The science of saving the whales (and dolphins, sharks...)

whales don't know when they are crossing international boundaries

I've just returned from an exhausting two weeks of meetings of the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission.  This year, the meeting was held in Panama, but it's not what you think.  It wasn't a tropical getaway.  The meetings were 12 hours a day, with no days off, and the discussions hinge largely on math questions.  Estimating abundance of whales and dolphins is a scientific challenge, and every year, this is where the world's experts meet to discuss the science of estimating how many whales there are in the ocean.  Although Canada is no longer a member of the IWC, we find it incredibly helpful to attend these meetings every year to ensure that our Canadian science remains current, on the international radar, and fits neatly with what our colleagues are doing in adjacent waters.  After all, the whales don't know when they are crossing international boundaries.  We use that cutting-edge science to ensure that human activities in the ocean -- such as accidental entanglement of porpoise in fishing nets, driving noisy boats, or ship strikes of large whales --  do not inadvertently or irreparably harm the populations of whales, dolphins and porpoises that rely on a healthy Canadian ocean to survive.  Your support is integral to allowing us to continue that work.  Thank you again for your help.  We can't wait to get back to the field next month!  Watch this space for dolphin photos, videos and underwater recordings!

Posted by: Oceans Initiative on June 20, 2012.