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Chew on this
I am an avid reader of Thanh Nien Weekly and am impressed by the depth and balanced reporting of most of the articles. They generally show that the writer has made an effort to research the topic reported and presented a balanced and informative article. However in last week's issue No. 36 May 21- 27 the article "˜The Hunt is on' Page 8, which most unfortunately has found its way to the front page, is an example of the worst kind of ill informed sensationalism that infects the gutter press in western countries.
The article should have considered the parlous position that sharks suffer in our grossly overfished worlds oceans where many species face extinction. Sharks are an essential element of oceanic ecosystems and governments should strive for their preservation. That this fact was not reported in juxtaposition with the ill advised waste of Vietnam's scarce financial resources by Binh Dinh People's Committee, in rewarding their destruction, is to be deplored.
Vietnamese fishermen have always regarded a whale as a good omen and over the centuries there have been many reports of how whales have aided fishermen. It is therefore distressing that your reporter seems to be unable to distinguish a whale from a shark, something a pre-school child is capable of undertaking if told the difference. The picture titled "10 Ton Whale..." is not a whale. From the picture it appears to be a large harmless shark Rhincodon typus which feeds on plankton.
Prof Piers Allbrook
District 1, HCMC