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Whaling Diplomacy: Whale Conservation Or Economic And Political Gain?


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2 thoughts on “Whaling Diplomacy: Whale Conservation Or Economic And Political Gain?

  • July 29, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Unfortunately, the author attempts to pose as an unbiased party while slanting the article in favor of pro-whaling arguments.

    This is most easily identified in the repetition of straw man arguments such as a false comparison of the whaling issue to fox hunts, thus implying cultural imperialism without fully examining the actual anti-whaling position. In each case, whether it is fox hunting, factory farms, or kangaroo killing, there are many activists who stand in opposition and conveniently go unmentioned.

    However, the real tragedy of such historically ignorant articles is the way the author barely touched on the near century of regulatory violations of whaling nations.

    Over the course of the 20th century whaling industries violated size limits, species protections, seasonal limits, all manner of quotas, and even facilitated “pirate whaling” operations (that’s front companies in foreign countries illegally and secretly killing whales in order to ship the unreported meat to Japan). They actively subverted national laws and international resolutions with impunity.

    The over-exploitation of whales and subversion of regulations drove nearly every large species of whale to the brink of extinction and many species remain endangered today as a result.

    Iceland’s whaling history up to the mid 20th century was almost entirely dominated by foreign companies seeking oil profits.

    Japan’s whaling “tradition” (according to professor Jun Morikawa) is isolated to a relative few coastal villages and whale meat was only a “substitute meat” during the post WWII recovery. Today, whaling is conducted to support entrenched bureaucrats (amakudari) who often leave their public offices to take high paid jobs in the commercial industry they once oversaw and secured tax-funded subsidies for.

    And Norway’s whaling industry did not turn to whaling for whale meat until whale oil lost its market value.

    The demand for whale meat has declined in all three of these countries and only a tiny fraction of their populations consumes it.

    Without these important points of reference (especially the decades of blatant regulatory violations) the author lends weight to the arguments of the pro-whaling nations.

    While whales have become powerful symbols of environmentalism, the many valid reasons for opposing whaling are shared among the scientists, officials, activists, and general public of many nations. The idea that opposition to whaling is based entirely on emotion or cultural imperialism is a falsehood of pro-whaling propaganda.

    The Save the Whales movement formed when the public became aware that nearly every species of large whale was threatened with extinction by the illicit over-exploitation of commercial whaling.

    • July 30, 2011 at 12:06 pm

      An apology is due if the article seems to be siding with the pro whalers camp.

      The idea was to provide both sides of the debate and what both camps have argued and therefore the fox hunting comparison.

      This article was a humble attempt to try and examine the international regulations regarding whaling. One was interested in the current International law regarding whaling which seems to not be about preventing whaling; that was the intent of writing the article; along with the need for a more comprehensive effort to save the whales.

      In the article, one has also submitted that arguments against whales go beyond cultural / emotional conditions.

      Regarding the way in which pro whalers continue to cull whales or have in the past violated international was interested in impying that even under the current International Law , whaling continues…in great proportions.

      Apologies again for seeming to side with the pro whaler camp.


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