From Whole Foods announcing they would stop selling Maine lobster due to concerns about right whales last November to people on both sides of the aisle misattributing a humpback whale mortality event off the coast of New Jersey to offshore wind development in early 2023 to a slew of recent orca attacks on boats in the Iberian Peninsula, whales have found themselves consistently in the news, often accompanied by misinformation. The public is right to be concerned: seven out of thirteen species of large whale are endangered. But while unproven claims about wind turbines steal the spotlight, issues of entanglements, ship strikes, and climate change may be slipping under the radar. Today, we explore why whales matter, the real reasons whales are threatened, and how we can conserve these beloved mammals going forward. With special guest Dr. Erin Meyer-Gutbrod: Assistant Professor of Earth, Ocean, and Environment at the University of South Carolina.
The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise.
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Writers: Ainsley Jane Tambling, Maddie Salman, Ethan Brown
Fact Checker: Aana Shenai
Editor: Megan Antone
Producers: Ethan Brown, Hallie Cordingley, Shannon Damiano, Owen Reith
Ad Voiceover: Velina Georgi
Music: Brett Sawka
The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.