Originally Posted by gadianton
Yeah, I agree. I seem to remember reading that no one whaled the minsk whales until the other species became endangered. It seems to me that without strict control we'll just fish and whale until the oceans are barren. It is the old public goods problem. So all things being equal I'd just as soon outlaw whaling for the time being.
Man has little control over his baser impulses, especially where the "right to earn a living" is concerned; that's why there are governments, regulations, and treaties. Unfortunately, the oceans have always been viewed as providing unlimited, inextinguishable bounty. No more.
The giant bluefin tuna, for example, that used to cruise the Atlantic by the millions have been fished almost to extinction - again, primarily to fuel the insatiable appetites of Japanese consumers. Fisherman lie in wait by the choke point at the Straits of Gibraltar to literally "shoot fish in a barrel" as these huge animals go to their breeding grounds in the Mediterranean. Hundreds of millions of sharks are killed every year, many just for their dorsal fins - the mutilated corpses are thrown back. It's just greed, pure and simple, and the eventual result is mass extinction of numerous species, upsetting the delicate apple cart of ecological balance, which causes other species to crash, and so on. Few people seem to care as long as they can continue to buy frozen fish sticks. Good thing the massive American appitite has never had a sample of whale meet, eh? They'd all
be extinct by now. Hey, I'm guilty too - I've probably eaten a whole tuna's worth of sushi in my lifetime. I love
Dolphins are relatively safe because most people see them as "dogs that live in the sea" (which they really are, actually), and Michael Vick's recent experience shows how much we love our dogs.
It's unfortunate that the misguided tactics of these people will have the effect of causing sympathy with the whalers, where the problem actually lies. We see it right here in this thread. Something tells me that wasn't the intention of the producers when they conceived this series.