Making Whalers Extinct Versus The Whales?


The tides are turning literally and figuratively in bringing the heinous act of whale hunting to an end. Conservationists are hopeful that their successful efforts in shuttering one commercial whaling shop in Iceland might be the first beacon of hope that their efforts will go world-wide, and that the final chapter of whale hunting might be in our foreseeable future.

Iceland closing shop this year. . .

Kristjan LoftssonKristjan LoftssonWhile Kristjan Loftsson, director of Hvalur HF, Iceland’s largest whaling operation would like the world to believe he is closing shop this season due to difficulty in exporting the meat to the Japanese market, the truth go a little deeper than that. It seems that Japan requires chemical analysis for imported meat, which the head of Hvalur HF insists is “outdated” and refuses to carry out hunts for the Japanese until Japan adopts newer, modern research methods.

According to Whale and Dolphin Conservation, last year alone, Loftsson’s whaling company was reported to have killed 155 fin whales bringing his total to 706 since Iceland resumed commercial whaling in 2006.

Other reasons thwarting Iceland’s whaling operation . . .

Despite the company's drive to keep the hunt for fin whales going forward, it’s been plagued by a growing number of other problems from international opposition, political pressure, contaminated meat, trouble with shipping routes and a declining interest in whale meat all together.

Other countries support the end to whaling . . .

The global civic movement Avaaz ran two campaigns, backed by over a million people targeting some of Kristjan Loftsson’s other transport routes for fin whale meat.

The first, in 2013 Avaaz persuaded the Dutch government to block shipments of the meat coming into their ports. The second, in 2015 requested St. Kitts and Nevis to remove their flag of registration from ships used to carry the meat.

Thousands of Avaaz members also sent messages to German authorities and helped get whale meat returned from Hamburg to Iceland. They also posted calls to end the hunt on St Kitts Facebook page, as well as Icelandic members speaking out to RUV, Iceland`s biggest radio station, against whaling.

Danny AuronDanny AuronDanny Auron, Avaaz's campaign director said:  “This summer, Iceland’s majestic fin whales can swim safe from the threat of being murdered and butchered. Kristjan Loftsson was dead-set on continuing the hunt, but millions of voices from around the world joined together to disrupt his trade, and it worked. It looks like fin whalers are on the verge of extinction in Iceland, instead of fin whales.”

Two more countries to target. . .

Norway is still hunting a greater proportion of breeding females which could put the long-term survival of minke whales in the North Atlantic in severe danger.

And Japan while refusing to accept whale meat from Iceland, the Japanese continue to hunt whale based on what they consider their country's long tradition. They see the desire of other countries and organizations demanding they cease operations is a direct threat to Japanese culture.

According to its defenders, eating whale meat is an old and impenetrable Japanese tradition. "No one has the right to criticize the food culture of another people," said Matayuki Komatsu of Japan's Fisheries Agency.

Your Thoughts Readers . . .

The world's support is behind the whale hunt ban movement, but more has to be done. Over 800,000 fin whales were killed last century, putting them on the red list as endangered species even today.

So while there is verifiable success in thwarting whale hunting out of Iceland and a global consensus growing that the practice should cease, should countries like Norway and Japan persist . . . or can we begin to believe that there is indeed a viable path to making whalers the extinct lifeforms and not their prey?

Ron Callari
Fun Pet and Animal Stories

Mar 3, 2016
by Anonymous
add comment reply

Whaling is a relic of the

Whaling is a relic of the past.

Mar 3, 2016
by Anonymous
add comment reply

Well, I fully agree with

Well, I fully agree with Japan's whaling program. Minkes are abundant, nobody can impose their views on what they eat. Their hunting can be traced back thousands of years so they have a established culture and tradition. Just as I have eaten whale in Iceland and Japan, I have tried wallaby in AU, baby Lamb in NZ, impala and Zebra in Kenya, horse in Switzerland, jelly fish in China, piglets (45 days old) in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil and so on. I strongly believe that animals, both domesticated and wild should be consumed, provided that science says they are abundant. When they are overabundant like Koalas in Victoria, AU, the government had no problem in culling them. So I agree with your feeling against whaling but not with intolerance, totalitarian, imperialistic, fundamentalist and vegan views trying to impose on other just because they see matters on a different light. So, as you may see, I have issues even though I will not act on them because I respect diversity and feel that you will treat me in the same manner. If you don't, then I will fight back. Cheers

Mar 3, 2016
by Anonymous
add comment reply

Hatred and underlying racism

Hatred and underlying racism is a relic of the past and there seems to be a significant amount in dealing with the whaling issue. The attacks on Japan are sickening. Read the comments. They are like nobody else's. " Nuke them", "destroy their fleet", "We should have killed them all" "Barbaric" and so on. But on Norway? They have blue eyes and they can not give a care about what you say. Right? uhmmmmm. Terrible.

Mar 20, 2016
by Anonymous
add comment reply

Your argument that

Your argument that opposition to whaling is based in racism just doesn't fly with me. If that were the case would you also be defending practices like honor killings, head hunting, ivory poaching, and other such "traditions" that go back centuries? You might as well be defending racism itself, the resulting ethnic fueds between certain groups have long been considered somewhat of a tradition and religious cause by those who fight them. Doesn't make it "right". Japan is the largest consumer of whale meat making it a target for those arguing against whale hunting. Those against whale hunting are not targeting (for example) Native American or Native Peoples right to conduct whale hunts (which may account for less than 1% of whales killed each year). They are targeting commercial whaling, an entirely different operation. In fact today most Japanese do not even eat whale (this is a misconception that all Japanese eat whale). In the past whale meat was used in Japan as part of the diet right after WWII, when their economy had been devastated and the country had trouble feeding its population. Today whaling is being pushed and almost entirely funded by the government despite greatly declined consumption of whale meat among the Japanese population. It's hardly out of "tradition" that whale mean makes its way into into the market. Furthermore, since there is a worldwide ban on industrial whaling the Japanese government claims it is whaling for "scientific research", a claim that is obviously bogus since almost all of this whale meat is sold for consumption. Certain practices are made to go the way of the dinosaur, and the planet we leave to future generations should be more important than what we have done in the past. If the people and governments of the world decide we should switch from fossil fuels like coal and gasoline to cleaner alternatives, that we should stop polluting ecosystems and killing endangered or important animals because most humans are concerned with their future and future generations, than maybe we should consider that a smart path to take. Whales are an important part of the ecosystem, an important part of our oceans, because there are not as many whales today we get problems like too much algae in our oceans choking out the rest of the wildlife leaving huge areas where nothing can survive. Japan itself signed the treaty banning commercial whaling, the Japanese government should follow that treaty. It is not a matter of "racism" it is a matter of LAW, an international agreement between countries for the future health of the planet.

Share Your Thoughts!

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.