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日本以及北歐國家的捕鯨活動行之有年。對於漁民來說,鯨魚是海洋的大型掠食者,捕鲸除了文化傳統的因素,也是為了維持漁獲量。但新的研究顯示,鯨魚在海洋生態中扮演重要角色,牠們不僅不會因為掠食而讓魚類數量減少,反之,牠們的存在能豐富海洋生態,帶來更多魚類和其他海洋物種。

進入本文前,請先想想怎麼表達以下單字:

a) 鯨類動物

b) 豐富礦藏、意外的幸運

c) 浮游生物

As a country with a distinctive “whale-eating” culture, Japan was ordered by the International Court of Justice on March 31st, 2014 to halt its Antarctic whaling program, which allowed an annual catch of 1,000 whales. However, except for the Antarctica expedition, Japan has been debating whether to conduct two other whaling programs, in which Japan kills minke whales 1) to the tune of 300 a year.

擁有獨特「鯨魚」飲食文化的日本,於2014 年 3 月 31 日被國際法院判決停止南極捕鲸活動,此項活動每年約捕捉 1000 頭鯨魚。然而,除了遠征南極,日本國內還在持續討論是否繼續執行其他兩項捕鲸活動,一年總計捕殺高達 300 頭小鬚鯨。

Japan’s whaling history 2) dates back to the 12th century. Since when, whales have long been an important source of food for Japanese people. During the 19th and 20th century, Japan was highly involved in commercial whaling and many other countries also participated in the industry. Large whales were heavily hunted. It’s estimated that around 66-90% of the whales were removed from the ocean during that period.

日本的捕鲸行為可回溯到 12 世紀。自此之後,鯨魚一直都是日本人重要的食物來源。在19和20世紀,日本積極參與商業捕鲸活動,許多國家也紛紛加入,鯨魚與此時被大量獵殺。據估計,約有66%-90%的鯨魚從海洋中消失。

With the advance of technology in recent years, scientists have begun to gain a better understanding of the valuable roles a) cetaceans play in ocean ecosystems. Some Japanese fishermen have argued that whales eat the fish they try to catch, claiming that whaling is necessary for protecting their fisheries. However, scientists have found that cetaceans can lead to an abundance of marine life and bring more fish to ocean ecosystem. Some even suggest the absence of cetaceans over the past decades may have altered the ecosystem and made it harder for marine organisms to survive.

隨著近年來科技的進步,科學家開始了解鲸類動物在海洋生態中扮演的重要角色。許多日本漁民認為鯨魚會吃掉他們想要捕捉的魚種,堅持要藉由捕鲸來保護他們的漁獲。然而,科學家發現鲸類動物能豐富海洋生態,並將更多的魚帶進海洋生態系中。有些科學家甚至認為,過去幾十年來鲸類動物的消失,已經改變生態系,使其不利海洋生物生存。

The research show that “whales help spread nutrients and microorganisms through different marine zones when they feed, often at great depths, and then return to the surface to breathe.” When they migrate long distances to mate, they bring the nutrients with them. “It contributes to feeding B) bonanzas for other creatures thus making important nutrient contributions to waters poor in resources.” What’s more, the materials such as iron and nitrogen in whales’ urine and excrement are considered good fertilizers for C) plankton. Scientists are going to conduct more studies and research in order to “better understand exactly how plankton and other organisms respond to the presence of whales.”

研究顯示,當鯨魚進食的時候,通常在較深的海底,接著牠們會回到水面呼吸,在此時,牠們能幫助將營養物和微生物散佈在不同海洋區。當他們遷徙到遠方進行交配時,牠們也會將營養物帶在身上。這樣一來,鲸類能提供充足的食物給其他生物,並為較貧瘠的海洋帶來重要的營養物質。而且,鯨魚尿液與排泄物中的物質如鐵和氮,被認為是很好的浮游生物肥料。科學家之後會進行更多研究和實驗來進一步了解鯨魚的存在如何影響浮游與其他生物。

 

口語字彙

1. to the tune of 總計
tune 指的是歌曲的「旋律」。這個片語有「總計」的意思, 用來表達數量總計多達....。

The company performed well last year. They had profits to the tune of $300 million.

這家公司去年的表現不錯,獲利總額高達 3 億美元。

2. dates back to 回溯到...

Chinese examination system dates back to the Sui dynasty. 中國的考試制度可回溯到隋代。

 

參考資料:National Geographic 

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