The South Korean fishermen are saying they need to cull whale numbers because the Minke whales are eating all “their” fish. Minke whales feed primarily on krill and very small fish and they are a part of the complex eco-system that exists in harmony with other species. Human fishermen on the other hand with heavy gear, technology, and excessive demands are exhausting fish species and like fishermen everywhere they are using other species as scapegoats for their own greed.
What Can Sea Shepherd Do?
At this point, South Korea has simply served notice of their intent to conduct their so-called scientific research program. They will not be killing any whales directly for at least another year and most likely not for another two years. This gives us adequate time to prepare a strategy to confront them.
This will not be that easy. Whereas the Japanese whalers are targeting whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary the Koreans intend to target their victims in Korean waters. This is not unknown territory for Sea Shepherd. We have confronted Norwegian, Icelandic, Canadian, American, Russian, and Faeroese whalers in their own territorial waters. It tends to be more controversial and more confrontational but it has been effective.
Our immediate objective before moving onto the Sea of Japan is to put an end to the illegal whaling activities of the Japanese whaling fleet in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. In the meantime, international and domestic pressure may force South Korea to reconsider joining the whale-killing club.
We can only hope.