Friday, 19 March 2010

In The News: Whaling

Japan's whaling policy and practices receive close scrutiny
Not whaling but drowning

The fight over whaling

Japanese media express frustration at NZ activist

Abduction of Aboriginal Whaling Rights

International Whaling Commission [pdf]

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society: Species Guide

For the most part, commercial whaling came to a halt in 1986 when the International Whaling Commission imposed a moratorium on this practice. Some nations, including Japan, have continued to conduct limited whale hunts for what they term "research" purposes, but this is a practice that is frowned on in some quarters. Whaling has received new attention in recent weeks as the American film "The Cove" won an Oscar for Best Documentary. The film deals with a related topic, namely the annual dolphin slaughter in the village of Taiji. Japan's practices would appear to have international political effects, as Australia's prime minister Kevin Rudd has mentioned that he would sue Japan in the International Court of Justice if it does not give up whaling in the near future. The situation became more hostile this past week when anti-whaling activist Peter Bethune was arrested in Tokyo. Back in February, Bethune had boarded the Japanese vessel Shonan Maru II with the intent of arresting the ship's captain. Bethune claims that the captain had attempted to murder his crew members as they were trying to halt whaling activities by disrupting ships by using lasers and various chemicals. [KMG]

The first link will take visitors to an opinion piece by The Economist's Banyan on the current state of whaling agreements. The second link leads to a follow-up piece by Banyan that includes responses to his first piece. Moving on, the third link will lead users to a news article from the March 15th New Zealand Herald which talks about the Japanese media's reaction to Peter Bethune's recent activities. The fourth link leads to a thoughtful piece by Chris Butler-Stroud, the chief executive of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation society, on how commercial and political interests have worked to abuse the historical whaling rights of indigenous people. The fifth link whisks users away to the homepage of the International Whaling Commission. Here visitors can learn about treaties governing commercial whaling and other related materials. Finally, the last link leads to a fun and informative guide to identifying whales and dolphins, courtesy of the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. [KMG]

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