The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in the US is considering an appalling plan to allow gray whales to be slaughtered off the Washington coast.
Allowing a hunt would set a dangerous precedent that undermines the global moratorium on whaling.
The risks of a hunt are significant. Proponents suggest that “only a few” whales will be killed for subsistence and cultural reasons. But even one whale is too many, regardless of who hunts them. Scientific evidence makes it clear these magnificent, sentient creatures are under grave threats from far too many sources. The threats to gray whales are vast — from navy sonar and other underwater noise, to climate change, ocean acidification, ship strikes and pollution. The impact of this hunt on delicate gray whale populations has the potential to be huge. Not to mention, there are only a few individuals left in some populations, and there is a virtual certainty that whales from these populations will be killed because it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between them during a hunt.