Sea Mammal hunting is a major problem in the 21st century. The problem is most apparent in Japan. Japanese people are hunting sea mammals, and it is resulting in horrific effects on the sea mammal population. The organization Greenpeace has addressed this problem and they are educating people about this and trying to stop it in Japan. A major problem is sea mammal hunting in Japan. Japan recently killed 333 Minke whales, 103 males and 230 female. Most females were pregnant, and it was claimed for scientific purposes (Price). This is such a large problem because the Japanese are not seeing any harm in what they are doing.
Many have fought to say that Japan’s whaling is not for scientific purposes because it is only harming their population. If they were killing them for scientific purposes they would not have to sell them, and kill hundreds of thousands each year! Also, Minke whales are quickly becoming extinct due to Japan’s actions because the whale population is diminishing. From counted evidence we are able to see that majority of the killed whales were pregnant females, who had potential to grow the population but were unable to go about, thanks to the Japanese. “From the 1900’s, more than 1,000,000 whales have been taken by whaling fleets.
One expert estimates that in the past 100 years more than 300,000 blue whales have been killed” (1966: The Vanishing Blue Whale). This goes to show hundreds of thousands of whales are being killed, affecting other whales families and causing them to be unable to reproduce and keep a stable population. “One expert estimates that there may be less than 600 of the majestic creatures left in the Antarctic—where they are most numerous—out of a population of sea kings once so plentiful that in 1930 whalers were able to reap nearly 30,000 from the icy waters in that one year (1966:Vanishing Blue Whale)”.
All of these un authorized whale killings are making huge impacts on the whale population world wide. The longer the problem proceeds, the population will continue to subside. A program that is going out to hunt the rorqual whales claims that it is for scientific research of the contents in whales stomachs. But, Japan captured 333 rorqual whales under its hunting program in the Antarctic. The country had suspended its operations in the area after the International Court of Justice banned whale hunting in the Antarctica.
Japan began whale hunting in December when they stated they had created new changes in the program that reduced the amount of whales they caught. They still caused the same impact on the whale population prior to the changes (EFE World News Service). Japanese whaling has been around for a long time now, and the situation gets worse as time passes by. Japan’s whaling history has been going on for awhile. Whale hunting originated hundreds of years back to when it started off with running whales into nets, and driving wooden poles into their blow holes. Large scale whaling had been going on since the 9th century.
However by the 12th century large scale whaling had already become part of a part of the Japanese culture. Though it was in World War II where there was a significant increase in whaling with severe food shortages worldwide. This had then become part of the Japanese diet and by 1947, 50% of the protein obtained from their diets was from whales” (Whaling). Hand harpoons were used which date back to 10,000 B. C which tell us that whaling has been around in Japan for awhile (Why Do the Japanese Hunt Whales?
Whale Wars). When people went whaling they hired a harpoon crew and the first year, 3 whales were killed. People saw that you could make money off of these whales. So, the industry grew with 28 companies and 28 whaling vessels and 1312 whales died in 1908 (Watson). The amount of whales killed each year has increased significantly and if we don’t stop them soon that number will continue to rise. Japan’s Sea mammal hunting can be put to an end in several ways. Japan can educate themselves on whales without having to kill them, there are many simple solutions.
They could collect their feces to analyze DNA to find what kind of food they have been eating instead of cutting opening the animal’s stomach. Not to mentions that DNA samples can be taken just from removing a small piece of skin. Nasal mucus, can be easily taken without killing the whale to learn about the DNA of the whale itself. Also, you are able to sample a whale’s breath by catching the gunk that comes from the blowhole. There are many alternative ways that the Japanese can use instead of killing the whole whales and endangering an innocent species (Hooper).
A advantage to using this method would be that in the process of retrieving very helpful data, you are not injuring or harming the whale population in any way. A disadvantage, would be it’s harder to track down and get enough samples from whales because it is more of a time consuming action. Also, this solution does not mean that Japan will stop there original plan that they have stuck with for the past hundreds of years. This is still better then killing hundreds of whales for the same information. Another possible solution to end the sea killing in Japan is through court.
Australia took Japan to the international court of justice in The Hague in 2010, accusing Tokyo of exploiting a loophole by hunting whales as scientific research to get around a 1986 ban on commercial whaling. Australia has asked the ICJ to order Japan to stop its Jarpa II research programme and “revoke any authorisations, permits or licences” to hunt whales in the Southern Ocean” (Japan’s Whaling Future in Balance as ICJ Set Ruling On Whale Hunting). In April last year, Japan announced its whaling haul from the Southern Ocean was at a record low because of “unforgivable sabotage” by activists from the Sea Shepherd environmental group.
Sea Shepherd has called the ICJ case make-or-break for whales in the Southern Ocean. Even with all the publicity and attention being brought to the case the court ruled in Japan’s favor. This solution may have failed at its first attempt but is still fighting for another trial. A disadvantage with choosing this solution is that it has failed once and can fail again, plus they need stronger evidence and to get another trial which is difficult. A advantage for choosing this solution would be that they can gain more publicity and accuse Japan for doing more than they have with the right evidence.
The last solution that can be used to retrieve data from whales efficiently is to educate the people on the issue. This is the best solution because we are raising educating the population about the issue and raising awareness about whaling and its negative effects. Countries and communities should immediately start to tell the people how the ecosystem and environment are affected by whaling so more people will understand and know about the problem and take serious action in this tragic problem.
As people begin to see how whaling is affecting their ecosystem and environment it will change millions of people’s minds for generations on world wide. It will cause people to be less likely to eat whale meat, and whaling countries profits on boughten whale meat will decrease dramatically (Whaling). “The mixture of the existing political pressure and private organisations with the international supported education on anti-whaling will crumble the whaling industry and as they are already fighting to keep it alive.
The consumption of whale meat will decline as people realize the consequences of whaling and the companies will start losing profit as running the industry is already costly enough as it is” (Whaling). A advantage to using this solution would be that it will help to stop the problem now and for future generations. In past years there has been many campaigns by various groups such as Sea-shepherd and Greenpeace to prevent major commercial whalers like Japan, from whaling. These campaigns shut down whaling fleets and Campaigns include shutting down whaling fleets and sinking illegal whaling vessels.
A very effective action taken was the moratorium (ban of whaling) which helped the humpback and right whale rebound and recover from vulnerable to least concern. Randall Reeves, the leader of the IUCN assessment quoted ‘This is a great conservation success and clearly shows what needs to be done to ensure these ocean giants survive”(Whaling). WWF and IWC have both worked together to try and enforce sustainable whaling and reducing the threat to whales. I think this is the best solution to go with because it will get many civilians involved and put an end to the problem for good.
This should be the first solution people choose when trying to end the problem in Japan. Japan Sea Mammal hunting has been a evergoing problem throughout the world, and it needs to be stopped. Fortunately we have a effective and logical solution, by educating the people on the problem and getting large organizations involved we can stop this problem for good. This seems to be reasonable way to impact the issues of sea Mammal Hunting in Japan. Sea Mammal Hunting is a worldwide problem that we can only hope will end soon.