Just when I begin to think that wiser heads will prevail around the world and whale hunting will become a thing of the past, another country decides to revive its whaling industry.
This time the country is South Korea.
According to the New York Times, South Korea wants to start whaling again using the same “scientific” loophole that Japan has used for years.
South Korea said its fishermen were complaining that growing whale populations were depleting fishing stocks, an assertion that the World Wildlife Fund said had no scientific basis.
It’s disturbing to hear the “depleted fishing stocks” argument used to deplete whales. Similar arguments are used to justify the slaughter of seals in Canada and Namibia. But the fact is that the fishing industry itself is responsible for depleted fishing stocks. For instance, there were plenty of cod off the coast of New England long before the whaling industry took off.
The only good news to emerge from the recent meeting of International Whaling Commission (IWC) was that the commission rejected Greenland’s request to increase its whale quota.
But Greenland has to be looking at the actions of South Korea and thinking: “If we just call our whale hunts ‘research’ then we don’t need any approval at all.”
And to underscore the farce of the so-called ban on whaling, here’s another gem from the WSJ:
The South Korean government has banned commercial whale hunting since 1986 but allows the sale of meat from whales accidentally caught in a fishing net.
So I guess any notion of trying to free a whale from a fishing net is out of the question. Just kill it and make a few dollars on the side. That’s quite a whaling ban they’ve got going.
I truly believed that when I wrote The Tourist Trail that the whaling industry was in its last days. Sadly, I was wrong.