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Norway scraps subsidies to seal hunters

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by RobStark, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    #1 RobStark, Dec 13, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 13, 2014


    Norway scraps subsidies to seal hunters - The Local


    End the Minke Whale hunt and Norway is just about Paradise.
     
  2. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    I always find it amusing how some people think that hunting "exotic" non-endangered animals is wrong, but whatever hunting is going on in their own back yard is fine.

    Some facts about seal hunting:

    - Seals aren't endangered.
    - They are always hunted with rifles in Norway.
    - Seals may be cute, but they aren't particularly intelligent. (Just like deer, for instance.)

    Some facts about whaling:

    - Minke whales aren't endangered. (Unlike most species of whale hunted in Alaska.)
    - Minke whales are hunted with explosive harpoons specially designed for Minke whales, ensuring a quick death. (The same can't be said of whaling in Alaska.)
    - Minke whales are about as intelligent as pigs.
    - Minke whales are tasty. (Just like bacon.)

    Now, for all I know, you are a vegetarian who's opposed to all hunting, Rob, so I'm not criticising you. But there's a huge percentage of people opposed to whaling and sealing that have some serious rationalization going on. It's crazy.
     
  3. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Mod note: TMC is a forum for discussing all things Tesla, EV and related subjects. Discussion on contentious unrelated topics don't fit in there and rarely end well. I'm closing this thread pending site admin review.
     
  4. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Mod note: following review we've decided to open this thread for the environmental/eco discussion. Please note that normal forum rules apply so keep it polite!

    (The first post in the thread has been edited as an entire article was posted. All members should please remember that we may not post entire articles without the copyright holders permission. You may post a small extract which should be shown in quote form and support it with a link to the article. If in doubt ask a moderator)
     
  5. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    The original "article" was so small it was hard to snip.

    I would ban Aboriginal whaling in Alaska too but there you run into aboriginal sovereignty and thousand of year culture contentions.

    Norwegians did not hunt Minke whales until the 1960's when whaling almost finished off other species.

    Minke whales are not endangered because they were not hunted until recently and are only hunted by Japan,Norway and Iceland. If all the countries that traditionally had a whaling industry hunted Minke whales they would be endangered. This goes counter to the Norwegian ethos almost everywhere else; to be the best of global citizens. Not the laggards. Not proportionately gorging on natural resources.

    Minke whales could be the tastiest food in the history of the planet but I will never know.

    Commercial seal hunting in Europe is dying. No point in discussing it further IMO.
     
  6. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    #6 ecarfan, Dec 13, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
    I can't let that statement pass without responding. It is definitely NOT a "fact". We simply do not know with certainty how "intelligent" any cetacean is, but it is quite possible many of them are quite intelligent in ways we can only dimly understanding, and many dolphin researchers and experts are convinced that they are quite intelligent.

    It is quite possible that in the future it will be definitively determined that cetaceans are fully self-conscious, highly intelligent beings, and killing them will be universally considered an abhorrent act. Currently many many people consider killing whales to be a horrible crime, and I agree.

    So don't state as a "fact" that whales are like pigs. Doing so makes you look like a...someone whose mind is closed to reasoned discussion.

    As to how minke meat tastes, that is irrelevant to the issue of whether or not they should be killed. I have been to Iceland and I had the opportunity to eat whale meat at a restaurant. I did not do so, nor did I protest about it being offered. I have also spent time in Norway but never saw whale meat on the menu.
     
  7. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I agree. They simply shouldn't be hunted regardless of tradition or how they taste. It's not like you can farm raise them like cattle.
     
  8. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    We don't know exactly how intelligent pigs are any more than we know exactly how intelligent baleen whales are. Pigs may be fully self-conscious highly intelligent beings. We are fairly sure that toothed whales are significantly more intelligent than both pigs and baleen whales, but determining intelligence beyond a rough approximation is difficult.

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    Cultural reasons are so silly. We don't let cannibalistic cultures continue with their traditions, and we don't accept Sharia-laws or the like. If an act is immoral, in itself, it is indiscriminately immoral. Regardless of whether ones skin is white or black, whether one is a friend of the police commisioner, whether that's the way things have always been done, etc.

    Norway has a scientifically based quota-scheme for all hunting and fisheries. If other nations wish to start whaling, we may need to look more closely on cooperation on the quotas, but until then there is no need to do so.

    There's nothing inherently wrong with a sustainable harvest of natural products.
     
  9. mibaro2

    mibaro2 Member

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    So Norway hasn't stopped the seal hunt, just took away 80% of the revenue for people hunting them. Good move to discourage people to stop.

    Overall, if we stop the seal hunt, then we need to stop killing their predators. Like sharks.
    I'm not for the seal hunt, but in some countries there are more seals than people (Namibia, for example).
     
  10. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    Would it be okay if one farm raised them as cattle? Do you also oppose the hunting of moose, deer, etc?
     
  11. rolosrevenge

    rolosrevenge Dr. EVS

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    Can foreigners hunt seals? I just might make a trip there if I could.
     
  12. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    Checking the regulation, foreigners can hunt both ringed seals and bearded seals, but you need to fulfill some requirements. See here: Hunting and Fishing - Sysselmannen

    And there are som limitations to what kind of rifle you can use and the like: http://www.sysselmannen.no/PageFiles/666/Short%20summary%20of%20provisions%20relating%20to%20harvesting%20on%20Svalbard.pdf?epslanguage=en

    Be warned that Svalbard is extremely expensive, even for Norway...
     
  13. bluenation

    bluenation Member

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    i always find it hilarious/hipocritical when only 'cute' animals get this kind of defense.

    we homo sapiens are biologically evolved to think "big eyes, big chibby head, almost human baby-like smile or stare" equals cute. And women tend to that more often than men.

    either you are against hunting of ALL endangered or intelligent life, or you are not. Dont be two faced.

    oh, and pigs are one of the most intelligent animals after chimps. Yet how many (north americans) abhor at the sight of bacon or pork roast?
     
  14. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Don't try and take bacon away. I'm pretty sure you'd see Americans of all stripes rise up for a common purpose.
     
  15. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    #15 ItsNotAboutTheMoney, Dec 14, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
    I've known someone vegetarian except for the occasional bacon sandwich.

    To Ygg, yes, the ability to raise in farms is important. It's much more sustainable and energy-efficient to use farm animals than wild, hunted animals. (And some animals are more efficient than others: I generally avoid beef for that reason. Living in the USA there's also a problem of non-medical antibiotic use.)

    It's next to impossible to police hunting effectively. Fortunately there isn't anything of great value on a moose, otherwise they'd be a big target of poachers, as happens with tigers because of backwards Chinese. (Cultural sensitivity be damned.)

    No doubt that the EU seal ban has roots in cute. Shame there're so many other food production subsidies in the EU, USA and elsewhere.
     
  16. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    I'm here in defense of bacon. Please don't take my bacon.

    In all seriousness, Ygg makes a good point. Especially in this age of social media, it seems very easy for folks to be emotionally-manipulated into taking up a cause without fully thinking through all aspects of it.

    Although:

    Personally, yes. If we're talking from the perspective of dwindling the natural population vs raising and killing, it's akin to cutting down trees in the rainforest vs at a tree farm. The items in the latter have been created for that purpose and are being replenished.
     
  17. rolosrevenge

    rolosrevenge Dr. EVS

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    I've got rifles and shotguns that fit the requirement. And Seal hunting is free of charge. Hmm...

    - - - Updated - - -

    These days hunting is so heavily regulated, over hunting a species is nigh impossible in a developed country. Habitat loss is the main killer of species in the western world, and hunters will fight to keep the habitat undeveloped. Ban the hunting, and we don't care if you make a subdivision there...
     
  18. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    More sustainable: That doesn't seem readily apparent to me. Say you have a forest where 1000 cubic meters of trees grows every year. How is it not sustainable to harvest 100 cubic meters every year? When it comes to whaling, the amount of whales killed every year doesn't make a dent in the population. You have quotas set with fairly large safety margins, and the whalers aren't even able to harvest the entire quota. That results in a growing Minke whale population. There is zero concern about the robustness of the population of the common minke whale in the scientific community, where it is classified as "Least Concern". The same as, for instance, the white-tailed deer: White-tailed deer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    More energy-efficient: This definitely isn't open and shut. The minke whales are basically free, so the only real energy cost is the fuel for the ships. That shouldn't be very different from the other fishing operations, which are quite managable. The carbon foodprint of 5 diets compared | shrinkthatfootprint.com Actually, maybe the whaling is even net positive, because whales eat fish, and managing the population of whales means that you can get increase the quotas on fishing. That means that you can reduce the amount of fish farming, where you have to invest all the energy for the production.

    And regarding the use of antibiotic: This is great when it comes to wild game. No antibiotics have been used.

    It is currently no challenge to police whaling effectively. It usually only becomes challanging when states with a weak government become involved.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Cutting down the rain forest isn't a problem as long as no more trees are being cut down than grows every year. The issue is that this is basically never done. The trees in rain forests are so slow growing than you'd max be able to cut down a few trees per year, maybe, for it to be sustainable. To ensure that a robust population of wild anmals stays robust, you need to limit the quotas to significantly below the amount of new animals per year. This is done for the moose population and the minke whale population here in Norway, at least.
     
  19. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    The Minke whale is on "least concern" status when it comes to conservation, and btw they're baleen whales so they feed primarily on krill and a few more or less will not have any measurable impact on fish populations. If looked at purely on conservation grounds there should be nothing wrong with quota-controlled hunting of Minke. The emotional argument is one I'm not even going to step near.

    The media takes some (well-deserved?) criticism around here when it comes to ignorance regarding EVs and Tesla, but it's interesting that stories about seal hunting are almost always accompanied by photos of fluffy white, baby seals with big black eyes even though Norway prohibits catching/killing animals of that age.

    Of more relevance to this forum might be the plight of emaciated polar bears (listed since 2008 as "threatened" under the U.S. Endangered Species Act); I read a paper on this recently but it hasn't been published online yet. The bears are starving due to their primary diet of ringed seals (and some bearded seals) being ever further out of reach, thanks to global warming and the disappearing arctic glacier ice. Scientists are already seeing disproportionate increases in the ringed and bearded seal populations which is inevitably going to lead to more nature-out-of-balance consequences. Here's a brief article from last year, Norway has been taking a leading role in studying this phenomenon and tracking the extent of the problem.
     
  20. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    They eat krill *and* fish. Mostly herring and capelin. Estimates by the Institute of Marine Research estimates that the Minke whale population in the Barent Sea annally eats 1.8 million tons of biomass, two thirds of which is fish and one third is krill and other crustaceans.
     

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