The New York Whale and Dolphin Action League

The New York Whale and Dolphin Action League Presents


Pace University-Pleasantville, Miller Lecture Hall
Monday, April 24, 4:00 - 5:30 pm

What is it about whales and dolphins that is so intriguing? Why are we drawn to them, why are we so eager to watch and understand them? They live in what is to us a cold and hostile ocean environment; our perception of the hazards they face is dimmed by our physical intolerance of their habitat. We can't travel with them, to see what they see and know what they know. Still we wonder. Just what are whales facing in the 21st century? Are their perils linked to human activity? If so, what can we do about it?

Despite our fascination with these top of the food chain marine mammals, we must confront a sobering truth: that today, paralleling the rate of extinction in other habitats both on land and sea, many species and populations of cetaceans are poised to disappear forever from the earth. Close to home, there are less than 350 North Atlantic Right Whales remaining, while there are fewer than 100 Western Pacific Gray Whales. (NOAA) Things are even grimmer for many species of river dolphins, including the famous Yangtzee or Chinese River dolphin, with just a few dozen left. (IUCN) Notwithstanding these troubling numbers, whale watching has become big business and a welcome economic boost to developing nations, and understanding whale intelligence and behavior has never before seemed so captivating. Still, tens of thousands of whales have been slaughtered since the ban on commercial whaling was put in place by the International Whaling Commission in the late 1980's. A host of other problems beset cetaceans today, from acoustic pollution and oil production to the mindless disposal of food packaging material, balloons and plastics in the marine environment. The great whales: blue, sei, fin and sperm whales, are endangered, many others like the playful humpback whales that entertain us on east coast whale watch trips, are threatened or depleted.

Public concern along with population statistics support efforts to protect, and ways to achieve this are rooted in commitment and even creativity. Solutions to huge problems are close at hand, but can we implement these in time to save these wondrous leviathans, our oceanic cousins?

Join the New York Whale and Dolphin Action League for a discussion of the survival of whales in the 21st century in Pleasantville, NY, at PACE UNIVERSITY's Miller Lecture Hall, on Monday, April 24th, from 4:00 - 5:30. For more information contact us at or 914-793-9186.

The New York Whale and Dolphin Action League
PO Box 273, Yonkers, NY 10707 USA
Phone: 914-793-9186
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A Project of Cetacean Society International

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