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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 29, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta Crusade starts to save whales 1 By TOM TIEDE BLANDFORD, Nova Scotia (NEA) In the water, the open sea, the finback whale is one of nature's esthetic de- lights. Built like a fat torpedo, averaging 50 feet from snout to rudder, floating free at about 50 tons, it moves with a speed (up to 30 m.p.h.) and a grace few other living creatures can ever achieve. But on land, dead, shot with the modern equivalent of a harpoon, a high-velocity rifle, the finback Is an ugly disgrace. Its toothless mouth gaping, its six-foot fins wilted, its scarred carcass spreading over the ground like warm Jello It is relegated to the status oE po- tential chicken feed, oil for automobile transmissions and other indelicate reminders of the savage improvidence of mankind. THREE LEFT There are only tliree places on the North American contin- ent where finback and other whales can still be observed in the process of slaughter. All of them in the North Atlantic. Here in Blandford, at the round-the-clock plant of whaler Karl Karlsen, more than 350 of the magnificent animals are ground up for export each year. Finback. Sei. Sperm. Of the big animals, only the blue whale Is avoided here be- cause there just aren't enough to catch any more. Actually, there aren't many of any money whales lelt any more. The beasts, which once swam the oceans in prolific numbers, have been unable to cope with the efficiency of mod- dem whaling techniques. Ex- perts believe there may be no more than blue whales left on the planet. Other spe- cies have been killed olf almost as carelessly. Because of Hie potential for extinction, a few nations such as the United States have outlawed whaling and refused to accept 'any whale-product imports. INDUSTRY But not Canada. Here whal- ing remains a 51.5-imllion-a- year Industry. Nearly 800 ani- mals were taken last year. For whale meat. For oil. For dog food additive. The Canadians themselves do not purchase the processed products (the whal- ing sanitation conditions do not meet national but other nations arc eager buy- ers. "The says one fish- erman, 'the Jnps love 'cm." So (he slaughter goes on. During a recent week at Karl Karlsen's, a dozen animals were, as they say it, "harvest- ed." Spoiled, hounded, badger- ed, shot dead and lowed in. One finback, aboul 50 feet, was delivered before the first light. It was dragged ashore, up a macadam ramp to a "cleans- ing dock." The animal was still warm. In 15 minutes, the flesh was carved away. Inside a few hours, Hie crimson skeleton was cut. in chunks by five-foot chain saws. Before Hie day was out, almost every parl of the ani- mal was either packaged, froz- ne, brayed, cooked to liquid or washed into the bay in endless streams of blood and guts and bits of meat too small to sell. "The says the fish- erman, 'the Japs love 'em." DELICACY Indeed, the Japanese are voracious users of whale by- products. Even the football- sized testicles of the mammals are served as a delicacy in Tokyo. Because of this appe- tite, Japan has become the world's leading whaling nation slightly in front of Russia. Together the two nations have updated whaling to a high, if controversial, art. They search the world's waters in huge, sea- going factories. They take their game with such Implements as missiles that explode upon im- pact. They hunt so energetical- ly that often, when they are after several whales at once, they inflate carcasses with air and leave them to float until later pickups. In comparison, Canada Is small potatoes. Japan and Rus- sia take about 85 per cent of the whales killed annual- ly, Canada only 2 per cent. Still, Canadian critics argue that any amount of killing un- necessarily endangers the ani- mals and should be stopped. Says Farley Mowat, a New Brunswick writer: "Whales are Ihe most highly developed form of life we know. They have a communications system (based somewhat on a kind of sonar) that surpasses the human vari- ety Why should we kill them We are only begin- ning to understand their great- ness." OWNER Mowat, perhaps, under- stands the greatness of whales more than most. Not long ago he owned one. Or almost. Dur- ing an unusually high tide, a 70- fot whale swam into a lagoon in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and could not back out. Mowat discovered it. Studied it. But the relationship was short-lived. The animal was soon killed by gleeful area residents who sat in nearby cliffs and shot away with rifles. Idiots, says Mowat. Insensi- tive idiots. Mowat is now one of many people in Canada crusading to save the whales. And the cru- sading influence is beginning to smoke. The Karl Karlsen plant here has closed its gates to tourists. Whalers refuse to dis- cuss their activity. And, more recently, Karlsen was brought to court for allegedly killing undersized whales, a charge raver before tried in Nova Sco- lia. Decision is due in Decem- ber. Still, the killing continues. Because "the Japs love 'em." And almosl every day here in Blandford, even as Ihc season closes out, another whale, or two, or Ihrce, or four is hauled Lherc to be reduced to the bone, :o be pulverized to feed and, finally, to disappear forever from the earth. y, November 1972 THE lETHBRIDOt HHALD 37 ARCTIC GAS AND OIL Business presses for pipeline By EDWARD COWAN New York Timei Service TORONTO Despite a gromdswell of opposition, Ca- nadian financiers and business- men tre forging ahead with plans to build a pipe- line to bring natural gas from Alaska and the Canadian Arc- tic to the United States. The proposed Mackenzie Riv- er Valley pipeline would be the most costly single Investment in Canadian history bil- lion, according to Its sponsors and it may prove to be the subject of an intense national debate that could topple Ottawa governments. The line would start with feeds from Prudhoe Bay, Alas- ka, and Canada's Mackenzie River delta. They would merge and run southeastward through the Mackenzie Valley to Alber- ta, Saskatchewan and Mani- toba. On the Manitoba-Minnesota border, the gas would flow into United States pipelines. Most ot the four billion cubic feet a day would go to consumers in the United States. Some might move eastward to On- tario and Quebec, where more than 13 million of Canada's 21 million people live. Will the Mackenzie pipeline be built? If so, when? In the offices of Canadian Arctic gas study Ltd., In Tor- onto, William P. Wilder, chair- man of the Canadian-American consortium, says that applica- tions will be submitted next summer to the National Energy Board and the federal power commission in Washington. Construction should start by the winter of 1975-76, he says. Gas from the Mackenzie Delta would flow by tho summer of 1977, and gas from Prudhoe Bay by the summer of 3978. No precise figures on the cost of gas from tho far north are yet public. But It Is obvious that the high cost of the pipe- line, which is, supposed to pay for will make the gas several times more expensive than gas from Alberta or the continental 48 states. In Washington, energy ex- perts accuse Canada of being ambivalent about the project of being undecided whether she really wants to export more of her energy resources. The planners are eager for the United Sates to get a much' oil and gas as Canada will sell. They are Irritated that the Mackenzie Valley line will not be ready to carry gas from Alaska In 1976, when Washington hopes to bring mov- ing oil through a Trans-Alaska pipeline. For 15 years Canadian gov- ernments beat the drum for "opening up" Canada's north- ern storehouse of minerals and fuels. Times have changed. Environment has become a household watchword. People are beginning to worry about scarcity of resources. "I don't thtak we should ex- port more gas and a prominent Toronto banker con- fided the other day. "We are going to need that stuff our- selves. It's running out." Finance minister John Turn- er was asked about the Mac- kenzie Pipeline at the Canadian Institutional Investors Confer- ence here. Turner, who would like to be prime minister, re- plied not nith hearty enthusi- asm but by listing solemnly the conditions that must be satis- fied before Ottawa will license the venture. The conditions he cited are The majority ownarBfclp must la Canadian; The National Energy any gas to be exported li FUT- plus beyond Canada's future needs; Damage to fte Arctic Bo- vironment must be acceptably low. i The project must to fi- nanced and executed so that It does not put "an overburden- ing call" on Canadian labor, materials and capital or send the exchange rate soaring jeop- ardizing manufacturing export! and jobs. The Canadian and American oil and gas companies that make up the consortium head- ed by Wilder are ready to satis- fy points one and three, he in- dicated. RECEIVES AWARD BAHRIE, Ont. (CP) -A Bar- rle truck driver was presented with a certificate of merit from the Canada Safety Council and Dunlop of Canada recently. The truck driver deliberately drove his truck into the path of a run- away car, saving the only occu- pant three-year-old from serious injury. B.C. SCIENTIST SIGHTS AN ASTRONOMICAL FIRST VANCOUVER (CP) A re- search fellow in geophysics at the University of British Colum- bia says he has established Hie existence in space of the first known, full-fledged planetary system revolving around n star. Oliver Jensen, 20, says Bar- nard's slar, n "wobbling" body nboiit 36 quadrillion miles from earth, hns possibly up lo five large planets revolving around it. Tills is three more than was suggested by tho American as- tronomer Peter van dc Kamp, whoso thesis was based on 31 years of astronomical observ- ations of Ihc irregular motion of Harnnrd's star. II seems lo wobble through space ns if it. were being dragged nbout by Ilia grnviU- Uomd force of some smaller, unseen mass. Mr. Jensen's conclusions arc based on n new computer-based mathematical Icclmiquc called maximum entropy spectral analysis. He used van de Komp's data without adding any new astronomical observa- tions. Ho described Barnard's as a faint red dwarf star, about one- sixth the size of the sim. It's not visible to the naked eye, al- though It's one of iho 10 or n closest stars to the earth. Using a method of analysis more often used in geophysics physics of the In astronomy, Mr. Jensen con- cluded Hint tire irregular mo- tions of Barnard's star fell Into periods of 26 years, It years, 3.9 years, years ud 2.4 years. Simpsons-Sears has everything' Christmas for Fashion invasion! Now robes and pyjamas take a great step forward The march Is on. Towardi brave, bold, stylish robes and Cotton lerry's the news in robes and shave coats. and flannelette In pyjamas. The clean, clear blue, green, a-A cotlon terry robe. If you don't have one, you're miising out on tomething great. Solid colour with while trim on cvffi, front, pockets. Self sash, 3 pockets. S.M.LXL colour Perm-Prest pyjamas. Mix or match a poir with your terry robe. Long sleeves, long leg. A.B.C.D.E. Available in a variely of fashion colours including gold, green, blue. Reg. Now up in this great looking terry robs with while con- trast trim. Guaranteed washabfe, just hang and lino dry. Two pockets, sash lie. One size fits all. d_The shorter length shave coal In collon terry. Solid colour with while contrast trim. Button front, 2 pockets, lash Guaranteed washable. S.M.LXL sleeve, long leg, 'collon flannelette pyjama. Coat ityla jacket with chest pocket. Assorted colours and patterns A.B.C.D E Reg. Now Savel01 A perfect gift. The crepe shirt. d-A festive look Ihal'i right for Christmas giving. Styled of crepe, two button cuffs, long sleev- ed. Long point collar, placket front, flap pocket. S.M.LXL. Navy, brown, plum, beige. Reg. Now 6" Now Traditional tartans A timeless gift. larlon ihlrti. A tradi- tional piece of any man'i wardrobe 100% cotton, long ifeavoi. Two button cuff. S.M.LXL. 4 assorted tart am. Reg. Men'i Furnishings 599 Quality Costs No More at Simpsons-Sears STORE HOURS: Open Doily 9 o.m. lo p.m. Thursday end Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Centre Villagt. Telephone 328-9231 ;