'Well, that's an alternative idea' [Ed Steve, sorry Greg; don't take offence, please]. Of course the verdamnt squid population is declining, and of course Dr.SOS is correct...I bet that kid's dad is a squid fisherman!
sorry, never really cared much for Townsend... :(
I've a pretty thick skin when it comes to these things; I'm not in the least concerned that an alternative opinion has been expressed, or being referred to as Mr, Rick, Fred, Ralph, Mary or John (even Carol). Debate is good - name calling and general pooh-poohing of someone else's theories, in my mind without taking the full facts into consideration, is not good.
We do have a PhD student, XXXX, about to undertake a study looking at the diet of these whales - in particular looking for any temporal trends in the diet of the whales. The worst-case scenario is that trends will become apparent; no matter what happens, however, if any of the squid species in the diet of these whales are presently being impacted by trawl activity, and we know this to be the case already, then remedial action needs to be taken.
I realise that this is an 'octopus [insert squid] magazine online', and it might not be the most appropriate forum in which to openly discuss whale diet with Steve Dawson, but if he choses to discuss this here then we will all benefit. I would like a debate to develop, and I believe everyone here has something to contribute to it. Jean, any chance of getting Steve to post? Discussion is good; perhaps O'Shea is up the creek on this one (although I don't believe that I am).
LOL...much better "phrase-ology" Steve ! Us Danes tend to have something of a temper ! (especially when it comes to whales)
Oh, Um...I certainly never claimed to be perfect...I don't like the Doors or the Rolling Stones either...dyed in the wool Ramones fan am I !!!
There was an article in the malborough express yesterday (the main newspaper which supplies Kaikoura) about this. It was written supporting more of steve's ideas rather than Steve Dawson, in fact he wasn't even mentioned. My favourite part of the article was the quote
"The only thing we can do is to try and educate the whales to change their diet. We could possibly wean them off squid and get them onto crayfish and paua."
Yet more drama on the high seas; the relationship between the fishing industry and whales. The threat to the whale is not limited to squid scarcity.
Whale freed off Kaikoura
11 June 2004
Department of Conservation (DOC) staff and Kaikoura crayfisherman rescued a humpback whale when it became entangled in a craypot line this week.
Vic Foster and DOC staff helped free the whale on Wednesday.
DOC no longer allows divers to rescue whales after the death of Kaikoura man Tom Smith, who was hit by the tail of a humpback he was trying to free from a craypot line.
If you hit an ecosystem hard in one area the effects can be unforseen and long reaching.
There is a NZ paper from the 1960's, when there was commercial whaling in that general area of NZ, (O showed me, It's based on Sperm Whale stomach contents) that indicated that Orange Roughy are probably part of the Sperm Whale's diet. Not a big part admittedly, but they were there.
It may mean nothing, it may not. However, since the 1980's Orange Roughy have been fished with extreme prejudice, so I think it would be optimistic to assume it's had no effect on Sperm Whale diet.
Sperm Whales (from the above paper) appear to eat prey of a certain availiblilty and size. (Otherwise what would be the point of those long deep dives). To me that tends to correspond with the point of steaming out and fishing for something i.e. That it's big enough and/or common enough to be worth the effort economically.
So, it seems we compete for prey with the Sperm Whales, and we usually win in these things.