Tuesday, September 9, 2008
"Scientific Whaling" Under Fire - From Scientists
Japan kills hundreds of whales every year as part of its "scientific" whaling program, because whaling for purely commercial purposes has been prohibited in the Southern Ocean since 1994. The results of some of this research were recently released in the journal Polar Biology, and indicate that minke whales might have experienced a nine percent reduction in blubber thickness over the past 18 years. Scientists aren't convinced that whales needed to be killed to carry out these studies - there are non-lethal techniques that would allow the researchers to obtain similar information - and conservation groups note that this study appears to contradict previous results from the Japanese research program.