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Cetacean SCUBA

Give them bottled air so they can hide.
  (+7)
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Whaling is a very lucrative process for some. All you need is a big enough junky ship, a few smaller boats, and some spiny exploding projectiles. All you have to do is get those explosive projectiles into the whale. A massive quantity of meat, lard, bone, baleen, and various other potentially valuable resources can be had.

All this at the cost of what may well be one of the most majestic creatures on earth.

Many individuals feel that whales are far more valuable than the meat they represent. Far more valuable than even the whale hunters, as can be seen by the various organizations which seek to preserve whales by destroying whaling ships, technology, and even the workers onboard.

While I am a fan of saving whales, I feel that attacking human resources is undesirable. Thus, I propose we equip the whales themselves so that harvesting them becomes cost-prohibitive.

Therefore, I bring to you the Cetaceans SCUBA. This blowhole-mounted unit is equipped with a series of air tanks, a snorkel, a solar-powered air compressor, and a blood-oxygen level sensor. During the daytime, when the whale nears the surface, the snorkel will breach the surface first, and the solar panels will have enough power to run the compressor.

Due to problems with barnacles covering solar panels, frequent maintenance may be necessary. Advanced models, still in the design phase at this time, are expected to have water electrolysis systems, and may be nuclear powered. A lot of bugs will have to be worked out on that design...

ye_river_xiv, Sep 10 2009

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       Very good.
Can't help but wonder though if the military hasn't tried this very thing with dolphins.
  

       I am not sure whether strapping huge quantities of compressed air to something that is likely to get hit with a spear will reduce the impact on //human resources//
loonquawl, Sep 10 2009
  

       What if the whales don't take these units you're planning on giving them? Or what if they take them, get them home and can't understand the instructions? Or what if they can, but due to an unforeseen technicality, can't do the buckles up on the straps?
Ian Tindale, Sep 10 2009
  

       // can't do the buckles up on the straps? //   

       Velcro.   

       [+]
8th of 7, Sep 10 2009
  

       Araldite?
calum, Sep 10 2009
  

       Suction cups it is.   

       Dammit Buuba, ya beat me to it!
coprocephalous, Sep 10 2009
  

       huh, here I was all ready to mfd it and it turns out to be scuba scuba. [+]
FlyingToaster, Sep 10 2009
  

       Sorry, perhaps there are some aspects of whaling that I am still unfamiliar with. How does this work?
jellydoughnut, Sep 16 2009
  

       We had been hoping to train the whales regarding the proper usage of the device. I suppose van-der-whales force may be a much better idea than making use of JB weld, or piercings as I had originally planned. More research will need to be put into this vital issue.   

       I suppose cost-benefit analysis will show that it'll be rather difficult to ensure much more than a few breeding pairs at a time are thusly protected... Well, we do what we can until something better comes along I suppose.
ye_river_xiv, Sep 16 2009
  

       Pretty good idea. Will the whales require swim fins?
unfettered, Sep 16 2009
  

       With Fluke Tape, of course.
ye_river_xiv, Sep 22 2009
  
      
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