Whales, Japan bows out, Canada could do: A way out suggested by the Humane Society


Hugh Paxton’s Blog must congratulate Australia and New Zealand, the UN and all the hard working activists of Sea Shepherd, Greenpeace, WWF, Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society UK etc. Japan has finally thrown in the towel.

This year’s whaling season in the Antarctic is off.

They’ve pulled the plug.

“Scientific” research in the face of massive international criticism and ridicule, not to mention the threat of legal action and a court appearance in the Hague has finally succumbed to common sense. The farce is over.

Japanese people by and large don’t particularly like eating whale. I know. I’ve lived there. Ten years.

This whole Antarctic whaling thing has been an exercise in nationalistic pride driven by a few old die hards in the Fisheries Agency, and the powerful fisheries lobby. I remember one bureaucrat saying, while in his cups, “I don’t care about whales but if we lose whales next they’ll tell us to stop catching Bluefin tuna.”

He’s right.

They will. And so they should.

The rape of the seas must stop. The tragedy of the commons must stop. What belongs to everybody and nobody can be stripped by the greedy. And nobody has the authority or power to stop it.

This voracious predatory attitude comes with a price. Yesterday, I heard nobody came to the aid of a an illegal fishing vessel that went down with all hands in Antarctic waters. It shouldn’t have been there. And now it still is. At the bottom. And there it, and all who sailed with her, will remain. For a long, long time.

Japan maintains its coastal whaling catch (that is its legal right and science doesn’t come into it, although scientific studies by Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society have confirmed that consuming coastal cetaceans risks mercury and various chemical poisoning treats) and the annual Taiji dolphin slaughter will continue to perpetrate the image of Japan as a brutal nation.

Which it no longer is. But it was.

Anyway, let’s not get into Rapes of Nanking, Burma railways, Korean comfort women (sex slaves) wanton aggression and all that stuff. History still floats like a dark, misty ghost over the country and if the Japanese prefer to pretend it isn’t there haunting I can understand why. Not a ghost I’d like to confront.

BLOG ED: So they’ve stopped whaling in Antarctica.

Hugh: Yes.

BLOG ED: What’s this blog about? Gloating? You’ve won?

Hugh: Yes. It’s taken a while. And now perhaps Canada might decide to do the right thing. By its people. By its seals. Read on! This looks like a good idea!

From: Humane Society of the United States [mailto:humanesociety@hsus.org]
Sent: Friday, April 04, 2014 1:58 AM
To: paxton.bkk@gmail.com
Subject: A way out

The seal slaughter needs to go.
Urge Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper to buy out the sealing industry»
Trouble with links or images? View this message online.
Humane Action
April 3, 2014 Humane Action share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Send an Email

A Buyout Is The Way Out

Dear Hugh Paxton,

Right now, seal pelts are sitting in a warehouse, unwanted. Soon, that pile will get much larger. It’s time for the Canadian government to face the facts: the seal slaughter is an outdated tradition that has too much supply with no demand.

A devastating 90,000 seals died in last year’s hunt. A federal buyout will cost fewer lives and less money. Rather than waste taxpayer dollars to support the dying sealing industry, the Canadian government would save money if they ended the hunt and paid sealers a fair dollar amount to give up their license to kill.

It’s time to break from this inhumane practice for good. Please tell Prime Minister Stephen Harper to end the slaughter by offering a buyout of all commercial sealing licenses»

Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States

P.S. Did you know you can also help end the slaughter by boycotting Canadian seafood? Learn how and join almost 1 million others who have signed our pledge»

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