Date: March 8, 2006
MOBY DICK REVISITED
Welcome to The Deep science and technology column where we cover topics from the deep sea to deep space and beyond. Join us each week on Newstalk K57 on Wednesday night from 7 to 8 p.m. for exciting live science expeditions or listen live on our web site www.thedeepradioshow.com
Although we humans are definitely meat eaters, we also have a soft spot for the underdog. Sometimes animals ‘get their own’ in the constant struggle between animals and humans. The cow that escapes from the slaughterhouse truck, the turkey supposedly destined for the Thanksgiving table at the White house, the NASA chimps that have grown too old to serve; they all receive their reprieves. And when wild animals get the upper hand (or the prize), we invariably cheer.
This happened to me this week when I read the lovely tale of the recent adventures of longline fisherman in Alaska. We’ve talked about the terrible toll that longline fishing takes on the world’s fish populations. The lines are several miles long and if they aren’t reeled in frequently, the fish that are caught simply rot in place and die for no reason at all. But apparently, in at least some instances, that’s not what’s happening at all.
Killer whales in the Bering Sea and Prince William Sound also
plunder longlines. And Alaska isn’t the only place it happens.
Sperm whales and other toothed whales, like pilot whales, cherry-pick
fish catches all over the world.
I say “Hurray for the whales” and “Keep up the good work” and “Keep ringing that dinner gong, guys, you’ve got some hungry and appreciative customers!” Sometimes the underdog does win!
The Deep is broadcast on Newstalk K57 every Wednesday night
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