Whaling – Hunting Whales
Whaling is the term that refers to hunting for whales. This is a practice that has gone on since the beginning of time. Whales certainly offer plenty of meat for eating and it remains a staple in cultures such as those in Alaska where the Eskimos reside. However, it is important to realize that whaling has taken place all over the world. This includes the United States, France, Germany, and Norway.
Other parts of the whale are used to make oils and other products. There is a huge industry for this as well, and that has lead to commercialized whaling. The issue seems to be the most controversial in Norway. This is because whale meat is their primary source of food. It is also believed that they are the area of the world where the techniques for whaling became so prominent.
Iceland continues to be a big location of commercialized whaling efforts as well. Even though they continue to get pressure from other countries to change it, they haven’t done so. However, in 2006 they did set limits as to how many whales a person can kill annually.
Whaling has also become a huge sport where the hunt is only for fun. With more advanced tools and weapons than in the past, humans take this adventure to a new level. A common scenario is to hit the whales with large ships and then to kill them. While this is also a way for whales to be killed accidentally, it is believed that most of the time the hits are intentional to give the hunters the advantage. Since whales can swim very fast they need a way to slow them down.
As a result of all of these efforts though there has been a drastic reduction in the numbers of many species of whales. Mainly it is the great whales that have seen such a drop in their numbers. As a result 7 out of 13 of them are now on the list of endangered species. Efforts are in place to get them protected and to increase numbers. As a result the issue of whaling is limited or prohibited in many areas.
However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t continue to occur. In fact, it is believed that illegal acts of whaling account for more than half of those that are killed annually. Conservation groups continue to put pressure on government leaders to make the laws even more strict. They also want to see severe penalties inflicted for those that continue to break such laws.
Many areas are afraid that too tight of restrictions on whaling can affect them economically. First, they may find it is harder to supply their people with food. Second, they will lose money on the products that are made from the whales. Finally, they worry about the economic loss from hunters that pay for lodging and meals.
The issue of whaling is one that continues to be highly debated. Many see it as a way for them to have the food they need and to care for their families. Others see it as a way to make money due to the sales of such meat and for the oil and other products made from whales. However, there are those that want to see these magnificent mammals surviving for millions more years. They know if such whaling efforts continue at the rate that they are right now there is no possible way for that to happen.