By the early 20th century, their numbers were so depleted that in 1935, hunting was banned. Yet 73 years later, the species has not bounced back.What a shocker, the regulation didn't fix the tragedy of the commons. The article reveals there are an estimated 300 remaining whales, and then
That measure is a proposal from U.S. government scientists to require commercial ships to slow to 10 knots inside a 30-mile "bubble" near ports where and when these whales are migrating. Right now, experts say, commercial ships kill about two North Atlantic right whales every year.What? 300 whales can't produce more than 2 children in a year?
"We think that more animals are being killed than are being born, and there are a couple of main sources of human-caused mortality that we are trying to reduce," said Jim Lecky, director of the Office of Protected Resources at the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Many in the shipping industry oppose the speed limit, saying it would be too costly. A federal study concluded that slowing the ships near the whales will cost shipping companies about $112 million, or less than 1 percent of the $340 billion East Coast shipping industry income.One percent, is a big deal, people change their behavior all the time to save one percent.
Not all shipping companies oppose the rule. A smaller industry group, Chamber Shipping of America, filed a document with the federal government saying, "Our members believe the economic impacts associated with the proposed rule ... are well worth the benefits to preserving this most endangered species."What a surprise! The group composed of what I'm guessing is the smaller shipping companies that are less likely to have giant fast vessels, are ok with their larger faster competitors having to slow down. Is the possibility of saving two whales a year worth $112 million? Would it not be cheaper to allow these firms to continue their speed and instead start an insemination program or breed at least two in captivity? Couldn't these scientists work on a device that emits a noise that scares these whales away upon their approach?
Perhaps Bryce will explain in the comments why these alternative solutions are or are not reasonable. At least an explanation of why these apparently lazy creatures are hell bent on suicide. By the way, one of the best episodes of Futurama ever made was "300 Big Boys," which features a disgruntled whale biologist, fiscal stimulus plans, rapid inflation, and actual "voodoo" economists.