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South Korean scientific whaling plan draws protest from round the world


July 5, 2012 - Sydney, Australia

The South Korean plan to start scientific whaling is drawing protest from all parts of the world. The South Korean delegates have recently confirmed of a plan to kill minke whales in the coastal waters at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Panama citing a loophole that allows the killing of whales for scientific research. The killing of the minke whales was called because of 'an increasing number of minke whales are eating away large amount of fish stocks which should be consumed by human being'.

Amongst those in the top Governmental circles to react is the Australian Government when the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she is disappointed by the announcement and expressed its complete opposition to the idea. It appears that Gillard has instructed the Australian Ambassador in South Korea to raise this matter today at the highest levels of the Korean government.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Maxwell Swan said that more information was needed on the South Korean stance but signalled Australia would not support such a move. Coalition Leader Tony Abbott, speaking at Somersby, NSW clarified he is opposed to whaling.Greenpeace has branded the plan as "an absolute disgrace".

Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key too joined his voice with Australia in condemning South Korea's plan to resume whaling and describing it as a terrible step in the wrong direction. He termed the South Korean act as 'unnecessary' and 'inappropriate'. He said that its ambassador will talk with the foreign officials there and that the New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully will be talking to the Korean foreign minister when he sees him next week.

Animal activists and critics said that the South Korean idea was based on the Japansese model. Japan had argues it has a right to monitor the whales' impact on its fishing industry. Japan made a step forward with the introduction of scientific whaling after a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling. This Japanese whaling idea has drawn protest from Greenpeace which termed the act as an 'annual massacre of whales'.

The black/gray/purple colored Minke Whales are the second smallest baleen whale. The males reach a length of 23 ft while the female reaches 24ft long. They typically live for 30 to 50 years and may even reach 60 at times. Whaling apart from climate change are the major threats to whales. Infact, a Stanford University research has said that changing climate conditions in the Arctic as a result of global warming is affecting the food supply of gray whales. With humans hunting whales and seals, animals are changing their food habits. Like the Adelie penguins living in Antarctica switched from eating fish to krill.

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