South Korea Plans to Resume Whale Hunt
Critics slam plan for 'scientific' whaling
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2012 12:10 AM CDT
Environmentalists stage an anti-whaling rally against Japan's whaling in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, South Korea.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

(Newser) – South Korea has announced that it plans to join Japan in hunting whales for "scientific research." The country's delegation to the International Whaling Commission said the hunt for minke whales was needed "for the proper assessment of whale stocks," but anti-whaling countries and groups charged that the hunt's real purpose would be to supply Koreans with whale meat, the BBC reports.

"Scientific whaling is an obsolete and sad consequence of a document drafted 60 years ago," said Monaco's IWC commissioner. "There's no reason to do it, given the enormous body of scientific literature obtained via non-lethal means." South Korea banned commercial whale hunting in 1986 but allows the sale of meat from whales caught accidentally in fishing nets. Local environmental groups say many of those catches are no accidents and whale meat is readily available in markets and restaurants.

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Showing 3 of 8 comments
iq145
Dec 27, 2012 7:37 PM CST
Dec 7, 2012: – South Korea has backed off its plan to resume lethal Japanese-style "scientific" whaling expeditions in its coastal waters, in the face of an international outcry, the Guardian reports. Instead, it will use non-lethal methods to study the massive mammals. The International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, but Japan has gotten around the restriction through a loophole allowing whales to be hunted for scientific research—and then sold for meat once research is completed. An official from South Korea's fishing ministry said the department decided to switch to non-lethal methods "after gathering opinions from various sides." The plan had drawn a chorus of condemnation, including a petition that garnered more than a million responses in three weeks. "The world does not support commercial whaling, even when it is disguised as scientific research," a Greenpeace activist said. http://www.newser.com/story/158914/south-korea-ditches-whaling-plans.html
iq145
Sep 3, 2012 11:21 PM CDT
The vast majority of the world realizes there is no healthy population of Whales, and hunting in their Sanctuary is not helping that.There's no reason to slaughter dolphins either... especially since there ARE other sources of food. Whaling is actually a very antiquated way to gain food. It's prehistoric, and as humans, we've evolved and come way beyond it. Are the Asians trying to make a statement to the world that they want to appear that they have not matured? How about those claims of whaling as a "tradition"? America used to have slavery by tradition. Europe used to burn people for witchcraft by tradition. As a people develops and advances, we shed harmful traditions. This isn't 6000 BC anymore. The Problem: Man doesn't learn from history. Climate changes combined with man's overhunting is what made the mammoth extinct. Large animals just don't populate quickly enough to compensate. The Whales are facing the same situation, but with an added bane. Our world's oceans are being polluted. Mercury is becoming a big issue. So all this added up almost guarantees extinction of the Whales! What whalers are doing hurts us all.The Problem: Man doesn't learn from history. Climate changes combined with man's overhunting is what made the mammoth extinct. Large animals just don't populate quickly enough to compensate. The Whales are facing the same situation, but with an added bane. Our world's oceans are being polluted. Mercury is becoming a big issue. So all this added up almost guarantees extinction of the Whales! What whalers are doing hurts us all.
fractal
Jul 6, 2012 10:49 AM CDT
It is time to declare whales "persons". They certainly have more self reflective egos than either embryos or corporations.