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Hunting again, this time whales...

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Offline Tore

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« on: May 24, 2007, 22:16 PM »
Another classic debate on killing animals is of course the famous whale issue. Although my only association with whales on the Iberian peninsular has been on two whale watching trips off the coasts of Tarifa and Lagos in Portugal respectively, (unfortunately only able to observe common dolphins or porpoises, due to the weather) I believe that the debate does have international appeal.
 
As a Norwegian I have received my fair share of criticism for my government’s decisions. Based on my observations of most serious whale population counts, I did not personally have any strong feelings about the issue in earlier years. Indeed as a young soldier in North Norway in the first half of the 1980s, I was fed whale meet at least once a week, to the point where I actually got slightly fed up with it. This all changed however when the “world” started to point its finger in an accusing manner. The only thing international pressure achieved on most of the domestic opinion in Norway, was to energise feelings of patriotism and I suppose a form of nationalism. “You will not tell us what to do”. (Actually slightly reminiscent of my wife, when I make the foolish effort of trying to tell her what to do, she absolutely will not comply, as a matter of female principle).
Now, some facts. Norway currently has a yearly quota of 1052 Minke whales (and only Minke whales) for 2007. This quota was similar to the 2006 quota, where only 546 whales were caught (typically the catch is markedly lower than the allotted quota).
Aside from the slightly silly pretext of conducting research (something I openly admit has limited justification), this is really about a few hundred Norwegian families maintaining a traditional livelihood.
In the two areas where Norway conducts whaling (Northern hemisphere), official but independent estimates show a current population of 107200 Minke whales in the main area, somewhat less in the secondary area. (Figures vary a lot but Norway uses very conservative estimates).
The IWC Scientific Committee for 2004, estimate 184,000 Minke whales in the Northern hemisphere.
In the Southern hemisphere the IWC estimate is 338,000 Minke whales in 2004).
I personally do not believe that hunting 1 % of the population per year under extremely regulated conditions will have a negative impact on the overall population.
In fact quite the contrary, as this recent observation documented on the BBC might indicate.
This showed that even the Pacific Grey whales appear to be in a phase of overpopulation. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6599805.stm
“One suggestion, from Dr Justin Cooke, who works with the World Conservation Union (IUCN) on cetacean issues, is that the greys have just become too plentiful”.
So, I leave this forum today with the satisfaction that yes hunting may clearly appear to serve its purpose in more ways than one.
p.s. Unfortunately I am unable to invite anyone for a whale burger this summer, as Norway has self imposed restrictions on the export of whale meat.

Tore the Red
Tore

Offline Mike Collard

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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2007, 13:37 PM »
You know what,Tore; we have heard this before. We all agree that loosing a few whales will not really damage the population but it is the methods that are used which should not form any part of modern society.

It was traditional to hunt and torture foxes, bait badgers, but things change,

I suppose the Faroe Islanders and the Japanese say it is traditional to catch Common Dolphins and Pilot Whales they way they do; but the methods they use are grotescue, obscene and are many other words ( I am sure you have seen the video footage )

I can see where you are coming from but quite honestly it must stop before it gets out of hand and others join in the fun again.

Regards/ Mike

Offline Tore

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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2007, 15:47 PM »
Dave,
At the risk of this dissolving into a philosophical exodus, I assume that your reference to methods has something to do with compassion and this of course will revolve around what is defined as humane or inhumane.
The Minke whales are shot with a harpoon containing a penthrite grenade, at a distance of 20-30 meters. There is a specially trained government veterinarian on each boat to monitor the conduct of the method. Over 80% of the whales die instantaneously. They experience no pain. This is a documented higher percentage than for any other mammal that is hunted in the wild (for Elk for example, the percentage is about 20%).
Of the remaining 20%, almost all lose consciousness and therefore do not feel any pain, though they are shot again immediately with rifle shots as a secondary killing method or with a second penthrite grenade. Very few animals indeed fall outside these two groups, though admittedly there are some which may suffer pain, up to a few minutes.

Obviously, it is extremely difficult to compare this short lasting pain of these few exceptional cases, with the other more long-lasting but less intense forms of suffering experienced in cattle farming. Personally, I have no problems in making such a comparison. The conclusion of this comparison is that I would rather be a minke whale living in freedom until the final few minutes of pain, than a ...pig or hen..."
In closing, I don’t believe anyone involved in hunting whales, would ever use the word fun.
Tore
Tore

Offline Dave

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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2007, 16:48 PM »
hi Tore
It was Mikes comments not mine
Regards
Dave

Offline Clive

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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2007, 17:33 PM »
Hola,

Administrators head is on ::)(Second time this week..Sigh!)

As this forum is called Iberianature I wonder if any one can find any evidence of a Spanish whaling fleet...Ever in the dim and distant past did Spain hunt Whales of any kind in any ocean or sea? I am betting it probably did....Facts and figures are most welcome...

This of course would bring the subject of this thread in line with Iberian Nature Topics....If we can't do that then this thread will be either closed, moved or of course deleted...

There is another board down below for general chit chat about stuff NOT related to Iberian Nature....

Clive
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Offline Clive

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« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2007, 13:01 PM »
Hola,

Because so much interesting information has come in after my admin moan above Nick thought it was a good idea to split this topic into two...

You can find the continuing discussion at http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php?topic=382.0

Clive

Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

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Offline Clive

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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2007, 17:27 PM »
Hola,

Here is a good BBC link re latest situation on whaling that I meant to post last week...There is a link on the page called "Guide to Great whales" that has some well laid out information on some species...


Heres the BBC link

p.s
Technopat...do you mean you want to do a link like this link above?

Clive
« Last Edit: June 09, 2007, 18:07 PM by Wildside »
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

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Offline Technopat

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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2007, 23:25 PM »
Greetings Oh Great and Wise etc., etc.,
:clapping:Cool (embedded?) link!

Is that function also availabe to those of us among the iberianatureforumers who are mere mortals?  >:D
Kind regs.
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Clive

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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2007, 09:48 AM »
Hola,

Another fascinating bit of information from the BBC...This time a piece of shrapnel from the American civil war is found "embedded" in a whale caught recently

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6751175.stm

Clive
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

The beautiful town of Ronda, the City of Dreams?

The spectacular Caminito del Rey, El Chorro and Guadalhorce reservoirs El Camino del Rey