Since 1986 commercial whaling has been banned by international agreement. The worlds whale population was going the way of the Do-Do bird. 

Whale has been a food staple for some regional groups of people for hundreds of years. Were it not for the whale and its fatty meats many small communities would have long since died out. It was not the small whaling operations that caused any dent in the whale population. The killing of a single whale could support a whole village over the long cold winter, there was meat, and maybe even more important, there was fat. That fat could be used to offer light, heat, and other vital components for life in a harsh environment. 

Whale and would be consumer lived for hundreds of years in relative peace, the Inuit only had Kayaks and hand thrown spears, the whale was a lot bigger!, in a one on one battle the whale had little to worry about. 

Unfortunately this delicate balance was changed in the early 20th century when some countries saw the potential in commercial whaling. 

Japan was one of the first countries to begin commercial operations, and they were quickly followed by others. By the early 1980’s it was clear that the whale population could not survive, an international moratorium was placed on whale hunting in 1986.

Japan was the first country to circumnavigate the problem by introducing a ‘science project’ to study the whale issue, under the program a small number of whales would be killed each year for scientific reasons, and what was left of the whale after the ‘scientific process’ was completed would be sold in the stores! 

Today Iceland has declared that it is back in the whale business. It is going to offer tags for 40 Minke and Fin whales. 

Naturally Japan is overjoyed by this move. 

Unless something is done soon, and by done by some major players, the poor whale is once again going to enter the danger zone of the Do-Do bird.


Simon Barrett


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