- South Korea Announces Plans for Scientific Whaling
- Japan and Allies Derail Atlantic Whale Sanctuary Proposal
- Lost World of Europe Emerges in North Sea
At the most recent International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting, currently underway in Panama City, Panama, South Korea announced its plans to initiate its own whaling program, in order to gain a better understanding of the minke whale population in their waters. Several nations disapproved of the proposal, noting that although more than one population of minke whales can be found in the waters of South Korea, one of those populations, known as the J-stock, has been drastically reduced and would be put at risk by whaling activities. The proposal has not yet been finalized, and will have to discussed by IWC-sanctioned expert scientists, but South Korea’s eventual goal is to reinstate coastal whaling in their region. After the global moratorium was established in 1986, South Korea was actually the first nation to hunt whales under the exception for scientific research, but the program faltered after only a year.
A joint proposal between Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, and South Africa for implementation of a whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic was derailed by a 38-21 vote at the IWC meeting in Panama, leaving them short of the 75 percent in favor required to pass. A representative of Brazil who spearheaded the sanctuary proposal asserted that the 21 votes against — which included Japan and many of Japan’s allies — were largely cast to protect the Japanese whaling program, as well as the continuance of funding for Japan’s subsidiary countries. As no whaling currently takes place in the South Atlantic, the proposal would have ensured that no whaling would occur there.
Once considered to be the “real heartland” of Europe, a lost underwater world has been in the process of recovery by a team of oil rig divers and scientists from the St. Andrews, Dundee, and Aberdeen universities, the results of which are currently on display for the public in London. Dubbed “Doggerland,” named for the area’s Dogger Bank, the landmass stretches from Denmark to Scotland, and housed tens of thousands of people throughout history. A devastating tsunami rendered the region an undersea world, gradually sinking lower as the sea level rises. Although much of the evidence has been degraded by so many years under the sea, scientists have managed to procure a few artifacts from the area for the exhibition, and an interactive video will show visitors a model of what Doggerland may have looked like when people and animals roamed its countryside.