WHALES WEEP NOT
They say the sea is cold, but the sea contains the hottest blood of all, and the wildest, the most urgent.
All the whales in the wider deeps, hot are they, as they urge on and on, and dive beneath the icebergs.
And they rock, and they rock, through the sensual ageless ages on the depths of the seven seas,
and through the salt they reel with drunk delight
and in the tropics tremble they with love and roll with massive, strong desire, like gods.
Whales are magic. David Herbert Lawrence knew it. We all know it. And the saddest thing in the world, is when these magnificent creatures become entangled in fishing nets or ingest plastic waste and die.
It’s not a small problem.
A recent Forbes articles states that each fall, pods of endangered humpback whales numbering around 10,000, make their 3,000-mile journey towards Hawaii to winter over in warm waters. Along the way, these whales become entangled in man-made environmental hazards such as fishing gear lines and marine debris. The work to untangle a 45-foot, 40-ton whale is dangerous to both the rescue team and the whale.
Thankfully, technology now offers solace - in the form of drones. A new program between the administration's Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary and non-profit Oceans Unmanned is using remote-controlled quadcopters with cameras. Oceans Unmanned is training Maui-bases volunteers to operate the drones from small boat in support of the disentanglement teams. In the past 30 years, NOAA has overseen the disentanglement of 1,300 whales. This new program could make those rescues far more efficient and less risky for the volunteers and the whales.
It gives us a tiny glimpse of hope that humans are coming up with ideas on how to use technology to do good by undoing some of the harm we've already inflicted on our planet.
... And enormous mother whales lie dreaming suckling their whale - tender young and dreaming with strange whale eyes wide open in the waters of the beginning and the end.
- Whales Weep Not by David Herbert Lawrence. Read the entire poem here.