In the state I reside in, we’ve had three deceased whales wash up on the beach in recent days. For many of us, this brings up memories of 1970, when it was decided to remove the carcass of a whale from the beach by blowing it up.
What could possibly go wrong?
Today I read that seven whales have also washed up on the east coast beaches. Two different oceans, roughly the same latitude, and equally confusing. On the east coast there have been 174 whale fatalities since 2016. What is killing our whales?
Ship strikes, predators, offshore wind projects and drilling, entanglement in fishing gear, ingestion of micro-plastics and starvation are just a few of the objects of blame — with or without hard proof.
This habit of dead whales appearing on our beaches as their final resting place is now an official UME, or Unusual Mortality Event. Not a phrase you want to hear/read concerning most anything.
There is a wonderful blog from the Pacific Whale Foundation at https://www.pacificwhale.org/blog/ways-to-save-the-whales/ that lists all sorts of ideas on how to save the whales (and other ocean life). What it mostly boils down to is to stop killing our earth.
Use natural products such as cotton or bamboo. Ditch the plastic. Walk or ride your bike instead of hopping in the car to drive a few blocks. Simple, small ways to save the environment.
On the larger front, support legislation for renewable energy. Join a local environmental group. Support non-invasive research. Remember that all drains lead to the ocean and think about the products you are using in your everyday life.
If you see something, say something — no matter how odd or insignificant it may seem. Make the report by calling in California, Oregon, or Washington the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network: 1–866–767–6114, in Alaska the Alaska Marine Mammal Stranding Network: 1–877–925–7773, and in Canada, the British Columbia Marine Mammal Response Network 1–800–465–4336. You can also notify the Coast Guard on VHF Channel 16.
Remember, no one can save the planet by themselves — but every small action contributes. Do one thing today. Just one. It will make a difference.