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    Let me see if I understand this right: laws have been put into effect prohibiting whaling and it still exists in today's world. This does not surprise me in the least. After all,  hundreds of thousands of laws are broken everyday. Whaling, though, seems to be a big issue. As long as I can remember, I have always been asked to save the whales'. I agree with this, save the whales. One still wonders, though, why hunt them in the first place? 

        Where whaling began is unknown. What is known is that the first hunters of this animal were substinence whalers. Meaning these people depended on hunting for their survival. This didn't involve going out to sea, harpooning a whale, and dragging it back to land. The way whaling occurred for these people was very different than what you usually hear about today. Instead, if a whale had beached itself or strayed to close to land, then the animal would be killed. All its parts would be put to use (Raffenello, 1). To this I have no objection, if you depend on another animal to survive, then by all means, depend on it. 

        Commercial whaling didn't start until the middle ages. This was when huge ships started to be used and the number of whales started to decrease rapidly. As whaling became more widespread people, especially the Europeans, saw the potential to make money. The blubber of a whale was processed and sold as oil and lubricant. Baleen, a hard substance found in the whales mouth, was used to make combs and brushes. With more and more money being made, others took an interest to it. When whaling began, the most common whale hunted was the Right whale. Then an American whaling ship came across the Sperm whale. These soon became the most popular to hunt because they could bring in the most profits. This was due to the square head of the animal being filled with spermaceti. An oil- like substance, that could be burnt for a clear light (Raffenello, 2). These animals were hunted to make money even though other ways existed to do what was being accomplished through these animals. 

        As time continued, newer, faster, and better ways of whaling were discovered. By 1925 factories were producing ships for the sole purpose of whaling. This ships could stay at sea for months at a time and contained a crew of over 400. After the end of World War II, whaling began to slow down with the discovery of petroleum. This was a new, cheap way of obtaining oil (Raffenello, 2). This was a great thing. No longer would whales have to be hunted for their oil alone. 

        In recent years, organizations have been formed "to regulate and protect whales from over hunting" (Raffenello, 3). One of these organizations, the International Whaling Commission (ICW), helped a great deal by stopping the hunting of all whales, some on the endangered species list, and the use of factory ships. In 1982 the ICW voted to stop all whaling after 1986. "Japan, Norway, and the Russia filed objections to these decision because their major industry was whaling" (Raffenello, 3). The only exceptions to this rule was that you were allowed to hunt if you depended on whales for survival, these people being select Indian tribes, or if you where doing scientific research (Raffenello, 4). This did not stop whaling though. To date Japan, Norway, and Russia still hunt. 

        This shows a complete lack of responsibility as humans. Today, better and faster methods of producing products that used to be done through whales exist. As humans we have an obligation and responsibility to take care of our planet. Part of this is not killing an animal for the sole purpose of killing it.

Works Cited
        What Can Be Done On A Global Scale To Help Whales? 
        by Sarah R., 1998