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Entries in whales (2)


Judge Rejects PETA Claim That Whales Are 'Enslaved'

At least some semblance of sanity remains in the judiciary.

A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), alleging that SeaWorld violates the rights of whales by enslaving them.

"The only reasonable interpretation of the 13th Amendment's plain language is that it applies to persons and not to non-persons such as orcas," Judge Jeffrey Miller wrote in his ruling.

"Both historic and contemporary sources reveal that the term 'slavery' and 'involuntary servitude' refer only to persons."

Previously, PETA compared the meat industry to the Holocaust.

Read more here.


Catch Shares for Whales Exposes Hypocrisy of Management Strategy

Nothing exemplifies hypocrisy like blind adherence to an ideology. In this case, it’s the Big-Government, we-know-better-than-you ideology practiced by the Obama administration.

Led by Jane Lubchenco at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and her Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) cronies, the feds have been pushing to implement Catch Shares in our oceans’ fisheries.  They argue that they do so for conservation, to prevent overfishing.

In reality, Catch Shares imposes Big-Government management of a public resource for private profit. All that this fisheries version of cap-and-trade does is limit participation, mostly in the commercial sector to begin, but inevitably for recreational anglers as well.

Now, according to the Gloucester Times, two of Lubchenco’s colleagues are proposing a similar strategy to “end commercial whaling.”

Hmmm. If Catch Shares would end whaling . . .

Oh, silly me. There I go, with a conspiracy theory.  The real problem isn’t with Catch Shares; it’s that my narrow mind can’t grasp the reason that Catch Shares could end whaling but not do likewise to fishing.

Not surprisingly, the Obama administration doesn’t want to deal with its own version of “an inconvenient truth.” The Times reports that it “deflected questions Wednesday about the proposal for a global catch share program for whales.”

The EDF said that it “isn’t actively involved in whaling politics and policy, and we feel there are substantial differences between fishing policy and whaling.

“Catch Shares is an effective answer to the serious problems facing commercial fisheries, which is good for the species that live in the oceans --- including whales.”

Yeah, right. Next time that you’re out on the ocean, look around. I’m sure that you’ll see whales sporting “Catch Shares Now!” signs.

Now, courtesy of the Times, here are some responses to this proposal from people living in the real world:

"'Catch and trade' applies market forces to reallocate public or 'free' resources to seemingly more beneficial outcomes," said Brian Rothschild, the distinguished marine biologist at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, advocate for the commercial fishing industry and critic of the catch share regimen created in 2010 to govern the New England groundfishery.

"For example, application of the catch-and-trade system to global whaling can be used to eliminate commercial whaling — whoever has the most money wins. But is this an ethical approach to resource allocation?" Rothschild wrote in an email to the Times.

"Many of our resources are owned by the 'public,' or by 'society,' or are 'the common heritage of mankind (such as national parks and air space),'" he added. "Should they be for sale?"

Others agreed.

"This 'market proposal' to saving the whales is just another example of the commercial privatization of our oceans for the benefit of private enterprise," said Mitch Jones, fish program director for the consumers' group Food & Water Watch.

"If the real goal is to reduce the number of whales harvested every year, then we should start by enforcing the International Whaling Commission moratorium on whale hunting," he said. "We could begin by no longer permitting 1000 whales to be taken for the commercial market under the guise of 'scientific research.'"

"This proposal," he said, "is really just a Catch Shares for whales program, allowing whalers the opportunity to buy and sell the right to hunt whales. That's not a solution to the problem of harvesting too many whales.

"The proposal is another example of the wrongheaded belief that a resource has to be privately controlled in order to be sustainably managed," wrote Jones.