Should whaling be banned internationally? | The Tylt
Should whaling be banned internationally?
Animal rights activists say they oppose whaling because it's an outdated and cruel practice. Demand for whale meat is low in countries that practice whaling. Activists say tradition is not a good enough reason to maintain a cruel practice that kills intelligent creatures. Compounding the mess, pregnant female whales are often targeted for consumption. Activists say this is doubly cruel and unsustainable.
But animal welfare advocates argue that Norway's whale hunts are inhumane. Hunters shoot whales with grenade harpoons that have spring-loaded "claws" on their tips. When the harpoon hits the whale, it embeds itself deeply in the whale's flesh — not only does this slowly and painfully kill them, but it's used to haul their body onto the deck of the whaling vessel. If the whales don't die right away, the hunters will shoot them with rifles.
Norway and Japan, the two biggest practitioners of whaling, say whaling is an important part of their culture and traditions. On the site for the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, a factsheet argues Norway has a right to harvest whales for domestic consumption. It's a lie that there's no demand, people genuinely eat whale in Norway. The Norwegian government says whaling is heavily regulated to be sustainable and as cruelty-free as possible.
The whale meat is used for consumption, primarily on the domestic market. Minke whaling today is a small scale costal activity and is carried out by vessels of between 40 and 80 feet in length with a crew of four to eight people. The home harbours of most whaling vessels are small fishing communities, and whaling in combination with fishing has contributed significantly to the economic and social development or rural, coastal communities in Norway.