Remember the story last year about the whale dying in the Thames, central London?
Now New York’s borough of Brooklyn has a tale (fluke) to rival that story. A baby minke whale has wandered into the polluted and murky Gowanus Canal, and has hit the headlines, big time.
A Greenpeace colleague of mine, has been blogging about it on the Defending whales blog. She writes:
In a former life, I was a chemist, and I worked with some pretty nasty stuff, ranging from nuclear waste to organic reactions involving cyanide. That’s why the references to the canal’s contaminants worry me. If you do a little digging on the internet, you’ll find out why:
A cruise up the murky Gowanus Canal is a journey into the heart of darkest Brooklyn. These sell-out excursions focus not on romance, fine dining or savoring the Manhattan skyline. Instead, throngs lining the boat railings observe rust-belt factories along the waterway, forming a forbidden jungle. One shocked passenger described the scene as “post-apocalyptic.” Rusting bridges span overhead. Junkyard dogs snarl and bark from littered banks. Only the presence of dead rats and trash break the colorful sheen of oil on water that prompted the local sobriquet, “Lavender Lake.”
Can Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal Be Cleaned Up?
I’m hoping the little whale gets out of the canal – but it’s worth bearing in mind the disproportionate hype over one whale last year in London. The Brooklyn whale is a minke – 935 Antarctic minkes were targetted by the Japanese whaling fleet last season. Norway is currently hunting minkes in the North Atlantic.
Let’s work at saving all of the whales!
BBC: Lost whale dies after rescue bid »
Whale watching in Brooklyn »
New Update: The Brooklyn Whale has died »