Monday, November 19, 2007

Japanese whale hunting, reloaded

A news that has been appearing in newspapers and other mass media around the world is both disturbing and upsetting: Japan has decided to resume their whale hunting program, under the excuse that they'll use the sacrificed whales for scientific purposes. It didn't take too long for them to get some crew members ready on board of the whaling vessel Yushin Maru, which departed from the port of Shimonoseki towards the Antarctica. The ship is being chased by another vessel, the Esperanza, which is operated by Greenpeace activists willing to follow the Yushin Maru until the end of the world to try to avoid a whale massacre.

With this action, Japan cheers the lifting of the whale hunting moratorium imposed by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in the mid-1980's, which lost effect after a resolution to restore commercial whale hunting was passed last year, in a very disputed voting session within the IWC. Although the Japanese whale hunters have been consistently killing whales even during the years in which the moratorium has been in effect, they've always justified their hunting activities under the excuse of doing them for supposed 'scientific purposes', which is one of the few exceptions under which the IWC allowed whale hunting.

But this expedition is different: The Japanese whale hunters are expecting to bring back 1035 whales, a number which more than doubles the amount of whales they hunted a decade ago. Moreover, some of the 1035 whales that the Japanese hunters are expecting to bring to Japan for 'scientific purposes' are actually humpback whales, which was about to become extinct about a decade ago and has not reached even a third of the population it had before the days of modern whale hunting.

The Japanese individuals who decided recently to relaunch their whale-hunting program probably thought: 'Screw the IWC, the endangered species and the public opinion'. Under that rationale, they found it convenient to set up an expedition of Japanese whale hunters to go and kill some endangered whales, to satisfy some gourmet desires. What an environmental disgrace this is.

With some information from CBC


At 4:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eddie should investigate the whale populations of the world and he would find that all whales are not endangered. The anti-whale hunting movement is political and emotional and not based on sound science as it should be. Various species of whales are just another species in the animal kingdom that require proper management by man just as white tail deer do.

Don the Hunter.

At 6:15 PM , Blogger Diego Luego said...

I have rarely heard such arrogance.

"...are just another species in the animal kingdom that require proper management by man..."

Nature manages itself quite well without any interference from man. In fact it is man that causes the imbalance.

See my article
"WHALE slaughter illegal sickening unnecessary and unscientific"

At 6:19 PM , Blogger Diego Luego said...

I just noticed that "Don the Hunter" has not even the guts to attach his identity to the comment. He hides in cowardly anonymity.

At 7:01 PM , Blogger Eddie said...

I first of all thank you, Don the Hunter, for taking your time for writing a comment for this humble blog. However, I have to disagree with your point of view.

In 1986, the IWC imposed a ban on commercial whaling because a wide variety of them (including the humpbacks) were facing danger of extinction. As I wrote in the post, according to the IWC itself, the number of whales in the world hasn't reached even a third of the amount we had before modern commercial whale hunting began (there are more now than there were back in 1986, but still far from previous decades). Allegedly, the lift on the ban to hunt whales is a result on the pressure that Japan and Norway put in developing countries, also members on the IWC, threatening to eliminate financial aid to them if they voted against lifting the ban. I certainly don't have evidence that such threat existed, but such theory would explain why did the IWC decided to extinguish the restrictions on commercial whale hunting so early.

Stating that "whales are just another species in the animal kingdom that require proper management by man" is a double-edged argument for you: If whales are to be 'managed' by men, then men should take the appropriate measures to ensure the continuity of their existence. For the Japanese, killing more than twice the amount of whales than they killed ten years whilst the whale population is still in a dangerous low level is certainly not a very good example of your so-called 'animal management' to ensure future supply.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home