Friday, August 7, 2009
Final Boom With Bruce
Hey Bruce and class as you know we went on our last field trip yesterday. Unfortunately I was unable to hear Bruce's speech but I heard it was great. The whale trip we went on was probably my favorite part of the class so far. It was my first experience with whales and it was really exciting. As Ryan, Wade, and I ran from our final i was happy to see that the boat did not leave so that we could share the whale experience with the whole class. It took the boat about an hour to get out to Stellwagon Bank, where we would encounter the whales. When we got to the bank we were able to see 2 or 3 Humpback Whales. The first humpback whale we saw was in the process of logging. Logging is a process where the whale will rest on top of the water because whales like us are conscience breathers. whales have the ability to shut off half of the brains to sleep and the change to the other half so they have a full sleep cycle. We learned that humpback whales are solitary animals that generally follow fish for they have to gain 10 to 12,000 pounds between April to October. Whales don't have any life long partners, the longest relationship they have is between a calf and their mother which lasts about a year. The second humpback whale we saw was breaching and flapping there fins. Breaching we learned is when a whale launches itself out of the water and then slams back down. This takes alot of energy to do. We learned that their are many theories for why whales do this such as to get barnacles off of them, to communicate with other whales, to play around, or to show off for partners. There are other types of whales in Stellwagon Bank like fin whales which are the second longest at 70 ft. They are considered streamliners and fast, they don't generally come up. There are also Minke's which are smaller at 35 ft but are very fast.
For the question of should we kill whales for food i feel that we shouldn't. I understand that fishing is a major industry for the world but there are plenty fish that can be caught and sold for food. I also feel that it would be crazy to hunt whales especially if they are on the endagered list. I understand that whales could provide alot of economic prosperity but it isn't worth the cost of endangering the whales species.