Friday, August 6, 2010

Whale watch friday - Matan Bareket

I was really stressed out today, as missing work for most of the week started to catch up on me, and I wasn't really looking forward to the whale watch today. Why? well, last month I went whale watching and it was pretty stormy, and everyone on the boat got sea sick, let's just say that seeing and smelling about a hundred people throw up is not a pretty sight, however the whales were being very active on the water surface and we even got to see a humpback breach.

I also met an old friend during that whale watch, a humpback female named Fulcrum, I first met Fulcrum on my first whale watch, over a year ago, and this year she had a calf with her! It was pretty amazing since Fulcrum been hit by a ship and her reproduction success rate was low.

Today we had a chance to see 3 kinds of whales, while I've only seen Humpbacks before today we saw (briefly) a Fin whale and a Minke whale, the surface activity wasn't that great but I did meet a nice lady named Jean and had a lengthy discussion about morales, values and differences with relation to the Jewish religion.

We were sent home with a moral dilemma:
Native Americans hunt Minke whales, but the hunting does not affect the species sustainability.
As a scientist, is there anything wrong with this? Truthfully no. There is no difference between fishing for small game, and hunting a whale. Humans are predators, and no animal is big enough for us.

As a reasonable person, if no laws are being broken, and the one whale provides food for a whole village for weeks, again there isn't really a big difference. If the whale is not wasted, and left to rot, there isn't really a moral problem here, otherwise it would be a Tragedy.

As myself, I personally think there's enough things to eat, and we kill enough animals, we don't need to add whales to our menu as they don't really add an amazing nutritional value that cannot be gotten elsewhere. But if I do see whale steak on a menu in some foreign country, you can bet i'll be eating it!

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