A Whale of an Idea

Photo by mikebaird | flickr.com

For years, anti-whaling committees have been protesting the slaughter of whales, with little results. In fact, over 2,000 of these mammals are culled each year, including a large number of endangered species. However, a recent article in Nature proposes trading credits to help offset the killing.

Much like the carbon trading credits proposed to reduce greenhouse emissions, the whaling credits could be bought and sold by various countries. The article in Nature states that this possibility is a win-win idea: countries have an economic reason to decrease whaling, and feasibly, for conservationists, less whaling occurs.

While this is a step in the right direction, the number of credits would have to be decreased by a certain number every year to help actually decrease whaling – otherwise, all this would accomplish would be a distribution of the whaling practices, as opposed to an actual decrease in killing.

Whether this is a truly feasible idea, I am unsure, but I do know that even incomplete ideas generate debate. And debate is a very powerful thing in conservation – because it means people are starting to care.

Colleen Bobbie