Whaling: The Issues Within The Murder

1467 words - 6 pages

There are many issues in the environment today which are affected by humans – one of these is whaling. Whaling is a very dangerous and gruesome practice in which whales are killed and harvested for parts of their bodies including their oil, meat and baleen plates. Whaling is also a large part of some cultures, including the aboriginal and Japanese cultures. Whaling in the past has severely depleted the numbers of whales in our oceans, causing near extinction in some whale species. A whaling ban has been put in place to limit whaling and protect whales, there are some problematic issues to do with this ban. Whaling is a very controversial topic throughout the world. The issues I will be discussing today include; how many types of whales are endangered due to whaling, that there is no humane way to kill the whales and the fact that it is easy to get around the whaling ban due to a large loophole in the clause – and furthermore that there are countries that use this loophole to their advantage.

Many species of whale have been hunted to near extinction. Some of these species include: Blue whales, Right whales and Humpback whales. Commercial shore – also known as bay – whaling began in 1805 (Baker, 1999 p. 15). This limited whalers to a certain extent as whales rarely came close to shore without provocation. In 1849, deep-sea whaling began, this meant that it was a lot easier to catch and kill whales (Baker, 1999 p. 14). Two of the biggest advances in whaling history were a cannon fired harpoon in 1864 (Carwardine, 1998, p. 20) which would explode inside the whale, and floating factory ships in the 1920's which meant that voyages could be longer and further out at sea without a loss of whale oil. Because of these developments, whaling numbers increased. Antarctic whaling became increasingly popular in 1904, when whale stocks were running out in other areas of the world. The total number of whales killed over 9 seasons in Antarctica from 1922 to 1931 was put at 223,000 (Baker, 1999 p. 18). At this point, a restriction had been put in place so that whaling only happened 3 months of the year and protected females and calves. Many whale species have not, and will never recover from the remorseless killing (Baker, 1999 pp. 14, 23). Whales are some of the most endangered creatures of the world, and many are still hunted today. Humans killing whales has disrupted the delicate food chain of the oceans. Whales – Baleen especially – stabilise the flow of the food chain and by killing these whales the food chain doesn't run as smoothly. Even the excretion from whales is important as it helps to neutralise the carbon in the atmosphere. Nothing exists in isolation and whales are needed to keep oceans full. Whales keep krill and carbon levels low in oceans which means that the water is cleaner and the organisms that live in it are healthier.

There has never been a humane way of killing whales, and many of the technological advances of whaling have made no...

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