Japanese Whaling – An Unnecessary Slaughter

Japanese Whaling – An Unnecessary Slaughter
by Lynn Berry, citizen journalist

(NaturalNews) If you thought the days of spearing an animal were over, think again. The Japanese whaling fleet left Japan at the end of November on what they call a scientific expedition. The aim: to kill nearly 1000 minke and fin whales, and had planned to harpoon 50 humpback whales.

Under international pressure, the Japanese will now not target the humpbacks. Over 61,000 Australians signed Save the Whales petition putting pressure on the Japanese to change their minds (Daily Telegraph December 22, 2007).

This would have been the first time in 44 years that the humpback whales would have been killed. According to Greenpeace it would have been the biggest hunt since the 1986 ban on commercial whaling, see (http://www.greenpeace.org/australia…) .

From December to February Humpback whales migrate from the South Pacific, including along the Australian east coast, to the Antarctic.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, calling itself “sea cop”, has vowed to stop them, and the Greenpeace anti-whaling ship Esperanza has been following the fleet.

According to the International Whaling Commission, the scientific data collected by killing the whales is not very useful and in any case the information can be collected without having to harpoon them (www.iwcoffice.org) .

In an article in the New Scientist, Simon Jarman of the Australian Antarctic Division says that dietary information can be obtained by analysing whale excretions(http://www.newscientist.com/channel…) .

Japan’s expeditions have not led to a great deal of knowledge. According to Jon Copley, a marine biologist at the University of Southampton, only 0.8 percent of the 488 papers on whales in the ISI Web of Knowledge database last year came from Japan’s whaling programme, or involved techniques that required lethal methods. This information was revealed May 12, 2007 from the Greenpeace blog at (http://weblog.greenpeace.org/whales/) .

Hamish McDonald, in the Sydney Morning Herald on December 22, 2007, says that the whaling community is small and originally consisting of a few coastal communities. Those in the industry continue to emphasize Japanese whaling culture and history in an effort to promote whale meat. In fact, it has been heavily promoted in government schools where canteens provide children with hot whale lunch.

McDonald quotes Professor Robyn Lim, a teacher of International Relations at Nanzan University in Nagoya as saying, “I have never found a student who likes to eat whale”. And given consumers aren’t buying, Lims says that around a third of the meat ends up in dog food. An inglorious end to the magnificent whales of our seas.

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Posted on March 24, 2009, in Endangered Species. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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