I can’t contain my anger and disgust at Japans intention, once again, to contravene the International Whaling Commissions (IWC) conventions in order to embark on a massive whale hunt. This issue has attracted an enormous amount of attention because this year they are going further than ever before. You can read other views from Chile here and Australia here. In addition to hundreds of Minke and fin whales, they intend to kill 50 hump backed whales. They call it “research” and this year 1,000 whales will be slaughtered to gather “data”. We know this is unnecessary. Whales can and are being studied elsewhere using non-lethal methods.
I cannot accept Japans reasoning to hunt whales.
“Humpback whales in our research area are rapidly recovering,” said the Fisheries Agency’s whaling chief, Hideki Moronuki. “Taking 50 humpbacks from a population of tens of thousands will have no significant impact whatsoever.” Like humans, apes, elephants and other sentient animals, whales live in complex societies. Killing individuals will affect them just as it would if your brother, mother or child was being hunted.
Some Japanese authorities maintain that eating whale meat is a gourmet delicacy and defend the hunt as an important part of Japanese cultural heritage. They claim that the hunt is necessary to keep this culture alive.
I have nothing against sustaining cultures, but this claim is a blatantly misleading. Whale meat only became popular in Japan during the WW II because it helped ward off starvation and malnutrition. It was the cheapest source of protein in Japan at that time, but it has never been very popular. In 2006 commercial freezers that store whale meat in Japan had 2,700 tons of uneaten stock, and whale burgers and whale spaghetti bolognaise were being introduced and served in school lunch cafeterias and distributed to old people’s homes! If it is such an integral part of national culture, why are they forcing people to eat it?
Japan can hardly claim that they need these whales for research or food. I see this annual kill as simply a pretext for keeping the Japanese whaling industry alive. It is a disgrace that such a rich and civilized country would engage in such a barbaric and cruel activity. Cultures change as civilizations move on and that is how new social norms develop. It’s time Japan moved on.
As I write another tragedy is erupting as emotional pressure has pitted conservationists against each other. The Sea Shepherd is apparently trying to ram the Japanese ships but are locked in an argument with Green peace about militant versus peaceful means to stop the whale hunt. You can read about it here.
Do you have a view about this hunt and about who is right: Greenpeace or Sea Shepherd?
This video clip and the photos above were generously provided by IFAW I hope they help you to understand the issues and feel compelled to take action.
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