The story of Orient Explorer, ex. Sognefjord in PDF format:
So we are harvesting Krill now.
One of the most exciting discoveries of the last half century has been the discovery of “trophic cascades”.
A trophic cascade is an ecological process which starts at the top of the food chain and tumbles all the way to the bottom.
We all know that whales eat fish and krill. Some people, certain politicians in Japan for instance, have argued that killing whales is good for human beings as it boosts the food for us to eat… But as the great whales declined, so did the numbers of fish and krill.
It seems counter intuitive. Surely their numbers would rise as their major predators disappeared.
But now it turns out that whales not only eat these animals, they also keep them alive. In fact, they help to sustain the entire system of the ocean.
Whales feed at depth in the waters that are often pitch dark and then they return to the surface to the photic zone where there is enough light for photosynthesis to happen. There they release what biologists call “faecal plumes” - vast outpourings of poo - poonamis! These plumes are rich in iron and nitrogen, nutrients that are often very scarce in the surface waters and these nutrients fertilize the plant plankton that lives in the only place where plants can survive - the photic zone.
Fertilizing the surface waters isn’t the only thing whales do. By plunging up and down through the water column, they also keep kicking the plankton back up into the photic zone, giving it more time to reproduce before it sinks into the abyss.
Even today, though whale populations have been greatly reduced, the vertical mixing of water caused by movements of animals up and down through the column of the oceans is astonishingly roughly the same as the amount of mixing caused by all the world’s wind and waves and tides.
More plant plankton means more animal plankton on which the larger animals feed. In other words, more whales means more fish and krill.
But the story doesn’t end here because plant plankton not only feeds the animals of the sea, it also absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. When eventually it sinks to the ocean floor, it takes this carbon out of circulation down to a place where it remains for thousands of years.
The more whales there are, the more plankton there is. The more plankton there is, the more carbon is drawn out of the air.
When whales were at their historical populations, it seems they might have been responsible for removing tens of millions of tons of carbon from the atmosphere every year.
Whales change the climate.
If whales are allowed to recover, the return of the great whales could be seen as a benign form of geo-engineering. It could undo some of the damage we have done, both to the living systems of the sea and to the atmosphere.
Was this posted in response to my post about the “Johan Hjort " that became a “filmstar” as the Sea Shepherd flagship " Farley Mowat”, chasing Japanese whalers in the South Seas, or intended for the “Modern fishing vessel”-thread in reply to my post about Aker BioMarine catching Krill in the same area. (??)
The NELSON MANDELA under tow of the GEPKE II to Dutch Harbour in ‘s-Gravendeel
Photo : Willem Holtkamp
PS> This Dutch Harbour:
No. It was more that our ability to harvest more using modern methods from the sea has unintended consequences. Logically with less whales feeding on krill should result in more krill and it hasn’t.
Another example crayfish and crabs feed on sea urchins. Take the crayfish and crabs and the sea urchin population explodes, eats all the kelp and there is nowhere for fish to mature resulting in less fish.
I did some investigation into the Nelson Mandela and it’s history.
She is the former Herman Pilot boat GOTTHILF HAGEN:
Matson’s SS Marsonia, blt. 1973. Seen here at Port of Oakland:
She has apparently been scrapped recently. Seen here in Alameda 12.April, 2022 while preparing for tow to Brownsville:
She didn’t spend much time in Dutch Harbour:
The NELSON MANDELA (ex GOTTHILF HAGEN) IMO 5134131, Callsign MMRT9, MMSI 232045036 departed from s-Gravendeel (The Netherlands) heading for Lisbon
Photos: Reinier van de Wetering Skyphoto Maassluis ©
The ice strengthened research vessel Polar Queen, btl. 1981:
PS> The banner says; “Norwegian Seamen on Norwegian ships”
She is still going strong as the Brazilian naval research vessel “ARY RONGEL”:
But not for long, as a new vessel has been ordered yo replace her:
Or maybe working together?:
The smaller and older sister of Polar Queen, the Polarbjørn is now Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise:
She is still active:
Heading for more adventures on the Southern Ocean this summer season?:
A third ship of similar design was the Polar Duke:
She served many years as a research and supply ship for the US National Science Foundation
More Polar Duke stories to pick from:
PS> Don’t know if anything like this went on onboard the Polar Duke:
Once upon a time there were ships like this:
A veteran coaster is paying a visit in Ålesund today:
Nothing unusual in that, she has done so fairly regularly the last 49 years:
Seen here passing through Gimsøystraumen in 2013 :
A 150-year old “Jekt” (Traditional Norwegian coasters) has finally given up it’s sprit:
These vessels were used in the coastal trade, as fishing vessels and sealers from the middle of the 19th Century and until well into the 20th.
Here is a picture of one of the last that was built (1914):
Photo from postcard 1914 (H. Bloch)
It’s soon X-Mas and SINTERKLAAS AND HELPERS ARRIVED IN THE NETHERLANDS this weekend.
Of course veteran boats and ships get the honour of bringing them:
Photo: Cees van der Kooij (c)
Source: MAASMOND NEWCLIPPINGS 2022– 320
Battleship Texas, the interior frames of the Torpedo blister had rusted, so water pressure made the dents…
Looks like the frames became nonexistent.
Survey vessel ARCTIC HUNTER moored in the port of Den Helder.
Photo: Geert Woord (c)
Waiting for spring and summer:
As ferry Utsira:
Waiting to be sold in 2005