• October 11, 2020

NATO is in ‘the firing line’! For once it’s not Russia’s Putin – he just poisons people!

No NATO are having their bi-annual exercise ‘Joint Warrior 2020-2’ off Scotland and to the NW of Ireland but unfortunately some (Northern) Bottlenose Whales have turned up to spoil the war games. They are a species of beaked nose whale that was almost hunted to extinction in the last century. They’ve decided to ‘stick their beaks’ (excuse the pun) into NATO’s exercise.

Well that’s not strictly true because the Bottlenose Whales have been meandering around the Gare Loch and Loch Long in Scotland for a few weeks obviously no one told them then a NATO exercise was going to take place.

NATO is concerned about this because (these days) they like to ‘wear’ their environmentally friendly cards ‘on their sleeve’.

As NATO struggles with its bemusement several diving and environmental groups have come to their aid. They want to ‘shepherd’ the whales out of the Loch of the West of Scotland to ‘save’ them from NATOs sonar and other nasties.

YOU may understand naive environmental groups wanting to help NATO but frankly I can’t!

NATO has known about the devastation its exercises cause to marine mammals for years. Indeed almost twenty years ago NATO via the the organisations Undersea Research Centre (NURC) set up a research programme to try to identify and mitigate the impact its military exercises were having on marine mammals.

Obviously NURC found something pretty disturbing because shortly after it changed its name to the Centre for Research and Maritime Experimentation (CMRE). We can only speculate what NURC and CRME found out about whales generally but perhaps it found that Whales, an intelligent and cohesive species that live in close knit communities, did not want to be ‘herded’ around the ocean just because a NATO exercise was going to be held.

Along with the UK, Norway was one of the countries that hunted Bottlenose whales almost to extinction. It seems that NATOs Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg, a Norwegian wants to finish the job!

Research into Bottlenose Whales some years ago concluded their numbers were ‘poorly understood’. Whales highly intelligent marine mammals probably have difficulty understanding NATO or some of the environmental groups that are ‘its little helpers’.

Image: NATO’s Jen Stoltenberg – ‘Bottlenose Whale I prefer it grilled’!

Bernard Moffatt

AGS Celtic League (02/10/20)

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