Four decades ago humpback whales had been hunted to the brink of extinction. Its conservation status remains "threatened (vulnerable)"The Japanese authorities have announced that a fleet will leave for the South Pacific on 17 Nov, with instructions to kill up to 1,000 whales, including 50 humpbacks.
I cannot at this moment find words strong enough to express my opposition to this.
But this is not just a Japanese disaster. As Peter Matthiessen recently reported, in Alaska the oil companies are endangering and likely killing bowhead and beluga whales.
[P.S. Ocean's Edge suggests signing the Greenpeace International petition to to set aside 40 percent of the world's oceans as no-take zones: "If we want fish tomorrow, we need marine reserves today. If we want whales tomorrow, we need marine reserves today. If we want to stop bottom trawling, we need marine reserves today. For healthy oceans -- we need marine reserves today"].
[P.P.S. A friend in Alaska, whose business it is to know about this sort of thing, criticises Matthiessen for not reporting that some tribes are actually in favour of further exploration for oil.]