The puzzle of pilot whales

On a boat out of sight of land, it can be easy to think that all is well in whales’ oceanic universe. But increasingly the human world encroaches on the cetacean world. We assist them back into the sea when they strand, going to Herculean lengths to do so, but sanction the industrial-scale removal of their food by fishing trawlers and the sonic disruption of their habitat by military sonar, seismic surveying and ubiquitous propeller and engine noise—not to mention the human-induced global warming that is increasing the acidity and temperature of the seas they swim in.