South Korea Plans to Resume Killing Whales for 'Scientific' Purposes, Too

Marc Füeg/CC BY-ND 2.0

Taking a tired, worn, and duplicitous page out of Japan's book, South Korea has proposed resuming hunting whales in the name of science.

Though it has not participated in whaling for the past quarter century, South Korea says it needs to resume whaling because, in Reuters words, "its fishermen were complaining that growing whale populations were depleting fish stocks."

Except, as WWF points out, the minke whales South Korea proposes targeting are actually listed as endangered by the International Whaling Commission Scientific Committee.

And, as WWF also points out, "the argument that increasing whale populations are behind declining fish stocks lacks any scientific foundation. Overfishing, not whales, is responsible for the degraded state of many of the world's fish stocks."

WWF suspects that the proposal from South Korea is a thinly veiled attempt to restart commercial whaling. Whale meat is already legal for sale in South Korea.

But it's not just environmental groups that are opposing the move. Vocal official condemnation of the proposal was made by the prime minister of Australia, New Zealand's foreign minister, as well as from Panama's delegate to the IWC meeting, underway in Panama.

Tags: South Korea | Whales

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