Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Gallimaufry - Swimming With the Big Fishies

I have got a captivation with whales. Not that I have got ever seen one up stopping point at a Marineland or even from a distance on a whale-watching excursion. Nope, my involvement began in Lord'S Day School at Bethel Chapel in Belleville, Lake Ontario where we learned about Jonah and the Whale. Actually, as my Lord'S Day School instructor (who was often my mother) corrected me, the giant was not really a giant - it was a large fish. A very large fish that Supreme Being sent to babysit Jonah, when he went astray, by swallowing him when he was drowning in the ocean, and then by throwing him up on dry land. It was the throwing up portion I liked. Hey, even we Plymouth Brethren misses had our cruder moments!

I am fascinated by giants because, being mammals, we have got so much in common with them. A female parent giant is often surrounded by female giant attenders when she gives birth. If ma is too tired, the attenders take the babe up to the surface to take its first breath. Mama giant nurses her babe anywhere from one to two old age - and in some species, the aunts will baby-sit to give mama giant break. In optimal situations, giants can dwell some 70 years.

Now I am not sentimental about whales. I acknowledge this species runs the gamut from gentle vegetarians to pitiless battalion hunters. A Seaworld research squad documented the successful Hunt - successful for the slayer giants - of a much bigger bluish whale. The slayers ate it to death. Nah, I don't desire to swim with the large fishes, waltz with wolves, drama with polar bears or any of that stuff.

But there are folks willing to take a giant of a risk. Last December, off the seashore of California, a kyphosis giant got entangled in a web of nylon ropes that nexus crab traps. A squad of four frogmen agreed to seek to free the leviathan - at great hazard to themselves. The animal was about 50 feet long, some 50 dozens - and she was dying. The ropes were excavation deeper and deeper into her flesh, and the weight of the traps were dragging her down to the point where she could barely maintain her blow hole above the surface of the water. One despairing impudent of her monolithic tail would kill a man.

It took Jesse James Moskito and the other frogmen about an hr to cut adequate of the ropes to free the humpback. It was not concern as usually. Moskito reported, ""When I was cutting the line going through the mouth, its oculus was there winking at me, watching me." Helium continued, "It was an epic poem minute of my life." Even more than fascinating, once the giant realized it was free, it swam to each diver, nuzzled him and then swam to the adjacent one. "It seemed sort of affectionate, like a domestic dog that's happy to see you,'' Moskito said. "I never felt threatened."

Sadly, the hereafter of giants is very threatened. Their lone predator? Humans! And we harm them directly by hunting them, and indirectly by catching them in networks meant for other Marine animals. According to Karenic Baragona of the World Wildlife Foundation, almost one thousand whales, dolphins, and porpoises decease every twenty-four hours in networks and fishing gear wheel as "bycatches" (unintentional trapping.) The U.S. Committee on Ocean Policy identified bycatch as the top planetary menace to cetacean mammals (whales, dolphins, and porpoises.)

It doesn't have got to be this manner - option netting and vegetarian feeding can salvage our biggest mammals. At the End of Days, the clip of the Great Reckoning, I don't desire to hear my Godhead say, "About my top mammal...what portion of 'God saw that it was good' didn't you understand?!"