Should Whaling be Banned - Term Paper Example

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Whaling is a controversial activity, which involves the hunting of whales in order to benefit from its products such as meat, oil and baleen among others and which should be banned completely…
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Should Whaling be Banned
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Download file to see previous pages It is believed that these are areas had little capacity to support agriculture and therefore, people had to look for an alternative source of livelihood and whaling turned out to be the most sufficient. During this time, whales were in plenty and though it is still thought to have been cruel, this activity did not pose any significant threat to the whale population as it was only conducted at the subsistence level. Furthermore, there were no sophisticated equipments to facilitate large scale whaling. Instead, fishermen used crude methods and equipment such as canoes, which exposed them to dangers associated with this activity such as drowning as a result of the canoes capsizing while struggling to catch the whales or even suffering attacks from the mammoth oceanic creatures. The whalers used the canoes to surround the target whale in order to force it to change its course and swim to the shore, where it would end up on the beach and helpless thus making it easy to catch (James et al 36). Between the years 1700 and 1900, it is believed that this activity had consumed a significantly high number i.e. more than 50000 whales of the bowhead species leading to their near extinction, not withstanding the fact that this was only in the eastern coast of Greenland. However, the endangerment of these species begun in the early 1900s, when technological advancements facilitated the building of large ships and cannons, whose success rate enhanced large scale whaling and in turn, the growth of industries specializing in whale processing (Healy 38) . According to statistics, in the period between 1910 and 1969, more than 2 million whales of different species were killed and worse still, current studies indicate that the population of blue whales in the whole world is approximately 3500, which is significantly low considering the fact that in the year 1931 alone, approximately 29000 blue whales were caught and slaughtered (Freeman 148). In fact, the remaining population of blue whales is considered to be less or equals to 1% of their original population. This shows that there is a major and real threat to whales, which must be sorted out before other species are affected in the same manner. Other statistics show that between 1986 and 2001, more than 27000 whales were killed despite the fact that there was a moratorium which was introduced in 1986 to protect the whales from commercial whaling companies. However, it may be notable that this moratorium did not restrict whaling for scientific purposes and this has been used by countries, such as Japan, as an excuse to continue participating in commercial whaling in the pretext of conducting scientific research (Gillespie 67). The magnitude of this threat to the whales may be subject to contradiction meaning that it could even be higher than the figures and data available. This is due to the fact that the International Whaling Commission (IWC) sometimes relies on figures, which have been disputed on some occasions by independent researchers. For example, the IWC once produced figures, which showed that the original number of Humpback whales was approximately 100000. On the contrary, data produced through DNA sampling in 2003 showed that the original number of Humpback whales was approximately 1.5 million i.e. before commercial whaling was introduced (Gillespie 73). With less than 20000 humpback whales remaining, the level of damage caused may be overestimated or underestimated depending on the data one decides to rely on. Similarly, the original estimates of Minke whales in the Antarctic has never been established since the IWC disowned its estimate of 760000 whales after resurveying and coming up with a new conclusion that they ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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