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IWC considering allowing open whaling


9 Feb 2005
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For any of you Japanese people who love whales and who fear for what this means to whale populations, I strongly suggest you take pen to paper (or keyboard to http://www.iwcoffice.org or your national newspapers ) and express your indignation!

Living in a whaling nation is a unique opportunity to transform your nation's perspective even though it is going somewhat "against the tide."

Here is a copy of a letter I sent to two of Australia's biggest newpapers:

The Editor,

The International Whaling Commission is considering lifting a 19yr ban on whaling to allow Japan, Norway and Iceland and anybody else kill as many whales as they want. According to the Pew Foundation Report of 2003 we have lost 90% of the big fish, which includes whales. There is no credible science supporting the premise that whale populations are rebounding - unless you count the studies funded by whaling nations.

Several US and Canadian marine biologists have recommended to the IWC that whaling be resumed because "it's better than the alternative, which is pretending it doesn't happen." That's like saying we should legalise murder, assault, rape, theft, child abuse etc. on the same ground - that it's going to happen anyway so you might as well let people just go ahead and do it.

The killing of whales has no place in the 21st Century. It is a cruel, barbaric, and antiquated slaughter of highly intelligent, socially complex marine mammals. No sensitive ecologically aware person can accept such a bloody industry. For the sake of the whales, a better alternative would be to ban "scientific" whaling by Japan and act aggressively against blatant illegal whaling by Norway. Both these nations are pirate whaling nations. Instead of forcing them into compliance with international regulations, now the IWC is contemplating giving them a green light to kill even more whales!

I'm also very concerned about the small nations that have recently joined the IWC (Kiribati, Mali, Suriname, Cote d'Ivore, Tuvalu) who have been paid off by Japan to vote in favor of whaling. These struggling nations are happy to take financial handouts from the whaling countries in return for a vote and their votes could tip the scales in favour of resuming whaling.

Here in Australia, which used to be a whaling nation some decades ago, the whale watching industry is big. Resumption of whaling will effectively wipe out all the whales in a short time, then people in the world will not derive any pleasure from watching these gentle giants and many thriving eco-friendly businesses will suffer as a result.

Whales have suffered enough at the hands of humanity. It is time to place all the harpoons in museums. Our oceans are dying. Commercial fisheries are collapsing because of the incompetence and mis-management by government fishery agencies and the same scientists who now claim that whales can be managed sustainably are the same scientists who oversaw the demise of the fisheries and justified the extreme takes and the over-exploitation of species.

I also heard that the whales help prevent global warming because they eat trillions of plankton which would otherwise die off and create a massive amounts of methane (which is a greenhouse gas) to be released into the atmosphere. Our Earth needs whales!

Surely the function of IWC is to protect the oceans inhabitants not give full licence to anyone who wants to kill them for whatever reason? Please voice your concerns at www.iwcoffice.org - let them know Australians don't want whaling to resume. Now is the time to speak up before it's too late!

Let me know if your letters get printed.

The whales and your grandchildren thank you.
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