Describe the situation:
Whales have been in our oceans since the beginning of time and are the largest, most peaceful mammals. Unfortunately Japan, Norway and Iceland still continue to hunt them. It is estimated that over 1000 whales are killed every year, and approximately 850 of those deaths are from Japan alone.
What do you do when one country continues to kill hundreds of whales each year, and even does so in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary that was specifically intended to protect these animals?
The Australian Government launched the legal action against whaling in 2010, and more recently the Abbott party introduced a pre-election promise to stop Japan from whaling in the Southern Ocean. The promise was to send custom vessels out into the Antarctic waters to stop the Japanese from whaling in our waters. It was said the vessel entered the waters only for a few weeks, then the government decided to remove the vessel and have a plane hover overhead for hours, but this plane has no ability to intervene with the Japanese ships.
Despite the International Whaling Moratorium enforced in 1986, Japan continues to catch the aquatic mammals in the Antarctic for “Scientific research” but critics say the teal reason to the slaughter is to continue harvesting the whale meat, which in Japan is considered a delicacy. Japan says it’s whaling is no threat to the survival of any species, but environmentalists and animal rights activists say whale hunting should be stopped completely.
Why is change needed?
The Late Sir Peter Scott, one of the world’s favourite conservationists once said “Many people now regard whales as a symbol. If we can’t save the whales, then we begin to wonder if we will be able to save anything--- Including ourselves.”
If whales aren’t important, what is?
Change is needed because since the 1980’s whale populations throughout the world have been rapidly declining, this is the result of whaling. What can be done when one country continues to kill hundreds of whales each year, despite having a no whaling law in-place.
Japan is framing the ruthless slaughter with “Science” although restaurants and markets are profiting from the whale meat, coincidence? I think not.
If Japan, Norway and Iceland continue to whale there is a chance some whale species will become extinct. Currently the North-Atlantic right whale, Fin whale, Sei whale and blue whale are endangered, with Narwhal and Beluga whale near threatened. The populations have already dramatically decreased in 50 years so if no one puts a stop to it there will be no more whales left in 50 years time. The day will come when the whale species will be another to add to the extinct list and when that happens the food chain in the ocean will be disturbed and we will have too many species of fish in the sea.
What is needed?
How many whales do the Japanese have to kill before they get the information they desire? This “Experiment” shouldn’t be excusable and is the same as any other animal abuse and slaughter. Consequences should be put in place for all animal abuses. Australia NEEDS to enforce the laws, Japan continues to whale in our see’s because they know they will get away with it. If the Australian Government were consistent with the laws (Like any other law they enforce) whaling wouldn’t continue to happen in the restricted waters. Australia MUST punish Japan as they are breaking the law.
Specifically what must change, who is responsible
Specifically Tony Abbott needs to take a closer look into the law he had personally enforced and notice that Japan is getting away with just that. Law’s aren’t a Joke so why does he continue to let it slide? If he can’t keep one simple promise what else is he getting away with and is he really fit for the role of Prime Minister for Australia?
If Tony Abbott would stick to his word, whale populations will continue to grow and eventually return to the way it was before whaling became a major issue. The food chain is connected to extinction, if the whale population gets disturbed it will affect the rest of the ocean. There will be an out-burst of smaller aquatic life, in some cases larger marine animals such as sea-lions, sharks and walruses. Even whale poop helps to offset carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it can also help stimulate the growth of phytoplankton which pulls carbon from the air providing a cleaner and healthier breathing environment for animals. Studies show that as much as 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year is extracted from the air due to whales. This plays a major role in maintaining the cycle of aquatic life.
Whale watching businesses won’t be in fear of going out of business because whale watching is a huge international sensation with billions of dollars spent by people who want to have a glance at these majestic creatures.