Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent bycatch
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
Kylie Schwartz

How Kylie Made A Whale of A Difference

Amanda shared with me that Kylie was diagnosed with a rare pediatric cancer during her...
Credit - Peter Flood

The Power of Three North Atlantic Right Whales

I kid you not when I say that a normal chain of thoughts in my...
Humpback whale spyhop

My 100 Million Dollar Idea – Whales!

Through all of the different roles I fill at WDC and in the marine mammal...
Image: Peter Flood

Right Whales Need a Treatment Plan, Not Just a Diagnosis

*This blog was coauthored by Erica Fuller. Erica is a Senior Attorney for Conservation Law...

Save the whales, save the world – convincing governments that whales will help us fight the climate crisis

Help save the world by saving the whales with a donation Yes. I'll donate Whales...

‘Tis the Season to be Eco-Friendly

Yesterday, I was walking through the aisles of holiday supplies at a local store when...
20201108_105537

My Gratitude List: Whales, Dolphins, and YOU

That is until one day when I saw a different kind of article that piqued...
Dolphin in captivity

Ending whale and dolphin captivity in the US – how our fight continues

Canada banned whale and dolphin captivity last year, leaving two facilities holding captive individuals: Vancouver...

My 100 Million Dollar Idea – Whales!

Through all of the different roles I fill at WDC and in the marine mammal community, I am a biologist at heart. I love learning how the environment works, I love that we are still finding new species of whales, and I love talking about some things that others might think of as “gross” such as whale poop.

That is the first thing I thought of when a famous billionaire tweeted that he would donate 100 million dollars(!!!) as a prize for technology that would best take carbon out of our atmosphere. There were a LOT of snarky responses telling him that trees already existed, but I thought, “So do whales!”

Humpback whale spyhop

Technology is great, but nature is better. Your donation will protect whales and our environment.

Few people think about the ocean’s microscopic plants called phytoplankton, but they deserve just as much recognition as plants on land. They live at the surface of the ocean where they spend their days taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. There are so many of them that they take in nearly 1/3 of the carbon dioxide we release in the atmosphere and give us least 50% of the oxygen that we breathe.

We need phytoplankton but phytoplankton need whales. Here comes the slightly gross part..

Whales are the ocean’s gardeners who bring phytoplankton nutrients when they poop at the surface. This is politely referred to as the ‘whale pump’.

Whales can feed in deep water, but pooping under pressure is tough so bathroom breaks happen when whales surface to breathe. Whale poop is rich with important nutrients which phytoplankton need to survive and thrive. Phytoplankton not only remove carbon dioxide and give us oxygen, but they are also the base for the marine food web. Turns out that big things do come in small packages but also that those small packages rely on some big things!

An infographic is worth 1,000 words so check out how the whale pump works:

Green whale graphic

Take two deep breaths. Thank the trees for the first breath you took and thank phytoplankton and whales for the second breath. At WDC, we are hard at work on the “Green Whale” project which is dedicated to spreading the word the important role whales play in the health of our planet.

Thanks to you, we shared the Green Whale project with people around the world last year through our online programs and presentations. We are thankful for your support to reach even more people this year.

To the famous billionaire looking for a technological solution to a human caused problem -  technology is great, but nature is better.

Save the whales, save the world,

Regina

Lend a fin by sharing this on social media!