And now for something on the softer side.
Animal activists and environmental conservationists have a lot to applaud today as two struggling ocean species have good news to celebrate.
First of all, the California blue whale population has grown over the past several decades and is now back to the size it was before a hunting ban started over 100 years ago. The population of California blue whales has grown to a total of approximately 2,200, a sizable number; but it is still smaller than the populations of other whales in other parts of the ocean. This particular group lives along the Pacific coast of the North America.
This number—2200—is approximately the same size as the population was 110 years ago. But hunting of whales, which the International Whaling Commission outlawed in 1966, had dwindled the population to a level near endangerment. Thankfully, the outlawing of whale hunting has allowed them to repopulate naturally.
On a similar note, the orca population of the Pacific Northwest, which is quite near and dear to the California blue whale population, is also bigger today. One calf bigger, at least. The orcas of this region have also had some trouble breeding lately and this is the first calf in two years, reports the Pacific Whale Watch Association, who also reports that the orca whale population had recently dropped to 78, which is the lowest it has been in a decade.
Whether it is lack of available prey due to natural causes or to commercial fishing or pollution, the Northwestern Resident community of British Colombia orca whale population is having trouble keeping their numbers up. This birth, at least, is a good sign that they, too, may be on the way back to solid growth, mirroring that of their larger cousins.