, ,

Where Have All The Whalers Gone?

Seriously. As late as the 1970’s, Australia and the United States were amongst the whaling nations. After even the International Whaling Commission (IWC), which is a pro-whaling organization, called for a moratorium on killing whales, nearly all nations stopped the activity.

Picture of whaling in times past

Back when it was harder to kill a whale, we weren’t as much of a threat to them… or ourselves.

Why? What changed? We became to clever, too capable of killing. Where once it was a dangerous and courageous act to go out into the oceans in pursuit of a whale, perhaps kill one or two, men developed power boats and explosive-charged harpoons fired from 50-caliber guns… and the whale populations went from millions to a few hundred thousand in half a century.

Her Deepness, Dr. Sylvia Earle, describes the scenario in her book, “The World Is Blue (How our fate and the oceans’ are one).”  After millions of years of being the apex predator, the supreme beings of the sea, along comes man, figures out how to make things (fuel and gunpowder) explode, and throws off the entire natural order of things in the ocean by invading their world, by killing off beings as smart and long-lived as we are, as though they were a prey species. Read more



In just a few days, an international meeting will be held in Agadir, Morocco, to decide the fate of thousands of whales.  To the surprise of many, there is actually some doubt as to whether they will remain protected.  Japan is lobbying heavily, even bribing small poor Caribbean nations (not for the first time) and seducing them with gifts of cash, prostitutes, etc.  President Obama seems to have missed the point and is also pushing for a new resolution.  Here’s what they’re suggesting:

They want to reopen the seas to the take of certain whales in certain quantities — as many as 1000 a year — for a period of years.  After a decade of that madness, it is supposedly to be phased out.  If that sounds dicey and somehow wrong to you, give yourself points for a brain and a conscience.  Rewarding Japan’s bad behavior by giving them carte blanch to kill more whales doesn’t make much sense.  As it is, they have been blatantly defying the moratorium for over 2 decades now, by calling it Research.  Legitimate scientists of the world should be rightly offended by that. Read more