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History of Whaling
The Basques were the first known hunters and users of harpoons. They established a station in Labrador in1536. However, whaling most probably began much earlier in many coastal communities, not only in Basques, but also in Viking communities, within some Indian tribes of North America (Makah, Nootka, Nuu-chah-nulth) and amongst the Japanese. In the seventeenth century, the maritime nations England, Scotland and Holland hired the Basques with gold for whaling. They had developed the technique of whaling with harpoons. In the sixteenth century, the Japanese were catching whales with nets, but had limited success as nets cannot be placed deep into the water.
Between the sixteenth and the nineteenth century, whale oil was used mainly for making soap. However, the market collapsed during the nineteenth century as other less fragrant oils were developed and replaced whale oils. This favourable situation for whales did not last as hunting activity picked up again when it was discovered that their oil could be used for lighting and other purposes. Oil was discovered in 1859 and gradually replaced whale oil. Nevertheless, the hunts continued and became industrial in the twentieth century with the cannon launched explosive harpoon being invented in 1864 by the Norwegian Captain Svend Foyn. This development saw a rapid decrease in the number of whales and sperm whales; more than 1.5 million whales were killed during the nineteenth century and more than 700,000 in the twentieth century.
Today, only Japan and Norway still hunt whales. Iceland, however, plans to hunt them again. Other maritime nations are trying to limit whaling by establishing sanctuaries in their territorial waters. A whale sanctuary was also set up in the Pacific and Antarctica. However, Japan continues to hunt whales (about 400 per year), because it was the only nation to oppose the creation of sanctuaries and, therefore, it is not legally bound to rules protecting these sanctuaries. Eleven countries in the South Pacific have decided to make a sanctuary in their Exclusive Economic Zone. These countries are Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Samoa, and Vanuatu. There are, therefore, two French territories participating in this fight to protect whales from extinction. The French territory Wallis and Futuna Islands could join them.
La tribu makah chasse les baleines qui sont une des seules tribus sur la terre que l'on permet de chasser des baleines
Like all living cultures, the Makah Tribe has undergone many changes since ancient times. Contemporary Makah children attend public school, wear blue jeans and Nikes, watch television, and play video games. Today, Makah adults are just like other American adults in many respects. They attend college, surf the net, and make decisions that affect their families, health, and education. But unlike most other Americans, Makah people also attend potlatches, join ancient secret societies, and hunt gray whales. This study essay presents information about Makah people, history, and culture so that K-12 teachers, students, and other interested visitors can learn about Makah life through the millennia.
Comme toutes les cultures vivantes, la Tribu Makah a subi beaucoup de changements depuis le passé. Les enfants de contemporain Makah suivent l'école publique, portent des jeans et Nikes, regardent la télévision et jouent à des jeux vidéo. Aujourd'hui, les adultes Makah sont comme d'autres adultes américains à bien des égards. Ils vont à l'université, surfent sur Internet et prennent des décisions qui affecte leurs familles, santé et l'enseignement. Mais à la différence de la plupart des autres Américains, le peuple Makah suivent aussi potlatches, rejoignent des sociétés secrètes antiques et chassent des baleines grises. Cet essai d'étude présente des informations sur le peuple Makah, l'histoire et la culture pour que des professeurs K-12, des étudiants et d'autres visiteurs intéressés puissent apprendre de la vie Makah par les millénaires.
Whaling in Japan - La pêche à la baleine au Japon
Whaling in Japan may have begun as early as the 12th century. During the 20th century, Japan was heavily involved in commercial whaling until the International Whaling Commission moratorium on commercial whaling went into effect in 1986. However, Japan continued to hunt whales using the scientific research provision in the agreement to justify their hunts. Today, whaling is conducted by the Institute of Cetacean Research in Japan. The meat from scientific whale hunts is then sold in shops and restaurants. This is allowed under IWC rules although most IWC members oppose it. These hunts are a source of conflict between pro- and anti-whaling nations and organizations. Nations, scientists and environmental organizations opposed to whaling consider the Japanese research program to be unnecessary at best and a thinly disguised commercial whaling operation at worst. Japan maintains that annual whaling is sustainable and necessary for scientific study and management of whale stocks. Japan also argues that objections to whaling are based upon cultural differences and emotional anthropomorphism.
La pêche à la baleine au Japon a commencé, au début du 12ème siècle. Pendant le 20ème siècle, le Japon a été lourdement impliqué dans la pêche à la baleine commerciale jusqu'à ce que le moratoire de Commission de Pêche à la baleine International sur la pêche à la baleine commerciale soit entré en vigueur en 1986. Le Japon a continué à chasser des baleines utilisant la disposition de recherche scientifique dans l'accord et la pêche à la baleine japonaise est actuellement conduite par l'Institut de Recherche Cétacé. La viande de chasses de baleine à des buts scientifiques est alors vendue dans des magasins et des restaurants. On le permet sous IWC règne, bien que la plupart des membres IWC s'y opposent. Ces chasses sont une source de conflit entre les pays ainsi qu'entre les organisations qui sont pour et ceux étant contre la chasse à la baleine . Des nations, des scientifiques et des organisations environnementales se sont opposés à la pêche à la baleine considérant le programme de recherche japonais d'être inutile et une opération de pêche à la baleine commerciale légèrement déguisée. Le Japon maintient que la pêche à la baleine annuelle est durable et nécessaire pour l'étude scientifique et la gestion d'actions de baleine. Le Japon le discute aussi des objections
Why hunt whales?
Whales have been hunted since tenth century. It was hunted for several reasons. At first, they were hunted for their meat. However, not longer afterwards, whales also gained an important place in industries because of their oil, bones and other parts, and they were, therefore, hunted for their parts. Whale oil can be used to lubricate machines and fabricate candles, while their bones can be used to create certain objects. Their skin can be used to fabricate belts, while their guts can be used to make ropes… The whale is, therefore, highly prized and valued in various industries. Whaling has, however, some very serious consequences. Intensive whaling has resulted in a significant reduction in the whale population. Whaling has now been forbidden by most nations, but Japan, Norway and Iceland are continuing their hunts for this declining species.
To be able to capture large whales, smaller trawlers are used to approach the animal. When harpooned, the whale tries to escape by swimming away and pulls its aggressors with it. Hunters wait until the whale runs out of energy and then kill it. The dead whale is then taken to factories and knackeries.
At first, "conventional" harpoons were used, but in 1868 the standard lance-harpoon was invented. As the stand lance-harpoon was designed to be able to efficiently and more easily kill whales, it was readily used once invented and, by 1930, 50 000 cetaceans were being killed each year.
In Canada, commercial whale hunting ended in 1972. Whaling came to an end in 1988 throughout the world. Today, there are only some nations that hunt whales. In spite of the efforts made to try stop whaling by numerous non-profit organisations and environmental groups, Japan, Norway and Iceland continue to hunt whales.
The Bue Whale.
Also called ROCAL blue, is the largest mammal in the world. It can measure up to 31m I length and can weigh up to 180 tons. Its mouth is 6m wide and its color is gray-blue. Its heart is as big as a small car.
The White Whale.
The white whale or white dolphin, also known as the beluga whale, is often bigger than most dolphins but smaller than most whales. It is easily recognizable with its white color and the absence of its dorsal fin. Its head, marked by a smooth forehead, is also unique among cetaceans.
The Sperm Whale.
The sperm whale is the largest existing toothed mammal, and it has a very big head. Its shape, in some ways, resembles a parallelepiped. It is the only whale with a single oblique vent. Its body is dark gray to black and male sperm whales sometimes have scars from fighting with other males or with giant squids.
The head and upper surface of the body of a common dolphin is dark gray. In contrast, its flanks are yellowish gray or blue and its belly is clear. It has a rather thin body and its snout is long and slender.
Also called Baiji, it was a mammal belonging to the family of cetaceans. This freshwater dolphin species was officially declared extinct on 13 December, 2006. Measuring between 1.40m and 2.50m in length, and weighing between 100kg and 160kg, this dolphin that use to inhabit Chinese waters had a long, thin snout, which was a remarkable and unique feature. The main reason for its demise was the increasing pollution in the rivers of China.
The orca or killer whale is one of the most recognized marine mammals. This fearsome predator is easily recognized by its black color on the upper side and white on virtually all of the undersides of its body and tail. Its oval, white spots that feature on both its sides and behind its eyes are also some distinctive features unique to this mammal. Its dorsal fin is very large.
Today, there are probably only around 1000 to 2000 blue whales that roam the oceans. Blue whales are not the only endangered species of whale that is being hunted; the hunting of fin whales is continuing in spite of its declining population. Formerly, in the South Seas, there would have been around half a million fin whales. Now, there are only a few thousand. What is also interesting is that many nations care very little about these endangered species. Russia has confessed to exceeding fishing quotas in the 1990s, while Japan and Norway continue to hunt whale species that are endangered, saying that they are being hunted for scientific purposes.
A solution for this problem is hard to find because for some tribes that hunt whales it's a part of their culture and religion, and you can't just change traditions without serious dialogue.
Une solution pour ce problème est dure de trouver parce que pour la tribu qui chasse la baleine, il fait partie de leur religion et vous ne pouvez pas juste changer tradittions et ces vies de peuples.
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) was set up under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, which was signed in Washington D.C. on 2nd December, 1946 in the context of overexploitation of cetaceans. This Convention had for mission to protect whales, but within the last few years, the IWC has had a few crises in upholding the missions outlined in the Convention:
- Firstly, the authors and founders of the Convention allowed their members to bypass decisions including those outlined in the very important Moratorium of 1986 that forbid hunts.
- Secondly, Japan has been permitted to increase their number of fishermen involved in whaling.
As the authority of the IWC is guaranteed by the United Nations and as decisions made by the IWC are prepared by scientists, such exceptions and allowances made have serious implications.
In addition, within the United Nations, there are 88 member nations that are also IWC member nations against whale hunting and 42 member nations that are pro-hunting.
Description of Whales: The whale is a marine mammal, which is also classified as a cetacean.
Why hunt whales?
Whales are mainly hunted for its meat. For Eskimos, whale meat is an important source of food and, therefore, they have a special derogation to continue hunting whales provided that they use harpoons.
During the nineteenth/twentieth century, the whale's fat was used to make candles, their skin was used to make umbrellas and panties, and their musk was used for fragrances. Between 1904 and 1985, about 2 million whales disappeared.
Japan and Iceland continue to hunt the cetacean for “scientific purposes”; of the 24,000 whales that they capture and kill, they claim that 7,000 are killed for their research. Japan also claims that they hunt whales to prevent the whales from depleting their fish stock, which is an important part of their culinary tradition. However, this is a false argument because whales mainly eat plankton. These countries continue to hunt whales for sale in their lucrative whale meat markets.
NB: IWC (International Whaling Commission) has the only Convention concerning the hunting of whales. It was established in 1946.
On 22nd April 2010, IWC proposed to reopen whale hunting under a controlled quota scheme.
62th meeting of IWC:
The 88 member nations of IWC met in Agadir, Morocco between 21st and 25th June, 2010. The principal discussion was centered around a proposal made by Cristian Maquieira, who put forward a compromise in whaling that would allow legal continuation of whale hunting for pro-hunting nations under certain conditions that would regulate hunts and also maintain cetacean populations. It would have been an agreement between pro- and anti-whaling nations, but, unfortunately, the proposal fell through during negotiations partially because the anti-whaling nations were unwilling to accept any compromises. During this meeting, Australia issued a proposal that involved a total cessation of whaling. This proposal also fell through as it went against IWC's rules and regulations.
The IWC has not really made any advancement in protecting whales over the last 20 years. In fact, they are unable to manage whale hunting.