Saturday, 1 June 2013

Hunting Whales : Crimes in the name of ignorance and greed

Vânătoarea de balene: crime în numele ignoranţei şi lăcomiei

Vânătoarea de balene: crime în numele ignoranţei şi lăcomiei
For thousands of years people have hunted whales and dolphins alike. Like a wave of hatred has clouded consciousness of many of our peers on the lives of these gentle giants of the seas and oceans. The tone was given genocide since time immemorial, but the height of the bloodshed took place in the last two centuries. Today the situation has not been solved completely. Citing various reasons, those who earn big money from killing cetaceans continue to hunt ruthless, even constantly seeking new ways to circumvent international laws designed to protect the biggest living thing on Earth. Under these conditions, the survival of cetaceans transforms itself into responsibility for the human species. After all, not all people are the ones who took them close to extinction?

"The only creatures on Earth who have larger brains - and perhaps more complex than human - are cetaceans: whales and dolphins. Would be possible that one day, they tell us something important, but it is unlikely that we get to hear. because until then we killed them all, effectively, economically and in cold blood. " - Jacques Yves Cousteau in his preface, "our friends, the whales".
The great naturalist and pioneer of exploring and protecting nature was so right at the time when he wrote these lines. The largest creature that has ever lived on Earth are only apparently known, questions about the origin, physiology and especially their level of intelligence not far from clarified. Which does not prevent some people still hunt them with tens of thousands per year, regardless of protective measures and the fact that many large cetacean species are already on the verge of extinction.
History of whaling has existed for millennia, is actually an occupation dating back to the Stone Age. The first human communities that have specialized in this type of hunting were the Eskimos and North American Indians of the Pacific Northwest coast. Communities and tribes that traditionally hunted cetaceans, but in so small a number have never in danger these creatures. Tribes living almost exclusively from gray whales, whale Greenland whale Atlantic. As ancient hunters of whales were Ainu of Hokkaido and tribes, natives of Sakhalin along the Aleutian Islands and that Pacific black whale hunt.
Ancient testimonies show different techniques for identifying and hunting, especially species cumbersome, slow, therefore very vulnerable to attacks made from dozens of boats and kayaks, in which the natives threw on cetaceans numerous harpoons. When you encounter small cetaceans, such as pilot whales, narwhals and beluga dolphin, these hunters simply Manau them with shouts and noise towards low water ashore.
Sometimes, when focused on a large whale, throwing a rope in its path have linked several pieces of wood or leather bellows filled with air; whale entangled in it, swimming or was obstructed and kayaks harponierii in easy reach at it, killing it without difficulty. Whale hunting has reached a new stage in Europe, where the Basques were the undisputed leader in this field, to the modern period.
 Desen de epocă cu procesarea unei carcase de balenă
They adopted the same styles and tactics such as Eskimos and Indians hunting, specializing in hunting whales Black Atlantic, called sarda in Basque. The first historical mention of Basque whale hunting dates from 1059, but this occupation was practiced since ancient times in the Bay of Biscay.

Until the beginning of the sixteenth century, whaling was conducted traditionally work constitute a threat to any species of cetaceans.

Whale Oil Rush

The real Armageddon against innocent giants of the seas rush was triggered by the so-called whale oil, melted fat of large cetaceans, widely used in the past to light or necessary ingredient in the manufacture of soap and margarine.

It may be the fact that the extent and development of whaling has been given the increased demand for whale oil in the nineteenth century, when the lighting used. Whaling has peaked once the early nineteenth century, when the whaling fleet, consisting of hundreds of ships under American flags, British, French, Norwegian, Dutch, Danish and Russian avid began to roam the seas and oceans looking mainly whales smooth those ashes, those of Greenland, and less of balenopterelor (group of the largest species), creatures marine too big and strong for harpoons launched by hand and too quick for boats harpooner's rowing crews.

In those days cetaceans were hunted without any hindrance. In 1842 there were, for example, a total of 824 whaling vessels, of which 594 were sailing under the American flag.

Although large cetaceans seems to have escaped the massacres following the emergence of oil lamps, and gas lighting, followed by electric fate they did not smile at all.
 O belenă albastră a ieşit la suprafaţa apei să respire
Chief of the whaling industry boom occurred in the twentieth century, after the discovery of fat solidification method, which allows its use in the manufacture of margarine, butter and some cheeses. Currently under global famine in the whale's huge body not discard anything.

Meat consumption is sterilized and preserved in fat and bones are made different kinds of oils, which after hydrogenation lose their odor can be used in food and cosmetics, the bone and cartilage are manufactured fertilizer or pet food, to and milk is highly prized whale is considered a luxury food.

Harpoon that changed the fate

Situation large cetacean populations almost irreparably deteriorated with the construction of ships propelled by steam power and provided with metal chile. Building Industry ships begun to produce Whalers with tonnage and increased speed.

In addition, in 1863 the Norwegian Sven Foyn invented a new kind of spear, potentially more lethal than that of traditional harpoons, spear-shaped. But weapon capable of killing even the most massive blue whale was invented in 1925, when they began to be produced first harpoon guns.

The gun in question was able to launch harpoons meters long, garnished on top with a small shell that exploded after penetrating the cetacean body, causing the opening of metal rods that tore tissues causing massive bleeding. The instrument proved to be fatal for any whale species sighted.
 Harpon de ucis balene
It was so in the years 1930-1935 to operate in a world record six coastal stations for processing whales killed, 41 factories and 232 floating whaling vessels.

After the Second World War, remained eight states whaling fleet and factory ships to process whales in place, off the ocean. In order of size and importance of the industry fleets whalers in the respective economies, these countries were Norway, USA, UK, USSR, Canada, South Africa, Argentina and Japan.

In the 70, ranking had changed already, Japan quickly came third. Today, the top among states with whaler industry lies Norway, Iceland and Japan.

Future without whales?

It seems that this question will find its fateful bleak answer soon enough if the offending countries will decide to give up this branch of industry.

Paradoxically, over time there have been proposed several measures to protect the populations of whales, the measures required by the Member by Industry whaler, but the laws were imposed too late. Thus, in the 1871s agreed to ban the hunting of any whales in the Arctic Ocean, and in 1905 they adopted partial restrictions waters of Norway, Iceland and Svalbard.

The law has resulted in saving many cetacean species was one initiated in 1931, following the intervention of the League of Nations, was completed by the International Convention signed in London in 1937.

However, citing various reasons, from the need to preserve food traditions, some continue to hunt cetaceans. Detach obviously Japan, Iceland and Norway, followed by the Faroe Islands, Denmark, Canada, Russia, South Korea, the U.S. and even Indonesia.

Under these conditions, the current situation has reached truly tragic, as researchers and ecologists who monitor and study these wonderful animals and showed that their number continues to decline from year to year.
 Reproducerea unei vânători de balene din anul 1860
Despite international moratorium signed in 1986, commercial fishing continues in different forms, the most incredible motivation being raised by Japanese fleets, who argue that killing whales for "scientific interest".

Currently, according to data released by verifiable delivered as Greenpeace or Sea Shepherd organization, the population of blue whales in Antarctic waters reached only 1% of the early twentieth century this species. Western Pacific gray whales are the most endangered whales in the world, because today some 100 surviving copies.

In addition to the negative impact of hunters have to face cetaceans and marine pollution, global warming, fatal collisions with various boats, over-fishing which leaves no food sources and the risk of accidental tangling huge fishing nets.

Currently, Japan's fishing fleet is responsible for most fatalities whales. Just this season, Japan announced that it is planning a 1035 hunting whales in the South Pacific, as mentioned and specialists from Greenpeace.
 O porţie de frigărui de balenă în Rejkjavik
Now, however, despite the Japanese government motivation, Norwegian and Icelandic on demand for whale meat, it seems that the numbers tell another story. Greenpeace activists in Iceland have discovered with amazement as a large amount of meat from hunting season was not sold on the market, and the authorities were forced to throw a public landfill near the capital Reykjavik. In 2006, the Norwegian hunting season was halted by authorities in the middle of it because the local market was already saturated whale meat.

In Japan, about 5,000 tons of whale meat in refrigerated containers sit, unsold and unwanted by anyone.

Obviously, stopping or whaling ban will not happen overnight. It's still a business that runs annually amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars, yet maintains thousands of jobs, and in some cases it is also of economic interest or national pride. And in the face of such arguments, the principles of saving some species or ecological reasons simply vanish.
 Îndemn pentru salvarea faunei marine
Intensification of the global crisis not only delay the implementation of alternative measures of economic sustainability that lead to self-extinction of human pursuits that will certainly lead to total disparity whales.

Let us not forget, however, that these mammals have a very slow reproductive rate, a female giving birth to a single calf every few

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