As usual I am always stunned when students and young people present on the issue of cetaceans. Their knowledge and passion is amazing.
We started the day with a dedication of a Japanese lantern shrine commemorating the 40,000 whales that have died since 1984. That's some 30,000 since the moratorium in 1986, and Japan, Norway and Iceland are still killing whales despite the declining market for whale meat.
At the conference we have already had two presentations and I am already learning something new. As the day goes on I shall be struggling to keep up at this rate. We had an opening address from Alfreton Grange Arts College on the role of the IWC.
This was followed by Knightswood Secondary School on the issue of UK whaling history. Did you know that Dundee was a centre of British commercial whaling?
Tomorrow the debates begin and that will be really interesting. Forfar Academy gave us a stunning presentation on the issue of modern commercial whaling. They made the arguments for and against whaling, making sure both sides of the debate was tackled. Their comments on whale intelligence and the rights and wrongs of commercial whaling verses the killing of species in modern industrial farming really made the conference sit up and tackle some difficult aspects of the issues before us.
The Coppice Performing Arts School tackled the issue of other forms of whaling including aboriginal subsistence whaling. I was particularly taken with the fact that they had surveyed their school colleagues on the issue of whaling.