Whaling Increases Carbon Emissions... So Let's Sell Credits Against It!

whale breaching photo

photo: Chris via flickr.

One more on the connection between whales and carbon sequestration: Scientists from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute have determined that 100 years of whaling has released the same amount of carbon as burning 50,000 square miles of forest, BBC News reports:While that's not all much compared to all of the emissions from human activity, but GMRI's Dr Andrew Pershing points out, "Whales, like any animal or plant on the planet, are made out of a lot of carbon. And when you kill and remove a while from the ocean, that's removing carbon from the storage system and possibly sending it into the atmosphere."

That was literally the case when whale oil was used for illumination and other lubrication uses.

Because of this carbon storage potential Dr Pershing proposes a rather novel (for animals if not for forests) conservation method:

The idea would be to do a full accounting of how much carbon you could store in a fully populated stock of fish or whales, and allow countries to sell their fish quota as carbon credits. You could use those credits as an incentive to reduce the fishing pressure or to promote the conservation of some of these species.

WATCH VIDEO: Nature Inc. Shorts: The Carbon Trading Market
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