Welcome! This site is for students to practice their English and keep up to date with environmental issues.

You can find a mixture of reading, crosswords, videos and short English lessons: these will normally be vocabulary, but I may also treat you to some grammar!

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''Let nature be your teacher''
William Wordsworth, poet, 1770-1850

''Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift''
Albert Einstein, physicist, 1879-1955

''... to find the word, or words, by which [an] idea may be most fitly and aptly expressed''
P.M. Roget, lexicographer, 1779-1869

Monday, 21 February 2011

Japanese whaling fleet abandons hunt

Level: Upper intermediate / B2

Here is another short reading from Wildlife Extra.
As I told you last week, you can sign up to this site for free and get a weekly or monthly email with all the latest news. I think it works well because there are lots of short, easy to read articles.

Japanese whaling fleet abandons hunt

Have a look at the article and then answer these questions:

1  How much of its quota has the fleet caught?
2  How fast is the Nissin Maru travelling?
3  Commercial whaling is banned, so how does Japan justify its hunt?
4  How much is the whale watching industry worth?
5  Which two other countries carry out whale hunting?

And a bonus question - you will have to look elsewhere for the answer to this one:
6  What species of whale was the Japanese fleet hunting?

Answers below!

Do you agree with what Sea Shepherd have done? Or should the Japanese be allowed to carry on?
Let me know what you think please.

1 Less than half
2 14 knots
3 'scientific whaling'
4 $2.1 billion
5 Iceland and Norway
6 850 Minke and 50 Fin whales


  1. Phew, I had to read parts of the text twice to fully understand it. And I have tried hard to find the answer to no. 6 but I am afraid I did not well enough. I will simply hope they were hunting the species which takes up the largest amount of their catch :)
    And I am glad there are people who dedicate their life, their energy to trying to cease whaling. Whale meat surely has been playing an important role in Japans culture, but in former times those species weren't endangered, the hunting methods not so cruel. In my opinion, preserving a species is more important than carrying on living a life in a 'traditional' way. Germany managed this on a smaller scale too. The hare and a lot of bird species such as the great bustard, the pochard or the quail once were common parts of our food - today those species are protected.

  2. Hi Christiane
    Have a look here to find out about the species involved: