Human Interaction

Stop Whaling

posted: 08/13/12
More Anti-Whaling LinksStop Whaling Japan, Stop Whaling United States, Whale Wars Voice

Animal Planet recognizes that some fans of the Whale Wars series will be interested in finding out more about whaling and, if they support an end to this practice, how they can help make a difference. As a service to these viewers, we offer the following resources and ways to take action on behalf of whales.

The Start of Scientific Whaling

In 1986, Japan agreed to the International Whaling Commission's (IWC) moratorium on commercial whaling. The following year, Japan announced a large-scale scientific whaling program designed to assess whale stocks. Their goal? A resumption of commercial whaling with set, sustainable limits.

Over the last two decades, Japanese ships have killed thousands of whales as part of the country's scientific whaling program. Many in the IWC have repeatedly questioned the scientific validity of this program, suggesting that Japan's research is nothing more than a front for continued whaling. Japan maintains that its methods are sound.

Japan's Scientific Whaling Program Today

This year, Japan will continue its scientific whaling program in Antarctica, targeting roughly 1,000 whales. Some will die immediately. Many others will suffer for 10, 20 even 30 minutes before being dispatched. Greenpeace will be there to witness and record the whale hunt. Sea Shepherd will be there in an attempt to interrupt it. If recent history is any indication, the anti-whaling nations of the world will remain silently, distantly opposed, but will not take direct action to prevent it.

And Japan will continue to hunt whales while maintaining its position that these animals are:

  • depleting the world's fish stocks, causing human hunger;
  • that minke whales are blocking blue whale recovery;
  • that anti-whaling activist groups like Sea Shepherd practice unlawful eco-terrorism;
  • that no nation has the right to question or criticize the food culture of another country;
  • and that whales can and should be commercially harvested, regardless of what we now know about their great intelligence, rich social lives and ability to feel pain.
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