The Humpback Whale that is….
Startling… sickening… unnecessary…
Japan’s decision to take 950 whales this season is indefensible. Check out the full story here: AFP: Japan under fire for humpback hunt
The story says:
“Defying warnings from its Western allies that it would inflame an emotional row on whaling, Japan on Sunday sent its fleet to the Antarctic Ocean. The hunt will include famed humpback whales for the first time.
Japan, which argues that whale meat is part of its culture, plans to kill 950 whales on the five-month mission using a loophole in a global moratorium that allows “lethal research” on the giant mammals.”
Now, I’m not sure how you feel about this but, personally, I can’t see how killing a whale in the name of research on the species is defensible. Saying that you are only able to find out about the creatures by killing them stone dead in great numbers EVERY year is just a piece of double talk that is startling and sickening. (For more information on this saga of doubletalk and bogus scientific research I suggest you visit this Greenpeace page: Catching whales for science is a hoax. It makes VERY interesting reading. ) Meantime…. have a glance at a wee video I found on YouTube but BE WARNED – the images are quite disturbing:-
(Video from YouTube: Japanese are hunting whales again, film by Greenpeace)
Hideki Moronuki, the whaling chief at Japan’s Fisheries Agency, is quoted as saying:-
“Japan doesn’t have a specific position on humpback whales. They are a fisheries resource as much as any other whale and when it is scientifically proven that there are enough resources, we conduct sustained research,” Moronuki said.
“The number of humpback whales has sufficiently recovered and recently increased quite rapidly.”
So… let’s see. Can we follow this logic? We find the population of Humpback whales is in danger of going to zero, we get a worldwide treaty together to protect them and as soon as we find that protection is working and the population is recovering we jump in our ships and steam off to wipe them out again. Eh? Of course, we don’t like to call it commerce or naked exploitation… no.. let’s call it research. Nice one, Japan. I suppose you can point to all your other research labs for justification for the sale of the whale meat, yes? You know what I mean, don’t you? Your normal research labs do sell the lab rats and mice down the local market to offset the cost of the research, don’t they?
Japan, you are showing your real caring, green credentials here. You are demonstrating how bright and intelligent you are as a nation. Or… are you just showing how selfish you are? All the research on whale meat consumption in Japan has people saying they have NOT eaten it since childhood. This is an unnecessary culling of a precious population and is being conducted for purely commercial reasons.
Meanwhile, of course, the Japanese fleet will be killing another developing industry in Australia – whale watching. This activity has been growing and growing. Al Jeezera’s report, Japan begins hunt for 1,000 whales, says:-
About 1.5 million whale watchers observe the northern migration of humpbacks along Australia’s coast to breed each year, pumping an estimated $225m into the Australian economy.
So .. we have a neat way to make money from the whale without ending its life. Cool…. unless you are Japanese and prefer to make your money killing unique, beautiful and mysterious creatures.
So.. what can YOU do. Well I suggest a visit to this website – Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society – where you can watch some video and sign a petition against this slaughter. That will do to start. But be warned… the video’s are fairly graphic and may be upsetting to some.
And.. of course.. you can always add your thoughts here at Talk Northern Ireland.