Russian Oil Platform Plans Threaten Already Critically Endangered Gray Whales (Again)

An update on the months-old story of oil exploration off the coast of Russia's Sakhalin Island near feeding grounds of critically endangered Western North Pacific Gray Whales: Sakhalin Energy Investment Company, part owned by Shell, has announced plans to build a major new oil platform in these waters. WWF explains that the construction and operation of the oil platform could potentially disrupt the feeding behavior of these whales and increase the potential for them being hit by ships.

"Just about 30 female western gray whales of breeding age remain--the population is already on the brink of disappearing forever," said Aleksey Knizhnikov, Oil & Gas Environmental Policy Officer for WWF-Russia. "The loss of even a few breeding females could mean the end for the population."One Gray Whale Population Extinct, One Just About Extinct, One Recovered
There were once three populations of the gray whales. Those in the North Atlantic are now extinct; those in the Eastern North Pacific recovered from the brink of extinction nearly 20 years ago. This the Western North Pacific population has approximately 100 individuals. Strangely, last May a lone gray whale swam all the way from the Pacific to the eastern Mediterranean and was sighted off Israel.

via: World Wildlife Fund
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More on Whales:
Gray Whale, Extinct for Centuries, Sighted in Mediterranean
Russian Oil Corp Further Endangers Grey Whales With Seismic Surveys
Washed Up Whale Found with Gallons of Our Garbage In Its Gut

Tags: Endangered Species | Oil | Russia | Whales

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