Friday, December 21, 2007

Some Good Whale News

Just spotted this:
Giving in to U.S. pressure and worldwide criticism, Japan's government on Friday announced a whaling fleet now in the Southern Ocean for its annual hunt will not kill the threatened species as originally planned.
On the other hand,
The fleet will, however, kill some 935 minke whales, a smaller, more plentiful species, and 50 fin whales.
But they had planned to kill 50 humpbacks for "research," and now it appears they will not, at least this year.

Killing whales is still a bad thing, but this is an improvement. One can hope it signals a willingness to resolve some of the ongoing issues between the whaling nations (primarily Japan and Norway) and the rest of the world.


Houston Dunleavy said...

Of course it was the mighty Australian navy that made them change their minds. LOL!

The "research" angle behind whale hunting has always intrigued us here in Australian academia. Early last year one of out best TV science programs actually waded thorugh all of the Japanese papers written on whales over umpteen years (or perhaps that should be "over humpteen years" - ah, I kill me).

Of all the words written, only FOUR papers were submitted and publishedby Japanese scientists in recgonised, peer-reviewed journals. This is a damning indictment on what is supposed to be the main reason for the killing of whales in the Southern Ocean.

To my mind, the only research question being asked by the Japanese in this instance seems to be, "What do whales taste like?"

Chard said...

I had meant to link the term "research" to some debunking of the concept, but was in a pre-holiday hurry. Thanks for pointing that out.

It has always amazed me that the Japanese get away with that line about research, and have also reintroduced whale into the school lunch program.

What a crock.