SeaWorld found responsible in the case of trainer Dawn Brancheau’s death

Judge Ken Welsch has reached his decision in the SeaWorld vs OSHA case, in which SeaWorld tried to overturn the citations against them following the grisly death of trainer Dawn Brancheau by the orca whale Tilikum in 2010.
While reducing the penalty to $12,000 and downgrading the citation from ‘willful’ to ‘serious’, the judge has ruled against SeaWorld and has upheld the finding by OSHA (Occupational and Safety Health Administration) that abatement must be made and the fines paid. While the fee may seem like a slap on the wrist for a multimillion dollar business (and it has no doubt cost them more to fight the ruling), it means that SeaWorld will be unable to put trainers back into dangerous conditions and force them to enter the water with the whales.
Documents provided by author David Kirby from the court proceedings make it clear; no more water work – in other words, the trainers must stay out of the water unless their safety can be  guaranteed.

Item 1 of Citation No. 2, § 5(a)(1): The gravity of this violation is very high. Trainers were required to work in close contact with killer whales during performances. The killer whales sometimes engage in unpredictable behavior, including seizing trainers with their mouths, holdingthe trainers under water, and ramming the trainers while in the water. SeaWorld’s operant conditioning program places an unrealistic burden on trainers to recognize precursors and react appropriately to forestall undesirable behavior.

According to Kirby, in his decision, the Judge has upheld the OSHA citations and that is a win for the employees of SeaWorld, because within 10 days after the Judge’s order becomes final, SeaWorld must abate the hazards and provide documentation to OSHA’s Tampa Area Office that the hazards have been corrected.”
Excerpts from the document:

  • SeaWorld’s contention that it was unaware working with killer whales presents a recognized hazard is difficult to reconcile with numerous comments made over the years by SeaWorld management personnel, including corporate curators of animal training Thad Lacinak and Mr. Tompkins.
  • Whether the trainers were fully immersed and swimming with the killer whales for a waterwork show performance, or standing poolside or on a slideout for a dry work show performance, SeaWorld knew its trainers were at risk for being struck or drowned by a killer whale.
  • The Secretary has established that SeaWorld knew working in close contact with killer whales was a recognized hazard.
  • SeaWorld’s estimate of 98 plus percent predictability is not based on rigorously evaluated scientific data.
  • SeaWorld holds trainers to a near-impossible standard set by upper management, who engage in a form of Monday morning quarterbacking. As a commenter acknowledges in an August 2002 incident report, “Hindsight is always 20/20” (Exh. C-6). Any trainer unfortunate enough to have to file an incident report is subject to second-guessing by his or her superiors, who will always find the trainer did something wrong, otherwise there would be no incident report.
  • As with Tilikum, the Secretary proposes that for performances, SeaWorld either install physical barriers between its trainers and killer whales, or require its trainers to maintain a minimum distance from the killer whales. This proposed abatement is technologically feasible; SeaWorld has been using it since February 24, 2010. SeaWorld has banned waterwork with its killer whales during performances, and trainers perform drywork from behind barriers.
  • The proposed abatement is also economically feasible. SeaWorld did not argue that performing drywork from behind barriers or banning trainers from waterwork during performances affected it economically. SeaWorld’s killer whales, including Tilikum, have continued to perform in shows at Shamu Stadium without the presence of trainers in the water with them. Trainers perform drywork from behind barriers or at a minimum distance. There was no evidence adduced that the elimination of waterwork or the implementation of barriers for drywork has had a negative impact on SeaWorld’s profits… Prohibiting waterwork and using physical barriers and minimum distances eliminate the trainers’ exposure to the recognized hazard of working with killer whales. Proximity to the killer whales is the factor that determines the risk to the trainers…. The court finds the Secretary established a feasible means to eliminate the recognized hazard.
  • This audio recording, from Voice of the Orcas, gives background information on this case:

    This book tells the complete story of trainer risk at SeaWorld

    Kirby’s book will help you to understand what is going on behind the scenes at SeaWorld, and why so many people are against keeping these whales in captivity:
    Take the pledge to buy this book on July 17th, 2012 – help protect trainers from attack and end captivity for whales.
    ADVANCE BUZZ FOR ‘DEATH AT SEAWORLD’ CONTINUES TO GROW
    One of the “great books” of the summer
    The Columbus Dispatch

    #1 Readers Poll Choice for Summer Books
    Wall Street Journal Online

    “Lives are at stake here, and Kirby can be trusted to tell the story, having won a passel of awards for his investigative work.”
    — Library Journal

    “Journalist Kirby offers another passionate industry exposé … the narrative goes into high gear with its concluding confrontation.”
    Publisher’s Weekly

    “As David Kirby so eloquently documents in this timely work, Killer-whale captivity only benefits the captors. It is impossible to read ‘Death at SeaWorld’ and come to any other conclusion.”
    –Jane Goodall, Ph.D., D.B.E., Founder, the Jane Goodall Institute, UN Messenger of Peace
    “Entertaining, engaging and enraging – The fairy tale fantasy that the captivity marine mammal industry has spun for the unwary public is expertly unraveled in this non-fiction crime thriller.”
    — Louie Psihoyos, Academy Award winning director of The Cove
    “In this authoritative and superbly investigative page-turner, certain to ruffle feathers and fins, David Kirby … reports brilliantly on the escalating troubles and conflicts, the surprising and sordid underbelly of life — and death — at SeaWorld.”
    Erich Hoyt, author of the best-selling classic Orca: The Whale Called Killer
    “’Death at SeaWorld’ is one of the most important books, if not the most important book, ever written on the horrific plight of captive cetaceans. Kirby systematically dismantles the arguments used to justify keeping these incredibly intelligent and sentient beings in aquatic cages.
    — Marc Bekoff, University of Colorado, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals
    “This is a book everyone should read… David Kirby’s ‘Death at SeaWorld’ outlines in grim detail just how bad captivity is for orcas and other marine mammals.”
    — Richard O’Barry, Director of Earth Island Institute’s Dolphin Project and star of The Cove
    “At last, both sides of the story behind the events at SeaWorld are being told and the truth is finally getting out there. Every budding orca trainer should consider this the must-read book of their career.”
    –Dr. Ingrid N. Visser, Founder & Principal Scientist, Orca Research Trust
    “One helluva book! David Kirby provides the most complete and accurate account of what I perceive as a transgression of morality toward the animal kingdom—the slavery of orcas, supreme beings in the aquatic world.”
    –Ken Balcomb, Director, Center for Whale Research
    “David Kirby’s research is impeccable and his words unforgettable.  You will never view dolphin and orca shows the same way again.”
    – Lori Marino, PhD, Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology, Emory University



    “This remarkable book deserves to be acknowledged as the most significant and moving account of the often disastrous interaction of cetaceans and humans since Moby-Dick.”
    –Richard Ellis, author of Men and Whales, The Empty Ocean, and The Great Sperm Whale

New calf for the beleaguered L-pod orcas! See our Facebook page for details

The Center for Whale Research, Friday Harbor, Wa

The Southern Resident orcas returned to the inland waters of Washington state’s Salish Sea en mass today, after what seems like a prolonged winter along the outer coast.  Their spring visits have been few and far between, with just one L-pod whale, L 87, who hangs out with J and K pods, seen in the area until today.
Best of all, 25 year old L 77 had a calf in tow, who was given the number L-119. Researchers and whale watchers have been particularly concerned about this orca pod, following the death of young L-112 this year to a still unknown cause (please see Dead Orca L-112 is Beginning to Reveal the Story of Her Death).
Please check out the Center’s Facebook page and website for updates on this population of endangered orcas. There you will learn more about the brand new calf L-119 and her family, and follow along as the whales face the summer challenges of finding enough salmon.
Welcome back, orcas, we are all rooting for you.

The orcas are back with a calf in tow – J, K, and L pods showed up today 5/29/12

Center for Whale Research photo

“87 ORCA WHALES TODAY…SUPER POD!!! All three Resident Pods are back in our waters. With an unconfirmed new calf in L Pod… We will wait for the Center for Whale Research‘s official report but a new calf that appears to be 2-3 weeks old… WAHOOO!!!”
Seen and reported by Ocean EcoVentures Whale Watching
to Orca Network

Horses fought our wars, and now they need your help as thousands face slaughter

(The inscription reads “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” -Mahatma Gandhi”)

The first use of horses in warfare occurred over 5,000 years ago. The earliest evidence of horses ridden in warfare dates from Eurasia between 4000 and 3000 BC. A Sumerian illustration of warfare from 2500 BC depicts some type of equine pulling wagons. By 1600 BC, improved harness and chariot designs made chariot warfare common throughout the Ancient Near East, and the earliest written training manual for war horses was a guide for training chariot horses written about 1350 BC. As formal cavalry tactics replaced the chariot, so did new training methods, and by 360 BC, the Greek cavalry officer Xenophon had written an extensive treatise on horsemanship. The effectiveness of horses in battle was also revolutionized by improvements in technology, including the invention of the saddle, the stirrup, and later, the horse collar. Wikipedia


From Habitat for Horses:

Even as our soldiers are dying in the battlefields of Afghanistan, our horses are dying in another great battle. Just as before, they have no choice in the matter. We appointed ourselves as their keepers, their guardians and their protectors many centuries ago. We once rode them into battle. This time we’re sending them by themselves to die, not for our freedom, but for their flesh. Once they sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Now they sacrifice their life for greed, and our magnificent country, the very country for which so many men and women died, finds such greed to be perfectly acceptable.
Battles fought under the guidance of misguided politicians have never been successful without the help and determination of the brave men and women in the field. The battle for our horses will never be won without the help of those who love them. Together, we need to strengthen our resolve to redirect the politicians, to close the slaughterhouses and to keep our horses home and alive. Jerry Finch, Habitat for Horses

Please visit the Habitat for Horses and read their blog posts. Also go to Straight From the Horse’s Mouth to learn more about some time critical issues.
Please see my article in the Digital Journal, Up to 45,000 wild horses face slaughter by the U.S. government,for more information on the plight of America’s wild horses.

SeaWorld’s pilot whale Sully dies – a story of successful rescue and early death

On May 23rd, 2012 Sully the pilot whale took his last breath in SeaWorld San Diego’s Animal Care facility, three years after he was found emaciated on a Curacao beach.  His life was short, at an estimated age of 4 years he was still a juvenile. His was a nearly silent and often lonely existence, lost from his natal pod and reliant upon humans for care.
In her breaking news story on this, Elizabeth Batt writes:

SeaWorld has given no official cause of death and has yet to release a media statement but back in early May, Sully allegedly began to have issues with sunburn, a common concern for marine mammals in captivity because of the time spent logging at the surface. Former SeaWorld trainer, Dr. Jeffrey Ventre, told Digital Journal that harmful sun and UV exposure in captive cetaceans is often under played. Ventre said:
It’s a much larger problem than the public knows about. It impacts the whales on several levels. Not only is it likely painful, but it opens the animal up to infectious disease, lowers the immune system, and probably increases mortality. In the open ocean whales spend only a fraction of their time at the surface, with their backs exposed.
Ventre, along with former fellow trainer John Jett, Ph.D, a visiting research professor at Stetson University, first addressed the issue of sun exposure and immunosuppression in the paper “Keto and Tilikum Express the Stress of Orca Captivity,” published at The Orca Project in Jan. 2011.

Note the sunscreen applied to Sully’s skin while at Curacao (SCCN photo).

The following video covers Sully’s life – showing how he was first rescued, rehabilitated, and how attempts were made to release him to the wild. Sully’s skin appears normal while at Curacao, and the rescuers (Southern Caribbean Cetacean Network , SCCN) kept the young whale in near ideal conditions.  He was kept in a netted area, and regularly taken out in the open water for conditioning swims.  As it turned out, Sully was hearing impaired (cause still unknown or undisclosed) and so was exceptionally reliant upon the humans to provide him with food and security.
Although the video is a bit long and seemingly targeted at a young audience, it is worth watching, particularly if you are interested in learning more about the best way to help whales and dolphins that wind up stranded, caught in our fishing nets or crippled by the loud sounds that our activities impose on their environment. It is clear that Sully had a more robust, engaging, and enriched life before he was turned over to SeaWorld. Note the changes in his skin through time.


Although the attempts to release Sully to the wild  may seem authentic it was perhaps a bit naive to think that the whale would suddenly abandon the boat he had been so thoroughly conditioned to follow in the open sea, or that the wild whales would accept him immediately. At best this shows a lack of understanding of the basic principles of animal behavior.

(Dolphin Academy photo)

It is worth noting that the trainer involved with Sully’s rescue was very experienced – SCCN President George Kieffer has been training dolphins since 1986. He is currently the Director of Dolphins and Programs for the Dolphin Academy, Curaçao Sea Aquarium, Netherlands Antilles where he leads captive dolphins out to open water for tourists:

The Dolphin Academy is the third dolphin facility in the entire world which offers an Open Water Dolphin Dive program. Our dolphins are trained to go outside and enjoy themselves in the open ocean. Since dolphins are territorial animals, this program actually increases their territory.

SCCN had consulted with SeaWorld San Diego veterinarian Dr. Tom Reidarson about Sully’s care, so it was probably a forgone conclusion that Sully would wind up there if the release attempts failed because SeaWorld was actively engaged in trying to get a male pilot whale at that time.  (see SeaWorld Has a Vested Interest in Helping Stranded Whales and Dolphins)
Coincidentally, just two months ago SeaWorld finally succeeded in obtaining the male pilot whale, Argo, from Japan (WDCS).

Another Non-report by NOAA on the Death of the Young Orca That Occurred in February 2012

Nothing conclusive or inconclusive. No one saw or heard anything.  Investigation continues. For more information, please go to the Center for Whale Research website.
Copied from:
Southern Resident Killer Whale L112 Stranding Progress Report 2 May 15, 2012
Gross Examination: Gross examination disclosed extensive bruising and swelling on both sides of the head and neck, more pronounced on the right, and continuing down the right side of the body. Although no skull fractures were seen during examination of the head, there was fragmentation of the brain and increased fluid in the right side of the skull. The significance of this finding is under investigation.
Sample Analysis:

Microscopic Examination: Due to advanced tissue degradation, the presence of hemorrhage (blood outside of vessels) couldn’t be confirmed by microscopic evaluation. Further tests are pending that might assist with our ability to confirm hemorrhage microscopically and gain further insights as to the time of injury and subsequent death of the animal, as well as the detection of possible fat embolization (dislodged blubber fat cells can be transported by blood to internal organs). The latter has been associated with traumatic injuries in cetaceans and would indicate antemortem trauma.
Bacteria and Viruses: A complete screen for infectious agents did not detect any significant disease-causing organisms. The advanced decomposition may have hindered detection or recovery of some agents; however, there was no indication of significant inflammation or infection within the examined tissues.
Additional pending studies: Review of environmental conditions and possible presence of algal blooms at the time and in the vicinity of the stranding have been requested. Sources of acoustic data have been identified and the analysis of this data will not be available until late summer 2012. Laboratory analysis to determine the presence of algal toxins, contaminant loads, and heavy metal burdens in tissues are underway. A closer examination of the skeleton for evidence of blunt force trauma will be conducted after cleaning is complete.

CT Scan: The head was collected, frozen, and scanned at the VCA Veterinary Speciality Center of Seattle. The computed tomography (CT) data has been collected and reviewed by veterinary radiologists Dr. Tori Mcklveen, VCA, and Dr. Sophie Dennison-Gibby, NOAA Fisheries. The scan of the head was completed and did not show any fractures of the skull. A recent secondary CT scan of ear bones confirmed findings consistent with the presence of parasites observed during the gross examination. Parasites are common in cetaceans and their presence in this case are considered incidental and unlikely related to the cause of stranding.
Environmental Conditions: Ocean current conditions at the time this animal died were largely influenced by eddies flowing northward from the mouth of the Columbia River. This indicates that the animal likely died near the Columbia River or to the south and drifted before being cast ashore on Long Beach.
Requests for Information on Human Activities: NOAA Fisheries has contacted a variety of government agencies and other sources in an attempt to identify whether human activities may have contributed to the injuries that were observed. The United States Navy responded to our request for information, and has no records indicating that Navy units used sonar or explosives between Feb. 1 and Feb. 11 within the Northwest Training Range Complex, which includes the coastal area between Newport, Ore., and Cape Flattery, Wash. The Royal Canadian Navy confirmed the use of sonar and two small under water charges by HMCS Ottawa on Feb. 6, 2012, as part of an anti-submarine warfare exercise near Constance Bank and in the Straight of Juan de Fuca. HMCS Ottawa activities included following a Marine Mammal Mitigation Policy prior to and during the period when they were using ships’ sonar and prior to deploying the charges. Whales were not observed during that time. The Department of the Army confirmed with all military organizations resident on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) that no military training involving JBLM units took place during the timeframe of the stranding. The Fishing Vessel Owners’ Association responded that vessels are not typically on the water and fishing in February, and reported no interactions between whales and fishing vessels. Responses are pending from the United States Coast Guard and the United States Army Corp of Engineers.
Preliminary Conclusion: The grossly noted hemorrhage around the head and neck is consistent with physical trauma, which would have been sufficiently severe to account for the loss of this animal. The cause of this injury remains undetermined and investigations are ongoing.
Media Requests: Information collected by the Stranding Network and NOAA Fisheries Protected Resources is being shared with the NOAA Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement, which is conducting an independent enforcement investigation of the event. Direct media inquiries for this case to Brian Gorman of NOAA Public Affairs, 206-526-6613. He’ll provide updates as information becomes available.

Orca Whale Morgan’s Fight for Freedom Continues

Rake marks on Morgan from the other whales where she is living (Courtesy of End Killer Whale Captivity)

The Orca Coalition is pressing the case for the release of the little Dutch orca Morgan, based on the fact that the initial decision by the courts to send the whale to a Spanish amusement park was a temporary measure.

On June 23rd 2010, a young female killer whale was found stranded in the Wadden Sea, off the Dutch coast. The orca was brought to the Dutch dolphinarium at Harderwijk and given the name ‘Morgan’. The company vowed they would care for her until she regained her strength to be released, however it started allowing paid costumers to visit Morgan after only a few weeks, something that would get the orca used to humans and would complicate any rehabilitation and release effort. Not long after the dolphinarium mentioned the US based marine mammal park Sea World as a possible destination for orca Morgan and it was at this stage that a group of concerned Dutch animal welfare and conservation NGO’s founded the Orca Coalition.
Two important court hearings followed. During the first, which was held on August 3rd 2011, the judge ruled that the responsible Ministry had neglected its obligations on the issue and should do additional research to investigate the possibilities to rehabilitate the orca and set her free. The transport of Morgan to Tenerife was temporarily blocked. However, two weeks after the second hearing, which took place on November 7th 2011, the judge announced in her ruling that the dolphinarium was allowed to move Morgan to Loro Parque. She was transported to the island by aeroplane on November 29th 2011.
A new appeal hearing in the orca Morgan case will come before the Dutch courts soon, possibly as early as August. At stake is the young killer whale’s freedom as well as the potential to set a new legal precedent and change the lives of other captive animals forever. While the outcome of the case is anything but set in stone, we see great potential and with your support we can give it our best.

Once again the courts will need to carefully address Morgan’s survivability in the wild versus the trauma of life in captivity. To do so they will need to obtain an unbiased evaluation of Morgan’s health, and not rely on reports by the amusement park veterinarians.


The Free Morgan Foundation has continued to search for Morgan’s wild family, and has secured a place to prepare her for release into the wild.
This video is remarkable from an artistic point of view, and beautifully contrasts the lives of orcas in the wild versus in captivity. It is worth the extra time to view whether or not you believe captivity is the best option:

Video of the 1971 Penn Cove Orca Captures, Four Orcas Drowned

Parts of this vintage footage are hard to watch, but the video is effective in showing what it really means to take these whales from the wild.
Provided by Orca Network.

This footage was given to Ralph Munro, who gave it to Orca Network, to use to educate the public about the orca captures.

Uncut footage of the 1971 Penn Cove orca capture footage, taken by Don McGaffin’s crew. Shows rarely seen interviews of one of the cameramen, Paul Spong, Don Goldsberry, founding director of Vancouver Aquarium, and footage of the orca roundup court hearings. The court battle would eventually result in banning SeaWorld and other marine parks from capturing orcas off of Washington coast in 1976.

Upcoming BBC Show: Humpback Whales Seem to Intervene in Orca Attack on Gray Whale Calf

Humpback whale and transient orca (Copyright Alisa Schulman-Janiger)

On May 3rd, 2012 whale watchers aboard the Monterey Bay Whale Watch boats witnessed one of the most thought proving interactions among three different species of whales ever recorded.  By all accounts, it looked as though several humpback whales tried to prevent transient orcas from killing, then eating a baby gray whale.  The full story and photographs of the event can be found here.
Amazingly, a team of National Geographic filmmakers were present so the encounter was captured on video, and will show in the U.S. on Monday 5/14/12:

HUMPBACKS INTERVENE DURING, AFTER GRAY WHALE ATTACK! PREVIEW VIDEO CLIP FROM UPCOMING NAT GEO WILD PROGRAM NEXT MONDAY: “24/7 Wild”! They filmed this on our boat out of Monterey Bay Whale Watch last Thursday with a gyrostabilized camera: incredible footage! With killer whale researchers Nancy Black and Alisa Schulman-Janiger.

Be sure to set your DVRs to your Nat Geo channel if you can’t be home to watch the coverage of this rarely observed event!

Fin Whales Face Iceland’s Harpoons Once More: Creative Math Yields Goofy Graphs

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) recently issued a press release which warns that Iceland plans to slaughter endangered whales this summer:

The Icelandic newspaper Skessuhorn reported yesterday that it had “reliable evidence” fin whaling will begin again, after being shut down last summer due to the impacts of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Although Kristján Loftsson, director of Hvalur, would not confirm, the paper claimed it had evidence that whaling will begin in June and is likely to last for three months.
The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) are urging European and US leaders to take strong diplomatic actions to end Iceland’s continued and expanding whaling.
Clare Perry, EIA senior campaigner, said: “Iceland has exported almost 2,000 tonnes of whale meat to Japan in recent years. The Icelandic whaling company Hvalur is deliberately growing an export market for an endangered species which is protected by two international agreements to which Iceland is signatory. We are calling on the EU and US to take urgent steps to end this rogue whaling.”

It is shortsighted for Iceland to take this stance, since the profitability of selling the meat (contaminated with pollutants often in excess of safe standards), is not sustainable…but of course that is not the whole story, and direct profit from whale slaughter may not even been their primary reason for killing the whales.  Simply put, whales and dolphins are seen as competitors for fish by the fishing industries of these countries, and they rely on some fairly creative figures to justify their position.
These days, any theoretical paper you read on the subject of fisheries involves mind boggling mathematics and complex computer models – yet even so, in the final analysis, the models often fall short of being an accurate representation of what is going on below the ocean surface, and when it comes to apex predators such as whales, the results can be disastrous if the figures are used to calculate how many can be slaughtered.
The problem with this type of approach is that is a top down strategy – starting with the top predators and working down the food chain to plankton – but the ocean is a bottom up system, and biologically it is driven by the biomass of plankton.  So much so that biological oceanography gives little more than a nod to anything higher up the food chain than krill.  But most of the basic fisheries models don’t include the whole life cycle loop, and for good reason – it adds too much complexity.
Yet the island countries of Iceland and Japan put considerable resources into trying to figure out just how many fish the cetaceans (whales and dolphins) consume. Based on theoretical numbers, they use these models to decide how many whales and dolphins to kill in order to conserve their lucrative fish industries (both countries enjoy a high standard of living), and they base the concept on some fairly contorted theorizing.
In this first graph, it looks like they tied a knot to make the data fit (*see below for source information):
And this one shows how you take four possible scenarios and stuff them in a sock to force data to fit:
From those numbers they come up with something like this, which seems to show that without the competition from marine mammals there would be a couple hundred thousand tons more fish for the fisheries industry:

The dashed line is the theoretical amount of catch without cetaceans (solid line), timeline should read 1993 to 2023.

But all of these mental gymnastics miss the point:  prior to the 19th century – when humans began commercial whaling in earnest – the oceans were teeming with fish.  The oceans were a system in balance, but with the development of technology humans reached farther and deeper into the seas, causing the collapse of fish (such as cod) as well as cetacean populations.  In other words, there were more fish when there were more whales.
The reason that it will never add up to take out other top predators and substitute our nets is that we remove the fish entirely from the system, interrupting the natural cycle and ignoring the feedback mechanisms that strike a balance in nature. Natural predators leave waste, and eventually their own bodies, to help fuel the system.

And we don’t know what the heck we are doing.  Please sign the petition to help put an end to Icelandic whaling.
*Reference for the graphs:  On Dynamic Interactions Between Some Fish Resources and Cetaceans off Iceland Based on a Simulation Model)