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Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

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Korean domestic opposition rises against the Government's announcement

It appears that the Korean Government may have misjudged the feeling of the Korean people when it comes to whales.

Yes, the legalising of net whaling ‘accidents’ has given cover for illegal whaling to feed the demands of the restaurants of Ulsan, but the rest of the country seems a little slower to celebrate the Government’s threat to resume commercial whaling through self-allocating so-called ‘scientific whaling’ permits.

The Korean Times in an opinion piece says ‘Let whales live safely’.

The Korean Times reports that after angry responses from most countries the government stepped back, saying it would give up its whaling plan if the international organization rejects it. Given the strong backlash that erupted following Seoul’s proposal, it would be reasonable for the government to retreat immediately.

WDCS believes that in the city of Ulsan, where Hyundi manufacturers up to 1.6 million cars a year, this declaration says more about the inability of the Korean authorities to police illegal whalers, many of whom are blatantly using harpoons on their fishing boats, than it does about science.

The legalising of the killing of whales in ‘accidental’ net entanglements has simply given cover for the illegal whaling.

So, is Korea going to respond to public opinion, including the opinion of its own people, or is it simply going to say we cannot police illegal whaling, therefore we are going to give into the criminals.

One can only hope that they listen to the views such as those of the Korean Times.