International Whaling Ethical Cases

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The Japanese and Norwegian violation of the International Whaling Commission’s (IWC) moratorium on whaling are two distinct issues in my mind. In 1986 the IWC imposed a moratorium on whaling (IWC. n.d.) in order to protect the worldwide population of whales. I contend that the protection of whales, or any other species which are in danger of extinction is a positive and necessary step, but the protection of thriving species is unnecessary. Norway only allows whaling of minke whales (, 2013) and said species is considered to have a healthy stock of whales (IWC. n.d.). Japan hunts Minke, Humpback and Fin whales according to Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) (WDC. 2006), with both Humpback and Fin whales being listed as protected …show more content…
The UN defines what permanent sovereign rights are, and therefore, a country has the right to reject any international agreement that impinges on those rights. A country requesting a cultural exemption for whaling outside of its own borders is attempting to enforce its culture outside of those borders which it has no right to do. By taking part in the IWC, a country is agreeing to be held by the decisions of the IWC, which by its schedule, disallows commercial whaling in both coastal and non coastal waters (IWC 2015). Due to the UN resolution regarding permanent sovereign rights, disallowing whaling in coastal waters is outside the scope of the IWC, but these nations have still agreed to stop whaling outside of their own borders. Furthermore, Norway took another step and objects to the moratorium, making the moratorium unenforcable as it pertains to …show more content…
Under that definition, a country’s government has no say over what is considered a cultural activity, only the people of that country can. If the people of a country identify whaling as a cultural activity, they have the right to perform said activity within the bounds of their cultural borders, which have traditionally been seen as following along national borders. Culture is a fluid concept, and a culture can change, but policy at the national level is slow to accept or acknowledge that. A perfect example is whaling itself, in Norway there is very little demand for whale meat (Palmer, B. 2014), and the same can be said of Japan in general (Ida, T. 2014). Under the above definition, neither country whales as a cultural activity, but at the behest of the government. Certain locations within these countries may still whale as a cultural activity, but those are smaller villages, not the country as a whole. I believe the correct course of action, respecting the sovereign rights of countries, would result in protections for those locations, but they do not weigh heavily in my opinion about the issue at

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