Sunday, February 19, 2006

Dead whales in Mexico -- the good news and the bad news

There is more bad environmental news in the papers today.

I read in the
New York Times today that in Mexico they found 10 dead whales in two weeks. They are now averaging 1 dead whale per week and the whales are just starting to arrive in the Sea of Cortes where they will spend the winter. The average number of deaths in the past has been 9 per year. And they say that they don't know why these creatures are dying...

In a recent article of the March issue of
Fast Company (which is an awesome magazine BTW) it was noted that we are dumping 70,000 synthetic chemicals into the fresh water supply and that TOXIC CHEMICALS ARE SHOWING UP IN THE BREAST MILK OF THE ARTIC INUIT MOTHERS WHO ARE NURSING THEIR CHILDREN but they don’t know…

The good news is that there are an army of people out there who care about what is going on in this country and around the globe. I care and a lot of other people care too.

This is bad news for our corrupt incompetent leaders. We are going to find a way to stop them and hold them and accountable. We are going to find a way to elect men and women who are going to fight this corruption. Our tragic indifference has allowed them to wreck the environment, and cause havoc in the lives of men and women around the world. But people are starting to care again. We care about the world we leave behind for our children and their children. For too long we have allowed greed and corruption be the norm.

NOW this week,(hear the podcast) we watched our Senators and Congress men and women being bought and sold to the highest bidder. They are passing laws without even reading them in exchange for pork barrel ear-mark appropriations for their districts.

We will coalesce and we will find a way to put a stop to it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

February 19, 2006
Mexico's Maritime Mystery: What's Killing All Those Whales?

MEXICO CITY, Feb. 18 — Mexican authorities are investigating the mysterious deaths of eight whales found washed ashore along the Sea of Cortez last month, an unusually large number that suggests someone or something is killing them off.

The whales come from several plankton-eating species and apparently died at sea in November and December, biologists said. But they do not show any signs of having been caught in long-line fishing nets, which sometimes suffocate the mammoth animals. Nor have biologists found any signs of a toxic spill or outbreak of disease that would account for their deaths.

"Right now it's a mystery," said Luis Fueyo, an assistant federal prosecutor for environmental crimes, who is overseeing the investigation. "We have a puzzle."

The first sign something was wrong came on Jan. 4, when the remains of two humpback whales were spotted on the shore near the town of El Dorado in Culiacan State.

Scientists determined they had died in early November. Since then, six more giant bodies have turned up, among them a third humpback, a minke whale, a fin whale and a baby gray whale. Three bodies were discovered on Jan. 18 during an aerial search of the Sinaloa coast.

The discovery of the carcasses set in motion a frantic search for forensic evidence worthy of an episode of "C.S.I." Biologists tracked currents to determine if all the whales might have been in the same place when they died, even though they ended up scattered over a 500-mile coastline.

The investigators also looked for signs of disease or poisons, both natural and synthetic. It was slow going. All of the bodies were badly decomposed. Only the baby gray whale provided enough tissue to test for diseases or poisons.

On Friday, environmental officials announced that those tests had found no evidence of a toxic algae bloom, other poisons or infections. Nor have the investigations turned up signs of mistreatment by fishermen.

The deaths occurred just as about 2,000 gray whales began arriving in the Sea of Cortez, where they spend winter every year as part of a centuries-old migration. Mexican officials say they usually find about 10 dead whales a year; 9 in the space of two weeks have set off alarm bells.

Environmentalists say the Sea of Cortez, one of the world's richest fisheries and most diverse marine habitats, is poorly policed and substantially overfished, because the Mexican government has granted more and more permits for trawlers to use long-line nets.

The death of so many whales has prompted urgent calls from some environmental groups for quick action to find the cause.

Besides the whales, two dolphins and an olive ridley sea turtle have also washed up dead in the same region.

"I'm worried," said Homero Aridjis, a poet and naturalist who heads the Group of One Hundred, an environmental organization. "We are just starting the year and already we seem to see a dead whale every day. Something is happening there and it needs to be investigated."

Mr. Fueyo, however, said none of the bodies showed signs of wounds from nets on their fins, nor signs of other trauma that might have been caused by fishing boats.

Biologists also did not find the usual tell-tale massacres of fish and sea birds that would accompany a toxic bloom of algae or another release of poisonous materials.

"What's happening is totally irregular," he said.