It goes without saying that the most popular, heated, controversial and, eventually, appreciated talk given on board during our expeditions is the one concerning cetacean conservation.
This is the occasion in which hidden truths are disclosed and all attempts to remain unaware of major conservation issues miserably fail: strong images from popular documentaries or independent press, clearly explanations of alien concepts such as “bioaccumulation” and “overfishing” and cynical short movies found online depict in front of our eyes a reality that is usually mitigated or softened, when not deliberately ignored, by the media.
During the talk, the emotional climax is reached when we introduce the very direct impacts on cetaceans: whaling and intentional catches.
Unconsciously we all develop a kind of unconditionally empathy for dolphins and whales, in these cases it might be so deep that we take the side of the animals and address our hatred towards our similar rather than try to understand their reasons (of course this empathy is not universal, otherwise whaling fleets would not exist, dolphin meat would not be on sale and places such as Faeroe Islands would be unknown to most people).
Anyway, the discussion is usually filled with “why?” and “how come?”, referring to the fact that these events happen and nobody is succeeding in stopping them. As the simple nature conservancy apparently is not calling strong enough, may the proved risk for human health be the victorious strategy?
Recently BBC published this article investigating the issue. Interesting, have a look.
You can find out more, including the statement mentioned in the article, from the site of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS).
And to those interest in stories from the field, to the impetuous and impatient, to those eager in understanding the context surrounding a dolphin massacre, I suggest reading this simple and honest letter, written by one of the Sea Shepherd volunteers, and published in the biggest newspaper in the Faeroe Islands, Dimmalaetting.
Madda (HEPCA Team)