January 5, 2011 |
Weighing up to 80 tons and almost twice the length of a school bus, the massive fin whale ? known as the greyhound of the sea for its swimming speed ? was the victim of decades of commercial slaughter that killed the whales by the tens of thousands each year. Then, in 1986, with the species on the brink of extinction, the nations of the world agreed to a moratorium on commercial whaling, and this magnificent animal got a reprieve. Except, that is, in Iceland. Today, over a quarter of a century after the moratorium took effect, Iceland is escalating its hunting and trading of fin whales (and other whale species)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 24, 2010 |
Self-described "whale-huggers" toughed chilling winds on the Santa Monica Pier on Sunday to restart a crusade they thought they'd won and to revise a familiar slogan: Save the Whales Again. "We've been doing this too long, and now we're going to do it all over again. It's very tiresome," said John Perry, a sculptor who in the 1970s campaigned for a whaling ban with a 110-foot-long humpback whale balloon. Perry was among about 120 people at the protest, one of 16 along the California coast targeting a proposal to lift the 1986 commercial whaling moratorium and set legal quotas for Japan, Norway and Iceland, the three nations that still hunt whales.
April 28, 2010 |
No one was surprised when conservation organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council challenged the anti-environmental policies of President George W. Bush. But it's a shock to many when we part company with the Obama administration. It happens. And it's happening right now on the question of what to do about commercial whaling and, more specifically, whether to maintain the 25-year-old moratorium against the killing of whales for profit. Last week, the International Whaling Commission announced a proposed 10-year deal, spearheaded by the Obama administration, that would suspend the moratorium and allow whaling countries to kill whales legally for commercial purposes for the first time in a generation.
October 20, 2009 |
Japan said it has caught 59 whales -- one short of the maximum allowed by international guidelines -- under a research program that critics say is a cover for commercial whaling. The annual expedition off the port city of Kushiro ended over the weekend after harvesting 59 minke whales, the Fisheries Agency said in a statement. A maximum of 60 is allowed under the research program authorized by the International Whaling Commission. Japan and other pro-whaling nations have been pushing for the IWC to revoke the 1986 ban on commercial hunts amid arguments over the number of whales left in the world's oceans.
January 19, 2008 |
They were "pirates" to some, "hostages" to others. But two anti-whaling activists who drew global attention this week by forcibly boarding a Japanese harpoon ship in Antarctic waters have demonstrated how the emotional clash over Japan's annual whale hunt can disrupt even the best international friendships.
November 24, 2007 |
The pro-whalers in the Japanese government have a ready answer when asked to explain why the global ban on commercial whaling should be lifted. Whaling is part of Japan's culture, they say. They point to archaeological evidence that whale meat has been a Japanese staple for more than 2,500 years. Respect for the "brave fish" courses through Japanese literature and paintings, they say, and has inspired folk festivals and puppet shows.