Good for whales, bad for Labour

Mike Williams, affectionately known as "Fat Tony"

Mike Williams, affectionately known as “Fat Tony”

Apparently, some Labour sources tell me that there was a?lazy hundred grand offered to Labour prior to the election.

Tim Barnett failed to pick it up when Mike ‘Fat Tony’ Williams jacked it up doesn?t need to go on the whales.

With Labour getting?98% of their 2011 vote a spare hundy might have helped out.

Fat Tony apparently got?the shits with Tim for not turning up when the meeting was organised for the cheque collection and so the donor decided to give the money to saving the whales.

Which on the face of it looks like a more sensible investment.

The number of blue whales in the northeastern Pacific appears to have returned to near-historic levels thanks to a 48-year international ban on commercial or subsistence whaling for this species and allied laws enacted at national levels.

The current population of blue whales off the US West Coast is about 2,200, or 97 percent of their levels at the beginning of the 20th century, according to a study published Friday in the journal Marine Mammal Science. ?

If the estimate holds up to additional scrutiny, it represents encouraging news given increased concerns about the impact of ship strikes on the whales, which can grow nearly 110 feet long and tip the scales at 165 tons ? the largest animals on the planet.

The scientists conducting the study consider the current population of blue whales in the region to be robust enough to withstand the current losses from ship strikes. They estimate that the number of ships plying West Coast waters could increase 11-fold over current levels before the region’s blue-whale population faced a 50 percent chance of dropping below the “depleted” level, as defined by the US Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Even so, “we don’t want these whales killed by ships,” insisted Trevor Branch, a marine scientist at the University of Washington at Seattle who was a member of the research team, in a prepared statement.

These leviathans have long been icons for wildlife conservation in general and marine conservation specifically. Recent studies suggest they also play an under-appreciated role as a source of near-surface nutrients for organisms at the bottom of the food chain in the regions they inhabit.

Often seen as a competitor with other species for krill as food, the whales indirectly support them through their iron-rich feces, according to a study published in July in the journal Marine Mammal Science. This iron supports the growth of plankton on which the krill feed in waters that are iron-poor, such as the southern ocean.

Even whale dung is goo for the world, that will reduce the amount of insults the left can hurl at me.


– Christian Science Monitor