Blueprint for U.S. Whale Conservation: An Action Plan for the U.S. Government
This report, by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), consolidates and discusses a wide variety of information about whales, which is useful for conservation efforts. This includes information on whale populations, current threats to whales, and what protections whales currently have. The IFAW then outlines a series of recommendations for the future protection and preservation of whale populations.
Excerpts from Executive Summary:
“Historically, by far the greatest cause of reductions in whale numbers has been commercial whaling. Although such whaling is much reduced from its peak, it continues in the guise of “scientific research” and under objection to a moratorium by the International Whaling Commission that was supposed to take full effect more than a quarter-century ago. Meanwhile, other threats increase in number and intensity. Whales face an increasingly toxic environment.
They regularly become ensnared in underwater fishing gear. They are killed in collisions with ships. And while ocean noise, such as that from high-intensity sonar and oil extraction, turns up the volume in the sea, marine pollution and climate change alter the ecosystem of the entire ocean.”
“This Blueprint describes each of these issues and threats, reviews some of the steps that have already been taken to address them, and makes recommendations for appropriate next steps that the United States could and should take. We also take a step back to look at some broader potential policy and management actions that can be taken beyond the purview of the specific issues or threats that have just been identified.”
“In a 2012 poll commissioned by IFAW, 89 percent of American voters stated that they believe the United States should help the IWC enforce the ban on commercial whaling. This issue resonates strongly among voters of both parties: Among self-identified Republicans, 89 percent want the United States to help enforce the ban. Among Democrats, this number reaches 92 5 percent. In addition, 78 percent of respondents support having high-level U.S. government officials speak out publicly against commercial whaling by Japan, Norway, and Iceland.”
A shorter, summary version of the report is available as a PDF here.