Essay Whaling: International Whaling Commission and Commercial Whaling

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James Lea Geography Assignment 2014 Term 1
In this assignment I will be discussing the issue of whaling. Whaling is the sad practice of attacking and killing whales for the objective of collecting their oil, meat and bones. Whaling is a problem, as the killing of these species may drive them to become endangered or even extinct. Many countries participate in commercial whaling, but the main issues in whaling are from Japan, who has been taking part in whaling since 1570, and is suspected of using the proposition of research as a disguise for them whaling, which is being challenged by Australia, Greenpeace & The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, amongst other groups. In this assignment the focus will be on the suspected whaling that occurs in Japan, however I will discuss global Whaling to an extent in each topic.

Geographical Processes Involved
The geographical process that is involved in whaling is the removal and killing of the species of whales that are subjected to whaling. By removing from the ocean whales, the food chain can become unbalanced, as the food that they eat will have fewer predators, especially since whales eat very large quantities. Toothed whales feed on fish and squid, so without the toothed whales, while whales without teeth feed on microscopic krill. Since the whales consume such masses of these species, without them other species can easily become overpopulated, and disrupt the food chain.
While the disruptions will occur throughout the entirety of Japan, one of the major locations that will be impacted possibly the greatest is the coast of Wakayama, The major whaling city of Japan, where whaling is a part of their culture. However this effect on Japan isn’t solely occurring in Japan. Other countries that take part in Whaling include Norway, Canada and Greenland, however the quantities with which they kill whales in on a much lower scale. Therefore the environmental effect is on a much lower scale, and the food chain remains stable.
To the right is a diagram that in depth describes the food chain of the environments which whales reside in. While in Japan a few of these animals, such as penguins and Elephant seals, are not found on Japans coast, it highlights the basic feeding patterns of all whales
Before Going into who is affected and affects Whaling, here is a map of where whales are located and wether they are only observed or captured, which would be considered as Whaling

Individuals, Groups and Governments Involved in the Issue, and Some of Their Perspectives
Japan has many individuals people who are reliant on whaling. They sell whale meat for a living and the current laws which prohibit whaling are changing their lives greatly, and they don’t know how to adjust. Before these laws, Japan took pride in its ability to capture and kill the whales, to which we have evidence from this statement made by Juro Oka in 1910.
Juro stated:
I am firmly convinced that we shall become one of the greatest whaling nations in the world. The whaling grounds round Korea and Japan offer unlimited possibilities, and should stocks of whales, contrary to expectations, fail in those areas, we have the Sea of Okhotsk and the Berring Sea to the north and we are aware of the great treasure houses to the south. The day will come when we shall hear one morning that whales have been caught in the Arctic and in the evening that whales are being hunted in the Antarctic
This shows a great sense of pride in the Japanese, but also their reliance on both the whales, and the outer oceans that hold ‘Stocks’ of whales. This means that without access to the whaling, the individuals who rely on Whales will be in trouble.
Individually, many countries, even outside of Japan take part in whaling, albeit a much lower scale. In some countries such as Greenland and Canada are done by Inuit groups, for whom whaling has been a part of life for decades. However the rest is done on a smaller scale compared to Japan, but is