Last of the Right Whales

Everywhere you look, the effects of the climate problems this planet is undergoing can be seen. An important example (though all affected are important) is taking place in the North Atlantic with the right whales. The population of right whales there is dying off faster than they can replace themselves. Now the link between the climate and the diminishing numbers of whales is not as obvious as you would think. This documentary by Nadine Pequeneza clears it all up.

Right whales, which are a great whale, do not die on their own. I mean, that they do not die of old age or natural causes. They never get there. What often leads to their death are accidents with ships or lethal injuries from fishing gear. So it is estimated that if humans do not stop killing these creatures that they will be extinct in roughly 20 years. A tragedy. The documentary not only gives you the history of the right whale but also focuses on a group of people who are fighting to save them from extinction.

The right whale has only one breeding area, which is off the coast of Florida. That means they are easily tracked. For centuries fishermen have hunted these large creatures. This has obviously affected their numbers. Because of climate change, the feeding grounds of the right whales have moved further north which brings them in conflict with ships. This is why over the past few decades their numbers have further decreased.

With the technology today we are better able to track whale migration which allows us to follow the right whale giving us knowledge that we previously did not have. Documentaries like this one also become possible.

The right whale is the most at-risk great whale on the planet. While the subject matter is sad there is still hope to be found. Hope in the form of the people from various backgrounds – a wildlife photographer, a marine biologist, a whale rescuer, and a crab fisher – whom we are introduced to who are fighting for their survival.

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