The International Whaling Commission (IWC) has allowed indigenous whale hunting for another five years. The indigenous people in the US and Russia can hunt for subsistence including bowhead whales by Alaska Natives in the US.
Alaskan Natives in the US and aboriginal people of Chukotka in Russia were allocated a shared catch limit of 280 bowhead whales for the period of five years till 2012. The previous catch limit has been retained this year too.
The 1986 international moratorium bans whaling but allows its under certain provisions including that by indigenous people for their survival and cultural practices. Many indigenous people consume whale meat as their staple diet.
But with most of the whale meat from the whaling under the umbrella of indigenous and cultural hunting being sold in market, serious concerns are raised over the indigenous whaling becoming commercial in disguise.
Whale population, which has been under serious threat due to excessive hunting, now also faces severe threat to its existence due to global warming. It unlikely that the effects of global warming will be undone. In such a situation, we humans can at least assure that the sea-giants are not hunted.
Bowheads that have been allowed to be hunted by aboriginal people, is an endangered species and is listed in International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red list.
Though the number of bowheads has increased after ban on commercial hunting, the species has still not been able to overcome the threat of extinction. The indigenous hunting that is restricted to small numbers a year is not considered a threat but still it would be better to provide them a sanctuary.
Japan has been leading nations in favour of resumption of commercial whaling. It has been actively indulging in whale hunting taking benefits of the provisions in the moratorium. Greenwich, which also enjoys indigenous whaling rights, has also been in favour of whale hunting.
With so much of possible threats looming, whales need to be saved by stopping hunting altogether including indigenous hunting. Now the world has gone too far to consume whale meat. When alternatives are available, sticking to whale meat can not be considered wise and is not in favour of conservation of the sea mammals.