June 28, 2006

Sell the whales

Jeremy Cherfas quotes from The Hunting of the Whale: A Tragedy That Must End, a book he wrote in 1988:
The [International Whaling Commission] would be required … to conserve whales, but could sell annual quotas to the highest bidders. The income would go to running the [IWC], and so the price might be very high, but this would be a realistic value for a whale in the water. Among the bidders would be whalers, putting a value on their products at the margin, where it counts. They know how much profit there is to be made in processing a free whale, and would have to decide how much the raw materials are worth. But conservationists would also be free to bid, replacing rhetoric and campaigns with responsibility and cash. The conservationists could do as they pleased with their quota; they might chose to harvest some for additional funds, or they might exploit their quota benignly by encouraging whale-watchers. Or they might do nothing, simply allowing the whales to multiply.
Yes, I also think that is A Good Idea.


  1. See also my post about the North Atlantic Salmon.

  2. Lars's post is here.