Issues That Affect Whales
What if. . .
if a Navy project has the potential
to deafen every marine mammal? It does! Low Frequency
Active (LFA) Sonar is an experimental sonar system
that the Navy designed to detect enemy submarines in the deep ocean.
LFA sonar finds submarines by bombarding them with low-frequency
problem is this: Many marine mammals
and other sea life are dependent on their sensitive hearing
mates and young, find food, and follow migration routes. The ear-splitting
sound from LFA can travel more than 300 miles at levels known to
disturb whales. At close range, this noise can destroy a whale's
eardrums. It can cause lung bleeding and even death. At greater distances
it can disrupt mating, feeding, and other essential activities — perhaps
communication or proper direction for migration. You can learn more by doing a Web search for "LFA Sonar." What
would you like leaders to consider
as they think about two important issues: national
of marine mammals?
if pollution in the ocean and air is contaminating marine mammals? It
is! Although most of us do not associate contaminants with the
called PCBs and DDTs are present in Alaskan food chains. The transient
("killer whales") around
Kodiak, Alaska, for example, have some of the highest contaminants
of any marine mammal sampled in the world. Contaminants from World
2 dump sites and U.S-banned pesticides are raining down on
us from Asia. The contaminants "load" in the bodies
of these top predators. Will
gray whales be affected along with killer whales? How can you find out more?
if cruise ships were exempt from the Clean Water Act? They
are! These huge vessels discharge about 50,000 gallons of raw
sewage a day per ship — and it goes straight into the
ocean. How does raw sewage affect not only marine creatures
like gray whales,
but also the beaches where
vacation? Use the Internet to learn more, and see what some people are doing.
if natural gas industries and tourism want to build in or near
and calving grounds or migration route of the gray whales? Several proposals have been made, but most have been defeated. What problems
would be caused in whale habitat by increased tourism and everything needed to attract,
entertain, and house tourists?
if gray whales were hunted and killed again? (This caused
them to become
endangered.) In some places, they are! A Web search can help you find out the latest news on whale hunting of various whale species.
if people who own large ships gave money to help study issues that
marine mammals? Some are! The Ocean Fund of Royal Caribbean
Cruises Ltd. was established in 1996. Grant money goes to various organizations working
to protect the ocean environment.
What could you do to encourage more money for such research?
This! Tackling Tough Issues
Where do you stand on an issue? How do you
come to make your stand and form
an opinion on any particular topic of controversy? This activity provides
opportunities for paraphrasing, making inferences, and building opinions
using a cognitive organizer called a PMI. Use it for a guide to take
you through a process for making an educated stand on any issue/debate
of current interest and study: