Some Perspective on Whaling

Whaling is goodThe world’s meddlers gnash their teeth over whaling whether it is for scientific purposes or for commercial. Right now the moratorium on commercial whaling isn’t working and just over 1500 whales were harvested last year in whaling activities and 31,084 in total since the moratorium began in 1986. Those figures sound horrendous. I am of course using the WWF figures and we all know how accurate and peer reviewed their information is. An independent assessment done by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (they must be good, they have the word conservation in their title) says that “Iceland, Norway, and Japan – have brutally slaughtered over 25,000 whales under the guise of scientific research and for commercial purposes”. Note their overly emotive language. They were harvested, as we know, not brutally slaughtered. To use that terminology I would hate to think how they consider the Beef? industry. Somewhere between those numbers lies the truth.

But there is a problem, apart from Sea Shepherd being pirates. You see, the total number of Whales harvested in Whaling activities is somewhat less than the total number killed through other means. “Bullshit” I hear you say, but it is true. In fact the total number of whales harvested in commercial or scientific causes over the time of the whole moratorium is only 10% of the number of whale slaughtered each year by other means.“Bullshit” I hear you scream again, I also hear you screaming “Save the Whales”.

Unfortunately I am right and you are wrong. Much and all that you can’t stand that, I have evidence that conveniently the pirates and other groups forget to tell you. The WWF, note endorsed by the IWC, again notes;

“Almost 1,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises die every day in nets and fishing gear. Some species are being pushed to the brink of extinction,” said Karen Baragona of WWF’s species conservation program. “We developed this ranking to help governments and aid agencies target their investments for the best return.”

The report will be submitted to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) at its annual meeting next week in South Korea. The scientific committee of the IWC includes many of the world’s leading marine scientists, who last year endorsed the methodology of the WWF report.

The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy last year noted that by-catch is the greatest threat globally to whales, dolphins and porpoises, known scientifically as cetaceans. Bycatch is the accidental capture in fishing gear of species — including cetaceans — that fishermen do not intend to catch. Because cetaceans need to come to the surface to breathe, if they are trapped underwater in fishing nets, they die. In 2003, researchers estimated that more than 300,000 cetaceans are killed in fishing gear each year in the worlds oceans.

So, I ask you, why are we complaining about commercial whaling when the IWC will reduce the number harvested from that at present, when far more cetaceans are brutally slaughtered by other means. Far, more in fact, 31,984 harvested, 7,200,000 slaughtered in non-whaling activities since the moratorium began. Sea Shepherd (the pirates) and WWF would be far better to see a reduction by half in the non-whaling slaughter, allow 10,000 whales per annum to be harvested and that really will save the whales.

Now can we please stop the nonsense that Labour, the Greens, the Pirates and others are going on about and please address the real issue with saving the whales, because it sure isn’t whaling that is causing their alleged decline.