Anti-whaling, not anti-shark culling…

So recently the Australian government won a landmark international court case to ban Japanese whaling. While whaling will continue, the international courts have ruled that hunting of cetaceans in the Southern Ocean of the Antarctic is to end. On the face of it, this is a wonderful, noble cause for the Australian government to back. The unnecessary hunting of the gentle ocean mammals is abhorrent, and has no foundation – for scientific reasons or otherwise.

Dig a little deeper, though, and this court cases smacks of hypocrisy of the highest order. While calling for the world to ban the Japanese from whaling, they continue in their cull of sharks perceived to be hazardous to human life. While no Great Whites have as yet been caught and killed, if and when they are, this could pose a major problem for the species. Great whites take a long time to reach sexual maturity, longer than it takes them to grow to 3 metres (the minimum size of sharks being culled). Killing off the animals based on their size will tip an already vulnerable (according to the IUCN’s red list of endangered animals) animal closer to extinction. The 3m kill rule means large numbers of the potential breeding stock of great whites could be at risk, which is of great concern given how little is known about the global population of great whites.

To date, the government have endorsed the culling of 63 tiger sharks, two makos and a black tip shark. Not to mention the “collateral” in terms of non-shark species accidentally caught or killed. But let’s pat them all on the shoulder for supporting the ban of Japanese whaling, in the hopes it provides a convenient smoke screen to their own ocean culling.

gws

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3 thoughts on “Anti-whaling, not anti-shark culling…

  1. Reblogged this on shitpetesays and commented:
    It’s certainly a great win but what still remains unknown is if Japan will adhere to this ruling. Will they stop the slaughter? I know Sea Shepherd will not be deterred, they’ll continue the good fight and will ensure the Japanese are exposed (and stopped) if they dare continue their barbaric, illegal activities.

  2. It’s certainly a great win but what still remains unknown is if Japan will adhere to this ruling. Will they stop the slaughter? I know Sea Shepherd will not be deterred, they’ll continue the good fight and will ensure the Japanese are exposed (and stopped) if they dare continue their barbaric, illegal activities.

    Along with many other passionate people, I continue the fight against the immoral and inhumane cull of sharks in WA. It’s a tough battle, driven by selfish political agendas but there are so many people do whatever it takes to make a difference. Some inspiring acts of good http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/pair-swim-alongside-struggling-released-shark-20140402-35yh7.html and http://youtu.be/DGT3ITWaDXs

    Definitely topics I’ve blogged about previously, causes I’m very passionate about and I don’t just fight with my words

    1. Don’t get me wrong-it is a huge step in the right direction. I would agree that this ruling most likely won’t deter the Japanese much, just move them to other waters. That said, it is a huge smoke screen when the government in Australia is taking the moral high ground by pursuing this case, in the hopes of hiding their equally barbaric shark cull. Not to mention the risk to marine life not included in this cull. Sting rays, amongst many other marine creatures will be attracted by the bait.

      And if the bait lines are only checked between 8am and 6pm, any shark hooked just after 6pm is at risk even if it is under 3m. These creatures need to swim to live.

      As one of the articles you linked to mentioned, if a shark dies on the drum lines because it cannot swim, this will attract more sharks to come and feed on it. Therefore, by trying to reduce the number of large sharks close to shore, you inadvertantly attract greater numbers. All in all, it strikes me as a very flawed plan.

      As ever, thanks for commenting Pete! 🙂

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