Blue whale blues

Blue whales may be the largest creatures to ever swim the oceans, but they are still dwarfed by the massive container ships that crisscross the seas on a daily basis.

Last year, at least three blue whales were killed by container ships off Southern California. A lawsuit filed this week by the Center for Biological Diversity alleges the U.S. Coast Guard is to blame.

You see, blue whales have protected status under the Endangered Species Act. The Act requires the Coast Guard to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service to ensure that ship traffic patterns do not put endangered whales at risk. The Coast Guard, apparently, has not been doing this, and the lawsuit seeks to force the Coast Guard to actually comply with the law and do what it needs to do to protect whales as they cross shipping lanes.

Will it do any good? These lawsuits sometimes take months if not years to create any change -- but they also seem to be the only way to actually create any change.

Hopefully we won't lose too many more whales in the name of cheap imports before the Coast Guard does the right thing.

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