>Return-path: <firstname.lastname@example.org> >Date: Wed, 04 Mar 1998 17:40:12 -0500 >From: email@example.com (Angela Gray) >Subject: Whaling >X-Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org (Unverified) >To: aRomero@ACC.FAU.EDU > >>To: Aldemaro Romero >>From: email@example.com (Angela Gray) >>Subject: Whaling >> >>Dear Mr. Romero, >> >> Hello. I am doing a independent study on whaling. I was wondering >if you could perhaps provide me with some information on whaling (world >wide). Any sort of information would be greatly appreciated. I basically >need information on the different techniques of whaling, statistics, and the >laws and regulations for whaling. Thank you for taking the time to read >this. You can email me back at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax me at >(613)830-0642. >> >>Thank you again, >> >>Angela Gray Dear Angela: Whaling has been practiced by humans for hundreds of years. The Basques seem to have initiated it around the XI Century and it was expanded and perfected by fishermen from other nations, including the U.S. from the XVII Century on. Today the basic technique consists in the use of a harpoon launched from a whaling ship using explosives. The harpoon head itself usually has an explosive that detonates once it hits the whale. Some artisanal whaling is still practiced using hand-held harpoons. In recent years most nations that are members of the International Whaling Commission have complied with its resolutions to ban commercial whaling. Still nations like Japan, Norway, and Iceland continue whaling and kill several hundreds of these aniamls every year, somtimes under the excuse that they do it for scientific reasons (although the whale meat finds it way to supermaket in some counties). There is even an increased tendency by other nations to soften their stance against whaling based on several premises: a) that the populations of some species such as the minke whale are abundant enough that they allow the resumption of their capture; b) that whaling by "aboriginal" people who used to kill whales in the past is part of their "cultural heritage" and, thus, should be allowed even if that capture will not change substantially the living conditions of those peoples; c) that coastal whaling should be permitted since it will benefit local fishermen. Many nations from small islands in the Antilles to the U.S. itself, have been leaning in favor of the above-mentioned arguments. On top of that there is "pirate whaling," i.e., whaling being conducted by ships whose registration and port of origin and/or destination is unclear and for which statistics are difficult to obtain. Since the International Whaling Commission lacks enforcement power, there is little what they can do. Only a handful of non-profit organizations such as Sea Shepherd are acting against such activities. I hope this answers your questions. Best wishes, Aldemaro Romero, Ph.D.