The Whale ban.

From: Phil Clapham (phillip.clapham@noaa.gov)
Date: Tue Apr 25 2000 - 08:44:06 EDT


Hi:

Yes, I think it should continue. The species that's hunted these days
is the minke whale, and there's not a lot of doubt that the population
of minkes is large enough to support some sort of hunt. But
unfortunately that isn't the only issue. The whaling industry has been
characterized by lots of deception over the years, with lies about catch
numbers and other things. In Japan today, the only whale meat that is
supposed to be sold is minke whale meat (because that's the only "legal"
hunt), but genetic testing of whale meat in Japanese markets shows lots
and lots of other species there, including some which are endangered. A
lot of this "illegal" meat is probably coming from strandings or whales
that die from being entangled in nets. But the problem is it just shows
how difficult it is to enforce any regulations about hunting; until
there is a completely foolproof system for making sure that nothing
except "legal" whales are taken and traded, the ban shouldn't be lifted.

Beyond that, I don't think whales should be killed at all. If we humans
are ever going to fix all the environmental problems we've created on
this planet, we need to change our attitude about Nature and the way we
use the world's resources; we need to have a lot more respect for the
planet. Whales are a symbol of the oceans and the environment, and we
have done horrible things to them in the 20th century (two million were
killed in the southern hemisphere alone!) Not killing another whale
would be a small step towards changing our attitude to Nature, so for me
it's a good place to start.

Phil Clapham

keith kingsley wrote:
>
> Hi sir,
> I am in sixth grade and we are doing a report on different
> controversial issues such as the whale ban. Do you think the ban should
> continue? Why or why not; your opinion will be greatly appreciated.
> Please write back as soon as you can.
> Thank you so much!!!
> Sincerely,
> Kendall Kingsley

-- 

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: phillip.clapham@noaa.gov



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