Premium Essay

Whaling

In: English and Literature

Submitted By sdcho3
Words 8170
Pages 33
Introduction
Since the indefinite commercial whaling moratorium was introduced in 1986, the whaling nations have killed around 15,000 whales between them. At the time of writing, the Japanese whaling fleet has just returned from Antarctic waters where a further 300 or so minke whales have been killed for so called ‘research’, in open defiance of world public opinion and the IWC which has never validated the Japanese programme. The meat from those dead whales will end up on sale in Japanese restaurants and on supermarket shelves. Japan is not only defying the global moratorium on commercial whaling, it is killing whales in a sanctuary agreed by the IWC in 1994.
Japan has ‘recruited’ many countries to the IWC to support the resumption of commercial whaling using foreign aid packages. If the ban is lost it will be a disaster for whale conservation efforts.
This report presents the many reasons why the ban on commercial whaling must be maintained and properly enforced. We cannot wipe away the tragic history of commercial whaling, but we can, and must, prevent its repetition.
The Natural History of Whales
Whales belong to the order of mammals known as Cetacea. There are about 80 species of cetaceans, including all the dolphins and porpoises, as well as the ten so-called ‘great’ whale species, which have borne the brunt of commercial whaling.
Cetaceans are believed to have evolved from land mammals, which adapted to an aquatic existence about 50 million years ago. They are superbly adapted to life in the deep oceans. They can dive to and rise from great depths without having to decompress like human divers, and can remain submerged for long periods (well over an hour in some cases). A thick layer of blubber serves them both for insulation and buoyancy. Nostrils or “blowholes” on the top of their heads enable whales to breathe while swimming with maximum efficiency....

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