The Gentle and the Wild
Humans often tend to look at animals from a specific perspective, which might be strongly biased. For instance whales and dolphins have a rather positive image as they are referred to as the gentle giants and smiling happy dolphins. Sharks on the other hand carry a very negative image and are believed to be man-eating, wild animals luring for swimmers to be eaten.
Neither image however does justice to their real life.
Yet such images are often confirmed and strengthened through public talks, media presentations, advertisements, postcards and t-shirts.
Such strong and incorrect perceptions might affect conservation efforts as it is easier to gain the public support to protect whales than sharks. Or fish or krill to which only few people can relate.
The image of minke whales
Years ago, a Japanese pro-whaling representative described the minke whales as the ‘cockroaches of the sea’ creating a negative image of abundant vermin. Or some people in the study area refer to minke whales as ‘sardines’ putting a different value on this than the tourist’s encounters with blue, finback, humpback and beluga whales.
We strongly believe that it is crucial to present animals as close to their real lives and behaviours as possible and to minimize distortions in the public’s perceptions. Therefore we share our knowledge based on our first hand observations and studies and are aware that even those are just a small insight from a human point of view.