For the protection of California’s whales, include unforeseen threats in the policy.

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Whales are threatened by a variety of human activities outside the Western United States, such as fishing, sailing, and pollution. The effects between these factors can be linked to the whale population, but are not addressed by current whale control policies in California, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.

The lesson, published for release this week in the journal Marine Policy, looking at the main causes of death of nine species of whales in the California Current Ecosystem, from British Columbia, Canada to Baja California, Mexico. The whales considered in the study were humpback, gray, blue, fin, minke, sei, sperm, North Pacific right, and killer whales.

“We’ve seen that too often, people separate the fisherman or the boat because of their responsibility to the whale’s death,” said lead and co -author Eliza Oldach, a Ph.D. D. candidate at UC Davis with the Department of Environmental Science and Policy and the Department of Coastal Science and Marine Sciences. “But all of our human activities have come together to make the current oceans a very difficult land for whales to survive. health. “

Three more threats to consider

The report identified five major contributors to whale deaths now with related policy responses: entanglements, shipwrecks, noise, water and marine debris. But three other threats – food insecurity, disease and predation – need to be considered to provide a holistic approach to managing whale mortality.

“Gray whales move about 5,000 miles between their feeding grounds and their homelands on each side of California Current,” said group lead author Helen Killeen, a Ph.D. D at UC Davis with the Department of Environmental Science and Policy and the Coastal and Marine. Science industry. “During their journey, they have to go through a crisis of human activities, while struggling with changes in their environment that have been altered by climate change.”

Goal Zero-death

The study comes as the California Ocean Protection Council plans to develop a plan to ensure whale extinction in the California Current Ecosystem this year. Achieving that goal requires understanding the major causes of whale death, opportunities for policy changes and regulatory management across the ecosystem, the report said.

“In our research, we have been encouraged by a number of cases where individuals and businesses come together to develop policies to address many of the problems for whales,” Oldach said. “Our paper is intended to show that way and urge other policy makers to think along the same lines.”


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More information:
Eliza Oldach et al, controlled and uncontrolled whale deaths in the California Current Ecosystem, Marine Policy (2022). DOI: 10.1016 / j.marpol.2022.105039

Directions: To save California’s whales, include unsolicited threats in the policy (2022, April 6) downloaded April 7, 2022 from https://phys.org/news /2022-04-c California-whales-overlooked-threats-policy.html

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