Saturday, 1 June 2019

ONCE IN A WHALE.... tale of a whale !

What is common  interest among three countries of Japan,Norway and Iceland? Not only three but one more island also is there-Faroe Island which forms part of Denmark?Nothing much other than whale hunting or Whaling,as far as I know.These countries slaughter whales because whale meat is a delicacy among the people to this day!There are few more countries.....

International Whaling Commission(IWC) founded in 1946 in order to prevent over hunting of whales is still struggling to tame these countries in the matter.In 1986 IWC had imposed a ban on commercial whaling restricted by issue of quotas for the members.Still...

It is no more Moby Dick days now that technology has progressed in this field also like others.No whale in the deepest or farthest ocean can escape the onslaught of human whalers.Not only that very existence of these magnificent  creatures are threatened but our ecological balance as well.Some unknown but interesting musings on the subject.....



Eats more than a whale.....
Among Christians of Kochi where I hail from,there is a joke based on their eating habits.Among the four legged except the tables and among those which fly except the aeroplanes they eat everything!But for them also whale meat is taboo.But in few countries people love to eat that meat.Japan,Iceland,Norway,Faroe Island(Denmark) top the list. Inuits of Alaska,Greenland and Canada also love whale meat.

These days whales are mostly hunted for the meat than anything else but until few decades back that was not the case. Blubber,the fat below the skin of whale is used to make the oil which had many industrial purposes and for lighting the streets in many parts of Europe!!

Tale of a whale....
Whale hunting has been existing from time immemorial.The Basques-a sect of people from border of Spain and France- along with Japs and Scandinavians  are recorded as first to hunt whales commercially by 1050s. Obviously the meat and oil of the leviathan fish might have attracted them.Industrial revolution opened many avenues for the oil extracted from blubber of whales other than lighting oil such as use in soaps,perfumes and cosmetics....As such more countries started indulging in this mindless killing of all sorts of whales-Blue,Sperm,Minke....

Bloody waters of Faroe Island...
Faroe Island is in North Atlantic Ocean, a part of Denmark. It is very picturesque and draws not less than 1.6 million visitors each year. It has only a population of around 50000 but kills not less than .....whales a year!! The locals claim that it is a part of their cultural tradition of last 1000 years and hunt is for their own food and not for exports.Whatever be the justification one can only look once to the photo which I am reproducing typical of whale season of the island... 




And Japan....
Japan has no hesitation to say that whaling is an ancient but integral part of culture and as such no intention of leaving it.Instead they are contemplating to leave IWC International Whaling Commission so that it can once again indulge in commercial killing of whales.Japan remains the country which kills maximum number of whales now.It sends large factory ships named Nisshin Maru for the purpose which can process and store the whales while at sea!

As of now due to restrictions imposed by IWC,Japan is killing them for 'scientific purposes' albeit whale meat continues to be available in markets including famed Tsujki fish market at Tokyo!




Japs always prefer to eat their food as natural as possible.Raw or hardly cooked fish in their menu was a bit difficult for me to enjoy while I was there though I love eating all sorts of fish, having born and brought up in a coastal town.

Photos:courtesy Google.

2 comments:

  1. I have read it.As usual very informative!!
    Joshi Puthur

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