A Whale of a Problem

One week ago today, ABC news published an article from their Tokyo correspondent stating that “Japan passes whaling bill with view to resume commercial whaling”. Those 10 words are devastating to anyone who appreciates the majesty and mystery that is these incredible marine mammals.

Historically, Japan has participated in yearly whale hunts usually in the name of “food”, “science” or “culture”. I use quotations around these words since in recent years it seems as though Japan will label the commercial whaling as any sugar-coated practice that will allow them to continue the significant degradation of these whale species.

This article outlines Japan’s stance on the return of commercial whaling to the country and on world-wide reactions. Japanese officials including the Director of the Whaling Affairs Office in the country’s fisheries agency are condoning the slaughtering of whale species like the Minke whale. They claim that the killing of these whales is purely for scientific research and as a by-product, the extra whale meat will serve to feed the Japanese citizens. They intend to allot 58 million (5 BILLION Japanese yen!) yearly to the new whaling fleet which will likely boast a brand new, upgraded whaling vessel.

What about ethics you ask? Well, simply put, the Director does not believe whaling should be “banned because of emotional or unscientific reasons” and is willing to deal with the negative backlash from anti-whaling countries like their neighbors in Australia.

Like myself, many other ecologists, scientists, and anyone who has watched Nat Geo and listened to David Attenborough, believe that whales can be closely studied without having to kill them. What are your thoughts Green Schemers? Is whaling part of or against your “green scheme” beliefs? Leave a reply below and be heard!

ABC article here

-The Ecologist

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