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Whale Ranching

A more sustainable approach to whaling
 
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Its obvious that whaling is harmful, largely due to the Tragedy of the Commons leading to their extinction. However, I think the free-range ranching approach could succeed.

The gist of ranching is that you own the entire herd (or pod, in the case of whales), but the land (ocean, in this case) itself isn't owned by anyone. So, you'd travel around in some sort of large boat, following your pod of whales as they wander. Your whales would feed from the sea, and you would use diving bells, divers, etc to see that they stay healthy, protect them from major predators as well as any poachers out to steal your livestock.

Periodically, you can "harvest" several, probably in some kind of floating processing station rather similar to whaling boats. You'd want to do this responsibly, as you need to have enough whales remaining to replentish your herd. You can even breed whales for size or ... uh... whatever characteristic you're looking for.

A far more humane and responsible approach?

Zipwow, Jun 17 2003

Mercury in whale meat. http://www.ncbi.nlm...85467&dopt=Abstract
[bungston, Oct 05 2004]

[link]






       What do people have against whales? I just don't get it! (-) Killing whales is unnecessary and cruel, wether they are wild or captive ones.
silverstormer, Jun 17 2003
  

       Advice to Zipwow - people on the HB really really really dig whales. I found out. But I think if the Japanese insist on eating whale meat then they should farm them, just as any other food resource should be grown on a farm.
bungston, Jun 17 2003
  

       I've been to Tokyo half a dozen times & never even seen it. Maybe it's not all that common?
snarfyguy, Jun 17 2003
  

       Bungston, I was thinking that farming the whales wouldn't work very well, as you'd have to have very large (and strong) pens to put them in. That's what led me to the ranching bit. I think I may have also heard some commentary that there are ecological issues with the fish farms, but unfortunately I don't remember any details.
Zipwow, Jun 17 2003
  

       There are ecological issues with fish farms - they act as reservoirs/concentrators for parasites and diseases, which then infest unfortunate wild fish that stray nearby.   

       I don't know about a whale ranch for meat. I did recently read a study on mercury in whale meat, which was done on commercially purchased whale meat in japan - I will link. Apparently they found enough meat on the market to do the study.   

       I think a whale dude ranch would be the coolest. Friendly pilot and beluga whale would exchange rides for fish in an open water whale petting zoo. There could be underwater whale chariots, and Bathy, the bull sperm whale could tow you on a deep deep dive. Occasionally he might get excited and forget about the chariot, taking the whooping and cheering tourists on a wild ride in pursuit of giant squid. Dinner would be krill and plankton pasties in an ambergris scented dining room.
bungston, Jun 17 2003
  

       Compared to the whole animal its only a tiny part of the whale that tasts any good and its not better than a lot of other meat (tried it). Not worth killing anything for, certainly not in the disgusting way that they kill whales, usually slowly because they can't just knock them on the head.   

       Leaving humanitarian issues aside, some kind of free range farming may work. If certain "herds" are assigned to specific whaling companies these companies may have a better interest in protecting a herd instead of hunting it to extinction. Proof of ownership could be provided by genetic samples. (I still think it shouldn't be done)
kbecker, Jun 17 2003
  

       Welcome to Kentucky Fried Whale, may I take your order?
thumbwax, Jun 17 2003
  

       Riding dolphins for the whale drive round up, cracking your ultrasonic pulse whip.
Salt water spray, glistening on your porpoise and wetsuit creaking, You herd them to the auction house in the commercial section of Japans' floating airport.
Leaping into the sunset you catch your first glimpse of the land of the rising Sun.
Thar she blows.
Beautiful.
  

       Far more to my liking: Whaler Ranching. Keep 'em all together in a pen. Don't let 'em breed, whatever ya do.   

       (cracks whip)
Cedar Park, Jun 17 2003
  

       Would this mean that I'd always be swimming into whale-pies?   

       (AC Clarke wrote a book about something like this. I can't remember what it was called, but it shouldn't be that hard to track down. Be warned: it's long, boring, and doesn't really go anywhere.)
rapid transit, Jun 18 2003
  

       Is that some kind of rant directed towards ACC books? Don't get me started! <g> ;)
silverstormer, Jun 18 2003
  

       I think the book was called "Dolphin Island" and the whales were ranched for milk to replace cow's milk for human consumption.
Zimmy, Jun 18 2003
  
      
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