n Without Prejudice - Time to turn harpoons on whale killers : environmental law

Volume 9, Issue 7
  • ISSN : 1681-178X



Mankind has been whaling for centuries. Whales were not only a source of food but were sought after for their oil; used to make margarine and smokeless, odourless candles. Their oil was used in the 19th century literally to grease the wheels of the industrial revolution and their bones were used in women's corsets.

The whaling industry probably reached its peak in the 19th century. As substitutes became available, the industry went into decline, at least relatively; in 1913 more than 10 000 whales were slaughtered in Southern African waters alone.
Whaling is now an emotive topic with only a few nations which have deep historic roots in whaling : Japan, Norway, Denmark and Iceland have called for the reintroduction of commercial whaling.

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