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Dead Orcas In Korea?

December 9, 2011

Trying to get the story behind a brutal photoset, which appears to show a number of killer whales captured and killed in Korea Nov. 24.

Anyone know any the details regarding what is shown in these pics?

UPDATE: Thanks to commenter Anita for finding this article, which (via a very messy Google translate) seems to say that three orcas (one male and two females) were bycatch and died in a fishing net. It also seems (and the Google translation was very hard to understand, so can’t be sure) that the Korean fisheries authorities found the orcas being sold via an illegal auction and are investigating.

UPDATE 2: Commenter Wikie shows with news articles that these pics come from a 2008 event. It IS NOT recent (even though the original FLICKR pics are dated Nov. 24 of this year.

Thanks for all the info. A great example of the power of crowd-sourcing.

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. Anita permalink
    December 9, 2011 2:00 pm

    http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2008/07/16/2008071600046.html According to the google translation, they were *bycatch*?

  2. rita permalink
    December 9, 2011 2:01 pm

    Oh my GOD . Please stay on top of this. thanks

  3. December 9, 2011 3:01 pm

    How is this not illegal? There are faces here.

  4. Magda permalink
    December 9, 2011 11:08 pm

    This world is just getting cruel and cruel to animals this has to stop!!! The last pic i swear this is just crossing the line…. I want to do the same thing to the idiots who did this!!!!!

  5. janine clark permalink
    December 10, 2011 1:24 am

    WTF???????????????????? Everytime I think I’ve seen the worst man sinks to an even lower level.

  6. wikie permalink
    December 10, 2011 2:50 am

    This happened more recently:

    “The locals in Kulusuk East Greenland have been out hunting for the winter. The catch has been good. Few killer whales, dolphins and lots of seals so they have enough meat for themselves and the dogs to last until spring. The hunters have to use three boats to pull the heavy whales. Please remind that this is a hunting community and their only means of survival is to shoot these beautiful creatures.”

    http://www.facebook.com/Borea.Adventures (25 August at 19:49) ·

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/haukurr/6152752538/in/photostream

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/haukurr/6152207835/in/photostream/

  7. Haukur permalink
    December 10, 2011 11:54 am

    Dear Americans. Before you criticize other nations for sustainable food production, look at your own awful capitalistic ways of keeping chicken and cattle. That is really what the world should be worried about.

    • Mercuryglass permalink
      December 10, 2011 10:16 pm

      What is sustainable about this Haukur? This is a sentient being that exhibits culture and dialects. They’ve just wiped out an entire family of Orcas. Possibly transients, but I would guess from the limited info that it’s a female and her adult calves.

      Yes, a lot of animal husbandry is massive and cruel…but it isn’t limited to the U.S. There are many small family farms in the U.S. that raise their animals humanely. That’s where I put my money when I buy meat. There are many Americans who work tirelessly to improve the conditions of animals raised for food. The whole world has a long way to go to make things right for these creatures. We have a social contract with them to provide them with a humane life and when the time comes, a humane slaughter.

      There are also ways to get food to people who live in remote areas.

      Dear Haukur, do you condone the hanging of dogs to make their flesh more flavorful in South Korea or the boiling alive of cats in China? You neglected to mention that. Your anti-American feelings are showing…..

    • visor24 permalink
      December 11, 2011 2:31 am

      OK. I agree with you in some ways.

      But then, do you realize how rare these animals really are?
      Most dolphin species are still “legal” to hunt by IWC, but for killer whales, it is totally banned, even though killer whale is actually dolphin, not whale.

      Why? Because they are exceptionally rare.
      They are in every oceans, but being top predator (well, except for you), they are nowhere abundant.

      Their peculiar social structure, even though regarded as single species, they form small “populations” which often consists of just hundreds or even dozens of animals and never interbreed with other populations, makes them more susceptible to even smaller scaled hunt.

      Were you aware of these facts when you (or your friends) were killing those animals?
      If not, I suggest you to inform your friends.

      I’m not trying to be a hypocrite, I’m talking about conservation.
      Honestly, how often do you observe those killer whales in wild?
      Do you even know how many killer whales are around your waters?
      What if it’s only low hundreds, or even dozens?

      If you love your nature, as I think most Greenlanders really do, then I believe you would understand what I’m talking about.
      Anyway, killer whale isn’t even healthy food because they are usually most contaminated animals in the world with load of PCBs, pesticides, flame-retardants, etc.

    • visor24 permalink
      December 11, 2011 2:49 am

      How many killer whales did they hunt, by the way?

    • Anne permalink
      December 11, 2011 5:26 pm

      Haukur, sadly, not just Americans that jump to judgement without seeking their own mirror image first. To make it worse, we are driven by misinformation spawned by members of the media strictly looking to stir emotion, they care little about how they go about it, so long as the readers take an interest.

      I cannot believe we are now finding photo’s on sites such as Flicker and reacting to them without any investigation what so ever. Granted, this article was written in a manner that sought additional facts, and yet as should be expected, people react without looking deeper into the matter. Comments like “These people need to suffer like the whales had to poor babies” and “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again … Beady eyed godless heathens …” are posted publicly without any conscience thought into how they come across.

      No matter how one feels about these creatures, I would be willing to bet your views might change slightly, if your entire village or community were starving to death in front of your eyes. Intelligence might suggest, we would get much further in this world if we spent our time looking within ourselves for improvement rather than casting judgement so easily on others we know nothing about.

      Haukur, I must however comment, that your photography is amazing, I would never think to borrow or share without permission, but did want to express my appreciation for your skill.

    • timzimmermann permalink*
      December 11, 2011 7:04 pm

      I agree completely. Beef, in particular, is killing the planet. Which is why I am a vegetarian, and would love to see the price of beef reflect the cost of its environmental impact.

  8. December 11, 2011 1:11 am

    Dear Haukur, nobody is criticizing nations for “sustainable food production”: this is not an example of “food production” at all; orcas are not *produced* as food anywhere in the world. Orcas are NOT a “sustainable” food resource any more than elephants or gorillas. The death of a wild killer whale is a much greater loss than that of a chicken or cow because they are extremely intelligent, highly social, and long-lived animals. That doesn’t mean cows or chickens are deserving of less compassion, but there is a qualitative and quantitative difference between killing a domestic cow and killing a wild elephant, orca, or gorillas. Even if the death was accidental, people are sad to see it. That makes me feel good about humans; that they can have empathy for other species. Instead you attack them. What does that say about you? I don’t know.

    Why do you assume Americans are blind to the cruelty of factory farming in their own country? It’s a ridiculous conclusion to come to. A person is perfectly capable of caring about more than one injustice, and people that have compassion for animals are often the very same people who care about their fellow human beings as well.

    • December 15, 2011 1:09 am

      Well said, Percyville. I don’t like killing any animals, but I understand the difference between the chickens raised on a farm and the orca. There are many reasons that killing whales, dolphins and orca is wrong. The photos are disturbing and the one that disturbed me the most was the one with the smiling mother with her child playing around the dead orca. This should not even be compared how Americans keep chickens in cramped cages and raised for slaughter in horrendous conditions. This is a different situation altogether, but WRONG all the same.

      • isabelle permalink
        October 4, 2012 1:24 am

        I agree w percyville and u, barbara !!
        Seriiously dun understand why these people would have the heart to catch these amazing whales n dolphins n slaughter them…. they r smart n sad to say even more “human” !! :(

  9. Haukur permalink
    December 13, 2011 5:42 am

    My comment above was not directed towards this incident in Korea which I know nothing about. I was referring to the usage of my Greenland photographs that wikie posted in the comment above. I would never allow my photographs to be used by people like you to take away from the Greenlanders their only means to survive.

    Now I’m not only talking about the survival of the physical Greenlanders, I mean the survival of Greenland as a small nation with unique culture that is slowly being wiped out by people like you. What do you expect Greenlanders to eat if not what they can hunt? Do you want them to grow vegetables and establish chicken farms? Not possible. Should they stop hunting and rather rely on state support? That would mean the end for the Greenlandic people and culture as a whole.

    I am an environmentalist. I travel with a bicycle, a sailboat, with a kayak and on skis – because that’s my preferable transport and it does not pollute the environment. I try to eat only seasonal vegetables and fruits, I buy ‘green’ eggs and the little meat I eat I buy straight from the fisherman or farmer. I see killer whales very regularly where I live and work. It’s a beautiful animal, I’m impressed every time I see it and I would never consider shooting it. Why? Because I don’t need to. I have access to money and I have access to various different shops where I can buy whatever I want to eat. That is not the case for those Greenlanders.

    The Greenlandic way of living is as natural as it gets In winter they go out with dogsleds, in summer they go out on their kayaks (yes, they still hunt from kayaks sometimes) or small motorboats and spend the day out in the nature. If the day’s catch is bigger than they and their families can use, they offer all the villagers to come and take a piece. No money is involved, it’s a community thing. Not a single piece of the hunted animal goes to waste. What the people don’t eat, the dogs do.

    When I was there, I talked to a 20 year old boy who had just caught his first whale. He was very proud and so was his father and grandfather. He was proud to be able to feed his whole community. It was a kind of a rite-of-passage, now he was a man.

    By the 3000km long east coast of Greenland there are less than 4000 human beings. They just want to be in piece and keep their dignity. They do not use big industrial trawlers or whaling ships, they are individual hunters. They hunt what they can get in order to avoid loosing their independence and survive. Don’t take that away from them.

    There are plenty of problems in the world. Greenlandic hunters killing a few orcas is not one of them. If the whole world would be a bit more like my Greenlandic friends, the world would be a better place.

  10. Andrew permalink
    January 17, 2012 9:39 pm

    Hey Tim,

    Great website. I’m sure you’ve probably seen this article by now:

    http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fullstory.php/aid/16879/New_research_sheds_light_on_whale_by-catch_in_the_Korean_peninsula.html

    • timzimmermann permalink*
      January 17, 2012 9:42 pm

      Yep, I did see it and hadn’t realized the extent to which Minke whales were getting caught up by the fishing fleet. Thanks for sharing the link in the comments.

  11. February 29, 2012 5:35 am

    Hankur, any way you look at it, hunting orcas is disgusting & having some for lunch is repulsive. They think, they learn, they play, They protect each other, they mourn for their loved ones, they have families just like us. Should we then hunt and eat you? You look mighty tasty, and we could split you with the other towns people. Even the dogs would get their share.

  12. isabelle permalink
    October 4, 2012 1:14 am

    My goodness…. this is so disheartening !!! Why r they doing these ??

    can anyone tell me how to help the whales and dolphins ??

Trackbacks

  1. Dead Orcas In Korea? « Kirsten Writes
  2. Looking back on Greenland « About this and that

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