(Durban) – At a time when news about the environment is so often sad or depressing, oceans expert Professor Ken Findlay has some good news about the future of the Earth’s biggest creatures.
In short, most whale populations around the world are bouncing back to health after the relentless slaughter of almost two million whales across the globe over the last three centuries.
Opening the World Whale Conference in Durban on Monday, Findlay said whales had existed quite happily on Earth for 40 million years – until people started to hunt them for meat, fat and other products just 300 years ago.
Findlay – a marine biologist, whale expert and chair of the Centre for Sustainable Oceans at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology – attributed this success largely to the efforts of Greenpeace in the 1970s, an organisation regarded at that time as an environmental “fringe group”.
By leading campaigns to halt commercial whaling, Greenpeace had managed to achieve a rare paradigm shift in human thinking and behaviour towards the conservation of whales and other marine species. This, in an era where there had been a sudden and unsustainable acceleration of the human use of natural resources across the globe.
“There are now 7.5m people on Earth. The human population has doubled, just in my lifetime, and we know that there are ecological limits that we cannot cross… But sometimes, rather than throwing big money and effort at environmental problems, the most critical issue is to actually change human behaviour and the way people think.”
For the full article: News24