Whaling for Food

Hunting and killing whales for food dates back centuries and once spanned the globe. Whaling became industrialized and commercial in the modern era (17th–20th centuries), as fleets were organized, became competitive, and relied increasingly on more sophisticated means for tracking whales. The popularity of whaling decreased the whale stocks to such dire levels that in 1982, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned commercial whaling for food or other purposes. Whaling for food continues today, but it is highly controversial and politically charged. Only a fraction of the world population consumes whale, but the continued public controversy over whether it is morally acceptable to consume a dwindling and intelligent species makes whaling for food a pressing issue today. This entry examines the history behind the whaling ...

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