Monday, November 19, 2007

Japanese whale killers

It is with horror that, in this morning's Independent, I read of the Japanese whaling fleet setting sail to kill humpback whales. These magnificent wild creatures are some of the largest organisms ever to have lived on Earth.

Bottlenose dolphins playing free in the Sound of Gigha.

I have been blessed by frequent sitings of cetaceans off Scotland's west coast. Bottlenose dolphins have come to us and displayed highly inquisitive and recreational behavior. Off Gigha three of them brought rocks up from the bottom on their beaks, tossed them in the air and then whacked them for six with their tails. I have also witnessed minke whales breaching off the west of Harris and narrowly missed seeing the humpback whale off Arisaig a few years ago.

In Scotland we used to kill whales. I am glad to say we no longer do so. Where would you rather see a whale, in the sea or on a plate? Despite writing this on a Japanese computer, I have decided not to buy Japanese goods this Christmas.



  1. I share your horror of the Japanese slaughter of whales.Clearly, I face a huge cultural divide here but what actions can make a difference to stop such destruction of these animals? I will be following:- and
    with much interest and probable support.

  2. Oops, sorry I am new to this and forgot to sign the previous post!
    Richard Janes

  3. I am a big supporter of the Sea Shepherd who operate under sections of the World Charter for Nature. The Japanese should be driven from the Southern Ocean by force if necessary.

  4. I've stopped buying French wines ever since they flew nuclear devices over Canada to blow up in the Pacific some year ago. How they suffer today, poor sots! On my side, I discovered lots of wines from other parts of the world I might never have tasted, so out of bad has come a little good.

  5. That's great Michael. Buy Australian wine. Buy it from me ;-)
    I don't do saki though :-(

  6. Brad - I do buy a number of Aussie wines especially some favourite Shiraz's!

  7. Australian's are buying NZ wines at the moment. As much as we put down the Kiwis, they have a much more ethical worldview than us particularly on environmental issues. Our gov compromises to the point of cowardice. Australia's response to the Japanese whalers is embarrassing particularly since its all in our backyard and we were once the country that pushed the anti-whaling agenda the hardest.

  8. Wonderful story about the Gigha dolphins. We stay at the Port Ban caravan site near Killberry, up the sound. There is a lot of dinghy sailing the first two weeks of August. Everyear for a couple of days the dolphins come along and swim between the boats. It is stunning behaviour. Pure joie de vivre on their part. I wonder if it is the sam school. They do seem to run with the tide in the sound

  9. Hello David, wonderful spot for a holiday. My mother went childhood holidays there in the 1930's.

    I have seen the same pod of dolphins as far south as Cara and off Luing 70km to the north. I also think I saw the same group off the Ross of Mull, 40km to the west of Luing, but it was pretty rough so I was not 100% sure. I have seen them throught the year and they obviously cover a lot of ground.