PROPOSAL FOR A NEW NATURE RESERVE FOR BLUE WHALES IN AMSTERDAM – 2008
Location: Rokin, Amsterdam.
The blue whale is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales. At 30 meters in length
and 180 metric tons or more in weight, it is the largest known animal to have ever existed.
Blue whales were abundant in nearly all the oceans until the beginning of the twentieth century. For
over a century, they were hunted almost to extinction by whalers until protected by the international
community in 1966. Since the introduction of the whaling ban, studies have failed to ascertain whether
the conservation reliant global blue whale population is increasing or remaining stable.
With global warming causing glaciers and permafrost to melt rapidly and allowing a large amount of fresh
water to flow into the oceans, there are concerns that if the amount of fresh water in the oceans reaches
a critical point, there will be a disruption in the thermohaline circulation. Considering the blue whale's
migratory patterns are based on ocean temperature, a disruption in this circulation, which moves warm
and cold water around the world, would be likely to have an effect on their migration.