Cetaceans (porpoises, whales and dolphins) have always been at the top of the human hit-list.
Each part of a whale’s body can be consumed by humans, while dolphins are full of nutrients and easy prey amongst mariners.
Whale hunting is banned in most parts of the world. Nonetheless, a huge number of cetaceans continue to be decimated by man from the world’s oceans. According to scientific studies, at this rate, whale populations would not even reach half their pre-whaling numbers by 2100.
We have great news as Canada has stepped up their efforts to protect our cetacean friends by passing a new bill called S-203 which bans the capture of whales and dolphins for display and observation in aquariums. This bill took a while to pass as it began in 2015 just after the Trudeau government came into power.
In addition, there is also another bill, the S-238, which will cover the importation and exportation of shark fins which are commonly and cruelly hunted by Chinese fishermen. The sharks, who are mainly juvenile, are raised onto the boat to have their fins cut off, then the finless sharks are disposed of back into the ocean alive.
The bill is sponsored by Senator Michael MacDonald and will ensure fish tanks and observatories like Marineland are prohibited from catching more of these magnificent animals from the wild on the pretext of display or observation. However, it will allow the park to keep the ones it already has in its possession. Nonetheless, they will be forbidden from breeding any more cetaceans in captivity.
The fact that this type of bill has been passed to ensure the protection of whales and dolphins is a massive step in a world where most animal and environment-related motions are still at the individual level.
Just like humans, whales are the only animals who can actively alter our environment.
These gigantic animals dive to the deepest parts of the ocean then resurface bringing with them nutrients that make plankton thrive on the ocean’s surface. This would make the air jam-packed with oxygen. They also help in controlling shrimp numbers making the ocean better for algae and plankton. Furthermore, whale skeletons are full of carbon locked down in the form of calcium carbonate-like substances. And when they die, they take such huge amounts of carbon down with them to the bottom of the sea.
Cetaceans are simply majestic animals. They are smart, compassionate, and social animals. Experts say the intelligence of dolphins is almost human-like.
Here’s hoping that these bills will work wonders and help whales and dolphins thrive once again.
This article first appeared on thinkinghumanity.com.