Whaling 🐋

Bernard Germain de Lacépède (1756–1825)
Source: Freshwater and Marine Image Bank

Whaling refers to the hunting and killing of whales by humans for their resources, which has been done at least since 3000 BC.

The purpose of the slaughter of these giant mammals is to get their usable products such as meat, bones, blubber.
Meat is used in pet food, or served to tourists as a ‘traditional dish’. Consuming whale meat has been woven into Japan’s history and culture. Whale meat became a crucial part of the Japanese food supply after World War II, because it was a cheap source of protein for a country that was suffering from post-war poverty.
However, today’s Japanese young people don’t seem so keen on eating whale meat as their elders.

Blubber is the thick layer of vascularized adipose tissue under their skin, which can be turned into a type of oil which became increasingly important in the Industrial Revolution. It lit lamps and formed candle wax, and was also used in margarine and other products, like additives in motor oils, automatic transmission fluids, cosmetics, perfumes, detergents and vitamins, allowing the commercial whaling industry to grow quickly.

Nowadays people don’t depend on whale oil anymore, because petroleum eventually took its place as the main type of fuel, kerosene replaced it in lamps, but whaling continues despite a commercial ban imposed by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) which enacted a moratorium and managed to save several whale species from extinction and to allow some populations to recover

These giant animals seemed limitless, but since the mid-20th century their populations began to drop catastrophically, so whaling started to be conducted on a very limited scale and is now the subject of great scrutiny, both by formal regulatory bodies and by nongovernmental organizations.

But despite the moratorium on commercial whaling, Japan, Norway and Iceland have continued a commercial hunt, maintaining they have a right to hunt whales, because stopping the practice would put too many of their people out of work or the hunt is only for scientific research.

According to an estimate, nearly three million whales were killed in the 20th century, and every year, Japan, Norway, and Iceland kill around 1,500 whales, they have killed over 40,000 whales since 1986, when the moratorium went into effect, and 7 of the 13 species of great whales are still endangered

40 thoughts on “Whaling 🐋

  1. Fra i tanti suoni armoniosi del mare c’è senza dubbio il “canto” delle balene.
    Mi ha sempre messo una certa tristezza immaginare come può trasformarsi
    nel momento in cui vengono uccise. O forse muoiono in silenzio. Senza lamenti.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The controversial thing about whaling is that the consumption of its meat in Japan has been reduced, but since the industry is subsidized by the government, its capture has not been reduced. The other reason they give to kill them, is that the whales consume the schools of fish harming the fishermen and then it was shown that this was not true. The truth is that at present, nothing has changed and the indiscriminate killing continues. At least your article is a wake-up call to be aware of the problem. It was an excellent read.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Tragic situation. You hurt inside because of these kinds of things. Such magnificent creatures. Subjected to the horrific human cruelty of man. Those nations ought to be STOPPED!!! Stopped dead in their tracks!!!

    Great and needful post, Luisa.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Luisa, you have given us a post with clarity and facts. It is important that we know what is happening
    in the world and this issue has been quieted down. To see the huge number of whales killed is shocking.
    I knew about Japan but didn’t know Norway was so involved.
    The whales are indeed majestic mammals so it is a shame on those who indulge.


    Liked by 3 people

  5. L’anno scorso ho avuto la fortuna di osservare diverse balene con i loro piccoli a Puerto Piramide (Penisola di Valdes) in Argentina. Sono uno spettacolo della natura. E’ veramente una tristezza che alcuni umani continuino a cacciarle ancora oggi.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Comment pouvons-nous rester insensibles à ces souffrances que nous ne pouvons plus ignorer ?
    Il est douloureux de prendre conscience que l’homme est la plus cruelle des espèces…
    Merci Luisa pour ce précieux témoignage. Bon week-end à toi. Bisous amicaux.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Si è Tentato e si tenta di sensibilizzare l’industria a rifiutare che questa mattanza , purtroppo le leggi si intorcinano tra di loro e le povere balene ne fanno le spese. Vergogna!

    Cara Luisa gli auguri per le festività!

    Shera 🌲🌲🌲💚

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Tout ce qui rend fou et qui tourmente, tout ce qui remue le fond trouble des choses, toute vérité contenant une partie de malice, tout ce qui ébranle les nerfs et embrouille le cerveau, tout ce qui est démoniaque dans la vie et dans la pensée, tout mal était pour ce fou d’Achab, visiblement personnifié, et devenait affrontable en Moby Dick.

    Moby Dick, Herman Melville 


  9. Wonderful article, Luisa. When I was a kid I always thought of Whaling as romantic, man against the giant beast and the might of the ocean, of course with the advent of technology that has all changed now, no Moby Dick stories these days, love your writing 😘

    Liked by 1 person

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