North Korea

North Korea
The always bombastic and unpredictable North Koreans go hysterical again. This time the country is prepared to "go to war" with South Korea because that country is playing loudspeakers directed at North Korean territory. A headline from a UK paper reads, "More than 50 North Korea submarines 'leave their bases' as war talks with South continue "

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Blue Recovery

Taking a break from humanity's woes, let's celebrate the news this week that the Blue whale population has apparently stepped back from the brink of 40 years ago, and is now in healthy territory in one of the three major groups - in this case, those living between the North Pacific and the California Coast.

The Blue Whale - (Balaenoptera musculus)- belonging to the baleen whales family. Nearly 100 feet long and weighing 190 tons or more, it is the largest existing animal on the planet. Yet,as with the baleen family, its diet mainly consists of tiny krill. Photo from The Guardian

From 1905 to 1971, the Blue whale population plummeted from whale harvesting. When the Blue whale was given protected status in the early 70's, its population was still at risk from increasing ocean traffic.

Blue whales and other species remain at risk from ocean shipping, though increasingly shipping lanes are being modified to avoid known migration routes and seasonal concentrations. Photo from

Blues, along with other species have identified migration routes between their summer and winter homes. Graphic from

The largest Blue concentration is that found in the Northern Pacific, with a population over 2000. An equally sized concentration, though much less understood or counted is found in around Antarctica and between India and Australia. A third, but much smaller concentration of 500 (clearly plus or minus) is found in the North Atlantic - between Greenland and Iceland.

Tracking and monitoring of Blue whales has been much stronger among the North Pacific population. Graphic from

Blue off Greenland ... actually this is a photoshopped picture to be used for wallpaper on one's computer desktop, but WHY NOT?? We're celebrating! from


Ben said...

Amazing how small that whale looks next to the cargo ship.

I like the new look of the blog!

pearl said...

I agree with ben, it's crazy how small the whale looks next to the ship!