South Korea Drops Plans to Hunt Whales for “Scientific” Purposes

The country has finally realized there are other ways to study these marine mammals

By on December 7th, 2012 13:05 GMT

Quite a while back, the news that South Korea intended to keep hunting whales, supposedly for scientific purposes, caused quite a media stir.

As reported, the idea that someone can hunt, kill these animals, and later claim that the information obtained in this manner helps with conservation efforts is one that environmentalists simply cannot wrap their heads around.

“It’s been a turbulent five months for the future of whales in South Korea after the Seoul government made a shock statement in July at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Panama, announcing that it was planning a ‘scientific’ whaling program. There was an uproar – ‘scientific’ whaling is just an excuse to kill whales for meat,” Greenpeace says.

To cut a long story short, since commercial whaling was banned by the International Whaling Commission back in 1986, South Korea saw fit to get around the new legislation by claiming that its hunting whales had nothing to do with the meat industry and the like, but with scientific research.

Thanks to the International Whaling Commission's continuing to pressure South Korea into giving up on its plans to slaughter these animals, it seems that the country has finally agreed to opt for more humane methods of researching whales.

Newser
explains that, according to South Korea's Fishing Ministry, the country took the decision to put scientific whaling behind it following its weighing in various arguments brought forth by world leaders and conservationists.

“After gathering opinions from various sides, the government is now in the process of finalizing its plan to study whales through non-lethal techniques, like many other countries such as Australia do,” the Ministry said.

What the Fishing Ministry actually meant to say was that their announcement sparked outrage all throughout the world, and that an online petition demanding that South Korea drop whaling managed to raise roughly one million signatures in just three weeks.

“The world does not support commercial whaling, even when it is disguised as scientific research,” Greenpeace campaigner John Frizell says.
South Korea drops its plans to hunt whales for scientific purposes
   South Korea drops its plans to hunt whales for scientific purposes
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