Updated: January 16, 2012
Japan's annual whaling season is currently under way with the inevitable lurid reports and tangled accusations. The history of conflict between Japan's whaling boats and anti-whaling protesters has not only gained newspaper headlines, but has inspired its own TV program, "Whale Wars," on the American cable television station Animal Planet, now in its fifth season. The actions of both whale-hunting supporters and detractors have reached absurd proportions. Both sides should return to reasonable dialogue.
While officially agreeing to a moratorium on whaling, Japanese whaling companies have continued to kill whales in the South Pacific by taking advantage of a loophole for research purposes. If the current hunting is really being done, as stated, for scientific purposes, the results should be opened to public and professional scrutiny, as is done with all serious scientific research. Killing whales for research is volatile topic with international importance, so it deserves a clear explanation that the general public has easy access to. So far, nothing like that has happened.
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