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Breaking news from the whale wars

Discussion in 'Marine Life & Ecosystems' started by cdreamer, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. japan-diver

    japan-diver Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Okinawa, Japan
    1,538
    239
    A few numbers the total population of the Faroe Islands is less than 50,000. By recommendation of the chief medical officer of the Faroe islands consumption of whale meat should be limited to once a month and pregnant women and children should avoid it due to mercury levels- the high level of Parkinson's on the island has be linked to whale meat in the diet.
    The total population of pilot whales is unknown so a sustainable harvest is unknown. Faroe islanders are ranked 10th in the world economically with a very low unemployment number - the need for sustenance fishing is no longer present. The number of whales killed is inexact and hard to determine exactly but the number is definitely in the high 100's or thousands as single kills can be well over 200 and kills of 80-100 whales are stated as common. A number in the low 100's would be more than the population of the Faroe Islands could eat in a year. The grinds have become an outdated and unnecessary aspect of the Faroe Islands culture that is carried on not to sustain a starving populace but to satisfy a primitive bloodlust.
     
  2. OdinFo

    OdinFo Registered

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Faroe Islands
    37
    1

    Population and distribution

    Pilot whales are amongst the most common and most widely distributed of the marine mammals in the cetacean order.

    The long-finned species prefers slightly cooler waters than the short-finned and is divided into two populations. The larger group is found in a circumpolar band in the Southern Ocean running from approximately 20° S to 65° S. It may be sighted off the coasts of Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. There are estimated to be in excess of 200,000 individuals in this group. The second population is much smaller and inhabits the North Atlantic Ocean, in a band that runs from South Carolina in the United States across to the Azores and Morocco at its southern edge and from Newfoundland to Greenland, Iceland and northern Norway at its northern. It is also present in the western half of the Mediterranean Sea.

    The short-finned species is more populous. It is found in temperate and tropical waters of the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Its population overlaps slightly with the long-finned species in the western Atlantic. There are 150,000 individuals in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. There are estimated to be more than 30,000 animals in the western Pacific, off the coast of Japan.

    Both species prefer deep water.

    Human interaction

    The long-term survival prospects of both these species appear positive. Indeed in its Red List of Threatened Species the IUCN lists both the long-finned and short-finned as "Lower Risk; conservation dependent".

    The long-finned pilot whale has traditionally been hunted by whalers by the process of "driving" – where many fishermen and boats gather in a semicircle behind a pod of whales, that has been sighted close to shore, and slowly drive them towards a bay. When close enough they become stranded and are slaughtered. This practice was common in both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Currently only the Faroe Islands operates such a slaughter. Statistics have been kept for the drives in the Faroe Islands for centuries, and in the 1980s around 1,500 individuals were killed each year in this manner, declining in the 1990s to under a thousand. In the 2000s the number of whales slaughtered declined even further to an average of 300 to 400 individuals a year.

    The short-finned pilot whale has also been hunted for many centuries, particularly by Japanese whalers. In the mid-1980s the annual Japanese kill was about 2,300 animals. This had decreased to about 400 per year by the 1990s. Killing by harpoon is still relatively common in the Lesser Antilles and Sri Lanka. Due to poor record-keeping it is not known how many kills are made each year, and what effect this has on the local population.

    Both species are also collaterally caught and killed in longline and gill-nets each year.

    I have attached the statistics for whaling in the Faroes dated back to 1951 to 2009
    And I can only state that nothing goes to waste
    I know this because I have been in this process many times.
    Don´t you understand that we don´t kill unless it is for a purpose!
     

    Attached Files:

  3. japan-diver

    japan-diver Dive Charter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Okinawa, Japan
    1,538
    239
    ? In your post you say only 400 per year are killed but the stats you show have numbers close to 3000? Am I reading something wrong?
     
  4. OdinFo

    OdinFo Registered

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Faroe Islands
    37
    1
    Yes your probably reading it wrong
    For example in 2009 it says that there were 3 grinds in which 310 whales were killed and the combined meat/blubber collected was 2974 skinn (the usable meat/blubber of the whale not the most precise measurement but steady) Hope this helps.

    P.s more statistics are available on www.hagstova.fo
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  5. cdreamer

    cdreamer Solo Diver

    831
    8
    Update on 4th ship - Still unknown - Taz patrol helped Sea Shepherd last year and use twitter but have not been posting anything. So unsure whether this is Taz, Sea Shepherd or a possible other party. Early theories include a newer conservation group called the "Black Fish" based in Europe. I'll keep you all posted as the news comes in.
     
  6. ACT651755

    ACT651755 Divemaster

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: United Kingdom
    83
    0
    The more the merrier I say! Fantastic news if other groups are muscling in against the Japanese fleet.
     
  7. Nishan

    Nishan Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Sri Lanka
    267
    19
    Just want to add that targeted killing of pilot whales is not common in Sri Lanka. All marine mammals are protected by national law. Illegal hunting does occur, but not on a commercial scale. This was more widespread in the 1980's and even into the 90's but has declined significantly since. The growth of whale and dolphin watching in Sri Lanka in the last few years has also helped reduce hunting. Smaller whales and dolphins face a greater threat through net by-catch. Would be interested if you have specific information to the contrary. As far as I know short finned pilot whales are not very common off Sri Lanka. Sorry for jumping on the thread but as a Sri Lankan marine biologist I was interested to know more and also put out my opinion.

    Cheers,

    Nishan
     
  8. cdreamer

    cdreamer Solo Diver

    831
    8
    YouTube - New anti-whaling ship joins fleet

    From Pete Bethune -
    The fleet left Japan 7 days ago. If we assume they have no refuel vessel, they may try and top up their fuel in Honiara, Vanuatu,or Noumea. I doubt the french would welcome them.But the Solomons...It is possible the Nisshin Maru may top up the Yushins, and sneak into Honiara to top up its diesel and heavy oil. Fleet speed is 300nm/day, so if they do refuel in Honiara, they'd be in there tomorrow or the next day.
     
  9. OdinFo

    OdinFo Registered

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Faroe Islands
    37
    1
    I stand corrected

    Cheers mate.
     
  10. Nishan

    Nishan Dive Shop

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Sri Lanka
    267
    19
    No worries. I did some internet research and found some mention of hunting but I cant match that with my observations in the field here. We definitely have a huge by-catch issue though and I see this as a bigger problem than small scale illegal hunting. Which brings us to this thread. If someone kills 50 dolphins as part of a "hunt" its a huge issue but nobody says much about thousands dying as by-catch or have no problem eating the fish from that fishery. I personally dont endorse marine mammal hunts of any kind but I think the world needs to put more attention to all the other impacts. Its like how an oil spill gets a lot of attention even though most of the oil in the ocean comes from land based run off.
     

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