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To the Editor:

The Associated Press story about the plight of the diminishing numbers of Right whales in the March 28 edition of The Southern was incomplete. It was a “pity the poor whales” story about their population dropping.

The story did not give any information about how important the whales are to humans. Whales are a vital link in the ecology of our oceans. That means for us humans that if the whales disappear our fisheries will also decline.

It may not be pretty to think of but whales have to defecate at the surface. That matter then feeds phytoplankton and other small aquatics. They in turn are eaten by larger ocean fauna and so on up the food chain.

Another very important function of phytoplankton is they absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis.

Can you see where this is leading? “Pity the poor whales” but also pity us humans for without the whales we have less food and a warmer climate. Nature has worked for millennia to produce a system that is so interconnected. We humans, by removing any one piece, are in danger of breaking that system to our own peril.

Al Parr

Carbondale

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