The business of Saving Whales

Whale hunting has been banned internationally for years now, however countries such as Japan, under the guise of scientific research, and Norway and Iceland openly defying it; there are still more whales being hunted now than 20 years ago.

In the journal “Nature”, a proposal has been issued for the management of whale hunting. The proposal puts forward a concept of hunters paying for the right to kill whales and conservationists paying to save them.

““At worst, you end up with a sustainably caught number of whales that is well-studied. At best, you’d have whales taken off the market,” said environmental economist Christopher Costello of the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Costello’s proposal comes 25 years after the International Whaling Commission outlawed commercial whaling. The ban has proved difficult to enforce: Norway and Iceland openly defy it, while Japanese hunters operate under the guise of scientific research.

Approximately 1,600 whales, mostly fin and minke, are killed each year by hunters from those countries. Another 350 are killed by hunters from indigenous Arctic communities. Altogether, about twice as many whales are killed now as were killed in the early 1990s. To Costello and his co-authors, biologists Steve Gaines and Leah Berger, this represents a failure of current conservation approaches.”

via A Market Proposal for Saving Whales | Wired Science | Wired.com.

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