all likely to save the Right Whale from extinction.