Even though we live in an island I never seen a whale in my childhood. But I saw a whale through one of my very first gift from my father. It was Moby-Dick; or, The Whale (1851) the novel by Herman Melville .Actually I took more than a month to read this book.
But I don t think I have properly understood this book even in my thirties. "Call me Ishmael," that is how it begins .One of the most recognizable opening lines in American literature. If I had second thought of reading any American writer that s only Herman Melville and Jack London. Actually my father believed it’s good to spend a life like Jack London.
Anyway back to again Moby-Dick in life we may not chasing a white whale. But we are chasing many more and most cases ended up disappointing. If I really understood Moby-Dick I might have ended up in totally different person. Now it is too late. Now I too decided to chase my own Moby –Dick.
As a child I really enjoyed “Free willy” film series .Even that also given by my father. But still I haven’t seen a whale in real. Actually first time I saw a whale it was in 2011 at Mirissa.Mirissa is a coastal town in southern province. Each mountain belongs to the wealthiest people and all around the famous architects have kept their identity including Jeffry Bawa to Tadao Ando.Also Mirissa has unspoiled nice beaches.
Apart from that Mirissa is the closest point to where blue whales are inhabited because it has appropriate environmental conditions to live these giants. Whale watching in Mirissa is a fascinating experience. The day I saw blue whale I got a different feeling of the scale, can you believe the largest mammal in the world just few meters away from us.
We Sri Lankan Enjoy watching Whales, but there is a culture who enjoy killing whales. Whale hunting is a very profitable business. This known as Whaling, the hunting of whales primarily for meat, oil, blubber, and scientific research. Its earliest forms date to at least circa 3000 BC. Various coastal communities have long histories of subsistence whaling and harvesting beached whales.
But Industrial whaling emerged with organized fleets in the 17th century; competitive national whaling industries in the 18th and 19th centuries. By the late 1930s, more than 50,000 whales were killed annually.
Aristotle Socrates commonly called Ari or Aristo Onassis, infamous for Whaling between 1950 and 1956, Onassis had success whaling off the Peruvian coast. His first expedition made a net profit of US$4.5 million. There were accusations made by Norwegian Government killing infant whales. It says all whales that killed in cold blood.
But world whaling market dominates by Japan. Japanese whaling has a long history. Using traditional methods of whaling . Archaeological evidence in the form of whale remains discovered in burial mounds suggests that whales have been consumed in Japan since the Jōmon period (12,000 BC). Without the means to engage in active whaling, consumption at that time primarily stemmed from stranded whales.
The earliest records of hand thrown harpoons date back to the 12th century.
Apart from that Whaling in the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic is the hunting and slaughter of mainly long-finned pilot whales when they swim near by the shore of the islands, and has been practiced since about the time of the first Norse settlements on the islands. Around 800 long-finned pilot whales are killed annually,It s more like a festival of Blood.
This is part of the traditional division of labor concerning grindadráp that is centuries old, and has not changed over time.
In Faroese literature and art, grindadráp is an important motif. These old verses are still sung by the Faroese today along with the traditional Faroese chain dance. In recent years the grindavísan has been sung in a more modern way by the Faroese Viking Metal band Týr, the melody is the same and the verses are the same, only much shorter version of the ballad and with instruments.
Islander of the Faroese saying they enjoy the warmness of the whale blood in the cold Atlantic. This could be true, Human always surviving what they can find in the nature.
at the 2010 meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Morocco, representatives of the 88 member states discussed whether or not to lift the 24-year ban on commercial whaling. Japan, Norway and Iceland have urged the organization to lift the ban. They are the whaling nations in the world.
I m very sure about one thing majority of the Sri Lankans will never worry about whaling ,except those who has passenger boats in Mirissa.