I'm doing a project at school on "Should the hunting of whales become
illegal throughout the world?" and I was wondering if you could help me
with a few questions before I have to hand it in on Friday!
Here are the questions:
How many whales on average are hunted a year?
Who hunts whales?
And lastly: What are your views on whale hunting and why do you feel this way?
Hope to hear from you soon
Sorry if I'm a little late with the answers for your paper. If you go to
you'll find whaling stats from the early 1900's on. I don't have any more
Norway and Japan are hunting primarily minke whales in the North Atlantic
and the Antarctic.
My views on whaling pretty much follow from trying to take in the big
picture and the long future. It won't get you elected these days, and it
won't help with bottom line economic revenues for most companies, but if
you assume the entire human population of the earth has a biological effect
on the rest of the natural world, which it does, and if you assume that our
descendants over the next, say, seven generations will be living with the
effects of what we do today, then it isn't very smart to decimate whale
populations, or any other species or vital habitat, for short-term gain.
The answer by the whaling nations is that it's being done scientifically
and that populations can be exploited according to sustainable quotas so
species can always recover from removals by whaling. If so, since there is
so much incentive to cheat, there needs to be complete oversight by
international observers, which is what the IWC is all about. I'm not sure
if the IWC has been given the legitimacy and authority by the whaling
nations that it needs to make sure quotas are sustainable. That's one issue.
But there is a larger question about our attitudes, as reflected in killing
and consuming whales, toward these mysterious and highly evolved beings.
This is a much more difficult argument, but I'm convinced that we have only
begun to learn about the sophistication and complexity of the social and
intellectual processes demonstrated by at least some cetaceans. We have a
long way to go before, as a global community, we'll appreciate and respect
whales' inner lives. As we learn (hopefully) to live peacefully with whale
communities throughout the world's oceans, I would rather we find other
alternatives for food, and eventually reduce our overall levels of
consumption, even if that means reducing our overall population over time.
Looking at the big picture and the long future, we'll have to do that
sooner or later anyway.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Nov 26 2004 - 17:52:41 EST