17 June, 2007

What Is Killing These Whales?

A few days ago, I was overjoyed, as millions worldwide - when the whales in California got free from the Sacramento river. And yet here in my own back yard, just about thirty kilometers from my home, one of these very adorable creatures - was dying. And as always, the cause of death is not known. And most likely - will never be known. If I hadn't heard some people in the streets talking about the dead whale, I won't have known about it; I have just returned home from the souq and on doing an Internet search found only this brief mention of the whale in the Yemen Times:

AL-MUKALLA, June 6 — A perished giant whale, with 10 m long and 2.5 m high, was into the shore by sea waves. The semi-decomposed whale is now stranded in Broom City's Al-Dahs area beach; however, the cause of its death is still unknown.

Coast Guard Hilal Ahmed told Saba News Agency, Saba, he saw the corpse of the whale far at deep sea at about 11 a.m. and he thought it to be a capsized boat, but it became clear after some time that it was a perished whale. He added the perished whale was accompanied by three other whales that left it upon reaching the shore.

A similar incident was recorded on Feb. 19, 2006 when a 17m long and 5m high whale was found dead in Al-Suqia shore, 15 km. to the east of Bab Al-Mandab Strait. Another giant perished whale, 17m long and 4m high, was found in Bab Al-Mandab's Al-Baten area just one month before Al-Suqia incident.

So far, the reasons causing whales to perish are not known to Yemeni fishery officials and no studies were conducted over the dead whales to know the cause(s) of their death.

I believe, apart from its hard working and very ingenious people - Yemen's waters are our best and most precious natural gift. We have to take great care of the waters and all that inhabit it. Can the Yemeni Fishery officials be more focused and take more interest in our marine living creatures and natural resources? It's very sad to watch how our waters are being polluted and mismanaged, and to know that those concerned are doing very little to address this. Later, it will be too late. Much too late. If the dead whale can get and have care and concern even in death, from other whales - till it reached the shore; why can't we Man be caring and concerned about US? By taking care of the sea and our environment, we, in the long run, will only be serving, productively and positively - our own selves.

My great joy a few days ago about the events in California, has now been replaced by pain and gloom. It's during such times that, I wish I was in another community or society that is more caring and concerned to our other fellow living creatures. But then - wherever I would be, I will still be on the same planet: Earth. On Earth - where, we Mankind have been, in many of our actions: suicidal, irresponsible and extremely destructive.