Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Killer whale plays with dog on fishing boat - reaction

A new/old video is making the rounds. It features a dog barking at a young killer whale (Orcinus orca) in Alaska.

What stuck me was the reaction this video is having on people across the web. For the most part folks are satisfied to believe this orca is "playing with" the dog, a curiosity based on some form of communication, or in some extreme postings a mutual cross species love.

Few who have seen this video it seems have considered this animal might in fact be looking at the dog as a potential meal. The vast comment base have concluded this is anything but a predatory investigation.

My view is more balanced. Animals, especially whales, are capable of a vast array of complex behaviours. Humans, on the other hand consistently "box in" different species to fit into emotional categories.

Whales are good, sharks are bad, and the emotional baggage each animal is assigned will determine our global conservation responses to them.

July 7, 2010 HI gov. vetoes bill aimed at banning shark feeding

Quid Pro Quo

Some better news coming out of Hawaii for the entire shark diving industry this week. It would seem for now the specter of Hawaii enacting any laws banning commercial shark diving is off the table.

Sadly, the island of Maui in a fit of anti-shark diving zeal, made the mother of all tourism mistakes earlier this year. A mistake that has not been adopted by the state as a whole.

Has this anything to do with recent legislation banning shark fins and the intimate involvement of one of Hawaii's commercial shark diving companies making that legislation a reality?

No one is saying, but we have our suspicions. Chalk this one up to Hawaii politics with a double win at the end of a very long road.