Advice for the Japanese …

Whaling is cruel, disgusting and barbaric. And in this day and age totally unnecessary. The defence that it is part of your culture is laughable, your culture has changed in too many ways to list in the course of the last 50 years. I am pleased that you have agreed to abide by the ruling of the International Court.

I now think it incumbent upon you to point out the hypocrisy of the Australian Government regarding the slaughter of another harmless sea mammal, the dugong, which is permitted for a segment of the Australian population.

… the majority of dugongs live in the northern waters of Australia between Shark Bay and Moreton Bay

The dugong’s current distribution is reduced and disjunct, and many populations are close to extinction. The IUCN lists the dugong as a species vulnerable to extinction, while the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species limits or bans the trade of derived products. Despite being legally protected in many countries, the main causes of population decline remain anthropogenic and include hunting, habitat degradation, and fishing-related fatalities. With its long lifespan of 70 years or more, and slow rate of reproduction, the dugong is especially vulnerable to extinction. <WIKIPEDIA>.

Traditional methods of hunting dugong involved platforms over shallow water or dugout canoe. The method itself limited the catch rate. It had cultural significance because it required strength and skill and provided essential food. The method of killing is, and always was, rather cruel, young dugong may be tied to the boat or platform so that their cries will bring the parent to the surface, the adult dugong once harpooned was then drowned, a slow and inhumane process. This remains the usual killing method but the canoe and platform have been replaced by motorised dinghies and the spotlight has been introduced. The catch rate has increased to well beyond a sustainable harvest. See for instance this Law Society document.

The killing of dugong is cruel, disgusting and barbaric. And in this day and age totally unnecessary. The defence that it is part of a culture is laughable.

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