Subject: Re: How do we know?
Well actually, two countries are still whaling in one form or another.
Japan is engaged in "scientific whaling", which uses a clause in the
international convention that regulates whaling; the clause gives
countries the right to kill whales fror "scientific" purposes (i.e.
study them), though it's clearly just a way of keeping whaling going in
the face of a ban. Norway is actually going further and is commercial
whaling; even though the Intl Whaling Commission (IWC) passed a
moratorium on whaling in 1986, another clause in the Convention allows
member nations to take a "reservation" (i.e. "we don't agree") and whale
anyway. There is strong pressure from these countries to increase
catches and resume full-scale commercial whaling, but so far the IWC
isn't buying it. Whales these days are used for everything, but meat is
the primary product. However, whale meat can't be exported because
whales are all listed as endangered under another convention (the
Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species, CITES). Right
now CITES is meeting in Kenya and there is a strong move by the whaling
countries to get minke whales (the current whaling target) listed as
non-endangered so that they can sell the meat from them on the
We know giant squid exist because dead ones have been found
occasionally, and parts have been found in the stomachs of sperm whales
killed by whaling. Sperm whales are known to be able to dive to at
least 7000 feet, and there's a suggestion that they can go to 10,000
> Dear Biologist,
> Hello, I am Andrew Harrison from Thayer Academy Middle School in
> Braintree, MA. Well, being a curious 6th grader I have a question to ask,
> actually 2. First of all I cut out an article for Science class this week
> saying that some countries are going to be bringing back commercial whaling.
> I am studying whales in school, and I heard New Bedford, MA was the whale
> capital of the world. I myself don't think that is something to be proud of.
> So why are they bringing back commercial whaling? Also sources say that
> sperm whales dive so deep to catch giant squid, how do we know this if we
> don't even know that giant squid exist? Well thank you for your patience and
> P.S-My E-mail adress at school is Harrisonan@thayer .org,
> email that because my teacher would enjoy your response.
> Your curious 6th grader,
> Andrew J. Harrison
Phillip J. Clapham, Ph.D. Large Whale Biology Program Northeast Fisheries Science Center 166 Water Street Woods Hole, MA 02543
tel (508) 495-2316 fax (508) 495-2066 Internet: email@example.com
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