Should Whaling Be Banned Completely

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Whales, the largest animals on earth and the largest mammals on the planet, have existed for millions of years. Despite their apparent similarity, there are multiple whale species. Each year, female whales give birth to a single offspring and devote themselves to nurturing it throughout the entire year. According to Whale World (n.d), these serene and graceful creatures only produce one baby whale per year as a result of this dedication. Regrettably, humans began hunting them for various purposes, interrupting their peaceful existence.

Whaling is the act of hunting whales for commercial purposes, utilizing their body parts in business products (Oxford Learner’s Pocket Dictionary, 2008). Over time, as human technology advanced, such as the invention of the grenade harpoon (Lytle, 2008), the hunting of whales increased significantly from the small numbers seen in the 16th century. While whales are primarily hunted for their body parts, some countries like Denmark continue this practice solely for the purpose of maintaining a tradition that symbolizes adulthood (PETA, n.d.). This tradition, however, is viewed as a selfish reason to kill such majestic creatures. Activists emerged when it became clear that whales were facing the threat of extinction due to their low reproduction rates. Their efforts led to the banning of whaling in most countries. The hard work of these activists paid off when a law was established between nations in 1986 to ban commercial whaling (Walsh, 2010).

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Although the whale population is declining, Japan, Norway, and Iceland have chosen not to ban whaling within their own countries. These nations use legal loopholes to continue the cruel act of killing whales, endangering their existence (RSPCA, n. d). While some countries may see benefits in whaling, it is essential to stop these practices in order to protect these innocent creatures. As humans, we have a responsibility to safeguard and preserve whales on our planet.

Several decades ago, laws were implemented to prohibit whaling in what was known as the moratorium of 1986 (Walsh, 2010). However, a loophole was present in the legislation, allowing whales to be hunted under the guise of scientific research, with the option to process their meat afterwards (Lin, 2011). Japan, along with Norway and Iceland, took advantage of this loophole and swiftly mobilized whaling fleets to regions teeming with whale activity. This action sparked outrage among activists who condemned the exploitation of these countries, as it was evident that whales were being slaughtered for their body parts.

Whales produce oil, also known as blubber, which is commonly used to create grease. This grease is often utilized as a lubricant for motors. Additionally, the blubber was processed into various products such as candles, soap, and lamp oil (Triefelddt, 2007). In certain regions, particularly in Japan, whale meat is a popular dish served in restaurants and used in households. In fact, cooking classes were even introduced in schools to teach individuals how to prepare whale meat (Morikawa, 2009). However, many consumers believed that whale meat was highly nutritious when in reality it actually posed health risks due to its high mercury content instead of valuable nutrients (McCury, 2008).

Scientific research suggests that an excessive amount of mercury in the body can lead to infertility (Lite, 2008). To cater to tourists, the bones and teeth of whales are processed after removing meat and oil, resulting in souvenirs (Asleson, 2011). These findings demonstrate that countries engaging in whale hunting prioritize economic gain over scientific purposes. Furthermore, throughout the hunting process, these magnificent creatures are subjected to inhumane treatment. Harpoons are shot at the whales to hook them, followed by lifting and hanging them onto the ship (Asleson, 2011).

In the meantime, instead of being immediately processed, the whale will be left to die. Some individuals have to endure the pain of being cut alive after they are brought onto the ship (Hendrich, n. d). This cruel act can be likened to stabbing someone with a knife and leaving them to slowly die, causing immense mental torture. However, this is not the most horrific form of torture endured by whales. In the Faroe Islands, whales, particularly orcas, are hunted and herded towards the shore, where whalers await to slaughter them. The whales are left to bleed and struggle until they succumb to death (Rogers, n. d).

Inhumane treatment and hunting of whales is unjustifiable. Those who engage in such behavior can only be likened to beasts. Whales, like humans, are gentle creatures created by God. They have a longer history on Earth (Fordyce, n. d). As they possess limited self-defense mechanisms, it falls upon us as humans to protect them and provide a safe haven from harm and danger. Regrettably, our actions have driven these magnificent creatures dangerously close to extinction. Whaling has inflicted the greatest harm upon these whales.

According to Greenpeace (n. d), the whale population has significantly declined due to whaling, leading to a slow reproduction rate that hinders reaching a safe level. It is crucial to acknowledge that whales, similar to humans, are mammals who rely on their mothers for nourishment and protection (Whale facts, n. d). Therefore, when adult whales are killed in whaling activities, the survival prospects of younger generations in the challenging ocean environment drastically diminish.

Whales face multiple threats from humans, sharks, and orcas. Currently, they are being hunted under the guise of scientific research; however, these efforts have been proven to be ineffective. The studies conducted lack transparency and yield inaccurate and misleading results (WWF, 2005). There is also a lack of public awareness about the methodologies used in whale research as there are no reports or videos documenting these processes. Furthermore, whaling imposes significant financial burdens.

In accordance with Vieru (2010), the whaling fleet must embark on a global journey to reach the hunting grounds of whales. Nevertheless, not only is this endeavor an inappropriate use of government funds, but it has also come to light that money originally designated for assisting victims of natural disasters in Japan was redirected by the government to support whaling activities (McCurry, 2011). The disclosure of this information has ignited public fury, resulting in protests against the actions taken by the government (Greenpeace, n. d). Furthermore, it is important to acknowledge that research findings on whaling may be deceptive due to significant distinctions between humans and whales.

Despite being mammals, humans and whales inhabit different habitats. The ocean’s temperature and pressure vary significantly from those on land (Ackerman, n. d). On land, humans cannot survive under high pressure that is capable of easily crushing them (Harris, n. d), whereas whales cannot endure the high temperatures found on land (Jha, 2009). Additionally, humans no longer migrate according to seasons, unlike whales who migrate to tropical regions for mating and raising their offspring.

This paragraph emphasizes the significance of a whale’s life cycle, highlighting the arduous journey they undertake spanning thousands of miles (Walker, 2009). While there is considerable evidence supporting the immediate cessation of whaling activities, a small faction opposes the suggestion to ban whaling. These opponents argue that whaling serves as a vital source of sustenance and supports the economy. Whales have the capacity to feed numerous families for weeks, and they are considered a delicacy in certain restaurants (The New York Times, 2005).

According to Wildlife Extra (2011), surplus meat from whaling can be exported to other countries for foreign currency, while other parts of the whale can be utilized for grease or souvenirs. The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (2011) adds that the whaling industry offers employment opportunities on board whaling fleets or in export companies. However, opponents of whaling argue that shutting down this sector would lead to job losses and income reduction for many individuals, as it is a profession typically passed down through generations (Wohlforth, 2001).

Opponents argue that whales are valuable subjects for scientific research. They believe that as enigmatic creatures inhabiting the depths of the ocean, whales still hold many secrets waiting to be uncovered. Therefore, conducting research is necessary to understand the potential benefits whales can offer to humans. For example, a study by McCarney (2009) investigated the effects of pollutants on whale tissues and organs, which could harm human skin and lead to illness. Additionally, Timaru Herald (2009) conducted a separate study to determine if whales consume large quantities of fish, possibly contributing to a decline in fish populations.

If whaling were banned, opponents have alternatives to obtain the necessary meat for human consumption. Instead of relying on whale meat, domestic animals like chickens can provide protein in a safer manner. Chicken meat is less oily but still contains the same nutrients as whale meat (Palmer, 2010). In addition to this, a new sector has emerged as a replacement for the economic benefits of whaling – whale watching. Countries like Portugal are actively promoting this activity to both conserve whales and generate profits (Handler, 2007).

During mating season, tourists are taken by boats to the outer sea in order to give them a chance to get close to whales and learn about them (Tatchell, 2002). Whale watching promotes tourism and brings in revenue for the country, while also increasing the popularity of countries that offer whale watching. Building a sanctuary for whales can also create job opportunities, as humans can work as conservators to protect the whales (Sea Shepherd, n. d). Additionally, conducting scientific research on whales can provide more animals for study purposes.

Animals with DNA similar to humans, such as the Rhesus monkey, can enhance our understanding of the differences between humans and chimpanzees. The Rhesus monkey has been found to have 93% similarity to human DNA (Choi, 2007), making it a valuable research subject that does not require harming the animal. Additionally, other animals like snakes may provide potential cures for human diseases. Research on snake venom has shown promising results in treating cancer, which could potentially save many lives (Hile, 2004).

In summary, the harmful effects of whaling outweigh any advantages for both humans and whales. Whaling is essentially an exploitative practice conducted by specific countries under the guise of scientific research. It not only impacts whale species, but also disrupts overall biodiversity. If whaling persists, whales will inevitably become extinct within this century. Ultimately, humanity will be accountable for the disappearance of yet another remarkable creature from our planet.

International organizations should increase their pressure on governments, including holding awareness campaigns to educate the public. The aim is to compel governments to cooperate and take strict action against countries engaged in whaling activities. Specifically, whaling activities conducted under the guise of scientific research should be completely banned. This is crucial to prevent whale extinction and ensure future generations have the opportunity to witness these incredible creatures in their natural habitat, rather than as mere replicas.

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Should Whaling Be Banned Completely. (2017, Jan 07). Retrieved from

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