Monday, October 23, 2006

Whales for dinner

Mar pointed out an article that supports whaling and is less negative on the issue.
Personally, aside from the shock (thanks to years in school with slogans like save the whales), I will get over this.
I will not lose sleep at night over it. I still think it might not have been a good choice to threaten the tourism industry, but I guess there is no problem in a little diversity. What do I know, I have been here four months.
I think I ate whale meat at Kristina's house once anyway.

but this is a more optimistic article
I do not think it is completely unbiased though.

confession: I had whale steak for dinner today. And it was delicious, too. Served with potatoes, fresh vegetables, mountain cranberries, and a good Merlot, the meat - a staple food in my childhood - was reminiscent of moose but even tastier. No doubt some international readers will take strong exception to my choice of dinner and the practice which makes it possible. Below is my apologia.
I shall limit my defense to the Norwegian hunt of minke whales - the only avowedly commercial whaling season at present. Thus I do not necessarily endorse, say, the Japanese hunt of various species that arguably are endangered, though some of the ethical arguments apply to whaling generally.
For starters, a few facts.
* Of the about 80 known species of whale, the only one hunted by Norwegians is the minke. This is the smallest of the baleen whales and one of the smallest overall, with a typical adult weight of 4-5 tons. Written sources confirm that minke whales have been hunted in Norwegian waters for at least 1,200 years, but the practice may well be significantly older.
* This notwithstanding, there are no indications that the minke whale has ever been endangered. Certainly it isn’t now: By the latest estimate from the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC)</A> - the intergovernmental body for regulating whaling, more on which below - there are 112,000 specimens in the North East Atlantic alone. The Norwegian government sets annual quotas by an internationally uncontroversial, conservative method for calculating sustainable harvests. The latter is applied by the country’s own maritime researchers, who are leading in the field and operate independently of the government and commercial interests. This year’s season, to close on August 31, has a total quota of 797.
* Contrary to myth among certain activists, the Norwegian hunt is consistent with international law. The reason is that Norway lodged an objection to the moratorium on commercial whaling passed by the IWC in 1982, which exempts it from the ban under existing rules. Norway objected because the ban ignored the advice of the Scientific Committee and so contradicts the IWC’s

No comments:

Post a Comment