• Hobart, Australia

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A beached whale is synonymous with desperation. Pods have limited sources of krill and beach through hunger. Yet, historical records relating to Bass Strait, when pods were plentiful, mention large whales beaching singly and natives gathering to feast over many days. Now that marine life is significantly less prolific, guardianship over these gentle leviathans is more critical to their survival than previously.

Significantly, competition against bulls for food puts transmigrating cows with calves at an unnecessary disadvantage. We should consider culling bulls, while they travel separated from maternal pods, sparing those few with the most desirable characteristics to sire oncoming generations. The same principle is true of breeding land animals: It maximizes pastures available to cows and calves, allows a more rapid population increase and carries the bonus of genetic improvement. Diminishing rambunctious courtship behavior may also beneficially soothe anxiety within mating pods.

I think only bulls should be culled for whale products, as it constitutes sustainable aquaculture practice. Krill is fertilized by floating whale manure, adding essential nutriment to oceanic meadows upon which pods feed. Maintaining photosynthesizing plankton is a vital strategic response countering global warming, facilitating air cleaning while renewing richness of sea-pastures.

I call upon whalers of Japan to discuss this information, together with marine biologists and relevant licensing authorities, from the vantage point of their different expertise.

ellen gargan

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