As we enter our whale season in the Great Australian Bight, experts are excited to share the news that the Humpback Whale population is recovering from near extinction with 40,000 expected off the East Coast this breeding season.
Dr. Wally Franklin, from Southern Cross University's Marine Ecology Research Centre, said the Humpback is now growing 10% annually and the recovery of humpback and other whale populations were playing a little known role in balancing the ocean’s ecosystem and the planet's oxygen levels.
The ocean's microscopic, single-celled plant known as phytoplankton produces more oxygen than all forests combined, with marine biologists estimating it contributes between 50% and 85% of the Earth’s oxygen levels.
However, through the food chain when there are not enough whales in the ocean, krill consume phytoplankton at an unsustainable rate and threaten the global oxygen supply.
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