Hundreds of whales are facing unnecessary death

2011 - 06 - 09
Hundreds of whales are facing unnecessary death

About two hundred whales living in the North Atlantic are about to die this year. Icelandic whalers have been hunting Minke whales since April. Despite international outcries, this year the local authorities have authorised whalers to kill 200 Minke whales. Last year, due to diminishing interest in the meat of big sea mammals, only 60 of them were killed.

Fortunately, Iceland called off whaling of the Fin whale – a larger species of these sea mammals – that were destined for Japanese market. Originally, Iceland permitted 145 Fin whales to be killed, beginning in June – but called it off in the end due to lack of demand for whale meat.

Commercial whaling was banned in 1986 by the International Whaling Commission (IWC). However, Iceland does not seem to feel obliged by the ban. The country´s attitude towards whaling was considered to be the main problem when it came to discussion whether Iceland should join the European Union – Brussels demands that islanders stop whaling.

There are other countries, too, where whaling still occurs despite the small demand for the whale meat – for instance Japan, Greenland or Norway. “Even though whaling has a long tradition in some countries, developed countries should do everything they can to stop it and let this tradition become part of the past, not the present,” says Dalibor Dostal, the director of conservation organization European Wildlife.

Historically, whaling has caused dramatic decline in the population. There used to be around 250 thousand species of the Blue whale, whilst now there are only 450 of them; and out of the initial amount of two milion Sperm whales there are only 360 thousand left.

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