Whaling has a long history in Japan, dating back to at least the 12th century when it was primarily used for food and oil. In modern times, the Japanese whaling industry has faced significant international criticism for its impact on marine ecosystems and endangered species.
History of Japanese Whaling
After World War II, Japan resumed commercial whaling in 1946, with the aim of supplying whale meat to feed the country’s population in the post-war period. In the 1960s, as demand for whale meat began to decline, the government shifted its focus to using whales for scientific research purposes, a practice that continues to this day.
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) was established in 1946 to regulate whaling and ensure the sustainable use of whale populations. In 1982, the commission adopted a moratorium on commercial whaling, which came into effect in 1986. Japan initially objected to the moratorium but later withdrew its objection and agreed to abide by it.
Despite this, Japan continued to hunt whales for scientific research purposes, which allowed it to bypass the commercial whaling ban. Critics argued that the scientific research was simply a cover for commercial whaling, as the meat from the hunted whales was sold in markets for human consumption.
Current Status of Japanese Whaling
In 2018, Japan announced its withdrawal from the International Whaling Commission and resumed commercial whaling in its waters. The government cited a need to preserve its cultural heritage and food traditions, as well as declining demand for whale meat. However, the decision was met with international criticism and outrage from conservation organizations.
The quota for Japan’s commercial whaling operations was set at 227 whales for the 2018–2019 season, including 150 Bryde’s whales, 52 minke whales, and 25 sei whales. While this is a significant reduction from previous years, it still represents a significant threat to whale populations and the marine ecosystems they inhabit.
Impact on Marine Ecosystems
Whales play an important role in marine ecosystems, as they help to maintain a healthy balance between different species and contribute to the overall health of the ocean. By removing large numbers of whales from the ecosystem, the Japanese whaling industry is disrupting this delicate balance and potentially causing long-term damage to marine ecosystems.
In addition, the methods used in whaling, such as harpooning and explosive devices, can cause significant suffering and pain to the hunted whales. This has led to widespread criticism from animal welfare organizations, who argue that whaling is cruel and inhumane.
International Law and Whaling
International law has evolved over the years to address the issue of whaling and its impact on marine ecosystems. The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling was established in 1946 to regulate the whaling industry and ensure the sustainable use of whale populations. The convention established the International Whaling Commission, which has since played a key role in regulating whaling and promoting the conservation of whale populations.
In recent years, there have been a number of international agreements and conventions aimed at protecting whales and other marine species. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was established in 1975 to regulate the trade of endangered species, including whales. In addition, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was established in 1992 to promote the conservation of biodiversity, including marine ecosystems and the species that inhabit them.
The Japanese whaling industry has a long history, and its impact on marine ecosystems and endangered species has been a topic of international concern and debate for many years. While Japan has argued that whaling is necessary for cultural and food traditions, many conservation organizations and governments argue that the practice is unsustainable and has significant negative impacts on the environment.
The resumption of commercial whaling by Japan in 2018 has only served to exacerbate this issue, as it has brought renewed attention to the impact of whaling on marine ecosystems and the need for international cooperation to address this issue.
It is important for individuals and governments to recognize the importance of maintaining healthy marine ecosystems and protecting the species that inhabit them. While the Japanese whaling industry may have a long history, it is important to recognize that our understanding of the impact of human activities on the environment has evolved significantly in recent years, and that our actions must reflect this understanding.
Ultimately, the continued operation of the Japanese whaling industry threatens not only the survival of whale populations, but also the health and vitality of the marine ecosystems they inhabit. It is imperative that we take steps to address this issue and promote sustainable practices that support the health and well-being of our planet and its inhabitants.
Our name is Valuuti and we want to do some good in the world and help fight climate change.
We’re a small start-up brand with an important mission — help nature and fight climate change! Specifically, we want to work with endangered animal charities, plant trees, clean up beaches and start/aid carbon capture and other environmental regeneration projects.
We also want to increase awareness through our environmental blog — talking about important issues, environmental wins and Valuuti updates. Please follow us along for our journey!
In the next few months, we’re launching our sustainable clothing brand, each design linked to its own unique cause and charity. We’ll have:
- Tree hoodies that when purchased, a real tree will be planted.
- Elephant hoodies that support Elephant Conservation charities
- Other services that will fund climate projects and general ideas that do good.
Thank you for reading and we hope you follow our journey!
The Valuuti team.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS. Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
|Compliments Men Want to Hear More Often||Relationships Aren’t Easy, But They’re Worth It||The One Thing Men Want More Than Sex||..A Man’s Kiss Tells You Everything|
Photo credit: Andrew Bain on unsplash
Nicely articulated article. The role of whales as ecosystem engineers is increasingly being accepted as an important determinant of a healthy ocean. I would suggest that the history of Japanese whaling is a political choice as much as it is a cultural issue. You may be interested in a review of the driver of Japanese whaling here,