Commercial Whaling Countless amounts of great whales will be illegally caught and slaughtered for commercial sale and “scientific” research this year. In spite of a worldwide moratorium, put in place by the International Whaling Commission twenty four years ago banning the act of commercial whaling, three defiant countries continue to hunt whales illegally. If these countries hunt whales against the law and continue to get away with minimal consequence it may encourage other countries to resume their whaling operations.
If stricter laws are not out in place the whale populations will be hunted to extinction and the greatest conservation accomplishment of the twentieth century will go down the drain. Animal rights have evolved over the years but still carry the same ideas and values as they did decades ago which is important in today’s society. According to the SIRS researcher website, to ensure the wellbeing of animals the Animal Welfare Act was signed into law in 1966. If the act was never passed then we would still be in the dark ages, using animals as disposable resources.
The domesticated animals such as dogs and cats that we keep in our home that we love and take pride in wouldn’t be protected if not for the fact. Animal Rights advocates believe animals are not property nor should they be used for food, clothing, experimentation or entertainment. Animals are a part of nature and should be preserved rather than poached. Sharing many of the same ideals activists created animal conservation organizations. PETA was founded in 1980 with one hundred members, today there are over 750,000 members. These organizations are important in animal conservation efforts.
The advocates represent the animals that cannot speak or defend themselves. The animal rights act helps to protect the wellbeing of animals and if it were never put into place we would have never evolved to this point in society. Whale enthusiasts or activists have many reasons to love the great mammals of the ocean. The National Audubon Society guide to marine mammals of the world by Randall Reeves says that Northern Right whales were the first great whales to be hunted by commercial whalers because they were slow, easy to catch, and they are rich in oil and baleen.
Whale hunters determined these to be the “right whales to kill”. Due to their peaceful nature people find the thought of slaughtering the Northern Right whales, because they are easy to kill, hard to swallow. The Grey whale makes the longest annual migrations of any living mammal, traveling some 5,000 miles. The mystery of how one mammal could travel so far from its northern feeding ground astounds humans. The Humpback whale is best known for its acrobatic displays and its haunting songs. These majestic animals warm the hearts of humans with their natural talents.
People often take trips to go “whale watching” just to see the astonishing Humpbacks graceful displays. The peaceful nature of the whales draws humans in warming their hearts. It makes it hard for the advocates to understand how one could stand to kill such a kind hearted mammal. Animal activists began to believe commercial whaling was becoming too out of control and formed anti-whaling organizations. The Global Whale Alliance was formed in 2001 with members who believe commercial slaughter of whales has no place in a modern compassionate world. The members of the GWA are passionate about keeping the ban on commercial whaling intact.
They are more focused on salvaging the ban than fighting to stop the illegal Whalers. During the ban, around 25,000 whales have been slaughtered by defiant nations such as Japan. The illegal hunting of whales is greatly affecting the population of great whales in the world. Japan, Iceland and Norway continue whaling in spite of the ban and get away with no consequences. A compromise Package has been purposed by the Unites States allowing three countries Japan, Iceland and Norway to resume commercial whaling under the “Revised Management Scheme”.
Instead of fighting to put more laws into place to control the illegal whaling they are letting the disobedient countries get what they wanted in the first place. These three countries are the only countries that are ignoring the twenty four year old moratorium. If there are not severe consequences then the illegal whaling will continue and our whale population will disappear before our eyes. In many eyes the International Whaling Commission’s decision to lift the restriction on commercial whaling was extremely controversial.
Some believed that lifting the ban would bring more peace between the nations; others believed that it would hinder the whale populations rather than help the situation. According to journalist Stephen Clark, the Obama Administration stood behind the IWC’s decision to lift the twenty four year ban on commercial whaling because “it will save whales in the next decade by stopping the illegal whaling”. President Obama was questioned for his side in the controversy. He received phone calls, emails, faxes, and letters opposing the decision, trying to persuade him to change his position.
Some estimate that averages of 38,000 whales were killed each yeah before the moratorium reduced it to 1,240. Factual evidence of how much the ban has decreased whaling is astonishing. It has saved the lives of so many and promises a bright future for the mammals. The ban is considered the greatest conservation victory of the twentieth century. The destruction of such a huge success for animal advocates would mean the end to future hope for animal conservation. To work so hard at something and have it taken away would discourage activists.
Great success for the whales and all those who supported the ban was delivered June 23rd 2010. Activist Melissa Gonzalez says that after two days of negotiating the International Whaling Commission announces that they are rejecting the proposal to lift the ban on commercial whaling. Exuberant now that the ban is still in place and eighty-eight countries are still in an alliance, the whales still face the antagonizing issue they have faced all along. How can the illegal whalers be stopped? Obviously the fines that have been dealt to Japanese whaling companies have not been effective.
Actions such as shutting whaling companies down would be much more effective than sending fines that are brushed off the shoulders, paid for, and forgotten. If stricter laws are not put into place the whale populations will be hunted to extinction and the greatest conservation accomplishment of the twentieth century will go down the drain. Japan, Iceland and Norway are the only three of eighty eight countries disobeying the ban on commercial whaling. They continue to kill whales by the thousands in spite of the twenty four year old moratorium. These illegal operations must be shut down in order to stop the illegal whaling for once and all.