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Transcript of Whaling
This prohibits taking or injuring a cetacean or trading in their body parts, and sets of strict rules and conditions are set towards cetacean research. It is estimated that between the time when the first whaling factory ship was introduced in 1925 and 1975, more than 1.5 million whales were killed. Whalers hunted one whale population after another, moving from species to species. As the years went on the whale population declined dramatically due to the exploitation, and some species even neared extinction. There are five species that are currently listed as nationally threatened by the Australian Government:
Southern right whale
Humpback whale. Mini-Facts The original Blue Whale population was estimated to have been a number of 250,000 but now however, it is estimated to be between 400 and 1400. New research indicates the population of Humpback Whales to be over 21,000 and possibly even higher. This is a significant improvement when compared to the 1400 humpback whales that were estimated at the end of commercial whaling in 1966 One view on whaling is that whales should not be hunted for commercial purposes, this is due to the fact that the utilisation of whales would unquestionably lead to depletion of the whale population. The argument about the banning of whaling stems from the fear that whale populations will be unable to withstand being hunted because they are already subject to a number of other threats like climate changes and pollution. There is worldwide agreement that it is morally wrong to exterminate an animal species. Despite worldwide concern for the depleting whale populations, there is still debate on the issue of whether whaling should continue. Another opinion states that whale science has developed to the level by which some whale species can be safely managed for sustainable hunting without causing harm to the whale population, and therefore some catches should be allowed. The last yet most view about the topic of whaling, argued by the Japanese states that 'the global recovery in whale numbers means that people have the same right to eat whale meat as New Zealanders have to eat lamb.' They argue that the species of whale that are targeted for commercial whaling are not endangered and therefore no moral obligation toward them exists. They also belive that sine the increase in the whale population it should be alowed for them to preform some whaling practices. However there are also other people within Japan who are against this and think that the whaling to the point of near extinction is wrong, and that eating whale meat is no longer a necessity as it was during their poor past. Projects such as the satellite monitoring is a key action in the recovery plan as it will improve knowledge of whale movement and migratory pathways, hence help protect important habitats. this is helps establish a range of programs to insure the ongoing recovery of their species, as habitat degradation is a key threat to whales. An approval is now required to take any action that may have any significant impact on of the threatened whale species. The Australian Government undertakes a severe assessment to insure that potential impacts are avoided or minimized as much as a possible. The Australian Whale Sanctuary- The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999(EPBC Act) assures that all cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) are protected in Australian waters. Within the Sanctuary it is an offence to kill, injure or interfere with a cetacean. severe penalties apply to whom ever is convicted of such offence.
All states and territories are to also protect the whales and dolphins within their waters. The International Whaling Commission (IWC) was set up under the International Convention for the Regulation of whaling. It is an Inter-Governmental Organisation tasked with the conservation of whales and the management of whaling. they also address issues like ship strikes, entanglement events, establishment of protocols for whale watching to promote the recovery of the depleted whale populations.
Australia was one of the first members of the commission, becoming an official member in 1948. There are currently 89 Governments from around the world that
have a membership with
the IWC Australia is a world leader in the international protection and conservation of whales. The Australian Marine Mammal Centre was established, by the Australian Government as the first Australian national research centre that focuses on the understanding, protection and conservation of the whales, dolphins, seals and dugongs in our region.
The Centre coordinates Australia’s marine mammal research to provide scientific research and advice to support Australia’s marine mammal conservation and policy initiatives Greenpeace is working towards an end to whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary through their ongoing work within Japan to expose the corruption being brought upon whales due to Japan’s whaling industry. This case is bringing extraordinary public scrutiny to the whaling programe and can help build public support inside Japan to end the senseless hunt. In 1994, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) established the Southern Ocean as a whale sanctuary, Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary (SOWS). This was due to the oil and other products that drove whalers to the Southern Ocean in the early twentieth century, which lead to disastrous results for the whales. Despite this Japan has continued to kill whales within the Sanctuary using the excuse of so-called "research whaling." SAVE THE WHALES is a Nonprofit Educational Organization. It's focus is educating the public, especially children, about marine mammals and the fragile ocean environment. Save the Whales believe that 'education is the key to saving whales, oceans, and ourselves.' It has also been working relentlessly to protect marine life for over 25 years. This organisation has educated 275,000 children through a program called WOW (Whale On Wheels).
It also works to prevent Navy
"Ship Shock" (explosives in waters)
tests and and has therefore saved
about 10,000 Marine Mammals. The Japanese would have to be one of the most important governments that are involved with the issue of whaling. Whaling in Japan begun as early as the 12th century. During the 20th century, Japan became heavily involved in commercial whaling. Even after rules and regulations were set up against commercial whaling, the Japanese were able to find loophole within these regulations and were able to still commense their whaling practices using the reason of research, however most end up on dinner tables. Iceland has shown a clear interest in the hunt for whales for "scientific purposes". Many countries and interest groups oppose whaling due to the fact that the method of killing is unethical and inhumane. They believe that death by harpoon (a long spear-like instrument used in fishing to catch fish or large marine mammals) has the potential to impose a traumatic, slow and painful death for these highly intelligent mammals, without producing great benefits for the public. It is a major offence for any organisation, person, company or group to injure, take, trade, keep, move, harass, chase, herd, tag, mark or brand any whale, or cetacean in general, within Australian waters unless they have a permit. Permits can not be issued to kill a cetacean or take one for live display.
Permits may only be issued by the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources after appropriate consideration of all the impacts of the activity has been taken into account. Most people think that whaling is the only reason why the whale population is dramatically declining. However since that the topic of whaling is such a popularised topic when relating whales and their decline in population, they don't realise that the whales are already jeopardised by other human caused environmental threats, like toxic pollution and climate change. Since not many people realise this issue it is not as addressed as much as whaling. Despite this there are projects that address this issue and try to resolve the problem, however issues like climate change and pollution can not be resolved overnight. Save the Whales is an organisation that helps prevent things that would cause harm to our whales, like Navy Ship Shock and Salt Mining Operations Christopher Costello and Steven Gaines of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Leah Gerber of Arizona State University, sketched out a system that would give countries permits to catch a certain number of whales which are not as endangered. the permits would be traded between the countries. The permit price would ange from $13,000 for a Minke whale to $85,000 for a Fin whale.
Greenpeace is against this proposal. They are trying to pressure whaling countries like Japan and Iceland to stop whaling entirely, not trade with the whales lives. An environmental economist at Duke University, commented saying that the trading system could lead to some negative consequences. He thinks that If fewer whales are killed but the demand for whale meat stays the same then prices will rise, that could lead to illegal whaling to supply for this demand.
Despite this conflict on this proposal, it is still a proposal and has not been put into action yet. One of the main conflicts relating to this issue would be that of between the whaling countries and the countries and organisation which take the protection of whales into major consideration. A major example would be the conflict between Greenpeace and the Japanese, especially within the Southern Hemisphere since three-quarters of the world's remaining whale population is found there. Greenpeace gets into the way of many whaling ships and vessels which are about to shoot the whales. They provide a living human barrier between the harpoon and the gentle animal. They have been threatened and their ships have been severely damaged, however this has not stopped their strive to stop whaling. Greenpeace also provides campaigning from within japan which they are totally against. Within Australian law in is illegal to preform any type of whaling, whether it be for commercial or scientific research. In January 2, 2002 a Japanese Whaling fleet was found within Antarctic waters. Australia attempted to expel the whaling ships and the Antarctic waters is claimed to be Australian. Australia's claim of Antarctica's EEZ is not as recognised within the international community. the Japanese whaling ships started moving closer and closer towards coastline of the Australian Antarctic Territory.
First radio exchanges where made, through an Australian research vessel named Aurora Australis, where they were told to back away and leave the area. Despite the warning the Japanese provided no clear response. "The incident highlights long standing tensions between the two countries over whaling."
The issue of the Japanese still whaling withing or near Australian waters still remains. With the ongoing disputes about whaling between Australia and Japan, it is evident that neither of the two parties will back down until a legal statement is made and they get what they want. The International Court of Justice could be handing down a decision later this year referring to the statement: Could 2013 be Japan's last year of whaling in the Southern Ocean?
Normally cases before the International Court take at least five years to be resolved, however in 2012 Australia took an unusual step and shortened the process. This could result in a decision being by the court during the middle of the next Antarctic whaling season. This would prevent any type of whaling to occur within any Australian waters. Refer to http://www.myspace.com/greenpeaceauspac/videos/video/54505837 Australian research vessel Aurora Australis The Esperanza is the latest and largest vessel in the Greenpeace fleet. It has been used to chase the Japanese whaling fleet! Whaling harpoon canon Whaling harpoon Cetaceans