Japanese Whaling

Katie M.

Japanese whaling is the barbaric, cruel, and unjustifiable hunting of whales in order for the hunters to make a profit. The whaling season starts in November and lasts for five months. During those five months, the Japanese hunters do unforgivable damage to the whale population. Before whaling took place, there were over two hundred thousand whales living in the oceans. As time went by, the whale population decreased at an alarming rate. Time Magazine states that there are only approximately forty thousand whales in the oceans today.

In 1963, many nations came together to create a law banning the atrocious sport of whale hunting. Today the countries of Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, the United States, and many other nations are the leading countries that ban whaling. These nations have made certain that the Japanese will be monitored while they whale. If the Japanese go over their limit of whales, then they will be punished. Unfortunately, the limit of whales the Japanese are allowed to hunt is a whopping one thousand whales per year.

The process of killing the whale is absolutely vile. When the Japanese on the harpoon vessel find a whale, they commit the following cruelties. Once the whale is spotted, they shoot the harpoon deep into the whale’s skin. Now that the harpoon is hooked into the skin, the whale is forcefully dragged in the ocean with blood pouring out of the punctured skin. The whale cries and struggles to escape, but it is in too much pain to resist. After the whale is pulled onto the ship, the Japanese stick a wooden peg into the whale’s blowhole. They use this tactic to suffocate the whale. Once the peg is inserted, the whale dies a slow and painful death.

The harpoon ship then sails to the factory ship to transport the whale. At the factory ship, the whale is ripped open and the guts are pried out. Once the whale is gutted and the bones are extracted, it is packaged into meat to be sold in the Japanese market. Time Magazine says the Japanese claim that this is all for research, but they are also able to make millions of dollars from the whale’s oils and meats. The Japanese also say that they are only trying to maintain the whale population. If they are truly trying to maintain the population, then why is the whale species endangered and on the verge of extinction?

They also claim that they are feeding their country with the whale meat. If they rely on whale meat, then why do the schools and businesses have whale meat sitting in their freezers rotting? There is no reason why the Japanese should be killing these innocent creatures. In fact, whales have a key role in the environment. They regulate the population of the ocean by making sure the food chain is stabilized. The whale’s feces also helps by releasing carbon into the oceans, so plants can thrive. If whales are helping the environment, there is no excuse for killing these creatures. Therefore, Japanese whaling needs to stop, or chaos in the oceans may ensue.

To learn more about whaling and what can be done to protect the species, visit the World Wildlife Fund or Save the Whales.org.