Whale killing set to resume legally in Japan, says The Independent

by Owen James

The Independent newspaper just spoiled my day with an article saying whale killing by Japan could soon be given the greenlight:

Governments are preparing to breach the worldwide whaling ban, legitimising commercial killing of the giant creatures for the first time in more than 20 years.

Key whaling and anti-whaling nations have thrashed out a plan at a series of unpublicised closed-door meetings to allow Japan to kill the leviathans for gain, after outlawing it for two decades. It is to be presented to a special meeting of the official International Whaling Commission (IWC) early next month.

Environmentalists say that the plan amounts to “waving the white flag” to Japan and they fear that it will usher in a new era of legal whaling around the world.

Basically, because the IWC is toothless, it’s given up pretending it can bite.

Instead, anti-whaling nations such as the U.S. are tipped to reach a compromise with Japan to restore legitimacy to the whaling trade body, because of – not despite – it manifestly proving its limits.

Am I living in the same world as everyone else?

I’m an animal lover but I eat (humanely reared) animals and keep fish caught in the wild, so I’m compatible with shades of grey.

But do we understand what sort of harvest is sustainable? Should whales be hunted at all even as we denude the oceans of their food, with the krill harvest off Antarctica potentially the final straw? I don’t think so.

Incidentally, this isn’t an East versus West issue. We’re happy in Europe and the U.S. to eat endangered blue-fin tuna, for instance, so there’s no room for xenophobia.

The world has to come together and manage its oceans properly or there’s going to be nothing left – to eat or to marvel at.

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