Letters

Whaling and the krill kill

Whaling and the krill kill

GREENS senator Scott Ludlam said the move towards "scientific whaling" by South Korea included a statement that "it's because the whales are eating all the fish . . ."

Minke whales in the southern hemisphere feed on krill, but those in the northern hemisphere eat mainly small fish. The accusation that the whales are "eating all the fish" is nonsense it is human overfishing that is depleting fish stocks, not whales.

Japan's whaling is about estimating biological parameters to improve the stock management of the southern hemisphere, and to prevent the collapse of the whaling industry.

It is self-serving, about promoting whales as a commodity, not for scientific knowledge, nor understanding ecosystems, nor conservation.

It is purely anthropocentric and lethal in nature.

South Korea is banking on Japan's successful but bogus "scientific" research.

Australia's lack of direct action against Japan's whale poaching now means that the "scientific" facade of commercial whaling can escalate internationally.

There is no humane way of killing massive warm-blooded mammals like whales, and no reason to do so.

Vivienne Ortega, Heidelberg Heights

Fishy behaviour

SOUTH Korea, Taiwan and the US are long-line fishing in the Pacific and invading the waters of the Pacific islands illegally.

Their practices are unsustainable and they are also killing turtles, seals and dolphins. If South Korea's fish stocks are declining, it's due to overfishing, not whales.

Victoria Moore, Gerangamete

Deforestation

DESPITE assurances by Indonesia's President Yudhoyono that "deforestation is a thing of the past", ("Sumatra burns in drive for palm oil" The Age 5/7) illegal fires continue to burn through huge tracts of rainforest, as palm oil companies destroy the habitat of many endangered animal and plant species.

Humans are suffering too, as smoke billows across the country, but once again economic greed seems to overcome compassion and good sense.

Janine Clipstone, Glenelg East, SA

Science, irony

HOW tragically ironic. Mankind discovers the "God particle" and its powers of creation while destroying endangered species and their habitat.

The discovery may be hailed as "a milestone in our understanding of nature" but the greatest achievement would be learning to live with nature.

Finding an alternative to palm oil should not be as hard as finding the God particle, nor should it be hard for manufacturers using palm oil in toothpaste, soap, shampoo and food to label their products responsibly and truthfully.

Unfortunately, scientists are yet to discover the "selfish gene" that hinders the real progress of humankind.

Kerry Millman, Frankston

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