The Debates Of Their Lives Essay Research

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The Debates Of Their Lives Essay, Research Paper The Debate of Their Lives Many people enjoy hunting because it is relaxing, fun or also a means of survival. Through out the years, though, hunting has become a dangerous event for has been around for centuries and has almost brought about the extinction many species of whales( Whaling 2). Many countries have hunted whales in the past but now there are only a few whaling countries, one being Japan(Lemonick 42). Japan, disregarding the ban, are now hunting minke whales because they feel there is a sufficient amount of this species( Watch 20). After many years Japan still insists on continuing to hunt whales but many organizations are opposing this for the simple fact that the whales are in danger of becoming extinct. Whaling has

been around for centuries(Lemonick 44) and evidence shows that whaling has possibly been around since prehistoric times( Whaling 1). The earliest record of whaling by countries with organized businesses is dated around 875( Whaling 1). During this time Japan has gained much wealth from whaling and continues hunting certain species of whales( Whaling 1). Japan and other countries initially hunted whales from rowboats but by 1870 factory ships were introduced and by 1925 a whale could be completely laid on the deck of a ship( Whaling 1). The first method of capturing whales was using hand held lances and hand-thrown harpoons( Whaling 2). By 1731, though, technology advanced and a gun was devised that was able to shoot the harpoons instead of throwing them( Whaling 2). For centuries

whalers were limited to a certain number of whales because of the availability of whales and the difficulty in finding and catching them( Whaling 2). As many species of whales evolved and nations were still constantly hunting them, the IWC(International Whaling Commission) had to make certain regulations. By 1949, the commission regulated whaling by (1)setting geographical limitations, (2)prohibiting the taking of certain species such as the Arctic right and blue whales, (3)establishing rules for safeguarding immature whales and females with suckling calves, and (4)limiting the operations of factory ships and shore stations ( Whaling 2). Now the few thousand minke whales has increased even more with an estimated 800,000 minke whales living in the Antarctic waters and northern

seas(Nickerson A7). Japan requested that they be allowed to catch 3,000 minkes, but the IWC turned their request down(Nickerson A7). Japan s Institute of Cetacean Research is allowed to catch 330 minke alone for research each year(Watanbe A2). After they are used for research, the eat ends up being sold or cooked in whale meat restaurants(Nickerson A8). Since whales have been over-hunted for years the IWC had to put a ban on whaling(Lemonick 44). Japan is one of the largest countries that hunts whales(Watanbe A3). In a 1992 Gallup Poll, 54.7% of Japans population support the idea of hunting nonendangered whales for food. This percent is more than double of the U.S. percent, 26.3%(Watanbe A3). The only other country with more people than Japan in supporting the hunt is Norway with

62.7%(Watanbe A3). Japan is very frustrated that the IWC will not lift the ban against whaling because they feel it is acceptable to hunt nonendangered whales, such as the minke( Watch 20 ). One specific area in Japan that is suffering in because of this ban is Taiji(Nickerson A7). For 400 years, men of Taiji have hunted whales for food and other uses such as lamp oil and women s dress corsets(Nickerson A7). Whales represent 26% of the meat in Japan(Nickerson A7). One concerned whaler, Yoji Kita quoted, For a poor town like ours, a return to whaling is a question of life or death (Nickerson A7). This ban against whaling has stripped Taiji of it s most important industry, putting many whalers out of work(Watanbe A2). Some have moved to fishing but say it is not the same as