Whales - Renewable Biological Oceanic Resource Case Study

  • Created by: idavila
  • Created on: 07-06-19 12:40

Commercial Whaling


  • Partakes in quota whaling for "scientific research" since the moratorium
  • Byproduct meat sold in markets or given to schools and hospitals for free
  • 985 whales hunted per year in Southern Ocean Sanctuary before being ruled illegal
  • 200 pregnant minke whales caught in the 2005/2006 hunting season
  • 46% from an endangered stock of whales


  • Reservation to the moratorium since 2002
  • 60 minke whales caught for "scientific reasearch" in 2006/2007
  • Commercial whaling resumed in 2006 with a quota: 30 minke whales and 9 fin whales
  • In 2010, 148 endangered fin whales were caught


  • Resumed commercial whaling in 1993
  • 6,879 minke whales taken since the objection
  • Allocated quota of 1000 per year, although less than half are normally caught
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Ship Strikes, Noise/Chem. Pollution & Entanglement

Ship Strikes

  • 10 whales died around the Californian coast in 2018

Noise Pollution & Chemical Pollution

  • Whales use sound for: communcication, navigation, detecting predators and prey, atrracting mates and socialising
  • Humans create sound by: seismic surveys, military sonar, underwater construction and ship sonar
  • Ship engines can be heard up to 4000km away
  • PCB, a highly toxic and banned (1981, in the UK) chemical is leaching into oceans
  • Puts >50% of Orca groups at risk by entering the foodchains
  • Soluble in fat, so passed to offsrping through mothers milk
  • A colony of 8 off the coast of Scotland has not produced offspring in >20 years


  • >300,000 whales and dolphins die globally
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Reasons to Stop & Solutions to Current Risks

Reasons to Stop Whaling

  • Price of whale meat has dropped in Japan from US$30/kg in 1994 to US$16.40 in 2006
  • Whaling subsidies in Japan amount to US$164 million since 1988
  • Consumption has dropped in Japan from 2000 grams per person in 1967 to 50 grams in 2005
  • Sea Shepherd have attampted to stop Japanese hunting
  • 74.6% of Icelanders have not bought whale meat in the past 12 months
  • 50% of Icelands restaurants carry 'Whale Friendly' stickers

Solutions to Current Risks

  • IFAW 'Whale Alert' app notifies mariners when they enter restricted speed areas or endangered whale habitats
  • 'Watch Out, Whales About' programme in Australia promotes awareness among vessels
  • Noise limits
  • In the US, federal funds have been used to clear heavily contaminated PCB sites
  • Sinking ropes and removing lost and damaged gear
  • Freeing entangled whales
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Initiatives and Whale Use Alternatives

Whale Watching

  • In 2008, 13 million took whale watching tours
  • $2.1 billion created in expenditures
  • Supports local communties

Subsistance Whaling

  • Areas that partake include: Alaska and Greenland
  • Does not seek to maximise catches or profit
  • 'Needs Statement' created by the government
  • Lack of clarity as each states needs are different
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