Greenland: New Home for Right Whales

Greenland: New Home for Right Whales

Though the right whale has thought to have been extinct in the area around Greenland by the scientific community for at least 200 years, underwater scientific microphones, or hydrophones, have detected a group of three of the endangered species in that very place last week.

With only a small surviving population of 300 to 400 right whales total, the number is considered significant.

Perhaps this migration can be attributed to the good news that erika reported earlier this month—that there’s been an increase in the population overall this year. With 40% of the species being wiped out by human hands—mostly through ship collisions—it’s remarkable that the last year may have marked the first period in which no right whales were killed by humans since the 1600s!

The whales discovered near Greenland are suspected to be a pod of Canadian right whales, and while the discovery may point to a stronger right whale population, the news is not necessarily a good one—again, because of human plans.

The waters in which these whales swim are being considered for commerce. Because of the melting polar ice caps, a new route for the shipping trade may be needed soon—and this one has all but been claimed.

Something else that could use a change is the right whale’s name. The name originated because humans deemed them the “right whales” to hunt because they were easy to control. I’m not suggesting that we name them the “wrong whales,” but surely a re-naming is clearly in order?