Today there is enormous popular interest in marine mammals. Western media tend to dwell on the ongoing debate about commercial whaling by Japan, Norway and Iceland. There is, however, relative silence as to how the shipping and fishing industries of many if not all maritime countries are also catching and sometimes killing whales, albeit unintentionally.
Thus, western countries have, through the development and increase in fishing and shipping in continental shelf waters, essentially resumed whaling as vessel speeds and fishing gear strength have increased in recent decades. The ways in which these animals die, especially in fixed fishing gear that they become entangled in and swim off with, would raise substantial concern with consumers of seafood were they to be aware of what they were enabling.