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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Blue whales have returned to the waters off British Columbia!

According to a news article written by Wendy McLellan of the Vancouver Province newpaper, entitled, "Little guys have pulled big guys back to B.C. coast:Blue whales follow food supply of shrimp, ""After avoiding B.C's coast for decades, blue whales are returning to the region to feed in the same areas where they were once hunted to near extinction." McLellan cites a recent article published in the "U.S. Marine Mammal Science journal" in which the authors of the article hypothesize that the whales are following krill to the area. Apparently krill move with a 20-30 year cycle of cold ocean water. John Ford,co-author of the article in U.S. Marine Mammal Science and whale researcher with the Canadian Government department of Fisheries and Oceans is quoted by Wendy McLellan in her article as saying "It's encouraging that the whales are out their using this habitat.Now,we have to find out what areas are important to them and to try and protect them.The biggest threat to blue whales is accidental collision with ships," he says.

source of photo:

McLellan indicates in her article that "whale researchers believe about 2,000 blue whales live off the west coast betweenb Alaska and Mexico....worldwide there are only about 10,000 blue whales left, even though commercial whaling of them ended in the mid 1960's."

source:Edmonton Journal,April 15th 2009.

Blue whales have a life expectancy of 35-40 years and are an endangered species.According to the website: American Cetacean Society,:

"The blue whale is the largest mammal, possibly the largest animal, to ever inhabit the earth.The longest blue whale ever recorded was a 108-foot adult female caught during whaling efforts in Antarctica! In modern times, blue whales in the Southern Hemisphere reach lengths of 90-100 feet , but their Northern Hemisphere counterparts are smaller, on average 75 to 80 feet (23 to 24.5 m). Blue whales can weigh over 100 tons (99,800 kg). Females are larger than males of the same age, the largest perhaps weighing as much as 150 tons (136,000 kg).

According to the National Geographic Society, "Their tongues alone can weigh as much as an elephant!! Their hearts, as much as an automobile!!These whales cruise the ocean at more than five miles an hour (eight kilometers an hour), but accelerate to more than 20 miles an hour (32 kilometers an hour) when they are agitated. Blue whales are among the loudest animals on the planet. They emit a series of pulses, groans, and moans, and it’s thought that, in good conditions, blue whales can hear each other up to 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) away. Scientists think they use these vocalizations not only to communicate, but, along with their excellent hearing, to sonar-navigate the lightless ocean depths." (source:

The blue whale is thought to feed almost exclusively on small, shrimp-like creatures called euphausiids or krill.(Of course this fact makes the blue whale extremely vunerable in terms of its survival!! ). A blue whale may eat up to 40 million krill a day!! "the International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned all hunting of blue whales in 1966 and gave them worldwide protection. Recovery has been extremely slow, and only in the last few years have there been signs that their numbers may be increasing. Pre-whaling population estimates were over 350,000 blue whales, but up to 99% of blue whales were killed during whaling efforts. Presently, there are an estimated 5-10,000 blue whales in the Southern Hemisphere, and only around 3-4,000 in the Northern Hemisphere."

Let us hope that the Blue Whale species will continue to increase its population in our oceans!The fact that they live in all of the World's oceans gives them a chance to do just that!

Here is a link to a Youtube video about the blue whale:

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.