All about Whale Food Chains and Their Strong Environmental Importance
Whales, contrary to popular beliefs are actually one of the most important elements to sustaining life on Earth. The complexity of the whale food chains is what ultimately allows the ecosystems within the ocean to maintain themselves and eventually allows mankind to breathe in oxygen. One of the biggest questions always asked is “why are whales important?”
There is no simple one-worded answer to this question, and in fact, the importance of whales for humans, animals, and the environment is an extremely in-depth topic that has been researched by highly acclaimed scientists for many many years, and only in recent times has this importance been bought to life and made many question their actions.
Why do we need whales?
Like every element and living organism in this world whales play a crucial role in the food chain, with their own job and purpose of ensuring that everything runs smoothly and all elements prior and after them are set in the correct alignment. Why whales are important scratches far beyond what they eat and what eats them and really dive into what sustains life and how important each element of such food chains are. Whales create balance within the marine food chains as they feed on fish and invertebrates and are hunted by their predators including sharks and other whales and tragically mankind. When whales die in the ocean their bodies immediately sink to the floor and allow for microorganisms to feed off the carcass in order to survive. Whales play a large role in this ecosystem as they help stabilize marine life and support a large number of marine organisms whose survival actually depends on the increase or decrease in their presence.
Why we care about whales
So we understand the importance of whales and what their role is in the food chain, but what about the role they play in our lives? The entire whale biome has a huge responsibility for keeping not only stability within our oceans but the stability on land as well. This is all because whales are actually a key contributing factor towards the global cycling process of resources such as carbon and nutrients which is whats makes their existence of high importance to us as mankind. They are also key in maintaining the change in climate and if we want to reduce the increase in the climate we have seen thus far, whales are a driving factor to do so, however, they need to be alive and abundant. Because whales eat so much, their bodies contain a lot of extremely essential nutrients needed to feed the plankton and other tiny microorganisms, when a whale excretes feces these nutrients are spread throughout the waters and helps provide the essential nutrients to nutrient-poor areas of the ocean, that would most likely die without them.
Why should we save the whales?
We understand the importance of whales and why we need them, but do we release that we are actually killing and at an alarmingly rapid rate too. Whales are being used for many important aspects in life, captured for food, for experiment, money, and as bycatch in commercial fishing, they are commonly removed from the ocean without any warning or need. Another contributing factor to this is pollution, yes the pollution in our oceans can affect even the biggest of marine animals too. The accumulation of plastic and the harmful amount of fishing equipment and nets have caused many whales to die unnecessarily and are commonly seen washed up on the beach with plastic and fishing gear tangled in their stomachs as they ingest these toxins while swimming through our beloved oceans. Some of the best reasons as to why we should save the whales include:
- We cannot know how many whales are left in the oceans and how many we need, therefore taking any more could be detrimental and cause extinction.
- Whales are needed for the health of the ocean, without them the ocean would no longer exist in the way we see them today.
- We don’t need to capture whales, they are only of importance to us as mankind when they are immersed in the waters performing their duties in the marine life ecosystem.
What would happen if whales went extinct?
The biggest question of all still remains, what is whale went extinct? How would that affect the world and most importantly mankind? Just like the immaculate size of the whale so is the size of their role in nature. So if whales were to disappear, the entire balance of nature and all its cycles will be completely disrupted. Now the direct effect of whale extinction starts from the bottom of the food chain. Firstly if whales were to die out their carcasses will no longer drop to the bottom of the ocean in order to feed the hundreds of different marine species such as plankton, worms, and microorganisms. As well as this other species such as a variety of fish and sharks also rely on the whale carcass for sustenance. If the bottom of the food chain has no resources to feed on then eventually the top part of the food chain won’t either, as each level will begin to die out until there is nothing left and the oceans become barren.
How to protect whales
We now understand why we need whales and what would ultimately happen if they were to die out completely. The only way to stop this from occurring is to act now in order to save, conserve and protect the remainder of the whale population, this is much easier said than done as a lot of what happens within the oceans remains a mystery to the general population. The acts are done by commercial fisheries, whale fisheries, and many many more sources are beyond the control, however, there are still many things we can practice to help ensure that the whales get the protection and installation of safety measures they ultimately deserve.
How to help whales
You can help whale protection are:
Donations are one of the greatest things one can do to help save the whales niche, Donating to organizations such as WWF, PacWhale, Oceana, and other credible sources, are enabling them to have the possibility of being able to put things into place that can ultimately help save the whales and the future of our oceans.
Another great way you can help is to sign petitions, stand up for the rights of whales and help destroy their killers. Signing petitions is simple and easy but can make a remarkable change in the ability companies have to put action into place.
As the fishing industry is largely responsible for many of the annual deaths of whales, avoiding, decreases or eliminating seafood from your diet is a great way to remove your support for the market and decrease demand for fisheries to use the resources that they are currently doing in order to feed our demand.
Switch out plastic
Plastic is another huge contributor to the whale problem, avoiding plastic products and using more sustainable and environmentally friendly materials is a great way for you to directly help conserve and protect the remainder of the whale population.
Are whales invertebrates? Whales are just like big fish they are vertebrates that have a spine and move through the ocean with a great presence and size, they are not harmful and are of high importance to the environment and the glove as a whole and it is of the utmost importance that we begin to make a difference now, in order to ensure life on earth for the future and the future of our offspring.
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