Commercial Whaling

If Commercial Whaling Was Reinstated What Effects Would It Have On The Environment? The history of commercial whaling is a long dark period in our time. It is full of the bloodshed of many innocent creatures. When commercial whaling started in 1910 the average numbers of whales killed per year were around 12,000. Then 30 years later the number jumped to 40,000. This was decimating to the whale populations, some near the brink of extinction. Then in 1946 the IWC (International Whaling Commission) was formed. The IWC was created to help the regulation of whaling. They placed moratorium on commercial whaling, thus banning its practices. But by the time this happened the whale populations were dwindling and the prey from these creatures were gaining numbers. Now the numbers of whales are beginning to restore, and there is a sense of equality; But now their thinking of taking the moratorium away and raising the catch limits of whaling. If commercial whaling were to be reinstated what effects will it have on the environment? In 1848 whaling started up with the introduction of the exploding harpoon (Key). At the start the numbers of whales killed per year were 12,000 (History). At the beginning the whales were brought ashore to be processed, but in 1924 the first ships that processed whales while at sea appeared (History). Along with this the methods of killing the whales were mainly harpoon the being until its death. This being a factor the number of whales killed per year rose from 12,000 to 40,000 (History). As each species of whales kept getting exploited the whalers would move onto the next abundant species (History). Of all the species being exploited the blue whale was the most decimated. In 1930 to 1931 the number of blue deaths reached 29,000 (Key). Then as blue whale numbers became scarce then whalers went to fin whales, then the sei whales. But now to the train has lead straight to the minke whales. The whales were being things such as oil, food, animal feed, cosmetics, margarine, etc (History). By 1946 the IWC was created by the 14 whaling nations to regulate whaling (Key). But it takes them more than 80 years to officially set up the moratorium to help ban commercial whaling (Key). Evan though whaling commercially has ended doesn’t mean that whaling in general has ended. Countries are still allowed to whale under certain limits. Japan on one hand has a scientific research permit. This permit allows them to hunt a certain amount of whale species each year. But the Japanese want to bring back commercial whaling. This is what a scientific representative of Japan had to say Japan makes no secret of its hope to resume commercial whaling as soon as possible, and is now conducting scientific research to help the International Whaling Commission (IWC) determine the advisability of a partial lifting of its moratorium. “The Facts”) And if commercial whaling were to be reinstated he said “More importantly, we have at present absolutely no intention of catching such species as blue or sperm whale in the Antarctic, because of their low stock levels. ”(“The Facts”) This may be fine except that the species they are going to hunt will be hunted by almost every whaling nation on this planet. The whale species that will be hunted from the representative words are “Japan will only harvest the relatively plentiful minke whale. (“The Facts”) What will happen if the Minke whales or any other species become extinct to the pressures of over whaling; there will be detrimental effects to the environment. If and when commercial whaling starts up again here are some of the effects it will have on the environment. First the natural food chain will have a huge hole in it. The Antarctic Minke Whale mainly feeds on krill, which is a phytoplankton. And if most of these whales die then there will be an overabundance of krill in the ocean. But phytoplankton is one of the natural sources in carbon in the atmosphere. With these statements it is clear that the decrease in whales will also mean a decrease in the ozone layer. There is also one other thing to show how whales effect the environment; it’s called Whale Fall. Whale fall is when the carcass of a whale falls to the bottom of the sea floor. This only happens when the whale carcass stays in the ocean. There are all types of organisms that feed off the body of the whale. But with the depletion of the whales the organisms that feed on it will start to deplete. This proves that every organism on this earth (Alive or Dead) has some major part to play in the world’s biodiversity. With all the history and future problems whaling the whaling countries want to continue the practices of their ancestors. From knowing that history always repeats itself they should probably reconsider. The effects it would have on the earth, Mother Nature probably couldn’t take it. So the whaling countries should really think about their next move.

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