Humans have been fascinated by whales for centuries. These huge aquatic creatures are important to the ocean. Scientists know that the decline in whale population has had an effect on the oceans. Fortunately, many countries have placed restrictions on whale hunting, which has helped to bring back the populations. If you ever wonder, why should we protect aquatic ecosystems? Get the answer when you go whale watching.
Whales Are Necessary For a Healthy Ocean
Whales are some of the largest animals on the earth. As their mass moves through the ocean, it aids in producing oxygen and reducing CO2, keeping the ocean balanced. Whales are vital to the food chain, which also maintains a healthy ocean. It’s suggested that whales are part of how the ocean is dealing with climate change. Whale waste is rich in iron, contributing to nutrients in the ocean. There’s a lot we don’t know about how whales impact the ocean, but we do know that they are important.
Whales Are Part of the Cycle of Life in the Ocean
Whales aren’t only important in life, but their death provides food sources to hundreds of other organisms in the ocean. This also keeps the ocean healthy, as scavengers and deep-sea microbes break down the carcass of the whale. The whale carcass also is part of the oxygen and carbon cycle in the ocean.
Whales Generate Tourism Dollars
Whaling is big business in many oceanic communities. Here in San Diego, whaling brings in many tourists who not only support local sea businesses but the entire community, from hotels, restaurants and retail stores. It’s estimated that marine tourism brings in over $413 million US dollars each year across the nation.
Whales Are Intelligent Mammals
Some believe that we have a moral obligation to protect the whales because they are so intelligent. Whales and dolphins demonstrate behaviors that suggest they have a sophisticated mind. Whales and dolphins play, which reveals an intelligence different from other animals. Whales and dolphins communicate in highly sophisticated ways. It’s thought that dolphins actually name each other and call each other by name, which is unknown to any other species besides humans.
Some Whales Contribute to the Ocean Culture
As described in one of the Star Trek movies and in sea life documentaries, whale songs may have more meanings that humans can comprehend. Some scientists suggest that the whale culture is learned, not instinct. Mother whales raise their young and teach them how to survive. Sperm whales are thought to have their own dialect, with at least five different dialects in the Pacific Ocean. Whales in the Caribbean have their own dialect, which makes the species unique.
The best time to go whale watching in San Diego is in the winter months when the whales are looking for warmer waters to give birth to their young. San Diego is unique in that there are whales and other aquatic life all year round. Make plans to enjoy a whale watching adventure to explore the impact of whales and other aquatic life. We don’t live in a vacuum. The ocean is important to humans.