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Whale Hunting

June 29, 2012 • Volume 22, Issue 24
Should whale and dolphin hunting be outlawed?
By Daniel McGlynn

Introduction

Japanese fishermen cut up a bottlenose whale killed off the coast of Tokyo (AFP/Getty Images/Yoshikazu Tsuno)
Japanese fishermen cut up a bottlenose whale killed off the coast of Tokyo. Several Japanese towns mount commercial hunts for whales not protected by the International Whaling Commission. (AFP/Getty Images/Yoshikazu Tsuno)

For hundreds of years, the United States and countries around the world relentlessly hunted whales and other marine mammals for their oil, blubber and other byproducts. But today whales, dolphins and porpoises are widely viewed as intelligent creatures worthy of conservation and protection from commercial hunters. Scientists describe marine mammals as social animals that share characteristics with humans, including the ability to communicate in sophisticated ways. But Japan, Norway and Iceland still hunt whales, and Japan continues its controversial slaughter of dolphins for their meat, as dramatized by the Academy Award-winning documentary “The Cove.” Efforts to ban commercial whaling by the International Whaling Commission have failed because of political bickering and competing national interests. Meanwhile, climate change, entanglement in commercial-fishing gear and ocean noise pollution are adding to the peril facing marine mammals.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Animal Rights
Jun. 29, 2012  Whale Hunting
Oct. 22, 2010  Animal Intelligence
Jan. 08, 2010  Animal Rights
Jan. 12, 2007  Factory Farms
Aug. 02, 1996  Fighting Over Animal Rights
Aug. 08, 1980  Animal Rights
Jan. 12, 1966  Treatment of Animals in Medical Research
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