We know the images: colossal, glistening bodies, resting lifelessly on the shore, sometimes in the hundreds. Whale strandings
Counting whale corpses matters! It not only shows how devastating whaling has been but as the latest revelations show, it also underpins one of the key arguments against any resumption of commercial whaling in the future - which is that whaling must be subject to independent scrutiny...
If this pint-sized porpoise does become extinct, it means that we will have discovered and exterminated the smallest of the cetaceans in less than a human lifetime. Its imperilled status has long been of concern and its main threat well established as incidental capture in fishing nets, sometimes called 'bycatch'.
In a country renowned for its innovative technology and leading the way in this field through its expertise and sophistication, I call to question its need for outdated entertainment within the numerous dolphinariums and marine parks in Japan.
Days ago, from a conference center perched on the edge of the bustling mountain city of Quito, Ecuador, delegates to the Convention on Migratory Species made an urgent and unprecedented call to end the live capture of whales and dolphins. This is the first time that any international body has called for this cruel and unnecessary threat to cetaceans to end.
Countries worldwide must take decisive and meaningful action to bring the slaughter to an end, and the démarche is a good start on this march towards a fully effective worldwide ban on commercial killing of the whales.
There was a time when the fight to save the whales was at the forefront of environmental concerns. Sadly, this is no longer true and, as we approach the next meeting of the International Whaling Commission a little later this month, it is worth reflecting on the dilemmas now facing those who continue to oppose whaling for profit.
Last year the world's wild fish catch weighed in at 90 million tonnes - a scale so vast that it is almost impossible to understand.