There are two stories in the NZ Herald this morning about Whaling.

Firstly there is some outrage that South Korea wants to resume whaling.

South Korea says that it planned to start whaling through a loophole that allows the killing of whales for scientific research, following the lead of Japan’s controversial expeditions.

At talks of the International Whaling Commission in Panama, South Korean delegates said they would submit future whaling plans to a scientific committee of the global body and were not looking for approval by other nations.

The announcement immediately triggered criticism by Australia, New Zealand and other anti-whaling nations that have long been infuriated by Japan’s whaling expeditions in Antarctic waters.

Then there is outrage that Maori are being prevented from whaling.

Matiu Rei, chairman of Te Ohu Kaimoana which advocates for Maori fisheries rights, addressed the International Whaling Commission earlier this week and discussed the indigenous whaling catch.

The IWC members voted 48-10 to set quotas for the next six years. Caribbean nation St Vincent and the Grenadines will now be able to kill up to 24 humpback whales between 2013-2018 while Russia’s Inuits and other indigenous people can hunt up to 744 gray whales. Native Alaskans can kill up to 336 bowhead whales over the same period.

Mr Rei told the IWC which met in Panama City: “It is ironic that countries that have grossly exploited whales for uses other than food and utensils are now imposing their newly acquired ‘values’ on cultures that continue to suffer the effects and symptoms of colonial exploitation.”

Indigenous peoples were reduced to “groups that must seek permission to continue these traditions – from those whose tastes have changed with the wind – [it] is quite simply degrading”, he said.

“This commission is already a tool for limiting indigenous traditions through its quotas. Please … let them [indigenous peoples] continue to practice their traditions and exercise their customary rights.”

Let me get this straight…we are outraged and condemn South Korea talking of starting whaling, but supportive of whaling if Maori do it?

Riiiight…either whaling is terrible and no one can do it, or we allow whoever wants to go whaling to do so but with set limits. It is stupid to have a halfway house of mock outrage.

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