impact-of-climate-change

Around 35,000 walruses clustered on an Alaskan beach on October, 2014. The walruses are forced onto land when sea ice, which they use to rest between dives for food, disappears. This is just one example of the impacts of climate change on marine species in the Arctic. (Source)

anonymous asked:

Hope you like this bit: During the G20, Merkel's husband (Joachim sauer) is in charge of the programm for the world leader's spouses and all, which includes Melania and Ivanka Trump. Guess where Joachim took them... to the german Center for Climate Computing, where scientists and researchers are trying to estimate the effects and impacts of climate change.

fucking love that! But also, what ever happened to Ivanka wanting to ‘stay out of politics’? Apparently she sat in on a major G20 Leaders’ meeting ON BEHALF of Trump… IN HIS PLACE. What? Why? How?

5 Films That Will Inspire You to Leave Animals off the Menu

1. Earthlings
Inspiring countless people to ditch meat, this 2005 documentary narrated by famed actor Joaquin Phoenix explores our relationship with non-human animals, including those used in food production.

2. Forks Over Knives
Struggling with heart disease? Looking to reduce your risk of cancer? This film details the health benefits of a plant-based diet, including reduced risk and even reversal of most chronic diseases.

3. Speciesism: The Movie
This film addresses the core concepts of Peter Singer’s seminal book, Animal Liberation, with a touch of much-needed humor.

4. Cowspiracy
Released just last year, this documentary explains how our meat-heavy diets impact everything from climate change and species extinction to land and water wastage. You’ll never look at meat the same way again.

5. Vegucated
This film documents three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers on their journey towards a vegan diet, including the often humorous challenges they face along the way.

I've been meaning to post this. From the seminar I attend. Catsindoors

The cat population is far from healthy in Canada. In 2011, more than 50,000 were euthanized because the shelters weren’t able to find homes for them. Twice as many cats are dumped in shelters compared to dogs, and whereas 30 per cent of dogs are reunited with their owners, less than five per cent of cats are returned home.

Cats are also frequently run over by vehicles. More than 1,300 dead cats were collected on the streets of Toronto in 2012!

Estimates indicate that most of those cats — as many as 40% — are allowed to roam unsupervised outdoors. Outdoor cats are exposed to a variety of threats, including diseases (e.g., FIV, FLV, cancer, heartworm), vehicle collisions, and fights with wildlife and other cats. The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies is one of many organizations that urges cat owners to keep their pets indoors unless the cat is supervised or in an enclosure.

While cats’ independent natures might lead some people to treat them like something between pet and wildlife, we owe them the same level of care we give dogs.

Letting cats roam unsupervised outdoors isn’t just bad for cats. It’s bad for birds too, as well as for people. Many of Canada’s birds are in trouble; some have declined by over 90%, and cats add to the list of risks that birds face. The official list of Bird Species at Risk increased from 47 to 86 between 2001 and 2014. Habitat destruction and climate change are taking their toll, but a lot of birds die due to other human actions and decisions. Environment Canada research estimates that, in addition to the impacts of climate change and habitat loss, 130 to 433 million birds a year die as a result of people. While it is extremely difficult to calculate the number of birds killed by pet and feral cats — especially when the number of feral cats is not well understood — cats are thought to cause 75% of those deaths.

For the cats’ sake, for the birds’ sake, and for our own sake, we need to change how we care for our beloved feline friends.

Pulling out of [the Paris Climate Agreement], even though it’s non-binding and all that, sends a signal to poorer countries, especially when it’s coupled with Trump’s kind of fossil fuel-friendly rhetoric, that why should they work harder to get off their fossil fuels when they really need energy so badly, so much more than we do because we’re so suffused with it already? And that impact could be there. But I’ve talked to a bunch of people who track this closely, and they say … four years of Trump – no impact really in terms of overall the climate journey. Eight years – there could be some lasting reverberations.
—  Andrew Revkin on Trump’s potential impact on climate change
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction. Animal agriculture contributes to species extinction in many ways. In addition to the monumental habitat destruction caused by clearing forests and converting land to grow feed crops and for animal grazing, predators and “competition” species are frequently targeted and hunted because of a perceived threat to livestock profits. The widespread use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers used in the production of feed crops often interferes with the reproductive systems of animals and poison waterways. The overexploitation of wild species through commercial fishing, bushmeat trade as well as animal agriculture’s impact on climate change, all contribute to global depletion of species and resources.
—  Cowspiracy 

anonymous asked:

Ally do you believe becoming vegan makes your life truly cruelty free or does it just dramatically reduce the impact you have?

I initially found veganism for environmental reasons, and I can say that it reduces your global impact and footprint by about 90%!

In 2010, the United Nations released a paper stating that “A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change.”

With one of the most powerful and influential people in the world publicly denying global warming and actively backing out of actions being made to try slow it down, there has never been a more vital time to make the change.

To me, the most important *cruelty free* element is to stop destroying the planet we live on - our only home.

Nobody is 100% “cruelty free”. Vegans can still be unkind to others, still support unethical businesses, still own leather in their cars and so forth. Altering the products we eat 3 times a day is simply the most convenient and impactful change than can be made.

Not contributing to animal cruelty is an added bonus that was simply a matter of aligning my actions with my beliefs x

Make our planet great again

Climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities and countries dearly today and even more tomorrow.
People are experiencing the significant impacts of climate change, which include changing weather patterns, rising sea level, and more extreme weather events. The greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are driving climate change and continue to rise. They are now at their highest levels in history. Without action, the world’s average surface temperature is projected to rise over the 21st century and is likely to surpass 3 degrees Celsius this century—with some areas of the world expected to warm even more. The poorest and most vulnerable people are being affected the most.
Affordable, scalable solutions are now available to enable countries to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies. The pace of change is quickening as more people are turning to renewable energy and a range of other measures that will reduce emissions and increase adaptation efforts.
But climate change is a global challenge that does not respect national borders. Emissions anywhere affect people everywhere. It is an issue that requires solutions that need to be coordinated at the international level and it requires international cooperation to help developing countries move toward a low-carbon economy.
To address climate change, countries adopted the Paris Agreement at the COP21 in Paris on 12 December 2015. The Agreement entered into force shortly thereafter, on 4 November 2016. In the agreement, all countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and given the grave risks, to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Implementation of the Paris Agreement is essential for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, and provides a roadmap for climate actions that will reduce emissions and build climate resilience.

The new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, has already put himself at odds with the vast majority of climate scientists. In a TV interview today, Pruitt said he does not believe that carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to climate change. As NPR’s Nathan Rott reports, his own agency has said otherwise.

NATHAN ROTT, BYLINE: The question asked of Mr. Pruitt on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” was whether or not he believed it’s been proven that carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, is the, quote, “primary control knob for climate.” Here’s the EPA administrator’s response.

SCOTT PRUITT: No. I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do. And there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact. That - so, no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see.

DAVID TITLEY: I don’t know what Mr. Pruitt does or does not believe in. And honestly it doesn’t really matter what he believes in.

ROTT: This is David Titley, the director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate at Pennsylvania State University and a former rear admiral in the U.S. Navy.

TITLEY: The atmosphere doesn’t care what any single person believes. It’s just going to keep getting warmer, and the climate’s going to change as long as we keep increasing the amount of greenhouse gases.

ROTT: The scientific community overwhelmingly agrees with Titley’s point. A report by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just earlier this year said that changes in the planet’s surface temperature are largely driven by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions. The EPA’s own website says, quote, “it is extremely likely that human activities have been the dominant cause of that warming.” Jennifer Francis is a research professor at Rutgers University.

JENNIFER FRANCIS: It would be hard to find a scientist that disagreed with that. The evidence is overwhelming.

ROTT: Pruitt’s comments to the contrary, though, aren’t out of the ordinary for him. During his confirmation hearing, he said that the degree to which humans impact climate change is in question. He’s written on the topic, and as Oklahoma’s attorney general, he sued to stop the Obama administration’s biggest regulation to combat climate change, the clean power plan, with the backing of the oil and gas industry.

Donald Trump has promised to get rid of that plan, as well as another major regulation that aims to limit carbon emissions from cars and trucks. An executive order that would set those changes in motion is expected just next week. Francis thinks all of that is concerning.

FRANCIS: The longer it takes us to get a grip and start reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases, the worse problem it’s going to get and the harder it’s going to be to fix it.

ROTT: The EPA actually has a legal mandate to regulate greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide because of a Supreme Court decision in 2007. But Pruitt in his interview today said he’d like to see Congress weigh in on that, as well. Nathan Rott, NPR News.

Read more: http://www.npr.org/2017/03/09/519499975/epa-head-scott-pruitt-doubts-basic-consensus-on-climate-change

youtube

Dark and pretty hard-hitting, I noted this excellent little animation by Steve Cutts this week on social media after having first seen it a few years ago.

In a pretty dystopian representation of man’s use and abuse of the natural world, it paints an ugly picture of what might be considered some of the hallmarks of the Anthropocene- landscapes of concrete, waste, etc…

However, it should be noted that while this cartoon (clearly for the sake of the idea it is more generally aiming to communicate) presents ‘man’ as a single homogeneous entity- the discrepancy in the environmental impact of different individuals, communities, and nations varies considerably across the planet. Take, for example, the fact that the poorest 50% of the global population are responsible for only 10% of global carbon emissions- one of the fundamental drivers of climate, and environmental, change. (While, what is more, overwhelmingly live in the countries of the world that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change)…

9

Crown Princess Mary’s foreign visits → Bangladesh, 2017

For her first foreign visit of 2017, Crown Princess Mary made a top secret journey to Bangladesh which wasn’t announced until she was already in the country due to security concerns. The future Queen was making the journey in her capacity as an advocate for women’s rights. She has visited countries across the globe to fight for female empowerment but this was her first time in Bangladesh. During her time in the country, she visited a number of projects which promote women and are funded by Danish groups. She took in Farmer Field School, a Danish supported initiative which aims to improve women’s knowledge of farming techniques and the Jaago Foundation which runs schools in vulnerable areas, including slums. She also took in the Auto-Tex textile factory which employs a number of women. Mary’s warmth and compassion immediately won over the crowds of people who came to visit her and she relished the opportunity to learn more about the local context. She particularly focused on the impact of climate change on women as rural areas in the country have been severely affected by flooding, storms and high water levels. Listening to the local women’s stories was a profound experience which clearly left a deep impression on the Crown Princess. 

youtube

PLEASE REBLOG, REPOST, SPREAD

This is a TED talk by Allan Savory on counteracting desertification and climate change by means of livestock and land management.

Could dramatically impact climate change, possibly reverse it.

Can return or maintain profitability of farm land.

If you know any farmer or land manager please make sure that they are aware of this.

SAVE THE WORLD!

anonymous asked:

What do you think about this dairy farmer crisis in Australia? Do feel bad for the farmers at all?

Absolutely I do. It’s heartbreaking when anyone cannot afford to provide for their families. Everyone deserves a roof over their head, food on the table and the security of work. However, I still don’t support the exploitation of animals and thus don’t support dairy farming. Instead, i would like to see a system where we transform our industry into making plant milks instead - rice, oat, almond, soy, coconut, hemp, macadamia, cashew, etc. More sustainable for the environment, less water wastage, less toxic emissions (cars produce more harmful gas % than the cars on our roads), less land needed for equal or greater profit, no pain or forceful insemination and stolen children necessary. 

As much sympathy as I feel for other humans suffering, we know (and the United Nations have publicly declared) that a global shift towards veganism is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change.

nytimes.com
95-Degree Days: How Extreme Heat Could Spread Across the World
Extremely hot days are expected to be much more frequent in the coming decades, potentially disrupting our everyday lives.
By Brad Plumer and Nadja Popovich

“Climate change is real and is caused by human activity. This planet and its people are in trouble. Unless we get our act together, we will see in years to come more record temperatures, more droughts, more floods and more extreme weather disturbances. This isn’t just a problem for the future – the impacts of climate change are apparent here and now. What we must do is aggressively transition our energy system away from fossil fuels to renewable energy, or leave our children and grandchildren to face the consequences of our inaction.“ - Bernie Sanders

anonymous asked:

I don't mean to be rude or be a pessimist but honestly, there is no way that the MAJORITY of people in the world are going to go go vegan. At least not until next century (if the world even exists then.) Therefore, what is the point of me being vegan. I know you think that one person can make a difference by influencing and inspiring others but unless the majority of the world does something there will be no change. Sorry but one vegan doesn't equal happy planet. Its never going to happen.

Okay.

Usually I would ignore this kind of thing but I really actually do want to help you (and anyone else who thinks this way) understand how it works because this is really important.

I apologise if I sound or get rude/agitated explaining this, it’s just that I am very passionate about this and find defeatist attitudes quite frustrating.

Alright, first things first, (damn it, Iggy truly has ruined that for me forever) we/you cannot say for sure what will happen in terms of agriculture, animal factory farms, ethical views or environmental and equality laws in the future. We have no way of knowing that. I would agree that it is unlikely, at least in my time, that the entire world will transition to full veganism, for we are sadly either ignorant and unaware, or have been made aware but choose not to change, but I do think more and more will realise how important it is and make the switch. Even if only 90%, or 50%, or 10% of the world come to this realisation and change their ways - this is still far better than none. A small change is still significant, and so much better than no change at all.

What if I said I believed in environmentalism, but felt my actions would be too insignificant or unrewarded so decided to just leave my water running all the time? Or if I thought “well yeah, bigotry, sexism and racism suck, but that’s just the way things have always been, so I’m going to perpetuate and contribute to them because there’s no point trying to make a difference.” Just because social change seems difficult, a long way off perfecting, or even an isolated battle, does not mean you should abandon your beliefs and contribute to the problem.

The main issue with this pattern of thought is that EVERYBODY (or many people) seems to cling to it. They reason “I want the world to be different but I’m just one small person, what impact could I have on my own?” But imagine if everybody who had that thought, stood up or what they believed in. We’d all be standing together. I’m not pointing fingers here, I used to feel the same way - powerless. It wasn’t until doing more research for myself, strengthening my beliefs and understanding how important it is for our whole planet to make a shift to living this way that things really clicked.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you doare in harmony.

– Mohandas Gandhi

Since I became more educated on matters of animal cruelty, animal products affecting health, the environment and global poverty, I did lots and lots of reading, viewing and seeking out information, and I set about to change my ways. That may be a very small act in the grand scheme of things, but alone I’m already diminishing the greenhouse gas emissions, amount of animals murdered, and most of all greatly reducing my chances of developing diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity and heart disease.

Moreover, since making that change and becoming more outspoken about what I learned, I’ve had over 100 people collectively contact me on here, via Instagram or Facebook to tell me that I influenced them to go plant-based too. So if you think one person can’t make a difference - that’s incorrect. Take this perspective:

“What if you worked at educating others about animal cruelty, pacifism, drugs or whatever your concern is, and each year just one other person accepted your philosophy? What if that person did likewise? And so on. After six years 32 would have adopted your philosophy. Another six years and the number would have passed 2000, or if we halve that to allow for those who lose commitment or die, 1000, all coming from what you started a decade or so earlier. That’s quite a difference!”

Now, for why all of this is so important.

The U.N. urged the world to move towards plant based living over 4 years ago, claiming that “a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to saving the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change.” The report also points out that as the world’s population approaches over 9 billion people by 2050, it will not be possible to sustain the per capita consumption of meat and dairy products that we are currently eating. We literally cannot go on living this way.

“Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population growth increasing consumption of animal products. Unlike fossil fuels, it is difficult to look for alternatives: people have to eat. A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products.”

Professor Edgar Hertwich, the lead author of the report, said: “Animal products cause more damage than producing construction minerals such as sand or cement, plastics or metals. Biomass and crops for animals are as damaging as burning fossil fuels.” [x]

To quote this article, the U.N. is not alone in its analysis. A staggering 51 percent or more of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture, according to a report published by the Worldwatch Institute. Researchers at the University of Chicago concluded that switching from a standard American diet to a vegan diet is more effective in the fight against climate change than switching from a standard American car to a hybrid. And a German study conducted in 2008 concluded that a meat-eater’s diet is responsible for more than seven times as much greenhouse-gas emissions as a vegan’s diet is. The verdict is in: If you care about the environment, one of the single most effective things that you can do to save it is to adopt a vegan diet.

All it takes is one person.

One spark to ignite the flame.

Sixty years ago, maybe it seemed like not enough people believed in equality for POC for them to ever get the vote or be treated as humans. Then, in ‘55 and ‘63, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. each stood up and fought for what they knew was right. At the time, they would have felt small, part of a minority, and fearful that no change would come, but they spoke up anyway, and inspired others in the process. The same goes for Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Jane Goodall and Malala Yousafzai. Even Adolf Hitler. Though his motives and actions were horrendous, he was one person and he made a huge difference in the face of history, simply by following what he believed to be right and true. If you are strong in your views, have the passion and knowledge to educate others, huge changes can be made. (I think it’s clear that I am not defending or glorifying Hitler, the Nazi party or anything to do with WW2, but simply acknowledging the power one person has to change the world).

“Dietary changes could therefore not only create substantial benefits for human health and global land use, but can also play an important role in future climate change mitigation policies.” [x]

I’m not sure if you’re aware of the process of supply and demand, but it’s a pretty key one in this argument. Animal agribusiness does not exist on its own, it exists because consumers continue to pay for it. In purchasing meat/eggs/dairy/fur etc, you are directly supporting that industry not only morally, but financially. We vote with our dollar, so it either goes in favour of a product or against. Every time you buy a dead animal - be it to eat or to wear - you are letting the world know that you accept and actively support the practice. You are directly paying someone to kill that cow/baby chick/piglet/lamb/etc and helping them continue to do so. I know this may sound like confronting stuff, because we have developed a strong cognitive dissonance to protect our consciences, but it’s important we know and take a stand for what we believe. 

The demand (i.e. how many people want to purchase the product) directly influences the supply (i.e. how much of that product is made). On a smaller scale - look at your home life. Were you to stop eating animal products, your family would subsequently buy less. If you went to your auntie’s house, she might prepare one less meat dish. Similarly, visiting vegetarian and vegan eateries financially supports their organisations and allows them to further their ethical business. On a larger scale, look at your weekly shopping. Say your local grocer orders a certain amount of eggs each week. If you and a few other people decide you no longer want to support/purchase them, their demand decreases. There will come a point where the buying and re-selling of those eggs is no longer profitable as they are left with a surplus of unsold eggs, so they will order less in the future. There is then less demand to produce a certain amount (even if only on a small scale), and it works all the way back up to the factory farms and slaughterhouses. 

I like this perspective too. “Suppose a particular vegan in no way affects supply, sets an example, or educates others. They are still doing the right thing. Imagine a scenario involving humans: Several thousand people across the world regularly pay to see live internet video of women being raped and tortured. Dave receives an email inviting him to view these events, but he chooses not to participate. You probably agree with me that Dave’s decision is morally obligatory — even though the women will still be exploited and none of the viewers will notice his absence”.

Care about our environment?

  • On average it takes 11 times more fossil fuel to make one calorie of animal protein as it does to make one calorie of plant protein. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 78, No. 3, Pimentel & Pimentel, Sept. 2003) 
  • In the U.S., livestock production is responsible for 55% of all soil erosion on cropped land and pastureland, 40% of which ends up in water resources.  (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, “Livestock’s Long Shadow”, 2006, p. 73, Box 2.5) 
  • It takes 5 times more water to yield 1000 kcal of meat as it does to yield 1000 kcal of fruits, vegetables or grains. (Malin Falkenmark & Johan Rockstrom, “Balancing Water for Humans and Nature”, 2004, p. 50) 
  • You could save more water by not eating one pound of California beef than you would save by not showering for an entire year. (Based on 1 shower/day, 7 minutes/shower, using 2 gallons water/minute). (John Robbins, The Food Revolution, 2001, p. 237) 

Despite currently having the resources to feed every mouth on our planet, billions of people are living in and dying of poverty each day. Rather than using plants from the Earth as our nourishment, we instead waste it by forcing it into the throats of animals to fatten them up, so that we can then kill them and eat them (along with all the other animals, flies, poop, hormones and junk inside their bodies)… rather than just eat the grains and vegetables ourselves. We are choosing to feed the animals rather than ourselves, and its making for a great imbalance worldwide.

“It takes up to 16 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of edible animal flesh. Making meat consumption a very inefficient use of grain and wasteful of our land. Continued growth in meat output is dependent on feeding grain to animals, creating competition for grain between affluent meat-eaters and the world’s poor.” - Worldwatch Institute

What about your health? We all hear those common phrases thrown around - “you need meat for protein” or “dairy for calcium”, but have you ever looked into the truth for yourself? Recent studies have shown meat and cheese may be as bad for you as smoking. Reducing or eliminating animal flesh and by products from your diet can also reduce or eliminate high mortality rate illnesses like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, some forms of cancer, and heart disease, as a plant based diet contains little to almost non existent bad cholesterol or unhealthy fats. We humans are the only animals that continue to drink milk after weening (kinda creepy if you think about it) and the only ones to drink the milk of another species (almost creepier, picture yourself standing under a big mama cow’s udder to get the milk for your cereal). Because that stuff is created in pregnancy for the sole purpose of feeding her baby calf, it isn’t designed for our consumption. As the cows are pumped full of hormones and chemicals, their milk is too. Despite what our parents and TV commercials have told us over the years, dairy actually depletes our bones of calcium and can result in osteoporosis. Here and here you can read my posts about why dairy is so harmful for us to consume, so if you think going plant-based wont make any difference - consider your own health!

Even if I hadn’t been able to provide any of this information and supporting evidence, would it matter? Surely if you believed animal cruelty or the killing of others was immoral, that should be enough grounds for you to not support it? By paying to have others killed, exploited, raped/artificially inseminated repeatedly without consent and so on, you are directly fuelling this industry - so you better agree with what they’re doing. Things like grinding baby chicks alive in a big blender, suffocating piglets, 

There is never a bad time to start doing the right thing. Of course, the best time is now. The days you haven’t been vegan are gone, and you can’t have them back. Forget them. They belong to the past. Make today, tomorrow, and every day after the priority. They are yours”. [x]

Each of your consumer choices is a vote for the kind of world you want to see. Each of your choices in the past helped build the world of today, and each of your choices from this moment forward will help build the world of tomorrow.

The question is not “can you make a difference?” You already do, it’s just a matter of what kind.

More resources:

Earthlings
Peace Power
Farm to Fridge
Factory Farming in 60 seconds
Best speech you will ever hear
More reasons to go vegan 
Vegan outreach 
101 Reasons to go vegan
Meat increasing gas prices
Veggie brothers why go vegan
Does being vegan make a difference?

abcnews.go.com
Whale-watching comes under scrutiny at South Africa meeting
By ABC News

Whale-watching is a growing tourist business in many parts of the world, and delegates to an international whale conference in South Africa say guidelines to protect the animals are increasingly needed.

The calls for more boat-licensing and monitoring came as delegates said some heavily depleted whale species have been recovering well since an international ban on commercial whaling was imposed in 1986. Other threats such as fishing nets and contaminants remain, while the long-term impact of climate change is a concern.

About 13 million people annually board boats to see whales or dolphins, and commercial operators offer the activity in some 120 countries and overseas territories, said Dylan Walker, CEO of the World Cetacean Alliance. Cetaceans include whales, dolphins and porpoises.

The flourishing industry requires more safeguards to reduce stress on marine species and minimize disruptions when they are resting, socializing, feeding or traveling, Walker said.

Walker described South Africa as a “world leader” in responsible whale-watching, saying strict license limits mean there is only one commercial operator in stretches of water along many parts of the coastline.

Scientists are studying the potential effect of repeated whale-watching on the behavior of individual whales, including any changes in feeding, reproduction and mortality rates, said the International Whaling Commission, which oversees conservation of the marine mammals and manages whaling.

The research has led to whale-watching measures including “limits on vessel numbers, speeds, approach distances and time spent with whales, and a variety of training and permit schemes,” according to the commission. Over 50 countries have whale-watching guidelines or rules, it said.

Whale-watching boats in Madagascar must have a monitoring guide — paid or a volunteer — on board, said Francois Xavier Mayer, scientific adviser for Cetamada, a non-profit group that aims to protect marine mammals and their habitats. The group is co-hosting a forum next week on Reunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean, to discuss humpback whales, whose population has increased annually by 10 percent in some areas, including off southern Africa, South America and Australia.