Environmental impact of whaling

co-authored “The History and Science of Whales,” advised the Japan Whaling Association, and served as counselor at the Institute of Cetacean Research for a number of years, I now find myself retired and severed from much of the controversy over whaling. However, Internet reports of whaling “progress” thus far persuade me that this season is the most opportune time for Japan’s government to decide to withdraw all whaling operations from the Southern Ocean.

I say this because I believe that pelagic whaling does not contribute to the prevention of global warming. Just think of the expensive fuel the Japanese whaling fleet consumes en route to the Antarctic, plus that consumed by the freezing ship for transporting the byproducts of whaling to the Japanese market. Over the years, Japanese research ships have made a mess on the ocean when fire broke out due to poor management of the vessel. Add to that the mess made by animal rights groups eager to attack the whaling ships.

Whaling as a business hardly justifies the environmental costs. Talk about “food mileage” has not touched on whale meat. Why doesn’t the government consider it more seriously, and cease whaling in any form, except small-scale coastal whaling?

shigeko misaki