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Introduction Commercial whaling is a very controversial The question whether or not to whale is an issue with many factors Commercial whaling is the focus of a debate between pro-whaling nations such as Japan and Norway and anti-whaling nations like Australia United States and the UK Both sides present justifiable arguments both for and against commercial whaling Arguments for whaling Countries such as Japan Greenland Iceland and Norway claim they are reliant on whaling for economic and cultural reasonsWhale meat provides a key source of protein in the diet and the sale of whale meat and products made from whales provides an economic foundation for these communities These societies are centred on a cultural tradition of whaling This small-scale coastal whaling is prohibited by the International Whaling Commission IWC Some argue this is causing continuing social and economic hardship for people whose traditional customs and lifestyle directly relate to the whaling culture Japan claims that small-scale exploitation of whales pose no threat to whale populations yet is critical to the survival of their society Japan along with many nations have a long history and tradition of whaling and it is part of their culture Anti-whaling countries such as Australia the UK and the United States are accused of cultural ignorance in their ongoing opposition to commercial whaling Japan argues that this cultural bias is based on Western societies norms and political prejudice against whaling The projection of the Western worlds anti-whaling beliefs onto traditional whaling nations is seen to infringe on the rights of those nations Some argue that whaling is an ecologically sustainable industry which uses a plentiful marine resource to support a growing human population Whaling nations say it causes minimal environmental damage when compared to the land based agricultural industries of westernised nations like the United States and Australia The effects of land based agriculture include soil erosion wildlife habitat destruction loss of biodiversity pollution of groundwater reserves release of greenhouse gases
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