Impressions: whales and human relationships in myth, tradition, and law

Harrop, Stuart (2011) Impressions: whales and human relationships in myth, tradition, and law. In: Brakes, Philippa and Simmonds, Mark Peter (eds.) Whales and dolphins: cognition, culture, conservation and human perceptions. Routledge, pp. 9-22. ISBN 9781849712255

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The predicament of whales and whaling provides a focus for very different perspectives and a battle ground for a range of epistemic groups that are shaped and informed by multiple influences: myths, traditions, heritage, practices, ethics, laws and aspects of knowledge. These different perspectives are guarded and reinforced and provide the basis for validation of each group’s political stance within the International Whaling Commission and other regulatory fori dealing with the predicament of whales. In this chapter samples of these perspectives are examined as they relate particularly to controversial aspects of polar whaling where a low-key battle has been fought for some years now albeit with sporadic skirmishes rather than constant fighting. A key area for conflict is the granting by the IWC of aboriginal subsistence exemptions for whaling. Specific questions may be extracted from the political haze that beleaguers whaling politics. These include the need to define the meaning of “aboriginal” in the context of the loss of traditions and the developmental transitions of indigenous people and the need to determine the extent to which traditional whaling may cross-over from the status of "subsistence" to "commercial" . By examining aspects of the root perspectives and influences that relate to these questions it is hoped that some meaning may be discerned which may contribute to shortening, if only by minutes, the long days spent debating the fate of the great whales.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords: International Whaling Commission, Aboriginal subsistence exemption,
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion. Mythology. Rationalism > BL0300 The myth. Comparative mythology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography > GF075 Human influences on the environment
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology > GN406 Cultural traits, customs, and institutions
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV0697 Protection, assistance and relief > HV0700 Special classes > HV4701 Protection of animals. Animal rights. Animal welfare
K Law
K Law > KZA Law of the Sea
Depositing User: Stuart Harrop
Date Deposited: 27 May 2013 09:54
Last Modified: 27 May 2013 09:54
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