333 Minke Whales killed in this year’s research season by Japan alone. That must be some extensive research going on. Sounds like much? In fact, these 333 are the number of whales that Japan has hunted for this year’s season and they just returned home after fulfilling their quota for research whale fishing.
Can we honestly say that it is within modern standards to fish whale? It is hard to say if the quota of 333 has any significant impact on the Minke Whales as there are between 300.000 and 400.000 of them in the wild, but it remains a large number only to do research on. Where does the meat go?
The issue might rather be the fact that we allow hunting of a species that are threatened in many ways. Does this research benefit us in any way?
Fact is that international organisations such as UN has banned japans “scientific program” of whale hunting, but Japan says it’s not applicable to them. Can more be done to get through to Japan and change their mind? Perhaps it is the other way around and it is the rest of the world that needs to be educated on the actual research benefits of Japans whale hunt. Many of the animals killed are not grown and yet the fishing fleet is gloating over their success. A Minke whale has a 10-month gestation period and the only live for 50 years, much shorter than other whales. Once a dip in the species numbers happens the time to recuperate is quite long. Latest numbers in the population suggests they are decreasing, however data collection is to large parts deficient. Some numbers suggest that the population has gone down almost 60% the last 40 years, but for then unknown causes.
One would think that in modern days with all sanctions and programs in place, whaling would be a thing of the past. Regardless of the right or wrong in this question, is it in line with todays ecological and wildlife protection efforts to continue with the killings?
I think it would be interesting to get the real facts and figures for and against these actions. As previously mentioned there are deficiencies in the counting of whales for one and perhaps not enough information of what kind of research is being done from the killed whales to really have an educated opinion. Last of all let’s not forget that Norway and other nations fishermen also catches these whales.