Stop pseudo-scientific whaling

This video says about itself:

MS Expedition Antarctic Whales!

The passengers of the M/S Expedition ooh and ah as two Humpback Whales play around the ship.

Warning: people of a delicate disposition may want to turn the sound off 😉

Humpback Whale Close Encounter Off California Coast Captured By Photographer (PHOTOS): here.

By Peter Frost:

Frosty’s Ramblings: Rise of the whale hunt

Thursday 12 July 2012

South Korea said this week it may “reconsider” its plan to start hunting whales again.

That’s good news, though it’s not a battle won and those who wish to preserve these magnificent animals will need to keep up the pressure.

I’ve long been fond of whales. Each spring thousands of them head south down the east coast of Australia. Last year my wife Ann and I were lucky enough to spend a holiday following them in a campervan.

These enormous and highly intelligent creatures had spent the winter giving birth to their calves in the tropical waters off northern Australia. They were now heading for the rich krill-feeding ground that is the Antarctic in summer.

On the way south we spotted many playful family groups from beaches and headlands along the coast.

Most were humpbacks, some up to 50 feet long and weighing 35 tons – that’s heavier than three double-decker buses.

Even larger were the southern right whales, cynically named by the early whalers because it was the “right” whale to catch – they often floated when killed.

Most spectacular but less common on the route were the 60-foot sperm whales, the biggest predators on the planet.

We’ve been lucky enough to see whales all over the world – New England and New Zealand, California, Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.

Nearer home we actually reckon you can’t beat Shetland and Britain’s other northern isles to see whales and other cetacean species.

On one occasion we had just loaded our campervan on the Sunday lunchtime ferry between Shetland’s mainland and the island of Yell. Five minutes out the captain made a curious announcement.

“Can I ask if anyone is in a hurry?” his voice crackled over the speaker, “because I’ve just seen a pod of orcas and if nobody is in a rush I think we should take a closer look.”

Much later we docked on Yell. It is normally only a 20-minute trip but we had spent over an hour with six amazing killer whales.

That’s why I was really angry earlier this month when South Korea announced it was to resume hunting whales under regulations permitting scientific research.

South Korea is using the same dubious excuse as Japan.

Once a small so-called scientific sample of the whale has been taken the remaining tons of expensive meat and blubber are on their way to posh sushi restaurants.

South Korea will join the small but distasteful club of nations who ignore world opinion and the global moratorium on the bloody slaughter which reached its peak in 1962 with 66,000 kills. The biggest remaining whaling fleets are from Norway, Iceland and Japan.

Seoul announced its plans at the 64th annual International Whaling Commission (IWC) held in Panama.

The commission is increasingly being accused of being toothless by more militant campaigners for sea mammals.

The 89-member IWC is only concerned with larger species of whale. And future commission meetings will only be held every two years.

In Panama Japan scuppered widely supported international plans for a whale sanctuary in the south Atlantic and an attempt to get the United Nations to debate the hunting of all cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises and so on).

Japan pays the IWC subscriptions for small whaling states – which include the IWC’s new chairwoman Jeannine Compton-Antoine’s St Lucia – to get the 25 per cent vote it needs for these vetoes.

Today catching whales “accidentally” in fishing nets is already common in South Korea. Whale meat is easily found in markets and restaurants.

South Korea was one of the first countries to use the scientific whaling excuse after the 1986 IWC global whaling moratorium.

International pressure and protest stopped them then. It can again.

South Korea drops scientific whaling plan: here.

Seoul’s proposed intelligence-sharing agreement with Tokyo provoked a political crisis for the South Korean government: here.

South Korea: Dictator’s daughter announces presidential bid: here.

The chairman of one of South Korea’s largest industrial conglomerates was sentenced to four years in prison and fined 5.1 billion won (£2.9m) for embezzlement today: here.

Atlantic right whales are in danger—help us protect them today! Here.

CanadaL Whale watchers off Newfoundland call them Mutt and Jeff, and for two seasons now, this rare pair of humpback whales of remarkably similar size, behaviour and friendliness has left locals and tourists awestruck: here.

A sperm whale that was rescued and returned to sea after being stranded for four days in shallow waters off the coast of West Java in Indonesia has died, a rescuer said Monday: here.

August 2012. One of the largest recorded sightings of Blue whales off the coast of San Diego has been spotted by veteran aerial photographer and marine biologist Eddie Kisfaludy: here.

11 thoughts on “Stop pseudo-scientific whaling

  1. Workers stand their ground

    Friday 13 July 2012

    Over 70,000 South Korean finance workers voted yesterday to stage the first industry-wide strike in 12 years in a bid to stop the sell-off of two firms.

    The Financial Industry Union wants the government to keep hold of Woori Finance Holdings and KDB Financial Group.

    And workers at Hyundai Motor staged a partial walkout yesterday to demand an end to night work. Union members at Kia and General Motors also joined in.


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