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Adventure Series – Raising Whales: How Cetaceans are Helping Restore the Oceans

Joe Roman, author of Whale and a conservation biologist, has tracked whales from the Bay of Fundy to the sushi bars of Japan. He will discuss his examination of the history and future of whales in the modern ocean, using DNA technology and the collection of fecal plumes.

Before the age of industrial whaling, cetaceans exerted significant influences on marine ecosystems, not only as consumers of fish, but also by pumping nutrients to the surface, increasing ocean productivity. After death, whale falls bring massive pulses of nutrients to the deep sea, sequester carbon, and provide habitat and food for many deep sea creatures. Whales are now recovering after centuries of commercial harvest. Joe will discuss these restoration efforts and how great whales can help maintain the health and resilience of the oceans.

Humpback whale / Photo: Ari Friedlaender

Humpback whale / Photo: Ari Friedlaender

The Adventure Series concludes April 17.