If the International Whaling Commission really wanted to improve cetacean-science it could require openness rather than allowing whaling

There is a bit of a kerfuffle going on over South Korea announcing plans to increase whaling for “scientific reasons.”

See for example: Grist: South Korea may start hunting whales again, for ‘science’ and CNN: South Korea says it may resume whaling, angering environment groups‘ and WSJ South Korea Whaling Plan Sparks Outcry

This seems to me to be pretty cut and dry.  The Korean’s do not seem to be truly interested in the science here.  And I note – nor does the “International Whaling Commission”: Commission information.  If they really wanted to expand the scientific study of whales they would do things like foster sharing of samples, collaboration across groups, open access to data and resources, and such.  But as far as I can tell they do no such things.

The whole operation here smells fishy – or whaly.  Sounds like this is pretty much all about hunting and making money and giving in to pressure to find something other than people to blame for mismanagement of fish stocks.

Author: Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

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