Save the Whales… Or Save the Planet?

Guest “Did the whales do this on porpoise?” by David Middleton

Vineyard Wind Harpooned By New Federal Lawsuit

By Robert Bryce
December 27, 2021

Despite more than a decade of hype and the promise of billions of dollars in federal and state subsidies, the offshore wind boondoggle – and yes, boondoggle is the right word for it – keeps getting torpedoed by delays and litigation. 

The latest harpoon to slam the nascent industry hit recently when the Austin-based Texas Public Policy Foundation sued three federal agencies in U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. on behalf of several commercial fishing groups. The suit alleges that the permit awarded to the proposed 800-megawatt Vineyard Wind project violates numerous federal laws including the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, and National Environmental Policy Act.

[…]

The litigation was filed four months after a study found that the waters south of New England are crucial habitat for the Right Whale. Between 2011 and 2019, some 327 unique Right Whales were spotted in the region. Furthermore,  the endangered whales have been sighted in the area south of the Vineyard Wind site every month over the past few years. The study also found consistent use of the area proposed for wind-energy development by a third of the species and nearly a third of breeding females. 

[…]

It’s time to end the hype about offshore wind and the giveaways to foreign corporations. Let’s hope these lawsuits succeed and they scuttle the offshore wind business once and for all. I’ll end by saying once again that if policymakers are serious about decarbonizing the electric grid, they need to get serious about nuclear energy. 

Robert Bryce is the host of the Power Hungry Podcast, producer of the documentary, Juice: How Electricity Explains the World, and author, most recently, of A Question of Power: Electricity and the Wealth of Nations.

RealClearEnergy

The right whale population in the vicinity of the proposed Vineyard Wind project has experienced a nearly seven-fold increase over the past decade.

It is thought that there are only about 400 right whales in the entire world and half of them appear to be conducting a sit-in swim-in in order to block construction of this boondoggle.

Right Whale Use of Southern New England Wind Energy Areas Increasing

July 29, 2021

Southern New England habitat is important to the North Atlantic right whale. With offshore wind energy development planned in the region, working with stakeholders to minimize potential impacts on right whales and other protected species is crucial.

Right whales are increasing their use of southern New England waters, including regions slated for offshore wind energy development, according to aerial survey data collected during the last decade. Offshore wind energy installations are proposed in waters off the south coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Understanding and minimizing the potential impacts from construction noise, increased vessel traffic, and habitat alteration will be crucial to protecting and conserving this endangered species. This research supports the Administration’s goal of deploying offshore wind while protecting biodiversity and promoting ocean co-use.

The study was published July 29 in Endangered Species Research. Marine mammal researchers from NOAA Fisheries and colleagues at the New England Aquarium and the Center for Coastal Studies examined aerial survey data collected between 2011–2015 and 2017–2019. The data was collected in offshore waters including the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Wind Energy Area. The data from these two time periods were used to quantify right whale distribution, residency, demographics, and movements in the region.

“We found that right whale use of the region increased during the last decade, and since 2017 whales have been sighted there nearly every month, with large aggregations occurring during the winter and spring,” said Tim Cole, lead of the whale aerial survey team at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center and a co-author of the study.

[…]

Increased Noise, Vessel Traffic, Habitat Alterations Possible

Construction and operation of hundreds of wind turbines is likely to introduce increased ocean noise, vessel traffic and possibly habitat alteration. All of these factors have the potential to affect right whales.  

Increased vessel traffic in the region will bring with it a greater risk of vessel strikes, one of the leading causes of serious injury and death of right whales. 

Increased noise from wind turbine construction and operations and vessels could also directly impact important whale behaviors and interfere with the detection of critical acoustic cues. These types of impacts may also be associated with physiological stress and could affect the whales’ use of the region.

The presence of wind turbine foundations may impact oceanographic and atmospheric conditions including potential changes in ocean stratification. This might alter the formation of plankton aggregations and thus foraging opportunities for right whales.

[…]

NOAA

A taste of their own medicine

The truly ironic thing is that Texas Public Policy Foundation is using the same tactics that Enviromarxist terrorist organizations environmental activist groups have used to slow down and/or block offshore oil & gas operations.

NRDC Sues to Challenge Seismic Testing in the Gulf of Mexico
July 22, 2021 Michael Jasny
Among the animals at greatest risk from the impacts of seismic testing is the Gulf of Mexico whale—one of the most endangered marine mammals on the planet.

On January 19, not long before President Biden took office, the National Marine Fisheries Service published a regulation allowing widespread harm from seismic oil and gas testing in the Gulf of Mexico, with minimal protection for marine mammals. It wasn’t the only bad decision that the Trump administration squeezed through in its waning hours, but it was outrageous all the same.

Under the regulation, the oil and gas industry would be permitted to harm whales and dolphins—disrupting their feeding and other vital behavior and, in some cases, injuring them—more than 8 million times over the next five years. It would be permitted to constantly harass species that are still decades from recovering from the Deepwater Horizon spill. 

[…]

NRDC

Now, the entire NRDC screed is a pack of lies and it’s not seismic “testing.” We’ve been shooting seismic surveys in the Gulf of Mexico for about 80 years. After 20 years of exclusive rights, geophysical contractors are actually required to make the basic data available to the public and can be downloaded from the USGS. These data are of immense value to academia.

Almost every square mile of the US OCS is covered by 2d and 3d seismic surveys and there has never been a documented cast of marine airguns harming marine mammals.

Will air guns used in seismic surveys kill dolphins, whales and sea turtles and ruin
coastal communities?

To date, there has been no documented scientific evidence of noise from air guns used in geological and geophysical (G&G) seismic activities adversely affecting marine animal populations or coastal communities. This technology has been used for more than 30 years around the world. It is still used in U.S. waters off of the Gulf of Mexico with no known detrimental impact to marine animal populations or to commercial fishing.

BOEM (2014)

While marine seismic surveys are transient noise sources with a long history of not harming whales, offshore wind turbines are constant noise sources with very little history of their effects on whales… And, even more ironically, marine seismic surveys are required for offshore wind farm site characterizations. Irony can be so ironic!

Save the planet?

Reference

Quintana-Rizzo E, Leiter S, Cole TVN, Hagbloom MN and others (2021) Residency, demographics, and movement patterns of North Atlantic right whales Eubalaena glacialis in an offshore wind energy development area in southern New England, USA. Endang Species Res 45:251-268. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr01137

Triezenberg, P. J., Hart, P. E., and Childs, J. R., 2016, National Archive of Marine Seismic Surveys (NAMSS): A USGS data website of marine seismic reflection data within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ): U.S. Geological Survey Data Release, doi: 10.5066/F7930R7P.

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Zig Zag Wanderer
December 27, 2021 6:12 pm

Gotta save the whales. We’re gonna need em when the CAGW Doomsday Death Cult have stopped all oil extraction.

Dennis
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 27, 2021 6:27 pm

How Australian Aborigines hunted Whales is interesting, and the white settlers took over …

https://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2013/10/29/3879462.htm

Interested Observer
Reply to  Dennis
December 27, 2021 9:15 pm

It doesn’t surprise me that the ABC (Always Biased Coverage) has misrepresented this story.

The piece claims that the Aborigines had “a relationship that preceded European settlement” with the killer whales of the area and that “Aboriginal men were employed in the whaling crews (because) the Aboriginal people had over centuries established relationships with whales and dolphins”.

Its only attempt at proof of this are the claims of a “revered elder” name Guboo who told “stories of his family working as whalers in the early 20th century”.

I’m pretty sure Australia was well settled by Europeans by the early 20th century and we”ll all just have to take Guboo’s word for it that his people had some “special relationship” with the local cetaceans.

To my mind, it’s far more likely that the Aborigines took advantage of cetacean kills as scavengers, not as their “special” friends.

“Tell him he’s dreaming!” as some might say.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Interested Observer
December 28, 2021 12:32 am

By the early 20th century, Australia was a federation already. I’m sure he gained some benefits from the European settlers. I’m also sure that it’s heresy to suggest this.

Reply to  Interested Observer
December 28, 2021 10:21 am

Indeed.
W. G. Grace visited Australia in 1873–74 as captain of Lord Sheffield’s team. Despite his injury problems in 1891, few doubted that Grace should captain England in Australia the following winter when he led Lord Sheffield’s team to Australia in 1891–92.”
From the Wikithingi that I can edit [if permitted], via a Goooogle search.
So, yes, Australia was civilised before Guboo’s experiences. And the locals could play cricket then, as today [sadly!!].

Auto

Reply to  auto
December 28, 2021 10:24 am

W.G. Grace, of course, was the pre-eminent cricketer of the 19th Century.
Some cricket grounds charged 3d admission – but ‘6d if Dr. Grace is playing’.
Probably the first sporting superstar.

Auto.

John Tillman
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 28, 2021 2:26 am

Yes, blubber could make a big comeback. Corset stay futures however are liable to stay depressed.

Right whales are blessed with by far the largest testes on Earth. At up to 535 kg each, they’re ten times heavier than the blue whale’s.

The Eastern population of North Pacific right whales numbers only 50. But at least the Pacific still has its gray whales. Atlantic gray whales were hunted to extinction in the early 18th century.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  John Tillman
December 29, 2021 4:09 am

Right whales are blessed with by far the largest testes on Earth

Reminds me of that wonderful Aussie song by accadacca, with the wonderful lyric:
“but we’ve got the biggest [round things] of them all!”

I could elaborate, but the taste is somewhat dubious, and I’ve already had a comment deleted because I misspelled Phuckerberg.

Last edited 24 days ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
December 27, 2021 6:14 pm

Whales’ Rights for Right Whales!

Dave Fair
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
December 27, 2021 6:20 pm

Whale Lives Matter.

Dennis
Reply to  Dave Fair
December 27, 2021 6:25 pm

Right.

Tom Halla
December 27, 2021 6:17 pm

A case where the green blob is hoist on it’s own petard. Using environmental impact laws to favor Luddite opposition to. nuclear power and fossil fuel projects is their business model, and it is good to see it applied against green prayer wheels.

Rick C
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 27, 2021 7:49 pm

They are obviously okay with sacrificing the right whales as long as no harm is done to left whales.

Mark Kaiser
Reply to  Rick C
December 27, 2021 9:23 pm

They’re all Trump supporters to boot.

ScarletMacaw
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 27, 2021 8:12 pm

Billion of mammals are killed by humans every year, so why worry about a few whales?!!!

(isn’t this the same argument the alarmists use to defend the killing of birds by windmills?)

Tom Abbott
Reply to  ScarletMacaw
December 28, 2021 2:24 am

This particular batch of whales are small in number and we should protect them.

We don’t want these creatures going extinct.

Steve4192
Reply to  Tom Abbott
December 28, 2021 4:10 am

Why not?

It might be cold-hearted, but species are constantly going extinct as new ones pop up and always have. That’s how survival of the fittest works. Mother Nature can be a heartless bitch.

I’m totally against hunting them to extinction, but it’s been a couple of centuries since whaling was major industrial concern, and it’s been outlawed for the last century. I’m also all for taking reasonable precautions to minimize accidental injuries/deaths, and even taking some steps to lower indirect threats to them. But if the species is incapable of recovering even without any direct threat from humans, maybe it’s time to let Mother Nature do her worst and stop tip-toeing around a species that appears destined to disappear.

Reply to  Steve4192
December 28, 2021 10:28 am

Steve,
” . . . but it’s been a couple of centuries since whaling was major industrial concern . . . “
Whaling was massive in the 1930s, and was certainly going strong – though blue whales weren’t – into the 1950s, with British ships, amongst others, certainly working in the Antarctic. See, for example, “Of Whales and Men”, by R.B. Robertson.

Auto

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  auto
December 28, 2021 7:18 pm

G’Day auto,

“… into the 1950s …”

Even into the 60’s. Tangalooma whaling station on Moreton Island – at the mouth of the Brisbane River, Queensland – wasn’t shut down till 1962. It’s now a ‘whale-watching’ tourist resort.

Apart from the commercial aspect, it was a great place for shark fishing. Two radio personalities, Jack Davy and Bob Dyer, vied for ‘largest shark’ caught. (Brisbane didn’t have TV till 1962 – QTQ Ch. 9.)

Last edited 24 days ago by Tombstone Gabby
AndyHce
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 27, 2021 11:02 pm

They already have policies of legally disregarding environmental law in favor of harvesting subsidies. I suspect something of that sort will appear here too. After all, those kinds of laws are enacted to harasses oil companies, not good folk.

Last edited 25 days ago by AndyHce
Rich Davis
Reply to  AndyHce
December 28, 2021 11:44 am

Unfortunately you are probably right on the money. For some reason enviro-wackos are given standing to sue when endangered species are alleged to be at risk of being mildly annoyed, but if anyone sues that endangered raptors are being k!lled on a regular basis by the sacred windmills then suddenly there’s an exemption that can provide an indulgence for that.

My prediction is that the law suit will be thrown out as being frivolous. Subsequently when the same sort of argument is made to harass O&G development, the case will go forward and win. Nobody will blush at the blatant hypocrisy.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  AndyHce
December 28, 2021 11:55 pm

Yeah, and we are being assured that that taking care of both Anthropo Catastrophic Global Warming and ecological diversity preservation are are part of Resident Bidens plan. So what’s the worry?

Dennis
December 27, 2021 6:18 pm

Whales are fascinating creatures, around about 2006 I was driving my 6 metre half cabin fibreglass boat with outboard motor on Hervey Bay in Queensland, near Fraser Island and close to it in Platypus Bay at the northern end when we spotted a Whale and Calf swimming slowly.

I stopped the motor and allowed my boat to drift and the Whales swam towards it and the mother positioned herself below, head out front and tail extended past the outboard motor, very clear water and white sandy bottom. The Calf swam around close to us. After maybe 5 minutes the mother moved sideways, the Calf swam onto her back and she lifted the Calf out of the water right alongside the boat and close enough to pat …. we refrained from touching.

As I videoed the event the women made so much excited noise that hearing what they were saying is almost impossible. After a while the Calf swam away and was followed by its mother.

At that time two Whale Watch commercial vessels arrived as speed, no doubt a spotter aircraft had alerted them. But too late to see what we experienced. When I told one of the boat captains by radio he was surprised that the encounter was so up close and friendly.

Dean
Reply to  Dennis
December 28, 2021 2:50 am

I paddle very regularly offshore around Newcastle NSW. Been lucky enough to see many whales, including a breach about 25m in front of my kayak.

Last sighting this southward season was a mother and calf, with attendant aunt. Calf played and breached many times. Then all three disappeared, we waited for about 3 minutes wondering where they had gone. The silence was broken by one (presume the aunt as we saw the calf breach about 400m away) surfacing and breathing very very close behind us. Never saw it but hell it woke us up!

John VC(@jvcstone)
Reply to  Dean
December 28, 2021 7:30 am

Since I live in north central Texas, the only whales I ever get to see are wandering around Walmart. They don’t appear to be a threatened species at all.

Dave Fair
December 27, 2021 6:19 pm

Who knew that Pacific Northwest Spotted Owls could fly across the U.S., morph into Right Whales and screw another industry.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Dave Fair
December 27, 2021 7:07 pm

So that’s where they went. Since the NW Forest Plan was adopted by decree of Slick Willie and Algore, the spotted owl population has plummeted 90%, from more than 20,000 in 1994 to less than 2,000 today. You don’t hear the enviro Marxists touting their great failure, though. Move along, nothing to see here.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
December 28, 2021 2:48 am

and the logger and wood products population has probably also dropped 90%

H.R.
Reply to  Dave Fair
December 27, 2021 7:12 pm

Nah… turns out the whales are just snail darters on steroids.

Gunga Din
December 27, 2021 6:22 pm

I guess “Save the Whales!” isn’t “Green” anymore. (or birds or bats or desert critters or …)
They found a better way to “Make the $Green$”.

TonyL
December 27, 2021 6:41 pm

Many, many moons ago, I went on a whale watch cruise out of Boston. I know, very touristy but still a lot of fun. Great big huge animals, very friendly swimming right up to the boat. They were checking us out as we were checking them out. Mostly humpback whales, and lots of them. Now that the right whales are finally getting on an exponential growth curve (so it seems), perhaps they will become as common as the humpbacks in a decade or two.

If you are in Boston during the summer, it is a great take-in. Recommended.

Jeff Alberts
December 27, 2021 6:49 pm

Enviromarxist terrorist organizations environmental activist groups”

David, you clearly have your strikethrough backwards.

ResourceGuy
December 27, 2021 6:56 pm

The nursery for great white sharks will be ruined.

garboard
December 27, 2021 7:03 pm

right whale protection by the gov is a very hot topic with new england fishermen , especially the maine lobster industry . the government is trying to ban the use of ropes attached to lobster traps and create a ropeless fishery ; which is virtually impossible . this is a big deal in maine and even maines uber liberal governor janet mills is fighting against noaa and the epa . right whale protection in new england is a big deal right now and championed by all environmentalists. at the moment fishermen are fighting a losing battle .

Steve4192
Reply to  garboard
December 28, 2021 4:18 am

Why is ropeless impossible?

I would think we have the technology to do it, with GPS tracking on the traps and perhaps a remote-controlled inflatable attached to the trap that can bring them to the surface on demand. It seems very doable from a technical perspective, if not from a financial one.

garboard
Reply to  Steve4192
December 28, 2021 4:32 am

exactly ; the financial strain on fisherman to enact such a fishery is enormous , tho technically possible . it’s being talked about . imagine the expense and logistics of setting 800 remotely inflatable traps . 800 is the max set per fisherman .

Last edited 25 days ago by garboard
Rich Davis
Reply to  garboard
December 28, 2021 12:17 pm

You people just hate progress 😜

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Steve4192
December 28, 2021 6:15 am

How does one use GPS to track something under water? By what means does one remotely control something that is submerged?

Watch any video of exploration with ROVs, and you will see big, long cables from the surface ship to the submersible. How does this improve on use of ropes?

Rich Davis
Reply to  David Middleton
December 28, 2021 12:38 pm

Ah now we’re talking. Underwater acoustic beacons!

Let me revise and extend my remarks…

Each autonomous submersible smarttrap will have a waterproof laptop that has an acoustic beacon that can communicate with the autonomous factory ship. When sensors in the trap detect a sufficient catch, a signal is sent back to the mother ship. Once there are enough traps ready for pickup, the autonomous ship navigates to the area and signals each trap to inflate one by one. The robot arm latches on to the floating trap and hauls it aboard. The trap is emptied, rebaited, air is pumped out of the bladder, the cylinder is refilled, and the laptop battery is swapped out. Then the trap is returned to water.

Each day the mother ship returns to home port to deposit the lobsters, pick up bait, and refuel.

Unemployed lobstermen are paid part time no benefits jobs to keep the home base cleaned up. Perfect!

Can we work in sharks with frickin’ laser beams on their heads somehow?

garboard
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
December 28, 2021 8:08 am

it’s totally crazy and the fishermen know it , but try convincing a government bureaucrat

Rich Davis
Reply to  garboard
December 28, 2021 12:15 pm

Nonsense! All they need to do is put an inflatable bladder on top of each trap with a cylinder of compressed air and a timer. After three days it floats up to be hooked and hauled aboard. Remove the lobsters, then release the air from the bladder, swap out the air cylinder and toss back in the water. What could be easier? Nothing could go wrong, either.

Lobster futures $1500/lb?

Lobstermen are deplorable Trump voters aren’t they? Their jobs need to be destroyed. Here’s my plan.

What we should do is make those floating traps into autonomous vehicles. Someone in Bangalore will direct them to a spot and submerge them. Once they surface they will run their little propellers on compressed air to return to home base which would be another autonomous raft in the area. Robots on the raft will remove the lobsters, bait the trap, pump air out of the bladder, recharge the air cylinder, and release the trap. Periodically the raft returns to port to empty out lobsters, replenish bait, and refuel.

Burgher King
December 27, 2021 7:18 pm

CNBC Article from July, 2020: Right whales are one step from extinction as warmer waters push them northward into boat traffic

Key Points

– As the ocean warms, North Atlantic right whales are moving north to cooler waters in unprotected zones, where they die from vessel strikes and entanglement in fishing gear.

– Fewer than 250 mature North Atlantic right whales were estimated to be alive at the end of 2018, with the total population having plummeted by 15% since over the last decade, according to an update from the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

– The Earth is in the midst of a mass extinction, and scientists warn that extinctions are accelerating at an astonishing rate: More than 500 species will likely go extinct over the next two decades.

Is there a chapter of Extinction Rebellion somewhere in New England?

garboard
Reply to  Burgher King
December 27, 2021 8:53 pm

right whales are nearly extinct because they were so easy to hunt ; hence the name “ right whale “ and have always lived in cool north atlantic waters . they are inexplicably unaware of danger from approaching ships and there are laws now for the NE coast that ships reduce their speed in right whale habitat zones .

ozspeaksup
Reply to  garboard
December 28, 2021 3:36 am

hitting one would be a risk to the ship so slowing down shouldnt need be a law but common sense…oh yeah umm

garboard
Reply to  ozspeaksup
December 28, 2021 4:00 am

a noaa ship hit and killed one a few years back . new york , boston , and portland all have major ship traffic in the area . big ships

Reply to  garboard
December 28, 2021 10:36 am

garboard,
You’re right.
Right whales are perhaps 50-60 feet long.
Big tankers, bulk carriers and container ships are 50-60 metres wide.

Tho’ perhaps the biggest of those don’t go to the NE USA.

Auto

Peter Fraser
Reply to  garboard
December 28, 2021 11:01 am

Right whales were called “right” because unlike most species of whales they did not sink after death. Most species seem to be independent of water temperature. Southern Hemisphere humpbacks migrate yearly from the Southern Ocean to tropical waters to give birth.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Burgher King
December 28, 2021 2:33 am

“As the oceans warm”

Well, the oceans warm, and they cool. Some parts get warm, and some parts get cool, and then the warm parts get cool, and the cool parts get warm, El Nino, and La Nina are examples. The global oceans don’t just continually get warmer, as is suggested by the quote.

Rud Istvan
December 27, 2021 7:43 pm

Shame is that it took “save the (right) whales” to stop this nonsense.

The real reason should have been it’s absurdly bad economics.
According to EIA.gov, Annual Energy Outlook 2021, table 1b:
LCOE of onshore wind $$36.39/MWh
LCOE of CCGT $37.11
LCOE of offshore wind $120.52

Now we showed years ago that the EIA LCOE are grossly biased in wind favor by obvious errors. In 2016 (for the 2015 LCOE), the (post title at Climate Etc) ‘true cost of wind’ LCOE was $146/MWh compared to CCGT at $57, so about 2.6x.

Now EIA says off shore is ‘only’ 3.3x onshore wind, so in relative true cost of wind terms ‘only’ (2.6*3.3) 8.5 times as expensive as CCGT. Financial suicide. Absurd.

Patrick Sullivan
Reply to  Rud Istvan
December 27, 2021 8:30 pm

Didn’t the discovery of oil save the Whales?

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Patrick Sullivan
December 28, 2021 12:34 am

And the war on oil will destroy them

markl
December 27, 2021 8:13 pm

Thank fossil fuels for saving the whales from extinction.

JLC of Perth
Reply to  markl
December 27, 2021 8:29 pm

Indeed. Environmental activists should be reminded of this frequently.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  JLC of Perth
December 28, 2021 1:00 am

They’ll just place their hands over their ears & chants “La, la, la, la, la, la can’t hear you”!!!

garboard
Reply to  markl
December 27, 2021 9:02 pm

the “ first “ oil well , in 1859 , marked the death knell for americas highly lucrative whaling industry .

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  garboard
December 28, 2021 12:34 am

The CAGW Doomsday Death Cult is working on getting it going again

Peter Morris
December 27, 2021 8:29 pm

If there are species that haven’t recovered from Deepwater Horizon by now, I got news for you: they didn’t exist.

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  Peter Morris
December 28, 2021 6:20 am

The Gulf of Mexico regulation extends from page 5322 to 5450.  Too sleepy to be sure, but may be a mass of hypotheticals. As in “Fig. 3 Gulf of Mexico Modeling Zones.”
“In the proposed rule, NMFS discussed the use of an extrapolation method recommended by the Marine Mammal Commission for use in estimating potential unobserved takes. ” Not requiring, but considering. “The proposed rule indicated that LOA applications with take estimates based on modeling other than that specifically included in the modeling report used to support the EIS and the proposed rule (the modeling report; Zeddies et al., 2015, 2017a) would necessarily be published for public comment prior to the issuance of an LOA.”

The Gulf of Mexico severely endangered whale, Rice’s, was a subspecies of Bryde’s whale which was not even known when offshore drilling began, very recent new species. What are whales during in such warm waters? With new technologies new species everywhere, will take a good while to sort it out.

ATheoK
December 27, 2021 9:03 pm

The right whale population in the vicinity of the proposed Vineyard Wind project has experienced a nearly seven-fold increase over the past decade.”

Seven-fold for such a small initial population?

This comes across as very similar to counting polar bears. They can only count the few they see. And that ability has significant variability.

AndyHce
Reply to  ATheoK
December 27, 2021 11:08 pm

One could read the reporting as saying the existing whales are spending more time in that area rather than that there are more whales.

ATheoK
Reply to  David Middleton
December 29, 2021 11:54 am

Or Southern Right whales are vacationing in the north…

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  David Middleton
December 28, 2021 10:08 am

“You can only count what you see.” Not anymore as extrapolation for whales, whooping cranes, oiled birds, and many others as too much biology is trying to catch up with climate physics.

ATheoK
Reply to  David Middleton
December 29, 2021 12:07 pm

David:
Reread Donna’s article where she shows that one species of Right whale was subdivided into three species, depending on where they live…

The same application of wisdom to humans would have human species identified by where they live… Bostonians, Philadelphians, Atlanteans, Spaniards, French, etc…

The Right whales were split into sub-species to allow one Right whale cluster to be described as endangered and used lawsuits. Even though the actual population of Northern Right whales is far larger, just not the Northern Right whales located in Canada.

That’s how counting works. It’s the way the census is supposed to work.”

Indeed…
Someone just flies over a town and writes down how many people, by age and address they see?

That is BS.
Their “count” is only as good as their effort which apparently is pitiful. Poor effort means very poor counts.

ATheoK
December 27, 2021 9:26 pm

Donna Laframboise has an excellent article about whales published in August 2020.
e.g.;
“Even though Sperm Whales number in the hundreds of thousands, the IUCN says they’re vulnerable.

Fin Whales are increasing and already exceed 100,000, but the IUCN says they, too, are vulnerable.

Blue Whales are likewise increasing, with a current population of betweeen{sic} 5,000 and 15,000. Nevertheless the IUCN classifies them as endangered.
It’s a similar story with Sei Whales. Despite a growing population that already tops 50,000, they’re considered endangered.

In conservation circles, words don’t mean what a reasonable person thinks they do. The bottom line is that we currently have millions of whales. The numbers cited here are conservative, and exclude non-Canadian whales. Yet they still add up to 2.5 million.
Whale populations have been rebounding since commercial whaling ended decades ago. As Shellenberger reminds us, “Nations harvest fewer than two thousand whales annually, an amount that is 97 percent less than the nearly seventy-five thousand whales killed in 1960.”

Donna also published “Canadian Wildlife Federation: Lying With Pictures to Raise Cash” in August 2020.

Last edited 25 days ago by ATheoK
AndyHce
Reply to  ATheoK
December 27, 2021 11:10 pm

Shades of polar bears!

garboard
Reply to  ATheoK
December 28, 2021 4:10 am

the only country with an industrial whale fishery these days is uber green norway . but you never hear greens complaining about norway’s government subsidized whaling industry because norway is so “ nice “ , i guess . norway is able to thumb their nose at international law because they’re so rich from their fossil fuel industry they don’t have to care . they also laugh at the EU . they do have lots of electric cars tho for their 5 million population so they are much beloved by greens . the US stopped whaling when Nixon signed the endangered species act in74 . up until that time GM was still using whale oil in RV transmissions

Last edited 25 days ago by garboard
ATheoK
Reply to  garboard
December 28, 2021 5:14 am

Up until 1974, whale meat used to be sold in larger grocery stores.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  garboard
December 28, 2021 9:09 am

The irony of Norwegians being heavily incentivised to buy EVs by generous tax allowances (eg,no purchase or import taxes, no annual road tax from 1996 -2021, 50% discount on ferries, toll roads and public parking etc) is that this is all made possible by the sovereign wealth fund that the country has built up by exploiting its off shore oil reserves and it is continuing to exploit these with new developments being approved.

December 27, 2021 9:50 pm

Isn’t whale oil carbon neutral?

ATheoK
Reply to  co2isnotevil
December 29, 2021 12:09 pm

Only if Jane Fonda is immersed.

Chris Gillham(@waclimate)
December 27, 2021 10:33 pm

The ABC yesterday ran a story about how record numbers of blue whales have been sighted off the Western Australia coast this year … https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-12-27/record-numbers-of-blue-whales-spotted-off-was-coast/13689988

However, around the one minute mark the reporter says there were about 30% fewer humpbacks, with climate change and above average SST off the northern coast being possible explanations. Remarkable that blue whales benefit from climate change and warm SST, but humpbacks don’t.

I have a site pointing out that WA’s increase in great white shark attacks since the 1990s is very likely due to booming whale populations (http://www.washarkattacks.net).

The WA humpback whale population was around 640 in the 1960s and since becoming a protected species their numbers have recovered at around 12% pa to currently sit close to 40,000.

So climate change purportedly started in the 1970s, humpback whale populations soared by 12% a year, blue whale numbers are currently at record levels, but there may have this year been a reduction in humpback numbers … so climate change is the probable reason for endangering the survival of the humpback species and there’s further evidence that every living creature is imperilled if we don’t carpet the landscape with windmills and solar panels.

ATheoK
Reply to  Chris Gillham
December 28, 2021 5:29 am

Donna Laframboise lists “humpback whales” in Canadian waters, also.

“A further 11 Canadian whale species are classified as least concern by the IUCN (that organization has no unequivocal, thumbs-up ranking):

beluga whales (global population is “likely more than 200,000”)

bowhead whales (25,000+)

common minke whales (200,000+)

cuvier’s beaked whales (100,000+)

dwarf sperm whales (unknown)

gray whales (27,000)

humpback whales (135,000)

long-finned pilot whales (600,000)

narwhals (170,000+)

pygmy sperm whales (10,000+)

short-finned pilot whales (600,000)”

I doubt Australian waters have lost that many humpback whales.
Thirty percent of 40,000 humpback whales is 12,000 whales. Surely someone would’ve noticed that many dead humpbacks floating around or getting beached on Australian shores.

griff
December 28, 2021 12:51 am

Wind farm construction in the N Sea and Baltic has long since been adapted to avoid impact on whales…

There is also this technology
Whales avoid wind farm’s harmful foundation piling thanks to acoustic device (environmenttimes.co.uk)

surveys show that after a brief interval around construction whales return to the area.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  griff
December 28, 2021 1:51 am

Whales are ocean-going submarines. The North Sea and the Baltic are not deep enough for most of them. The occasional whale that lost its way shows up and then often gets stuck on a beach. But hey they are safe from windfarms.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
December 28, 2021 2:43 am

“Wind farm construction in the N Sea and Baltic has long since been adapted to avoid impact on whales…

There is also this technology
Whales avoid wind farm’s harmful foundation piling thanks to acoustic device”

So the windmills not only broadcast sound into the water, but “clever” humans have added an additional sound to the water with their acoustic device.

I think we ought to install some big, commercial sound speakers in Griff’s home and blast rock music continuously, all day long. Let’s see how Griff likes his new environment.

garboard
Reply to  griff
December 28, 2021 4:18 am

any disruption of the iconic and nearly extinct uniquely clueless right whales is unacceptable by US law . in order to “temporarily “ disrupt right whale activity US laws will have to be re written

Last edited 25 days ago by garboard
ATheoK
Reply to  griff
December 28, 2021 6:03 am

Wind farm construction in the N Sea and Baltic has long since been adapted to avoid impact on whales…”

Nonsense. And your comment and link proves that.

use of Acoustic Deterrent Devices Devices (ADDs) – a series of amplified electronic pulses projected into the water”

“Tracking results demonstrated that focal{sic} minke whales responded to ADDs at distances which could prevent injurious effects of subsea noise.”

This is as reported by the windfarm installation teams, not independent research. Apparently these devices are only run during windfarm installation.

That the whales and other sea mammals avoid areas where the devices are operating, proves that the noise makers are harmful to their hearing. Whales caught within the range of ADDs when they are activated suffer.

surveys show that after a brief interval around construction whales return to the area.”

Your claim is false and your link proves your inanity.
The whales return to the windfarm areas after the harmful loud noise ADDs are shut down.
Windfarm areas that continue making harmful to life loud subsonic noises.

two dead whales washed up on the coast of Suffolk, in eastern England, and a third was spotted floating at sea.”

The three whales became a “family”, even though they were each from a different species”

Dead whales of different species are found floating near wind farms. ‘Don’t look here’, cry the wind farm nuts.

Typical green whackos. If they are killing whales, eagles, condors, waterfowl, seals, whatever, it is all right because they destroy habitat and kill animals for the good of humans and animals…
Riight!

LdB
Reply to  griff
December 28, 2021 8:05 pm

Have you seen the Japanese wind farm design the blades penetrate into the ocean so they get power and whale blubber pieces at the same time.

Ed Zuiderwijk
December 28, 2021 1:43 am

Why bother about Right Whales? It’s the Left Whales that should be the priority.

Dean
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
December 28, 2021 2:52 am

The deplorables of the ocean….

Tom Abbott
December 28, 2021 2:19 am

From the article: “Construction and operation of hundreds of wind turbines is likely to introduce increased ocean noise”

Only “likely”? So the author is raising the possibilty that windmills will inject no sound into the water? Does anyone believe this? Other than the author?

Joseph Zorzin
December 28, 2021 2:43 am

I saw Carlin twice in the years just before he passed. Both times totally blew my mind. From the first second he came on the stage to the last- was like watching fireworks.

David Blenkinsop
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
December 28, 2021 8:35 pm

According to Carlin, the earth’s answer to the meaning of human existence?

“PLASTIC, A-holes..” (!)

Sara
December 28, 2021 4:38 am

The litigation was filed four months after a study found that the waters south of New England are crucial habitat for the Right Whale. Between 2011 and 2019, some 327 unique Right Whales were spotted in the region. Furthermore,  the endangered whales have been sighted in the area south of the Vineyard Wind site every month over the past few years. The study also found consistent use of the area proposed for wind-energy development by a third of the species and nearly a third of breeding females. — article

Yeah!!! It’s about time!!! Whales are more important that those cash-sucking creatures who want to do nothing more than make a complete mess out of everything they see and touch.

SAVE THE WHALES!!!!

THROW THE JERKS INTO A VERY LARGE GARBAGE DUMP and tell them to clean it up.

I am so tired of these money-grubbing creatures and the damage they do.

Drake
December 28, 2021 12:27 pm

Thanks David, nice informative post.

So when the new TRUMP! administration gets in, they can review the approval of the permit that failed to account for the multiple laws the approval violated and FIRE all of he bureaucrats that were part of the approval process for failing to do their jobs. Minor step in beginning to drain the swamp.

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