Target: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Goal: Drastically decrease the amount of Japanese whaling, as the current levels are driving animals to extinction and flooding the food market with bad meat
Japanese whaling has claimed the lives of over one million whales, dolphins, and porpoises in the last 70 years alone. While this practice started small as a tradition of culture, it has grown exponentially and is now based on money made from the sale of meat and blubber. The desire for money has driven up the number of animals hunted and killed and is quickly leading to extinction for a few of these sea creatures. Demand the Japanese government institute more strict laws that limit the number of whales, dolphins, and porpoises that can be killed each year.
It is estimated that 17,000 whales, dolphins, and porpoises are killed off Japan’s coast each year. The Japanese government allows this practice to happen, stating that they only allow a sustainable number of these animals to be killed each year. However, the Japanese officials are using decades-old numbers to calculate what is sustainable. Quotas for hunting were introduced in 1993—after nearly 33,000 animals were killed in a single year—to help regulate the hunting and allow the creatures to continue populating the sea. But these quotas have not been updated with accurate data and are causing these populations to be driven to extinction.
There are a few facts that help portray the incredible decline in the number of these sea creatures. In the 1980s, Japanese whalers were hunting roughly 1,800 striped dolphins per year. In 2013, hunters struggled to find even 100. Of course, these 100 were promptly slaughtered and sold for their meat.
The whales, dolphins, and porpoises are not the only ones being affected either. With the amount of meat and blubber that floods the Japanese market from this extreme hunting, it is incredibly difficult to guarantee the safety of the meat. Scientists conducted a study in October 2013 that found high levels of mercury in the meat, levels that are dangerous for human consumption. With so much hunting, it is very difficult to ensure that the meat is fit for consumers.
Japan needs to institute stricter and more limited hunting rules before there are no whales, dolphins, or porpoises left to catch and kill. These creatures are being driven to extinction because the Japanese government insists on using outdated information and because a profit can be made from the meat. Tell the government that money is definitely not a good enough reason to destroy all of these creatures while flooding the market with bad meat.
Dear Prime Minister Shinzo Abe,
I respect whaling as an important part of the Japanese culture and understand it has traditional value. However, recent years of hunting have seen extremely unsustainable numbers of whales, dolphins, and porpoises being killed. If this practice continues at this level, scientists estimate that it will drive these animals to extinction very soon.
It is estimated that over one million animals were killed during whaling over the last 70 years alone. It seems evident that such high numbers indicate an unsupportable level of hunting, and therefore require more strict laws to be made by the Japanese government to decrease the legal number of animals that can be killed each year.
Please help protect these animals so they have the chance to repopulate each year. In doing so, it will also help protect the Japanese people from an influx of bad meat reaching the market. Something needs to change, or these animals will simply disappear as many people become ill from bad meat.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Robert Pittman via Wikimedia