Today's post is about Patagonian monsters. The first part, the "Patagonian" one is about some amazing animals, the "monsters" part is about some despicable animals. Both creatures ome together as one in today's post.
Patagonia - the tame animals
Patagonia is well known for a gigantic creature, the Southern right whale (Eubalaena australis). At one time there were over 60,000 of these amazing animals but relentless hunting put them on the brink of extinction in the 1930s. Restrictions in whaling and protection has allowed them to recover, and there were about 7,000 of them in 1997. Of which about 2,600 can be found in Argentina’s territorial waters.
This recovery is encouraging but they are still endangered and it is listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), and is listed on Appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Considering their vulnerability, in 1984, Argentina declared them by law a Natural Monument and as such they are totally protected and untouchable within Argentine waters.
Adult southern right whales are about 12 to 15 m long (45 to 55 ft.) and can weigh up to 55,000 kg (121,000 lb.). Their habitat spans the Southern Hemisphere from the temperate regions (20° latitude South) to the frigid polar waters (60°S). One of their favorite winter breeding, calving and nursing grounds is located in Argentina, at Valdés Peninsula.
Valdés Peninsula in Chubut Province, Argentina (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is one of the best places to see these amazing animals. Between July and December, up to 500 whales gather there every year.
Tourists flock to see them and lodge at two towns that are close to Valdés (both connected to Buenos Aires by several daily flights): Puerto Madryn and Trelew.
Check out the Puerto Madryn's website and Trelew's website(both in English) for more details on whale sighting, lodging and tourism.
Monsters the blood thirsty animals.
In today' post, the wild animal is not the whale, the savage is its human predator.
The Southern right whale is protected and whaling is not currently considered a threat to the species. Yet this unnecessary barbaric activity endangers other whale species.
Whaling, a barbaric and cruel activity
In 1986, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) enacted a moratorium on all commercial whaling. Since then, three nations - Iceland, Norway, and Japan - have brutally slaughtered over 25,000 whales under the guise of scientific research and for commercial purposes. Of course, IWC lacks the resources to enforce the moratorium.
In 1994, the IWC voted to create a Sanctuary in the seas south of 40° latitude South. In this sanctuary all commercial whaling is prohibited. Japan was the only country to vote against the sanctuary and lodged an objection regarding minke whales.
The Southern Ocean Sanctuary provides long-term protection to approximately three quarters of the world's remaining great whales in their feeding grounds. It is designed to allow the natural restoration of an ecosystem devastated by commercial whaling.
Some whale populations had been reduced to a tiny fraction of their original numbers by commercial whaling (for instance from an initial population of about 250,000 blue whales, the number estimated to remain number in the low 1000s).
The real monsters live in three countries
Japan and Norway both retain politically influential whaling industries that wish to carry on whaling on as large a scale as possible, and in 2003 they were joined by Iceland. All three countries kill whales.
They are all exploiting loopholes in the Whaling Convention in order to do this in spite of the IWC's indefinite moratorium on whaling, which has been in force since 1986, with over 1,300 whales being caught each year without the IWC being able to control it.
These tree countries intend to kill in 2010 nearly 2,500 whales: 
Reported kill quotas for 2010
Japan says it conducts scientific research on the whales it captures. However the general opinion is that this "lethal research" is disguised commercial whaling. Japan sells the meat obtained from hundreds of whales on the open market.
In November 2009, Latin American NGOs formally requested the IWC to ban "scientifc" whaling (see their petition online).
Several organizations (i.e. Greenpeace or stopwhaling.org) campaign against whaling; among them is a non profit NGO, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is actively trying to enforce this moratorium on the high seas.
Two days ago, on January 5th, 2010, a Japanese whaling vessel, the Shonan Maru No. 2 suddenly and deliberately rammed Sea Shepherd’s craft, the Ady Gil ripping eight feet of the bow of the vessel completely off. Below are some images of this barbaric aggression:
See the video of the ramming.
Now we know who the real monsters are and where they live (on the Atlantic coast of the Scandinavian Peninsula, on a volcanic Island in the North Atlantic and on a group of Islands off the coast of Asia in the North Pacific Ocean) and what they eat: "scientifically" caught whale meat.
Seas of blood
Video showing the whales being currently killed in the south Atlantic ocean:
Some horrid images: see how they deliberately hunt these hapless creatures and slaughter them (very distressing images of a mother and a calf killed by a Japanese "research" whaling ship).
I rest my case. Now you know about some real monsters.
 Puerto Pirámides Municipality's Tourism website. Valdés Peninsula.
 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA. Southern right whale.
 Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
 New Scientist. 08.12.2009. Norway could kill hundreds more minke whales next year
Copyright 2009-2010 by Austin Whittall ©
Patagonian Monsters Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia