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Killing Whales February 15, 2007

Posted by David in General.

I’ve never been one to pay much attention to the whole “Save the Whales” movement. In my opinion, just because you don’t eat whales doesn’t mean you have the right to stop others from eating whales. Have you ever heard of Hindus ramming into trucks on their way to the slaughter-house and setting the cattle free, in an attempt to stop people from eating cows?

That’s what the anti-whalers do. They get on their boats, seek out whaling ships and ram them. A February 13, 2007 BBC News story describes how a fleet of Japanese whalers were “tracked down by ships belonging to conservation groups,” which eventually resulted in a “collision between Japan’s Kaiko Maru and a vessel operated by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society”. The Japanese ship was rammed and its propeller was damaged, which will mean it needs to head back to port. Luckily no one was hurt in that incident, but it hasn’t always been the case.

Time for a reality check?

In an effort re-examine the IWC’s 21-year global moratorium on commercial hunting and bridge “the divide between pro- and anti-whaling members which has bedevilled the IWC in recent years,” Japan organized a meeting in Tokyo. However, very few members showed up.

“Japan’s IWC commissioner, Minoru Morimoto, opened the meeting by expressing disappointment at the non-attendance of nearly half the whaling body.” He went on to explain that one of the goals, of the meeting, was “to improve the atmosphere of the IWC, which has become one of confrontation, and to improve dialogue.”  Most anti-whaling nations chose confrontation.

I’m not sure how productive the meeting in Tokyo was, I’m not even sure the IWC is a worthwhile organization, at least not for pro-whaling countries. But the following quote did come out of the recent Tokyo discussions, and I think it makes a valid point.

“Imposing moral and ethical judgements that affect our right to use resources in spite of scientific evidence is imperialism.”



1. Shingen - February 16, 2007

Well, I’m not completely anti-whaling for the same reason as you: I see no problem with eating whale (just as I see no problem with that Korean delicacy: dog). However, there are two issues that anti-whaling campaigners are most concerned about:

1. Endangerment/extinction: Some of the species being hunted are endangered (Fin Whale) or vulnerable (Humpback). Continual hunting (even just for ‘research’) cannot be all that conducive to sustainability.

2. Inhumane: Whales can take a long time to die, despite the use of grenade-tipped harpoons. If the death is not quick, as we have attempted to do in other meat production, then ethical questions arise.

That said, the extreme kind of anti-whaling protesters are thugs. They may have a legitimate cause, but their methods are nothing short of criminal.

2. canexafish - February 16, 2007


Once again you make very valid points. I agree that on-going hunting will not allow for sustainability, and I also agree that killing the whales should be done in a humane way.

However, I believe it is up to the anti-whalers to back-off. They are way out-of-line and completely unreasonable when it comes to this whole “Save the Whales” movement. Although, I do realize they have a cause, their behaviour should not be tolerated.

Both sides should work together and come-up with realistic solutions to these challenges. I’m positive it can be done.


3. Shingen - February 17, 2007

No argument here. 🙂

Oh, I just noticed that the hyperlink on your username is not directed anywhere. If you go to your (not your blog’s) profile, you can change the URL to your blog or whatever else you wish.

Keep up the good work.

4. canexafish - February 17, 2007

Thanks for the info Shingen. I’ll make the changes.


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