EGS Dependenciesand Impacts Final Report on Whaling
In1982, the IWC introduced the first commercial whaling moratorium,which saw Japan lodged an objection. Since then, this issue has seena series of management tussles between mandated organizations and theJapanese people. Until today, whaling is still carried out in Japanin the name science research. Approximately 333 whales are killedevery year, and the majority of whale-hunting Japanese have notrealized they continue to interfere or break the marine ecosystems(International Court of Justice, 2014). Following the 1986 ban,except for scientific research, the Japanese have continued to usethis excuse to continue whaling without a slight idea about thedependencies and impacts on the EGS.
Societal development continues to grow at increasing pace, which inturn reflects the increasing demand for people. In whaling areas,most of the countries have set up laws to handle such activities,while others continue to engage in whaling, and thus is important tosolve the problem. This paper is inspired by the article inhttp://www.wired.com/2015/12/japanese-barely-eat-whale-whaling-big-deal,and will seek to focus on the dependencies of whaling on EGS, impactsof whaling on EGS, and the discussion of how EGS perspective wouldhelp the management minimize or avoid whaling risks.
TheDependencies of Whaling on EGS by the Japanese
The Japanese hunt whales based solely on one of the ecosystem goodsand services (EGS), which are for cultural services reasons. Thedependency on these ecosystem services whaling offers include forpurposes of inspiration for culture and art, sustainable development,and for pride, which according to De Groot et al. (2012), comprise ofcultural services of the EGS. First, the Japanese depend on themarine ecosystem to attain their sense of culture and pride throughwhaling. Culture and pride are wired on history, which plays a hugerole as to why the Japanese carry out whaling.
All attempts put in place, including the IMC moratorium to stop thesepeople`s dependency on the marine ecosystem, have been perceived bymany as a huge threat to their culture. Runas & Dahlgren (2010)defended that no one has the right to criticize other people`sculture. Again, a sense of pride drives this commitment to continuewhaling, which in turn, is a dependency of beneficial effects ofthose involved. For others, especially those who oppose this activitymay term them as culturally arrogant. However, the Japanese`s whalingserves as a dependency of the ecosystem to provide inspiration forpride and culture.
Secondly, from the EGS framework, the dependency of whaling as amanagement issue by the organizations involved is a matter ofprinciple of sustainable use for the Japanese people. The Minkewhales continue to remain plentiful, although not at the historicallevel. According to Runas & Dahlgren (2010), the populationapproximated at 761,000 live in the Southern parts of the IndianOcean, though some of them claim to be around 268,000 only.Regardless of that, these numbers are enough in that a return towhaling commercially is likely to be triggered. Here, the Japanesesay that this activity – whaling research – have paved the way,over the past two decades, for the sustainable long-term use of this"dependable marine food ecosystem" (Olewiler et al., 2016).The sustainability brings forth a domino effect on the ecosystem,especially the regulating services, for example, regulation of waterfloor and moderation of marine disturbance.
Thirdly, the ecosystem goods and services the Japanese people dependon whaling are for purposes of provisioning services. Provisioningservices, according to International Court of Justice (2014), areaccrued from the ecosystem, which includes food and raw materials.These provisioning services depend on these services for oil. Forexample, the Japanese continue also whaling for oil, which may beused for lighting lamps and forming candle wax. These provisioningservices allowed continued to improve the whaling industry.
The above three ways depending on ecosystem services is evidencethat the Japanese are still whaling until today. The ecosystem foodservices such as sustainability of cultural services, for example,sustainability and culture inspiration, is today evidenced by therecent controversies and IWC meetings over the past year. In 2014,for example, the Japanese whaling proponents that include theJapanese government argued that this management issue should not beopposed by differences in culture alone. Again, the end of 2014 sawan increase in the whaling culture with the scope widening over thelast two decades, according to De Groot et al. (2012).
Evidence that the Japanese are still dependent on this ecosystemservices as part of their whaling activity is shown by the continualloss of the Minke Whale total population by 23% as of 2015. On March2014, the IWC ruled that the Japanese government must "revokeany authorization extant in existence, license to kill, or permit"on whaling (Judge, 2015). Today, there is still a collusiverelationship, which exists between the Japanese government and thewhaling industry over the need for the Japanese people to continuedepending on this natural marine ecosystem for a series of purposes.This collusive relationship continues to be criticized by pro-whalingactivists as evidence of continuing whaling practices.
HowOrganizations and Countries Impact on the Whaling Issue on EGS
There are some organizations and countries in the situationimpacting on the EGS following their anti-whaling practices. Othergovernments and organizations bordering the coast shores have stronggoes against the pro-whaling program. What they have done towardswhaling have in turn impacted on the ecosystem food services such asthe habitat services. These habitat services, following directivesfrom those governments and organizations, have been negativelyimpacted, for example, regarding the overall biological control andprotection of whales.
For example, the Greenpeace organization have went ahead to arguethat whales in the Japanese coastal regions are endangered and thusshould be protected. However, their proposals were identified toimpact on the biological production. According to Olewiler et al.(2016), the scale of whale control scientific research carried on theproposed programs resulted in the reduction of the whale stock alongthe Japanese Southern Hemisphere, whereby the approximated populationof the Minke whale stood at 761,000 dropping by 34%.
In 2012, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) sent out a letter to theJapanese government about the possible impact the Japanese whaleresearch would have on the ecosystems food services when the minimumstandards for reducing whaling practices are not met. Again, whatother governments have done is oppose every move the pro-whalingcountries make towards interfering with the normal functioning of thenatural ecosystem. For example, the Australian government has, inrecent times, moved towards opposing the Japanese pro-whalingactivities in the Pacific (Olewiler et al., 2016). One of the reasonsfor this is country`s proximity to the Antarctica, which have seenthe Australian government take drastic measures towards protectingtheir ecosystem by announcing plans towards monitoring the Japanesewhalers from entering the Australian water zones.
The people in a position of ecosystem control, especially thosecountries in the coastal regions have exhibited a range of attitudestowards whaling and the impact it has on the EGS. One of thecountries is Australia and most recently, as one of the anti-whalingmembers of the IWC, which was set up in 2010. The attitude theAustralian government focuses on the Japanese whaling activities bysanctioning a possibility of facing international legal challenges.The negative attitude towards the Japanese is also exhibited by otheranti-whaling countries. Again, other anti-whaling countries with anegative attitude towards this activity include the United States,Russia, and Peru.
The people behind organizations that focus on whaling and otheractivities, which are more likely to damage the marine ecosystem,include the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling(ICRW), the International Whaling Commission (IWC), and theenvironmental group like the Greenpeace (International Court ofJustice, 2014). What these organizations have done regarding whalingactivities have resulted in the negative impact on the EcosystemGoods and Services (EGS) in the marine ecosystem.
For example, Greenpeace held out resistance over whale huntingwhenever the Makah community in Japan attempts to revive theirtraditional whale hunt. The organization took a position over thecultural revival of ecosystem services over the whaling activities.What the organization does resulted in impacting negatively on themarine ecosystem through habitat services making up the EGS (Runas &Dahlgren, 2010). For example, the marine ecosystem will be impactednegatively through the limitation of biological control of whales.This is because the whales will be allowed to multiplyuncontrollably, which in turn will outnumber the availability ofmarine resources for their survival and thus limits the biologicalcontrol of the ecosystem.
Again, an organization like the See Shepherd Conservation Society ismandated to carry out marine conservation and environmental activismhave in turn impacted on the relation of water floor and moderationof disturbance control caused by whaling activities. In turn, themarine ecosystem has been damaged due to excessive pressure on theocean floor through rigorous disturbance of the marine floor due toincreased population of whales in the ocean floor, and thus themarine ecosystem would no longer sustain the marine life.
How Using EGSwill help Manage Whaling Risks on the Ecosystem
EGS categories comprise of positioning, habitat, cultural, andregulating services. Using these EGS services can assist the partiesinvolved to avoid whaling risks on the marine ecosystem. What theseparties think about the current whaling activities in Japan is wiretowards handling the activities in the right way possible. Forinstance, the use of EGS to control the level of risks will firstinclude decimating the great number of whales in the marineecosystem, more so in the Japanese Southern hemisphere. For instance,one of the EGS services – regulating services – can be used toregulate the marine ecosystem by stabilizing the food chain and foodflow, and thus maintain a healthy marine life.
Secondly, the currently whaling activities in Japan are part ofassisting the EGS habitat services to carry out biological control ofthe ocean life through sustaining a balance whale population byregulating biological pump and energy flow of the marine life (Judge,2015). The current whaling activities sought to increase the numberof dead whales the ocean floor through injuries. As a result, theremains will be great sources of food to see life and also stimulatethe increase of phytoplankton, which in turn increases the amount ofair for a healthier cleaner marine ecosystem.
The general idea of the marine ecosystem is based on the EGS controland functions on the habitat. The marine ecosystem functionality is asuccess with the inclusion of whales` activities. For instance, amongthe many ecological functions, Estes (2006) noted that the nutrientscycle, which is also inclusive of the whales, enhances the primaryproductivity and regional scale of the marine life. This way, themarine ecosystem functions properly through the supply of nitrogenand iron for the primary producers in the marine surface. Additionally, to understand the marine ecosystem, especially when itinvolves the whales, requires rich knowledge about the food chain andenergy flow.
Finally, to build a better marine ecosystem, what needs to be doneabout whaling is by regulating the number of whaling activitiesthrough the formulation of strict laws and regulations by countriesconcerned. Again, building a better marine life requires a richunderstanding of the marine ecosystems and the roles whales play inthe maintenance and sustainability (DeGroot et al., 2012). For instance, it is important tounderstand the importance of whales` population on the size of theocean. That way, it will be easier to ascertain the level of whalingactivities at one particular and how to regulate it.
The introduction of whaling moratorium to curb whaling activitiessaw some parties become interested. Japan is known to carry outwhaling activities until today with organizations such as theGreenpeace and the IWC setting up some regulations to createawareness and reduce the number of these activities. The need to beinvolved in whaling in Japan is also because of the role it plays inthe marine ecosystem. The dependency on the EGS by the Japanese alsotouches on biological control and regulation touched in the paper.
The paper also focuses on using the EGS, and how assists in managingrisks involved in whaling on the ecosystem. The general ideas aboutthe marine ecosystem are about the controls and functions of the EGS,which identifies whales to have played a major role in ensuring richmarine ecosystem. Finally, a better marine ecosystem can only beattained by controlling activities in the oceans by formulatingrelated laws and understanding the role of whales in the ecosystem.
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Judge, J. (2015). Patterns of specialization in the deep sea atthe individual, ecosystem, and evolutionary level. Berkeley, CA.
Runas, J., & Dahlgren, T. (2010). Grassland biodiversity:Habitat types, ecological processes and environmental impacts.New York: Nova Science Publishers.
International Court of Justice (2014). Whaling in the Antarctic(Australia v. Japan: New Zealand intervening): Judgment of 31 March2014. The Hague: International Court of Justice.
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