Whales Suffers From Loneliness Due to Over-Hunting, Might Lose Will to Live

Whales photo

Whales: "Goodbye Cruel World"
We're not whale psychologists, but according to Yves Paccalet, a French naturalist, over-hunting is causing loneliness in the surviving whales and can even make them "lose the will to live". The highly intelligent and sociable mammals could be "so exhausted from their combat with humankind that they have simply have given up the fight," according to him.

Paccalet, who worked with world famous marine pioneer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, explains: "To reproduce, whales need a large number of individuals to ensure that they meet, frolic and excite each other. Otherwise, the species may give in to a kind of sexual melancholy and simply stop breeding."

Whaling Hunting photo

Whale Population Statistics
Despite an international moratorium on whale hunting in 1986, Japan, Norway and Iceland continue to cull more than 2,000 a year for their meat and oil.

Some species like the North Pacific and North Atlantic whales have been reduced to just a few hundred survivors, and could be extinct within decades. [...]

Blue whales have recovered from a low of 400 in the 1970s to around 2,200 today, but that is believed to be only one per cent of their numbers 500 years ago.

A 2007 study by the Iceland Marine Research Institute revealed a 'significant decrease' in the population of minke whales since 2001. Japan and Norway killed more than 1,600 minke in 2007.

Meanwhile, Japan threatens to start commercial whaling again. This is even worse when you know that the Japanese don't even eat as much whale meat as some of their country's fishermen catch. They even make dog food with some of it.

Blue Whale Nursery in Patagonia's Golfo Corcovado
Like Superhero, Dolphin Saves Beached Pygmy Sperm Whales
Hundreds of Volunteers Save Beached Whales in Australia
More on Whales Losing the Will to Live
Lonely whales are 'losing the will to live' due to over-hunting

Related Content on Treehugger.com