Whaling (Primary)

WHALING
1 / 36
next
Slide 1: Slide
GeographyEnglish+34-6 Grade6th,7th Grade

This lesson contains 36 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 1 video.

time-iconLesson duration is: 45 min

Introduction

Overfishing is emptying the ocean, with 90% of fisheries already overfished. Illegal fishing is having a big impact. This lesson explains the role commercial whaling has played and the current status of whaling.

Instructions

In this lesson we explain the current status of whaling, the implications of whaling over the 1900’s and which countries continue illegal commercial whaling hunts.

Time: 45 minutes

Contact: education@seashepherdglobal.org
© Sea Shepherd 2021

Items in this lesson

WHALING

Slide 1 - Slide

This lesson is provided by Sea Shepherd.  Sea Shepherd was founded in 1977 and is a marine conservation organisation working to protect the oceans and marine wildlife.  Sea Shepherd works globally on a range of issues impacting the oceans, running numerous direct action campaigns each year.  Stopping whale poaching is one area Sea Shepherd is working.
What you already know...
You are going to learn...
Action required!

Evaluate your knowledge

Click on the image

Watch  the video

Slide 2 - Slide

During the lesson we will use these icons to identify the learning actions.
Whaling 1900's and current whaling nations.
Whaling 1900's and current whaling nations.

Slide 3 - Slide

In this lesson we explain the current status of whaling, the implications of whaling over the 1900’s and which countries continue illegal commercial whaling hunts.

INTERACTIVE JOIN – ask students to go to www.LessonUp.app



What do you already know about whaling?

Slide 4 - Open question

What do you already know?
Ask students to answer the following question using www.LessonUp.app or discuss in the classroom.  

“What do you already know about whaling?”

Slide 5 - Video

Scientists estimate that by 2050 the ocean ecosystem will be on the verge of collapse, empty of fish and marine wildlife, unless urgent action is taken on the issues impacting on the oceans and marine wildlife.

Show this video (2.53min), which explains how important all species are to our planet.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLcA31VRlRU
Discuss the video with the class and what it means.

Whales have lived on planet earth for 50 million years.
Whales have lived on planet earth for 50 million years.

Slide 6 - Slide

Whales have been around on this planet for 50 million years and they once filled the oceans with millions of them swimming around, but today they count in the thousands.
How whales fuel the carbon cycle?

Slide 7 - Slide

Carbon cycle
Whales play an important part in the ecosystem; one of those roles they play is in supporting our air supply.

Phytoplankton, are microscopic organisms that live in the ocean, they are so small you can’t see them with the naked eye, but they are very important to our air supply. One of their key functions is they draw carbon from the air.

All the air we breathe out, or the fossil fuels we burn, like coal to make electricity, or petrol in our cars, all creates carbon. Without something to take that out of the air it would become toxic.

Phytoplankton are dependent on nutrients and nitrogen in the ocean which they receive from things like whale poo. Whales in turn need phytoplankton as food, as do other creatures like krill, which are another food source for whales.   So we need whales to help the phytoplankton to grow so they can help reduce the carbon in the air.

Threats to whales - plastic pollution,by-catch, entanglement and ship strikes.
Threats to whales - plastic pollution,by-catch, entanglement and ship strikes.

Slide 8 - Slide

Threats to Whales
Whales have to face numerous threats, including:

PLASTIC POLLUTION
One issue that is affecting the whales and all marine wildlife is marine debris.  Things like plastic bags, balloons, bottles, fishing nets, all kinds of rubbish that they end up swallowing.

BY-CATCH
By-catch is anything that gets caught in commercial fishing nets that the fishermen don’t want or cannot sell. It mostly gets thrown back into the oceans as rubbish, a waste of life effectively.  This includes whales, which can become trapped in fishing nets.   Around 300,000 whales and dolphins die each year in fishing nets.

ENTANGLEMENT IN NETS
Migrating whales are also becoming entangled in ghost nets, which are nets lost or discarded overboard by commercial fishing vessels.

SHIP STRIKES
Another issue affecting whales is shipping. All around the world there are a lot more ships travelling around, particularly the big cargo ships, oil tankers and coal ships, and thousands of marine animals are hit and seriously injured or killed by ships each year. The biggest problem is that shipping lanes are taking over old migration paths and we are building shipping ports near or on what used to be feeding grounds or nurseries for whales. This makes it very unsafe for the new calves and their mums.  Around 70% of everything manufactured is transported somewhere by sea.

Nearly 3 million whales hunted in 1900's.
Nearly 3 million whales hunted in 1900's.

Slide 9 - Slide

The issue that has had the biggest impact and pushed whales into the endangered category is whale hunts or whaling.

During the 1900’s, with the development of new technology, mankind was able to build stronger, faster and bigger boats. This resulted in more and more whales being hunted in the world’s oceans.

Research reveals that nearly 3 million whales were killed during whale hunts during the 1900’s alone.

Blue whales - 1% of pre-whaling population left.
Blue whales - 1% of pre-whaling population left.

Slide 10 - Slide

Before whaling started in the southern hemisphere there were estimated to be over 200,000 Blue whales, now over 100 years later the estimate is that there are less than 2,000. This is around only 1% of the pre-whaling population. Globally there believed to be less than 20,000 left, which puts them in the endangered species category. 
Whale species are still endangered.
Whale species are still endangered.

Slide 11 - Slide

Whales are still endangered
While whaling has been banned and most countries stopped whaling prior to the 1980’s ban, the populations of whales have yet to fully recover.

Even 80 years after we stopped whaling species like the southern right whale, their numbers are still low.

Why do you think it
takes so long for whale
numbers to recover?

Slide 12 - Mind map

Ask students to complete their answers to the following question using the www.LessonUp.app or discuss in classroom.

“Why do you think it takes so long for whale populations to recover?”

Some answers:
➢    Other causes, like by-catch, are still killing whales.
➢    Whales only breed once every 2 -3 years, their reproduction rate is low.
➢    Whales only reach maturity between 5 - 10 years old.
➢    Whales only have one calf at a time.

IWC
International Whaling Commission established 1946.

Members are nations who conducted whale hunts.

Up to 1986 determined quotas for whaling.


IWC

International Whaling Commission established 1946.

Members are nations who conducted whale hunts.

Up to 1986 determined quotas for whaling.

Slide 13 - Slide

In 1946 the International Whaling Commission (IWC) was set up.

The IWC is made up of all the whaling nations and is a body that self regulates whaling. It is voluntary to participate but those countries that do must abide by the IWC regulations. It is important to remember, these are nations that have a history of whaling.  

The IWC was, in their words, set up to provide proper conservation of whale stocks and make possible orderly development of the whaling industry. Which means they recognized that many whale species were being hunted to extinction and unless quotas and controls were put in placed on whaling there would be no whales left to hunt.

Quotas were imposed on participating countries and catch numbers were monitored.  But not everyone abided by these quotas, there were still countries whaling without limits and there were also pirate whaling countries.  This was still widely happening up to the early 1980’s.

IWC voted to ban whaling from 1985/86.
IWC voted to ban whaling from 1985/86.

Slide 14 - Slide

International ban on whaling
In 1982 the International Whaling Commission (IWC) recognised the desperate state of whale numbers and voted to impose a moratorium on commercial whaling from 1985/86.  In order to save the whales from extinction, the signatory countries agreed that no country should continue commercial whaling.   

IWC
Whaling classifications:

1. Commercial Whaling
Killing of whales for the sale of the meat and by-products for profit.

IWC
Whaling classifications:

1. Commercial Whaling
Killing of whales for the sale of the meat and by-products for profit.

Slide 15 - Slide

Whaling classifications
Under the ban, whaling has been classified into three types:
➢    Commercial.
➢    Indigenous.
➢    Special permit.

Commercial whaling refers to the killing of whales for the sale of the meat and by-products for profit, usually in substantial numbers.  All commercial whaling was banned in 1985/86.

IWC
Whaling classifications:

2. Indigenous Whaling
To allow communities that have a subsistence living and rely on whale meat to continue to survive.

IWC
Whaling classifications:

2. Indigenous Whaling
To allow communities that have a subsistence living and rely on whale meat to continue to survive.

Slide 16 - Slide

Indigenous exemption
An indigenous exemption was put in place so indigenous communities, that have a subsistence living and rely on whale meat, could continue to survive.  The IWC specifies the purpose of this category is to:
➢    ensure the risks of extinction of whales, are not increased by whaling.
➢    enables native people to hunt at appropriate levels for their cultural and nutritional requirements.
➢    move whale populations towards and then maintain them at healthy levels.

IWC
Whaling classifications:

3. Special Permit Whaling
Allows for lethal research

Whales are killed to conduct research.

IWC
Whaling Classifications:

3. Special Permit Whaling
Allows for lethal research

Whales are killed to conduct research.


Slide 17 - Slide

Special permit allows for the use of lethal research, whales can be killed for research purposes.

Do you know of any non lethal ways
research can be conducted on whales?

Slide 18 - Open question

Ask students to complete their answers to the following question using the www.LessonUp.app or discuss in classroom.

“Do you know of any non lethal ways research can be conducted on whales?”

Examples include:
➢    Using darts to take small samples.
➢    Attach tracking systems that follow whales, then detach after a period of time.
➢    Drones collecting whale ‘breath’ samples when they exhale.

CITES
Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species

Member countries must prohibit trade in whale products.


CITES

Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species

Member countries must prohibit trade in whale products.

Slide 19 - Slide

CITES
In addition to the ban on whaling, all whale species were classified as an endangered species to be protected.

All whale species are listed under CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species).  

Countries who have signed up to CITES must prohibit any trade in whale products, especially whale meat.

Indigenous whaling nations:
Russia, United States, Greenland and West Indies.
Indigenous whaling nations:
Russia, United States, Greenland and West Indies.

Slide 20 - Slide

Whaling nations – Indigenous exemptions
Using exemption under the IWC moratorium there are a number of nations that still conduct whaling.

RUSSIA
An exemption under the Indigenous or Aboriginal subsistence whaling was granted for the Chukotka people, in Siberia.  They live in the eastern most part and very close to Alaska.  They have killed around 110 -140 gray whales per year.

Given the number of people living in this area the quota they are allowed to hunt is questionably high. It has been proven in the past that they actually use some of the whale meat for fox fur farms.  Which means they keep animals that they can use for the fur industry in small cages stacked high and they turn the whale meat into feedstock for these animals.

This community is in a remote area but it is accessible by sea and can access other modern materials and foods. They trade the whale meat to other areas. Both of which don’t comply with the IWC exemption.

UNITED STATES
The United States supports the ban on commercial whaling but does have an aboriginal subsistence permit for a community in Alaska. There are a number of communities of Inuit that work together via the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission. They are allowed a quota of 75 bowhead whales per year and they have taken between 40-70 a year.

GREENLAND
Greenland, which is part of Denmark, takes around 160-200 Minke and endangered Fin whales per year. Part of their catch is traded with other communities on the island and is also sold to tourists. In fact surveys show that over 70% of restaurants sell whale meat to tourists and the meat can be found for sale in Denmark.  They claim they need to sell the meat to buy other goods, but the exemption is only supposed to provide for their nutritional needs from the meat. They can trade by-products but not meat. Selling it to tourists doesn’t meet the subsistence requirement.  

WEST INDIES
The West Indies have taken about 35 humpback whales (around 2 a year) under their permit.

Non IWC member
Whaling nations
Canada  - Inuits take several bowhead whales a year.

Indonesia - up to 40 sperm whales a year.

South Korea - increasing take - around 100 a year.

NON IWC MEMBERS
WHALING NATIONS

Canada  - Inuits take several bowhead whales a year.

Indonesia - up to 40 sperm whales a year.

South Korea - increasing take - around 100 a year.

Slide 21 - Slide

Non IWC members
There are other countries that are not members of the IWC that hunt as a cultural practice, examples include Indonesia where up to 40 sperm whales a year are killed and Canada where Inuit’s kill several bowhead whales each year.  South Korea also kills whales but it is not known how many exactly they kill each year, it is estimated to be around 100 or more.

Research Whaling - Japan
Southern Ocean and North Pacific
Research Whaling - Japan
Southern Ocean and North Pacific

Slide 22 - Slide

Research whaling
When the IWC ban on whaling was put in place Japan applied for research permits to continue whaling in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica and within their waters in the North Pacific.

The quotas they set for research in Antarctica were to kill 1,035 whales, being 935 Minke, 50 endangered Fin whales and 50 Humpback whales.

In the North Pacific their permit was for a quota of 500 whales, 340 minke, 50 Bryde’s whales, 100 endangered Sei whales and 10 Sperm whales.  Under the permit they are required to sell the whale meat, as nothing must go to waste.

Southern Ocean
Whale Sanctuary
Japanese whale within the Sanctuary.

Sanctuary is 50m square kilometres around Antarctica.

Significant feeding grounds for whales.

SOUTHERN OCEAN WHALE SANCTUARY

Japanese whale within the Sanctuary.

Sanctuary is 50m square kilometres around Antarctica.

Significant feeding grounds for whales.

Slide 23 - Slide

South Ocean Whale Sanctuary
Japan’s Antarctic whaling took place in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, which was established by the International Whaling Commission in 1994.  

The Sanctuary is a 50 million km2 area surrounding Antarctica.  The area is a significant feeding ground for many species of whale. Many migrate there with their new born calves during summer to fatten them up by feeding on krill.


What does sanctuary mean?
Should whaling be allowed in a sanctuary?

Slide 24 - Open question

Ask students to complete their answers to the following question using the www.LessonUp.app or discuss in classroom.

“What does the word sanctuary mean?”
Follow up “Do you think whaling is allowed in a sanctuary?”

Sanctuary is defined as:
➢    a refuge, a safe place.
➢    a place free from harm.
➢    a place or area where wildlife is protected from predators and from being destroyed or hunted by human beings.

The Sanctuary is recognised by most as a necessity to allow whale populations to recover, which can only be done by allowing them to breed and raise their young. In this Sanctuary they should be free from human exploitation.
ICJ Ruling
In 2014 International Court of Justice ruled the Japanese research program in Southern Ocean was not valid.

It was commercial whaling.

ICJ RULING

In 2014 International Court of Justice ruled the Japanese research program in Southern Ocean was not valid.

It was commercial whaling.

Slide 25 - Slide

International Court of Justice (ICJ)
In 2010 the Australian Government, with the support of New Zealand, lodged an action with the International Court of Justice against the Japanese whaling program in Antarctica.  

They argued that Japanese whaling was a commercial whaling operation in breach of the IWC ban, not a research program.  The ICJ finally ruled on the case in March 2014 and their ruling was that the Jarpn II research program was in fact a commercial operation and therefore in breach of the International Whaling Commission moratorium on whaling.

The ICJ didn’t hear evidence about the Jarpn II program (North Pacific).

Japan's response:
Applied for new research permits - denied by IWC.

Decreased quota to 333 Minke whales - returned to Southern Ocean in 2015 & 2016.

2019 - ceased whaling Southern Ocean, still whaling in North Pacific.


JAPAN'S RESPONSE:

Applied for new research permits - denied by IWC.

Decreased quota to 333 Minke whales - returned to Southern Ocean in 2015 & 2016.

2019 - ceased whaling Southern Ocean, still whaling in North Pacific.

Slide 26 - Slide

Following the ruling the Japanese whalers applied for a new research permit to conduct lethal research on 333 Minke whales, but this was denied by the IWC.

Even though the Japanese so-called research program, including a self-given quota of 333 Minke whales, had not been approved by the IWC, the Japanese whaling fleet returned to the Antarctic waters in 2015 and 2016 to illegally kill whales.

In 2019 Japan announced they would cease whaling in Antarctica. One of the main reasons was their factory whaling ship needed to be replaced and it was not economically viable to do so.

They now only continue their commercial whaling activities in their own waters in the North Pacific.

Why do you think a country
would continue whaling
an endangered species?

Slide 27 - Mind map

Ask students to complete their answers to the following question using the www.LessonUp.app or discuss in classroom.

“Why do you think a country would continue whaling, even though the targeted species is endangered?”

Answer
Japanese government officials have indicated a strong desire to continue whaling, as they believe that it is their culture and tradition to whale and eat whale meat. In reality only 1 - 2 % of percent of the Japanese population actually eat whale meat.  


Whale meat also can contain high levels of mercury, making it toxic and dangerous for human consumption.  

Illegal commercial whaling - Iceland
Target Fin and Minke whales.
Continued commercial whaling - selling whale meat to Japan.

Less 3% of Icelanders eat whale meat, but sell to tourists in restaurants.

No whaling in 2019 & 2020.





ILLEGAL COMMERCIAL WHALING  - ICELAND

Target Fin and Minke whales. Continued commercial whaling - selling whale meat to Japan.

Less 3% of Icelanders eat whale meat, but sell to tourists in restaurants.

No whaling in 2019 & 2020.

Slide 28 - Slide

Illegal Commercial Whaling - Iceland
There are two other countries that have continued commercial whaling – Iceland and Norway

Iceland refused to accept the ban on commercial whaling and continues to whale and sell whale meat to Japan.  Between 2006 and 2016 around 600 whales, including 300 endangered Fin whales, were killed.

Today Iceland has limited markets other than Japan to sell the meat to and an increasing number of people in Iceland now understand and support the ban on whaling. Less than 3% of the population purchase whale meat on a regular basis, but it is still served to tourists in restaurants.

In 2018 around 146 Fin whales and 6 Minke whales were caught. No licenses for whaling were issued in 2019 and 2020.

Illegal commercial whaling - Norway
Government believed ban could not be imposed on them.

Quota of 1,000 Minke whales a year - not been able to catch full quota.

Declining market for whale meat -  limited opportunities to sell overseas.


ILLEGAL COMMERCIAL WHALING - NORWAY

Government believed ban could not be imposed on them.

Quota of 1,000 Minke whales a year - not been able to catch full quota.

Declining market for whale meat -  limited opportunities to sell overseas.

Slide 29 - Slide

Illegal Commercial Whaling - Norway
Norway does not believe that the ban on commercial whaling can be imposed on their government. Norway set their own quota and they continue to whale commercially. Their annual quota is over 1,000 whales.

They have not taken the full quota, indicating that either the Minke whale population in the North Atlantic is in trouble or they have no market for the whale meat.   

Since the ban in 1985 they have taken over 10,500 Minke whales.  Most of the whale meat is sold in the local market but interest in whale meat is declining and there are limited markets to sell it overseas.


Why would Norway have trouble
selling whale meat?

Slide 30 - Open question

Ask students to complete their answers to the following question using the www.LessonUp.app or discuss in classroom.

“Why would Norway have trouble selling the whale meat?”

Answers:
➢    Firstly there is the CITES ban on the trade and sale of whale meat, so you need a country willing to participate in this illegal trade.
➢    Secondly no other country than Japan wants to buy whale meat, so there is limited demand. Norway has found new markets for the whale meat and sells it to the factory fur farm industry. 
Name six countries that
still conduct whale hunts?

Slide 31 - Mind map

Ask students to complete their answers to the following question using the www.LessonUp.app or discuss in classroom.

“Name six countries that still continue whaling?”



What would you do to help stop whaling?

Slide 32 - Open question

Ask students to complete their answers to the following question using the www.LessonUp.app or discuss in classroom.

“What would you do to help stop whaling?”



Write down three things you have learned?

Slide 33 - Open question

What did you learn?
Ask students to answer the following question using www.LessonUp.app or discuss in the classroom.  

“Write down three things you have learned?”



Write down one thing you didn't understand?

Slide 34 - Open question

What don’t you understand?
Ask students to answer the following question using www.LessonUp.app or discuss in the classroom.  

“Write down one thing you didn’t understand?”

Slide 35 - Slide

Sea Shepherd Case Studies
To enhance learning on this topic take a look at Sea Shepherd’s case study, which provide first hand insights into whaling in the Antarctic and the hard battle fought to stop Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

www.seashepherdglobal.org

Slide 36 - Slide

This item has no instructions