Sitting on the deck at the beach watching the humpback whales (Latin name Megaptera novaeangliae - 'big-winged New Englander') - take their annual migration south to the Antarctic, I wonder which of these beautiful creatures is destined to board a Japanese whaler ship bloody and battered as a 'scientific experiment' and which will swim past heading north after its annual feed in the cold Antarctic waters during the Southern Hemisphere's summer.
Some whales stay in the mid-Southern Ocean, while others feed at the edge of the pack ice. Their hunters understand their predictable movements, making them relatively easy prey. This annual battle is fought in the Antarctic with the Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace vessels hounding the huge Japanese refrigerated ships. Their philosophy is while the Japanese are fighting them they're leaving the whales alone. All the action is live on our television screens nightly. It's about to begin again...
Whaling has a long and cruel history. Australia itself, even though vehemently opposed to whale hunting today, only ceased to participate in the 1970s. Today it is easy to judge the Japanese who continue to claim they need to kill whales for 'scientific research' and that it's part of their culture, even though many Japanese people have joined in the global protests against this practice, claiming that tons of unwanted whale meat and by products languish in cold rooms.
According to the anti - whaling 'terrorist' Sea Shepherd captain, Canadian Paul Watson, alongside Japan, other countries and tribes continue to whale hunt. There's Norway, the Inuit in Alaska, USA, the Yupik in Siberia, Denmark, along with aboriginal groups in Canada and Iceland.
Song of the Humpback Whale
From oceans huge with time the whales surface
I am currently applying the final layer of nail polish to my first NaNo novel, Ruby, aimed at the HarlequinEscape market. This novel is a love story between a French girl, an Aussie sea captain and humpback whales. This scene is taken from Chapter Eleven where the heroine Ruby confronts a Japanese whaler. (I wanted to give both sides to the story). He addresses the diners at Ruby's hotel restaurant: