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Commercial Whaling

April 12, 1985 | DENNIS CUSHMAN, Times Staff Writer
The gray whale may soon be leaving the ranks of seven other species of whales on the federal endangered species list, government officials said Thursday. Howard Braham, director of the U.S. National Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle, said recent census samples of the gray whale suggest that its population has recovered from the commercial whaling days of the 19th Century, when it was placed on the endangered species list.
Some have come to save the whales, others to insist on their right to harpoon and harvest them. As the International Whaling Commission meets in this flyspeck principality on the shores of the Mediterranean for its 49th annual conference, the organization has fallen into a bad-humored impasse.
April 28, 2010 | Joel Reynolds
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.
June 12, 1999
Speculative science can kill whales. Your June 6 article, "Deaths May Signal Too Many Whales for the Ocean," quoted government and other scientists as saying that there are too many gray whales in the ocean. Recent whale deaths, apparently from starvation, are nature's way of restoring the balance. As a professional marine ecologist, I see this as a dangerous misuse of science. A more plausible explanation, supported by scientific evidence, is that whales are starving because their ecosystem is collapsing.
June 13, 1989 | JANE FRITSCH, Times Staff Writer
The International Whaling Commission's scientific committee released a grim report Monday indicating that the populations of some whale species are much smaller than previously thought. The most seriously depleted is the blue whale, the Earth's largest animal, whose number is estimated at 453, but could be as low as 200. Before the advent of widespread commercial whaling, there were an estimated 250,000 blue whales in Antarctic waters. Recent estimates had put their numbers at 6,000 to 11,000.
February 20, 1988
The sanctions ordered against Japan for its continued whaling operations will not save any whales this season, but they may ultimately win more cooperation from the Japanese in this international conservation program. Japan will make much of the fact that it is acting within its treaty rights, and so it is.
June 23, 1989
Two alarming developments emerged from the International Whaling Commission meeting in San Diego: --The stock of whales is lower that the grim earlier assessments had predicted, and --Japan is continuing its defiance of the recommendations of the commission's scientific committee with plans for an even larger kill of minke whales in the Antarctic under the scientific- research exemption to the whaling moratorium. Furthermore, the meeting was marked by new estimates of the appalling kill of other sea mammals that suggest an urgent need for the commission to extend its work to dolphins and porpoises.
June 26, 1987 | Associated Press
Commissioner Tatsuo Saito of Japan abruptly quit the International Whaling Commission today to protest what he called its "constant vote against Japan." Saito announced his resignation after the advisory group's annual conference approved three resolutions condemning whaling for so-called scientific research by Japan, Iceland and South Korea. He said Japan would be "infuriated" by the vote.
July 28, 1986 | From Reuters
A furious Icelandic government today suspended the island's whale catch to avoid what it said were U.S. plans to impose a crippling boycott on Icelandic fish products, the country's main source of income. Prime Minister Steingrimur Hermansson said it was only under strong U.S. government pressure that he had asked the whalers to stop, and he accused Washington of using high-handed methods against a friend and NATO ally.
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