Killing whales for food has been happening for millennia. But it was commercial whaling – turning whales into barrels of oil for profit – that led to the wholesale destruction of most of the world’s populations of big whales.
Willie - 21 October, 2016 - 13:42 - Comments
Whales are special. No, not for any stereotypical hippy la-la reasons, this is *science*! Healthy oceans need lots of healthy whale populations: they keep things in balance, help disperse and mix nutrients, support entire ecosystems and help fight climate change. Surprised? Read on…
Willie - 20 October, 2016 - 16:55 - Comments
One of the most significant issues being discussed and voted on at the upcoming International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Slovenia is the call to create a Whale Sanctuary in the South Atlantic. But what is a whale sanctuary? Why does it matter? And what’s so special about the South Atlantic?
Willie - 20 October, 2016 - 16:34 - Comments
Commercial whaling devastated the world’s biggest whale species, pushing some of them to the very brink of extinction in the early to mid 20th Century. Whaling for meat, oil, or whalebone was not a new idea, but new explosive harpoons and industrialised factory ships plundering the seas for whales had an even more catastrophic impact than what had come in centuries before. It was the realisation that catches were declining that led to the creation, by whaling nations, of an organisation that would become the ‘International Whaling Commission’ (IWC).
Willie - 20 October, 2016 - 15:58 - Comments
Like it or not, around the world many species of animals are seen as tradeable commodities – for things like food, fur, fashion or medicine. Of course we know that historically hunting animals for commercial gain has often been really bad news for the animals concerned. Just stop and think about some of the most recognisable big land mammals – things like tigers, elephants and rhinos – and it’s pretty evident what trade can do to even well-known beasts, pushing many of them to the very brink of extinction.
Willie - 19 October, 2016 - 10:01 - Comments