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Whaling - should the moratorium be lifted?

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    carlito wrote: »
    Well, firstly they are not critical to the entire marine ecosystem. In all probability, if they were to become exctinct little would happen except stocks of krill and fish (and giant squid if you include sperm whales) would increase, which would actually be of benefit to humans. It would not be an "unimaginable disaster": although I do enjoy your constant hyperbole. Not that I am advocating the extinction of whales.
    Funnily enough only yesterday you were saying what terrible problems the alleged overpopulation of whales could create. Though apparently is alright if goes the other way.
    Also, you say that humans don't depend on whale meat consumption for their survival or wellbeing: that is patently false. Firstly, significant numbers of people have been dependent on whaling for centuries, economically, socially, and culturally.
    In the case of either Norway or Iceland (can't remember which one), from the grand old era of 1930.

    And as for the others, the point remains that today nobody depends on them in any way whatsoever.
    So the ban on whaling does threaten the survival of these communities (and for some cultures their actual individual physical survivial, e.g. Inuits).
    How many whales could the Inuits manage to kill per year? Hardly the tens of thousands the combined fleets of Norway, Iceland and Japan if they were allowed to hunt at will, I'm sure you'll agree.
    Secondly, people's wellbeing does depend on the consumption of whalemeat, otherwise they wouldn't be trying to resume whaling.
    Bollocks. They just like the taste of it.
    People don't like being bullied by far off political bodies who have no understanding of their cultures, and they like being able to harvest resources that their fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers have harvested.
    Of course the population of the world, the techniques and means to hunt and fish and our capacity to carry out checks and surveys due to advances in technology have changed everything have they not?

    It is the culture of the Chinese to kill tigers and use their crushed bones for "medicine". Do you defend their right to hunt tigers too, as part of their culture?
    Whether whaling is "barbaric" or not is a purely normative matter.
    You could say the same of everything. I'm sure those who believe in stoning women to death for adultery don't see it as barbaric at all...


    Again, "barbaric" is entirely normative. I wouldn't say they are greedy. Norway already operates commercial whaling outside the IWC, and has been conducting an entirely sustainable hunt for years. And as I've said the potential consequences are not catastrophic, and there is little indication that the resource would be overexploited.
    Other than the fact that the moratorium exists because we almost drove whales to extinction, you mean?


    Whether it is a niche food or not is irrelevant. Because you consider a food "niche" does that mean its acceptable to stop other people consuming it? I don't see how that follows.
    It follows because absolutely nothing would be lost if people weren't allowed to eat whale meat again. Other than a few diners lamenting the loss of the delicacy as they look through the hundreds of different options still available on the menu.
    The other assumption you make here is that the pre-moratorium over-exploitation of whales was perpetrated for food, which it was not. Whales were harvested on such an industrial scale for their oil, which was mainly used for making margerine, lighting, lubricants, and cosmetic products (amongst other things). UK, Norweigian, South African, American and later Japanese and Soviet whaling fleets made huge profits from whale oil, which is why whaling was so excessive. However, from the 1970s alternative sources (that were more economically viable) were developed for products previously made using whale oil, usually using petroleum but also vegetable oil (e.g. sunflower oil). So there is no reason to assume that a resumption of commercial whaling now would equal a resumption of overexploitation: in fact if what people have been saying about low demand for whale meat is true it would probably not even result in any extra whales being killed.
    It also means that there is no need to kill a single whale ever again doesn't it?
    I think you're being slightly dishonest in your argument. Its pretty clear that the whalers have indeed "won the numbers game:" the stocks they want to harvest have recovered to pre-exploitation levels. There is no serious conservation argument to be made.
    Even if those claims of the stocks having recovered fully are accurate what makes you think it won't happen again? Next time we might be too late in implementing a new moratorium, given the human nature for greed and 'fuck you' attitude to everything.
    That leaves "barbaric"/ethical/intelligence/method of kill arguments, which is what I suspect is the reason why you oppose whaling.
    Not only that. Any lift of the moratorium will quite probably mean a threat to the very survival of the species in the mid term, if not short term.

    I really don't know what makes you think any different. Even as the cod population nears the point of no return there are men across the world still fishing it with impunity saying it's their 'right', 'heritage' or 'livelihood'.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    Funnily enough only yesterday you were saying what terrible problems the alleged overpopulation of whales could create. Though apparently is alright if goes the other way.

    Thats entirely consistent. Whales eat large amounts of fish and krill, and so do we. We're in direct competition with them. Now, I'm not suggesting that the whales are in any way "responsible" for the depletion of stocks of fish and krill. Animals cannot be considered responsible for their actions, they will simply breed as fast as their biology allows them to, and are at the mercy of their food source as the main variable for their survival, if they are not predated upon. Now we no longer predate on whales, the only limiting factor on their numbers (besides pollution, collisions with ships, climate change, etc) is the quantity of prey available to them, and they will consume this prey without restraint, since that is what they are genetically programmed to do. If all whales went extinct, it wouldn't have "unimaginably catastrophic" consequences, it would simply mean that there would be more of their prey species for us to harvest. Since we overharvest these resources as well it wouldn't make that much of a difference.
    In the case of either Norway or Iceland (can't remember which one), from the grand old era of 1930.

    And as for the others, the point remains that today nobody depends on them in any way whatsoever.

    Untrue. Norweigian and Icelandic commercial whalers depend on whaling. So do Japanese "scientific" whalers. Then you have significant numbers of people (especially in Japan) who are now unemployed, with their communities devastated, because they are no longer allowed to hunt whales.
    How many whales could the Inuits manage to kill per year? Hardly the tens of thousands the combined fleets of Norway, Iceland and Japan if they were allowed to hunt at will, I'm sure you'll agree.

    You'd be suprised. Firstly, the point is that in reality Norway, Iceland and Japan are "allowed" to hunt whales at the moment, and they do. The IWC is a voluntary organization and signatories are allowed to lodge official objections that allow them to "break the rules": this is what Norway did almost immediately after the moratorium, and have been hunting whales ever since. As we've noted, the Japanese have effectively resumed hunting whales under the guise of "scientific whaling." Iceland are doing the same. If the IWC continues to refuse them the right to do it commercially, eventually they'll just withdraw from it entirely, and then there won't be any regulation at all. Secondly, no one is suggesting that they should be allowed to hunt whales "at will," what is being suggested is lifting the moratorium so these countries can carry out a highly regulated, sustainable hunt. This, at the present time, would certainly not mean killing "tens of thousands," because that would not be sustainable, so no, I don't agree.

    Of course the population of the world, the techniques and means to hunt and fish and our capacity to carry out checks and surveys due to advances in technology have changed everything have they not?

    It is the culture of the Chinese to kill tigers and use their crushed bones for "medicine". Do you defend their right to hunt tigers too, as part of their culture?

    Yes, certainly I would, if there was a population large enough for a sustainable hunt, and their hunting activity was monitored by an international body.
    You could say the same of everything. I'm sure those who believe in stoning women to death for adultery don't see it as barbaric at all...

    But stoning women to death concerns humans, not animals. Also, I wouldn't advocate coercing countries into changing their laws, its up to a sovereign state to decide what laws it sets. We certainly shouldn't support or encourage countries/cultures who carry out stoning of women, but that doesn't mean we should coerce them into changing their laws, either.
    Other than the fact that the moratorium exists because we almost drove whales to extinction, you mean?

    In an entirely different economic circumstances, yes. I don't question the decision to originally impose the moratorium, because I agree that pre-moratorium whaling was unsustainable, and the commercial whaling fleets at that time showed no regard for the future of the resource.
    It follows because absolutely nothing would be lost if people weren't allowed to eat whale meat again. Other than a few diners lamenting the loss of the delicacy as they look through the hundreds of different options still available on the menu...It also means that there is no need to kill a single whale ever again doesn't it?

    But what makes you think you have the right to dictate to other cultures and individuals what they "need" to do? What they "need" is freedom to do what they wish to do, as long as it doesn't endanger the existence of the common resource they want to harvest. If they are regulated well enough then I don't see that they will endanger whale populations. Because you don't see the "need" for it it doesn't give you the right to dictate to people on the other side of the world what they are allowed and not allowed to do.
    Not only that. Any lift of the moratorium will quite probably mean a threat to the very survival of the species in the mid term, if not short term.

    I really don't know what makes you think any different. Even as the cod population reaches its very end there men across the world are still fishing it with impunity saying it's their 'right', 'heritage' or 'livelihood'

    So do you think we should have a complete moratorium on commercial fishing as well? Because that represents a much greater and more widespread "tragedy of the commons" than whaling, and with far greater consequences.

    Its clear that fishermen will also deplete stocks past the point of collapse, so surely there should be a complete ban on commercial fishing as well? And why stop there, there are plenty of other common resources that are being overexploited. But there is no indication that an official resumption of whaling will result in overexploitation, especially considering the public and media spotlight on whales.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    erm as i have said previously, i think whaling is nasty but allowable and controlled is better, and at the moment, they're having enough bloody trouble flogging it from the icelandic and japanese scientific catches so i don't see why it needs to be lifted
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    erm as i have said previously, i think whaling is nasty but allowable and controlled is better, and at the moment, they're having enough bloody trouble flogging it from the icelandic and japanese scientific catches so i don't see why it needs to be lifted

    Where are you getting your information from for this?

    If there is little demand for whale meat then I don't see the problem in lifting the ban, since its even less likely to result in exploitation than if there was regulation of high demand.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    carlito wrote: »
    Thats entirely consistent. Whales eat large amounts of fish and krill, and so do we. We're in direct competition with them. Now, I'm not suggesting that the whales are in any way "responsible" for the depletion of stocks of fish and krill. Animals cannot be considered responsible for their actions, they will simply breed as fast as their biology allows them to, and are at the mercy of their food source as the main variable for their survival, if they are not predated upon. Now we no longer predate on whales, the only limiting factor on their numbers (besides pollution, collisions with ships, climate change, etc) is the quantity of prey available to them, and they will consume this prey without restraint, since that is what they are genetically programmed to do. If all whales went extinct, it wouldn't have "unimaginably catastrophic" consequences, it would simply mean that there would be more of their prey species for us to harvest. Since we overharvest these resources as well it wouldn't make that much of a difference.
    But whales have been around for hundreds of thousands of years unbothered by man and their numbers have never been a problem. Then suddenly man takes an interest in them and we are told their numbers must be controlled before they the oceans are packed solid with them.

    I don't buy it.


    Untrue. Norweigian and Icelandic commercial whalers depend on whaling. So do Japanese "scientific" whalers.
    Yes, those in the trade. Not entire countries.
    Then you have significant numbers of people (especially in Japan) who are now unemployed, with their communities devastated, because they are no longer allowed to hunt whales.
    That is exactly the argument put forward by those fishermen who trade in cod. Should we allow them to continue for the sake of their jobs?

    You'd be suprised. Firstly, the point is that in reality Norway, Iceland and Japan are "allowed" to hunt whales at the moment, and they do. The IWC is a voluntary organization and signatories are allowed to lodge official objections that allow them to "break the rules": this is what Norway did almost immediately after the moratorium, and have been hunting whales ever since. As we've noted, the Japanese have effectively resumed hunting whales under the guise of "scientific whaling." Iceland are doing the same. If the IWC continues to refuse them the right to do it commercially, eventually they'll just withdraw from it entirely, and then there won't be any regulation at all. Secondly, no one is suggesting that they should be allowed to hunt whales "at will," what is being suggested is lifting the moratorium so these countries can carry out a highly regulated, sustainable hunt. This, at the present time, would certainly not mean killing "tens of thousands," because that would not be sustainable, so no, I don't agree.
    Well given that they're managing to hunt nearly two thousand between them with all the restrictions in place, imagine how many they'd be hunting if they were free to do as they please- specially Japan.


    Yes, certainly I would, if there was a population large enough for a sustainable hunt, and their hunting activity was monitored by an international body.
    Nice. That's not even for meat. Just for ignorance and superstition (for that is exactly what it is) and sometimes for the vanity of despicable cunts who think it's cool to have a tiger skin rug on their living room.

    But seeing as tigers are one of the most endangered species on earth right now, do you support the right for the Chinese to hunt them as things stand?


    But stoning women to death concerns humans, not animals. Also, I wouldn't advocate coercing countries into changing their laws, its up to a sovereign state to decide what laws it sets. We certainly shouldn't support or encourage countries/cultures who carry out stoning of women, but that doesn't mean we should coerce them into changing their laws, either.
    We obviously hold opposite views on that issue. I wouldn't support the use of force because it almost never works but sanctions, as much pressure as possible, boycotts, hell, yes. Who's going to speak for the women otherwise?

    Who is going to speak for the whales as well? Even though they have a highly developed and complex language we can't understand what they're saying.

    But what makes you think you have the right to dictate to other cultures and individuals what they "need" to do? What they "need" is freedom to do what they wish to do, as long as it doesn't endanger the existence of the common resource they want to harvest. If they are regulated well enough then I don't see that they will endanger whale populations. Because you don't see the "need" for it it doesn't give you the right to dictate to people on the other side of the world what they are allowed and not allowed to do.
    But it will endanger the whale population. And it is barbaric. And the whales don't belong to them ffs. We have a duty to try to make the world a better place and to protect the future of the planet.

    If the Japanese were in the habit to drive nails through their cocks it would also be barbaric, but at least they would not be inflicting horrible pain on other species and endanger them.


    So do you think we should have a complete moratorium on commercial fishing as well? Because that represents a much greater and more widespread "tragedy of the commons" than whaling, and with far greater consequences.

    Its clear that fishermen will also deplete stocks past the point of collapse, so surely there should be a complete ban on commercial fishing as well? And why stop there, there are plenty of other common resources that are being overexploited. But there is no indication that an official resumption of whaling will result in overexploitation, especially considering the public and media spotlight on whales.
    Moratoriums need only apply to those species that are being overfished and are being depleted to dangerous levels, so no I don't believe we should have a moratorium on all fishing.

    There should be one on cod, that's for sure. And, to be brutally honest, to hell with 'jobs' and 'livelihoods'. There is a lot more at stake here. The same can be said in my opinion of whaling, which is one of the reasons why I'd like to see it banned altoghether.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I can't really see the sense in banning something because of risk of extinction and then as soon as the numbers are healthy again, deciding to lift the ban and allow the behaviour that caused the problem to resume. It may be too simplistic a view but I think there's a lesson in there that hasn't actually been learned.

    I don't know how much I believe that livelihoods rest on being able to go whaling, and how much I believe that it is a cultural tradition that is deserving of preservation. If there truly are people who depend on whaling to live hand-to-mouth then I would prefer to look at helping them to make their livelihood in other ways, rather than allowing them to start whaling again. I just don't think it is justified to lift the ban - and despite having read some really interesting points in this thread I continue to feel that way.

    I can't really say a lot more on this because I can't view the issue without a huge emotional slant which is never good news in this forum :razz: so I'll shut up.

    However I do still have my relic of the 80s t-shirt and I'd still wear it today if it would fit over my ear - SAVE THE WHALES! :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    But whales have been around for hundreds of thousands of years unbothered by man and their numbers have never been a problem. Then suddenly man takes an interest in them and we are told their numbers must be controlled before they the oceans are packed solid with them.

    I don't buy it.

    Thats why I said its not the whales that are to blame for the collapse in fish and krill stocks. Humans overfished them, it is humans that are to blame. Whales just do what they have done for hundreds of thousands of years and feed as much as they need to stay alive. All I was saying was that it would not be an "unimaginable catastrophe" if whales became extinct, it would just result in more fish and krill, which in a way would be good for us as a species. However, I'm not saying that we should be indifferent to the survival of whales (god forbid actually deliberately driving them to extinction), because biodiversity desirable for humankind and all other species on the planet, and they are also a useful resource for us to harvest in a sustainable manner.
    Yes, those in the trade. Not entire countries.

    What does that matter? Do individuals have to comprise of an entire country to be considered worthy of notice or attention?
    That is exactly the argument put forward by those fishermen who trade in cod. Should we allow them to continue for the sake of their jobs?

    No, it doesn't necessarily mean they should be allowed to continue/resume exploiting a resource. I was just pointing out that people's survival and livelyhoods do rely on whaling, which you had denied.
    Well given that they're managing to hunt nearly two thousand between them with all the restrictions in place, imagine how many they'd be hunting if they were free to do as they please- specially Japan.

    But thats exactly the point. There are no practical restrictions in place, as the Japanese "scientific" whaling proves. They are essentially free to hunt as many whales as they want, which is exactly what they are doing. The same goes for Norway, who can harvest as many whales as they want because they have registered an official objection to the moratorium. Iceland are now simply ignoring the moratorium altogether. Better to lift the moratorium and at least let the IWC set the quotas, to make sure they don't over-exploit.
    Nice. That's not even for meat. Just for ignorance and superstition (for that is exactly what it is) and sometimes for the vanity of despicable cunts who think it's cool to have a tiger skin rug on their living room.

    But seeing as tigers are one of the most endangered species on earth right now, do you support the right for the Chinese to hunt them as things stand?

    No, as I said before, since hunting them would be entirely unsustainable they shouldn't be allowed to hunt them. Biodiversity is a common resource for all mankind, not just for the peoples who govern the particular territory a natural resource is found on. But if there were large enough numbers, yes, people should be allowed to use the resource if they deem it to be necessary.

    We obviously hold opposite views on that issue. I wouldn't support the use of force because it almost never works but sanctions, as much pressure as possible, boycotts, hell, yes. Who's going to speak for the women otherwise?

    Well of course I support the right of individuals to boycott products if they dislike them or the place they come from. I do so myself. Just as I don't think anyone should be forced to eat whale meat. But I don't seek to impose my values about the use of resources (as long as it is sustainable) on other cultures.

    Moratoriums need only apply to those species that are being overfished and are being depleted to dangerous levels, so no I don't believe we should have a moratorium on all fishing.

    There should be one on cod, that's for sure. And, to be brutally honest, to hell with 'jobs' and 'livelihoods'. There is a lot more at stake here. The same can be said in my opinion of whaling, which is one of the reasons why I'd like to see it banned altoghether

    But most fish stocks around the world are endangered. And if moratoriums were imposed on certain species it would increase the pressure on all of the others. The fishing industry as it stands is a truly unsustainable one, which causes massive devastation to the seas and oceans. Whole regions of the oceans are utterly devastated, the sea-floor ripped to shreds and left a wasteland. Once one stock collapses the fishermen move onto the next one.

    Now that is an unsustainable industry. Not only does it do massive damage to the actual resource, but also to the ocean ecosystem, the physical "infrastructure" (the sea bed), and ironically kills more whales and dolphins through bycatch than the whaling industry. Whaling simply involves identifying a single animal, killing it, and removing it from the sea; not sweeping up square miles of the ocean at a time in order to extract a small amount of biomass.

    And still you assert that whales (that whalers want to harvest) are an endangered species, which is flatly not the case.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    carlito wrote: »
    Where are you getting your information from for this?

    If there is little demand for whale meat then I don't see the problem in lifting the ban, since its even less likely to result in exploitation than if there was regulation of high demand.

    erm overfishing for the sake of it? as what happens with fishing at the moment which isn't regulated in the ways it should

    i'd be happy for these places to whale but they don't need to, if you read my links earlier it'd show you that the price of whale meat is falling fast, it's being chucked overboard as they get too much and it's being used in school dinners which says more than anything really
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    briggi wrote: »
    I can't really see the sense in banning something because of risk of extinction and then as soon as the numbers are healthy again, deciding to lift the ban and allow the behaviour that caused the problem to resume. It may be too simplistic a view but I think there's a lesson in there that hasn't actually been learned.

    Its not necessarily simplistic, but I think it rests on an assumption that is generally held and is incorrect: that the whaling industry now would be involved in whaling for the same purpose and scale as when the moratorium was put in place in the early 1980s. This isn't the case. As I outlined before, pre-moratorium whaling was about exploiting as many whales as possible in order to obtain whale-oil. It was an absolute disgrace, and whales were clearly over exploited. Vast factory ships went on expeditions in which they slaughtered hundreds of whales at a time. But the demand for whale oil is now zero: whaling advocates simply want to see a small number of whales harvested to obtain food that has traditionally been a staple in some cultures.
    don't know how much I believe that livelihoods rest on being able to go whaling, and how much I believe that it is a cultural tradition that is deserving of preservation. If there truly are people who depend on whaling to live hand-to-mouth then I would prefer to look at helping them to make their livelihood in other ways, rather than allowing them to start whaling again.

    The best hope for many previously whaling reliant communities is whale-watching, which is now a billion USD industry. Seems like a good idea for me, but I think some people should still be allowed to hunt whales if they want to.

    Also, there are hundreds of thousands of people exempt from the whaling moratorium, "aboriginal subsistence whalers." They do live "hand to mouth" on whaling, and it has been their tradition for centuries, if not thousands of years. In fact, US citizens kill more whales every year than Norway and Iceland put together (IIRC), through aboriginal whaling.
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