Whaling is not bad in and of itself. The Japanese government says it's studying whale populations. Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Environment Minister Melissa Price said they were "extremely disappointed" with the country's decision. When I first heard of whaling (in about yr 3) I thought it was as silly as pigs flying. However, Japan is allowed to hunt whales annually under Article VIII of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. Whilst some countries believe that commercial whaling should be allowed and that there is scientific proof that it can be done in a way that does not damage overall whale populations, some other countries do not believe their concerns have all been solved. But, in the same way that recovering fish stocks generate cries of, “Let’s catch more because we can!’ from the fishing industry, the question now is: are some whales so numerous they can be hunted? This is cruel. As long-lived and slow-growing animals they ‘bioaccumulate’ these in their blubber. Overfishing is the concept of catching so many fish that there aren't enough adults left to breed and replace the ones you caught. Commercial whaling in its heyday was about oil production, not meat production. Benefits and Disadvantages “Eat whale meat and blubber, then you will grow tall and strong,” is an old Faroese saying. To better understand this process, researchers from the University of Maine, Gulf of Maine Research Institute and the University of British Columbia conducted a study, “The Impact of Whaling on the Ocean Carbon Cycle: Why Bigger Was Better.” Whaling began in prehistoric times in coastal waters.The earliest depictions of whaling are the Neolithic Bangudae Petroglyphs in Korea, which may date back to 6000 BC. "Countries continue to disagree on whether some commercial whaling should be reintroduced, but they continue to meet, in order to share information, listen to each other's viewpoints and find areas where they can agree. Over the centuries whales have been killed for a number of different reasons.. This means Japan will not be hunting these whales in Antarctic waters, which conservationists are happy about. In July Japan started commercial whaling again. Why can some countries continue whaling? Coalition members, from 55 countries, include the World Society for the Protection of Animals and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. Before long there were major crashes in … Some countries do "Research whaling" but really it is only a bad excuse to continue killing them for meat. In addition, most countries have signed on to international treaties prohibiting it. I thought humans had realised this was a treacherous thing to do. Why can some countries continue whaling? In the Yankee whale fishery injuries and death were common to almost every voyage. It was banned in 1986 by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) - a group whose job it is to look after whale conservation - after some species became almost extinct. Their oil, blubber and cartilage are used in pharmaceuticals and health supplements. Small-scale sustainable whaling, such as that practiced by "traditional" communities in the far north, is not bad- it sustains the community, and is a way of life. They also say that it is more ethical to hunt wild animals who have lived a free life than it is to raise animals in captivity for food. Click on thumbnail to buy. Whaling for profit was banned in 1986, however, Japan, Iceland and Norway continue to kill fin, minke and sei whales every year. It's OK to eat whale so long as it doesn't disrupt the ecosystem.' We are also displacing whales more and more, by industrial developments, destroying habitats, and filling the ocean with noise. Is it more than animal cruelty? The future for whales is threatened by countries’ disregarding and working to lift the IWC’s moratorium on commercial whale hunting, as well as vessel strikes, fishing gear entanglement, ocean pollution (including marine debris), habitat loss and human-created, loud noise. Many people around the world were shocked by this news and have criticised Japan for making the decision to leave the IWC and resume commercial whaling. But, reluctant to give up the market for whale meat and products, Japan, Iceland and Norway continue to hunt and kill fin, minke and sei whales every year. It was thought this would be a temporary measure until organisations could come up with rules for sustainable commercial whaling - that is, a number of whales that could be hunted while still keeping their numbers stable. But some feel that the IWC has not done enough to enable sustainable commercial whaling, which has in turn forced countries like Japan to do what they have done, in order to safeguard part of their culture. Newsround spoke to the IWC to see what they had to say on the issue. After Japan announced in July it would start hunting whales commercially once more, we look at what whaling is and why the issue has got people talking. Why isn't the whaling ban working? Trackers execute creatures that have enormous populace, and this can make those creatures cease to exist because of the absence of nourishment. Whale sashimi (Picture: Getty) 4) Whales are necessary for healthy oceans, mixing, distributing nutrients and helping deal with the impacts of climate change. The reason why whaling is legally unacceptable is simple - most countries have specific laws prohibiting it. Whaling is the process of hunting of whales for their usable products such as meat and blubber, which can be turned into a type of oil which became increasingly important in the Industrial Revolution.It was practiced as an organized industry as early as 875 AD. Stores reopen for Christmas shopping in Northern Ireland and Scotland. But it was commercial whaling – turning whales into barrels of oil for profit – that led to the wholesale destruction of most of the world’s populations of big whales. The answer, of course, it that up until fairly recently no such taboo existed. A pod of beaked whales rest in the warm waters of the equator. Some communities in Japan have been hunting and eating whales for many, many years. 4) Whales are necessary for healthy oceans, mixing, distributing nutrients and helping deal with the impacts of climate change. This causes them problems when fighting disease and breeding, and can also makes them toxic if eaten. Arguments against Whaling Anti-whaling extremists claim that the whale is an intelligent mammal, that is able to feel pain the same way humans do, and that they should be treated as humans. Whaling nations have all said that the practice is part of their culture and should be able to continue in a sustainable way. The loss of whales from our oceans is the same story as overfishing of big fish – sharks, tuna, cod and others. Why does Japan disagree? 5) We should ban whaling because the whaling industry is smaller than it used to be. Willie Mackenzie is an Oceans Campaigner with Greenpeace International. They claim that the number of minkes caught in the Antarctic far exceeds any reasonable scientific need and point to the fact that the vast majority of whales end up on dinner tables in Japan and not in laboratories. Unless otherwise stated, the copy of the website is licensed under a CC-BY International License, We use cookies to enhance your experience. But that is just the killing process. Whaling is the hunting of whales mainly for meat and oil. Humans are wiping out global wildlife populations, warns WWF, Prince William: We aren't moving fast enough to protect animals. It straightforwardly influences the indigenous habitat in that it loses characteristic predation and populace development of the untamed life. Even though it is not eaten in the same volumes now, Japan does not think that other countries can tell them what they can and can't eat. Environmental Concerns The Environment and Whale Populations. Poster by AllPosters. It's my favourite meat - it's between fish and beef. Whaling why is it bad? Whaling is a long tradition in Iceland and brings small communities income, says Desportes. Because the population can't rebuild itself there are … Commercial whaling means hunting whales to sell the things that come from whales, like meat, oil and blubber. So let’s get on with talking about whale conservation instead. So it left the body, effective July 2019. It became clear that something had to change to protect these animals and so the 1986 ban came in. The announcement that the country will start commercial whaling again hasn't come completely out of the blue. There is no demand for whale meat – and even where whale meat is sold to be eaten it’s a peripheral, small and declining industry that makes no economic sense. The impact of the environment on cetaceans is an important issue for the IWC. This was to give scientists time to gather more accurate information on population sizes, and work out a new system for calculating how many whales it would be safe to catch without having an effect on the whole population. But industrial-scale whaling is bad, because it drives whales to extinction, and often wastes most of the whale carcass anyway. Greenpeace asks to reduce the production of single-use plastics. It’s a tragedy for the species and has immense knock on effects across the ocean. Although prehistoric hunting and gathering is generally considered to have had little ecological impact, early whaling in the Arctic may have altered freshwater ecology. Whales and other large marine vertebrates could effectively function as carbon credits. I want to be a marine biologist when I grow up and prevent this from happening. This is allowed under the rules of the IWC and the meat can be sold afterwards. Given all of that we have to treat any notion of ‘recovery’ in an extremely precautionary way. Why is hunting bad for the environment? Its earliest forms date to at least 3000 BC. Japan announced it was withdrawing from the IWC, which it has been a member of since 1951. Whale illustrations created and donated by Joseph Catimbang from Pentasticarts. Although the practice of whaling has largely been halted today, some countries still participate in hunting whales for their meat.. By the 1960s, fishermen had better ways of catching whales and big ships were built that could process lots of them, so it became even easier to hunt them in greater numbers. Commercial whaling is the one human threat to whales we can, and should, simply consign to history – the world’s remaining whale populations have enough to contend with. Whaling was an exceptionally dangerous business both physically and economically. Japan has left the IWC and its rules about hunting whales as the organisation has not come up with rules for sustainable commercial whaling - and Japan wants to hunt them again. We have seen many populations showing signs of recovery since hunting was stopped. 5) Whales are full of persistent toxins, like mercury and PCBs. This is very sad. Why can't they see sense? Still, whaling continues despite a commercial ban imposed by the IWC, the body formed in 1946 to monitor the fate of whales. 5) We should ban whaling because the whaling industry is smaller than it used to be. Some people in Japan have been whaling for years claiming they are doing it in the name of science. Why are people so against hunting whales? 8) We don’t know what the ongoing impacts of climate change on ocean life, including whales and their prey, will be. Environmental Concerns The Environment and Whale Populations. While more recently when the Japanese population was starving after World War Two, from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s, whale meat was the biggest source of meat in Japan. A number of shore-based stations were in operation under some kind of regulation on the catches very shortly after this. 7) Whales don’t understand national boundaries, and most species migrate in and out of different countries’ waters. Overfishing is the concept of catching so many fish that there aren't enough adults left to breed and replace the ones you caught. Whales, being at top of the food chain, make the whole chain vulnerable to the extent of falling apart if whales were to become endangered or go extinct. "Commercial whaling did not resume then. Why haven't they yet done it? Benefits and Disadvantages “Eat whale meat and blubber, then you will grow tall and strong,” is an old Faroese saying. cause the they are hunting whales in a whale reserve Is America against whaling or for whaling? In 2018 Japan tried one last time to convince the IWC to allow whaling under sustainable quotas, but failed. Many also feel that the methods used to hunt whales are cruel. 3) We now know that some whales have and teach forms of ‘culture’ to their calves, including humpbacks’ songs and orcas’ feeding strategies. There are currently 88 member countries at the International Whaling Commission, now that Japan has left: "Each has its own culture, history and view on whaling, and it is not surprising that these can be very different, and it can be hard for everyone to agree. Here’s Why Commercial Whaling in Japan Might Actually Be A Good Thing Japanese fishermen have been killing whales for "scientific purposes" for years. Well, here are ten reasons why they should not be: 1) We don’t know how well whales are recovering, because we don’t know how many there once were or ‘should be’. Maintain meaning both making sure they don’t become extinct but as masters of this earth, we are allowed to hunt them. We know that whales are important for the oceans, and we know that as long-lived, slow-growing animals they are much more susceptible to overfishing than actual fish. Antarctic whaling began on a large scale in 1904 with the building of a whale processing station at Grytviken, South Georgia. So, why is whaling bad? But, reluctant to give up the market for whale meat and products, Japan, Iceland and Norway continue to hunt and kill fin, minke and sei whales every year. 4) We should ban whaling because you can’t group whaling together with other harvests to form a really big group (eg fishing) that sounds too difficult to get rid of. Some consider whaling "bad" on moral grounds, yet still eat processed meat from cows, chickens, pigs, etc. Why has Japan starting whaling commercially again? In which case it's not much different than killing chicken and cows (as south park suggests). Many vessels were lost. 4) We should ban whaling because you can’t group whaling together with other harvests to form a really big group (eg fishing) that sounds too difficult to get rid of. This is true of lots of international organisations that bring together countries from all over the world. Christmas has come early for these animals! Amazingly ‘new’ species like the dwarf pygmy whale, Omura’s whale, and species of beaked whale have only been discovered in the last few decades. Few individuals got rich whaling and most of those were owners and agents. ... Whaling through history. Read about our approach to external linking. Do they care about the poor individual animals' suffering, or are they concerned with the "health" of eco-systems as a whole? The impact of the environment on cetaceans is an important issue for the IWC. Although they do not agree on commercial whaling, there are lots of important issues where they do agree and are all working together on whale conservation: for example entanglement of whales in fishing nets, the effect on whales of plastic and pollution in the sea. Whaling continues. Why is Japan restarting whaling now? Over a thousand whales are killed every year because some people want to make money from selling their meat and body parts. 3) We should ban whaling because whaling is a smaller industry than beef, pigs, fishing etc. The Decreased Numbers. A gray whale breaches in Laguna San Ignacio, Mexico. This means that while one nation may not hunt them, another, in different national waters might. Conservationists are extremely angry about it. Opponents of whaling argue that the scientific-research exception is simply a cover for commercial whaling, and that equally effective non-lethal methods of study are available. Whaling could have more impact on populations than sheer numbers. Whales are already at threat because of lots of other things, particularly plastic. This work was very complicated and took a long time. 6) We’re already killing whales indirectly every day – including ship strikes, fisheries entanglement, military & seismic blasting. 3) We should ban whaling because whaling is a smaller industry than beef, pigs, fishing etc. So why does it keep doing it? But conservationists have criticised this, saying it was just a disguise for what was actually still commercial whaling. Greenpeace activists have mounted in front of Pantheon, in the centre of Rome, a reproduction of two whales. 'Environmental Concerns' is a long-standing item on the Commission's agenda, and the focus of wide-ranging work by … 2) We are still learning about whales. They also think that the IWC has not done enough to support sustainable commercial whaling and that it is too focused on one goal only - to protect the number of whales in the world's oceans. 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