Education

After the ban

After years of campaigning, in 2044 my team and I finally persuaded the newly formed Federal Government to ban whaling. Within ten years, whale populations recovered to a level not seen since the last days of the twentieth century and the future looked bright. Sadly, it didn’t last. By 2059 a dramatic decline began, and, despite extensive research, no cause for the decline could be ascertained.

Today, we estimate the total whale population to be just over fourteen thousand and so, in an effort to shed light on the mystery, I will be making a dive at Marstrand Point in Sweden, an area that appears to be attracting a significant amount of the remaining animals. The dive will be dangerous (I’ve recorded a holo-message for my sister, Lou, just in case!) but it must be done if we are to shed light on why the whales are vanishing at such an alarming rate. Watch this space for my updates!

Dr Sarah Portman

31st October 2067

Marstrand

The humpback whale is a species of baleen whale. It is one of the larger rorqual species, with adults ranging in length from 12–16 m and weighing around 25–30 t. The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with long pectoral fins and a knobbly head.  

Gestation period11 months  

Lifespan45 – 50 years

Mass30,000 kg (Adult)  

Conservation statusAlmost extinct 

SpeciesM. novaeangliae

ClassMammaliaLength: Female: 15 – 16 m (Adult), Male: 13 – 14 m (Adult

Beaked whales are a family of cetaceans noted as being one of the least known groups of mammals because of their deep-sea habitat and apparent low abundance. Only three or four of the 22 species are reasonably well-known. 

Scientific nameHyperoodontidae

FamilyZiphiidae; Gray, 1850

OrderArtiodactyla

InfraorderCetacea

LengthBlainville’s beaked whale: 4.6 m, 

MassBlainville’s beaked whale: 1,100 kg, Conservation status: Almost extinct 

The blue whale is a marine mammal belonging to the baleen whale parvorder Mysticeti. Reaching a maximum confirmed length of 29.9 metres and weighing up to 199 tonnes, it is the largest animal known to have ever existed. 

Mass130,000 – 150,000 kg (Adult)

Lifespan80 – 90 years (In the wild, Estimated)

Gestation period10 – 12 months

Conservation statusAlmost extinct

SpeciesB. musculus

ClassMammalia

LengthFemale: 26 m (Southern hemisphere population, Adult), Male: 24 m (Northern hemisphere population, Adult)