Whale hunting can be stopped and you can do your part to help!
Standing up against the whaling industry might seem like a daunting task, but it turns out there are many things you, as an individual, can do to stop commercial whaling.
But first, we have to understand why whales are hunted and who exactly is hunting them. Uncovering the root of the problem is always the first step to finding a solution.
Why are whales hunted?
Historically, whales were hunted for their blubber which contained whale oil. This was used all throughout the 19th century to light oil lamps and make products such as soap and margarine.
But with the rise of the petroleum industry, whale oil was soon completely replaced by cheaper and more efficient petroleum products. So why is whaling still a thing today?
The whaling industry has shifted from harvesting whale oil to harvesting whale meat. In certain countries, whale meat is considered a delicacy and this is what has kept whaling alive throughout the 20th century up until today.
Who hunts whales?
There are only three countries that still hunt whales today and they are Iceland, Norway, and Japan.
Iceland and Norway have historically always consumed whale meat because their harsh cold climate provides limited food sources. But with modern trade, sourcing food is not an issue anymore so whale meat is simply considered a “traditional dish” in these countries.
Japan, on the other hand, started whaling later in the 20th century. In the aftermath of World War 2, food was scarce in Japan and the country resorted to whaling as a means to feed its people. But today whale meat is simply a delicacy that can mostly be found in restaurants.
In 1986, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned the practice globally, but this hasn’t stopped Iceland, Norway, and Japan from continuing whale hunting.
Iceland and Norway actively ignore the ban, while Japan uses a loophole rule that allows the country to hunt whales for scientific purposes. This means we, as global citizens, must find alternative ways to stop whale hunting.
6 easy ways to stop whale hunting
Commercial whaling can be stopped and you can easily get involved without having to head out to sea. We will show that you don’t have to be the International Whaling Commission to make a difference. Here are six easy ways to stop the cruel practice of whaling.
1. Expose the suffering on social media
Many people today are aware of whale hunting but do not know the extent of the atrocities committed. Actively sharing news, videos, and statistics on social media helps boost awareness in the community and drive the movement against whaling.
This is extremely effective in countries where whale hunting and the consumption of whale meat are still present. Local news stations tend to avoid the subject and sometimes the only way the local population can be informed about the matter is through social media.
2. Apply political pressure
Applying political pressure is a straightforward way to influence the decision-makers in your government. It can be as easy as writing letters to your local politicians or protesting outside of government buildings.
Getting media attention is particularly effective in raising awareness about commercial whale hunting. Protesting at an international convention like the G20 usually results in media coverage and can pressure your government and the IWC to take further measures to stop whaling.
3. Donate to a non-profit organisation
Donating money to organisations like WWF and Greenpeace is an indirect way of helping the fight against commercial whale hunting. These non-profit organisations work to create sanctuaries around the world where whales can be protected.
Greenpeace activists are known for disrupting whaleships during their hunting operations. They often block off vessels and get in the way of their harpoons, therefore allowing whales to escape.
4. Educate future generations
If demand for whale meat ceases then so will whale hunting. Educating future generations about the issue can help cut off demand and save numerous whale species.
In Japan, for example, a recent poll found that the majority of young people do not consume or rarely consume whale meat. It’s mostly the older generation that grew up in the aftermath of WW2 that makes up the demand.
If schools start educating young people on the cruelty of whale hunting – especially in the countries that practise it – we can stop future demand for whale meat and put the whaling industry out of business.
Boycott companies involved with whaling
Many companies are directly or indirectly involved with whale hunting and boycotting them can seriously harm the whaling industry.
For example, many companies in the United States and the United Kingdom bought fish from HB Grandi – Iceland’s largest seafood firm. This was found to have links with whaling companies and as a result, was boycotted by consumers.
The outcome was that many retailers in the United States and the United Kingdom stopped buying fish from HB Grandi. The next step should be a global boycott of Icelandic, Japanese, and Norwegian companies linked to whaling.
6. Promote whale watching instead of whale hunting
The biggest argument that whaling countries make against the ban is that people would lose jobs. But that doesn’t have to be the case!
Replacing whale hunting with whale watching can preserve many jobs and allow whale populations to slowly recover. In Australia, commercial whaling ceased in 1978, and since then blue whale populations have been slowly growing.
At the same time, the whale watching industry has also been growing and today people can make money off whales in an ethical way.
Why not witness the majestic whales yourself? At Naturaliste Charters, we offer whale watching tours in Augusta, Bremer Bay, Busselton, Dunsborough, and Margaret River. See blue whales, sperm whales, and killer whales from up close. Book a tour today!