2005 - Updated April 2006
LGVN Oceans - Whaling - Select Reports
Whale's Message Brought to the Heart of Civilization ...
Whale - A symbol of a dying planet
A member of
one of the oldest living species on earth caught the hearts and
imagination of millions around the world during January 2006 when
a whale made its way up the River Thames and into the very centre
of London. For two days, the sick Northern Bottle-Nosed whale swam
back and forth between the famous bridges of London as thousands
of people lined the bank of the Thames to watch this never-before
seen spectacle. Although every effort was made to save it, the whale
finally died just as it was being helped back out to sea.
However, this unique moment, when a near extinct species entered
a city of 8 million humans, should be recognized as an occasion
of important significance; a sign direct from the heart of nature
that our planet is in a serious environmental crisis. The London
whale's death shouldn't be in vain - labelled as a "freak of
nature" and forgotten as just another unusual news item. The
natural world has sent a message to humanity that not all is well
with the environment and those who live among it. Whales in particular
are suffering and many marine species are close to the edge of extinction.
In fact, numbers of Bottle-Nosed whales are very few, as are many
other of their whale relatives - some which can live more than 200
The state of the oceans and rivers is a good indicator of how man-made
global warming, pollution and over-fishing have finally tipped the
balance between humans versus nature. Nature has lost and now a
pattern of highly unusual activities are beginning to take place
around the world - abnormal hurricanes, tsunamis and floods - and
the animal world itself sending subliminal messages to those who
have caused the destabilization of planet Earth. Whether it be a
whale swimming into London or tigers or polar bears uncharacteristically
encroaching into human habitations simply because their forest homes
or ice floes are disappearing; these are all actions by animals
that are against their natural will - and humans are the cause.
As the oceans die and destabilized currents cause tranquil, intelligent
creatures like whales to venture into dangerous territory, we humans
must question the enormous global destruction we have caused.
Did we really listen to the dying song of the London whale? To understand
that it had sent us a simple message ... "Stop killing our
On August 8th 2007 it was announced that the river dolphin in China
is now extinct. A direct effect of mankind's destructive behaviour.
The demise of the river dolphin
is an appalling but significant moment in history that clearly illustrates
our inherent nature; to destroy just to fullfill our squandering
needs, rather than cure to help regenerate the planet which feeds
us in the first place.
whale killings in 2006
In April 2006
Japans whaling ships returned from their annual kill with 863 whales
- almost double their barbaric slaughter of the previous year.
to exploit a week loophole in a whaling quota agreement set out
by the IWC, claiming they are catching whales for scientific research.
In fact, the meat is sold for huge profits and ends up in Japanes
restaurants. (more below)
Whaling Commission Meeting Updates ... 2001-2005
Full Scale Whaling
could start again
At the 2005
International Whaling Commission conference, Japan was again pressing
to cease the ban on commercial whaling and at the same time expand
the types of whale species it's currently allowed to kill - for
what they call "scientific purposes".
As a publicity stunt Japan are even providing whale meat to school
children in a bid to win over public support. For more on this story
see the BBC News report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4106688.stm
Also on the
table in the 2005 IWC meeting was a proposal to abandon a programme
on whale welfare. If Japan don't get their own way on this proposal
as well, there is a possibility that the country could leave the
IWC altogether, which could spell disaster for whale species across
more on this story see the BBC News report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4109632.stm
The 2005 IWC
meeting ended with the usual stalemate between pro and anti-whaling
nations. For more on this see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4618763.stm
The IWC (International
Whaling Commission) has always played a rather contentious dual
role by attempting to conserve the whale, while simultaneously managing
commercial hunting of the diminishing species.
in recent years pressure has been put on the IWC to become more
conservationally driven, in efforts to help replenish the whale
In the 2003 meeting of the International Whaling Commission a majority
of member countries voted to protect the whale. This decision was
agreed by 25 to 20 votes in favour of what was called the Berlin
that the IWC have set up a conservation committee to tackle the
many threats to the ocean's mammals (whales, dolphins and porpoises).
agreements have a double-edged sword, because some whaling countries
who agree on the new conservation terms do so as a devious measure,
realising that limited time agreements gives them the right to resume
hunting when whale numbers suppossedly recover. In other words,
when bans are lifted they can resume hunting whales that are near
to extinction levels. In fact
The Japanese have been the country most notorious for edging around
the requirements of the IWC.
the Japanese whaling fleet set out into the North Pacific with a
self-imposed scientific quota of whales to kill. The average quota
includes the slaughter of 10 sperm whales, 50 Bryde's whales and
100 minke whales. This catch is in addition to the 400 minke whales
caught by the Japanese fleet every year in the Antarctic.
In fact, there is actually no scientific element involved in Japan's
barbaric slaughtering of whales. The meat is sold for huge profits
and consumed in Japanese restaurants.
2004 annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Italy
a new study, sponsored in part by The HSUS, refutes Japan's argument
that whales compete with humans for fish.
Japan, Iceland and Norway consistenly lobby hard for more whaling.
They say there are enough whales for a limited catch, however other
countries condemn current whaling activities conducted in the name
Help to Save
The Whale through these links:
Dolphin Conservation Society: http://www.wdcs.org/
- Race to Save The Oceans
If you find
a dead stranded whale or dolphin contact:
England: 020 794 25 155 (The Natural History Museum)
Scotland: 01463 243 030 (Scottish Agricultural College)
Wales: 01348 875 000 (Marine Environmental Monitoring)
If you find
a live stranded whale or dolphin contact:
England and Wales: BDMLR on 01825 765546 or RSPCA on 0870 5555999
Scotland: The Cetacean Research & Rescue Unit on 01261 851696 or
the SSPCA on 08707 377722
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