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Japanese whaling: Why the West is in the wrong

166 Comments
By Glen Clancy

Whaling is wrong.

Well, that's what my heart tells me.

Growing up in Australia, you come to believe that the whale is a special creature – a highly intelligent mammal with complex human-like social patterns.

Japan was forced to call off its scientific whaling program in the Southern Ocean earlier this year due to constant attacks from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessels.

But the Japanese government recently confirmed that the program will resume later this year. Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Michihiko Kano has said extra ships will be sent to guard against harassment from Sea Shepherd.

Sea Shepherd has responded by announcing a new "campaign" with the provocative title of "Operation Divine Wind" (divine wind being kamikaze in Japanese, which has sensitive WW2 connotations).

This Saturday, the Sea Shepherd is holding a fundraiser, "A Night With The Captain," to help finance their upcoming battle against Japanese whalers. “They will have to kill us to prevent us from intervening once again,” says Sea Shepherd founder, Capt Paul Watson.

Sea Shepherd Australia director Jeff Hansen says they won’t be deterred by Japan’s heightened defenses. "It won't change our tactics or our resolve which will be to find the [Japanese] factory vessel and basically block its operations and stop it from being able to transfer dead whales up the slipway,” says Hansen.

The last time I was living in Japan, I found myself debating against the practice of whaling with my Japanese friends. (According to a July/August AP poll, 52% of Japanese are in favor of whaling, with 35% neutral and 13% opposing.) I then conducted some research.

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) was established in 1948 to “provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry.” Since then, the number of anti-whaling member nations increased and in 1982 the IWC passed a moratorium (effective from 1986) setting the “catch limits for commercial purposes…[to] zero.”

Japan, among other nations, lodged a formal objection as the prohibition on sustainable commercial whaling was not based on advice from the IWC Scientific Committee. However, Japan later withdrew its objection due to threats from the U.S. to ban Japanese fishing in the exclusive economic zone.

And herein lies the crux of the dispute – a dispute still raging in the year 2011. The West sees the moratorium as a moral victory for the protection of whales. (How ironic that the IWC Scientific Committee was stifled by anti-whaling nations in the formulation of the moratorium and Japan was forced to comply through intimidation.) Japan sees the 1982 moratorium as unjust.

The 1982 moratorium stipulated that: “This provision will be kept under review, based upon the best scientific advice, and by 1990 at the latest, the Commission will undertake a comprehensive assessment of the effects of this decision on whale stocks and consider modification of this provision.”

The political strength of IWC anti-whaling nations has ensured that a scientific review of the moratorium has never taken place.

Hence, Japan began a scientific whaling program to collect data on whale populations. Last whaling season, Japan set its quota at 850 minke whales and 10 fin whales. The IWC has agreed that an annual take of 2000 Antarctic minke whales for 100 years would “not adversely affect stocks.”

From the Japanese perspective, this scientific research is necessary to prove to the IWC that sustainable commercial whaling is not a threat to the survival of the species.

It is plausible that Japan kills whales in conducting this research for two reasons -- not just to carry out the research but also to prevent the collapse of the Japanese whaling industry (through the redundancy of whaling apparatus and political precedence).

It is this second reason that groups like the Sea Shepherd seize upon for public support. The Sea Shepherd website justifies its operations through claims that the Japanese scientific whaling program is for commercial purposes “under the guise of scientific research.”

Yes, Japan is conducting scientific research for the purposes of commercial whaling but the scientific research is not a sham – it is imperative in providing evidence for the (stipulated) review of the 1982 moratorium.

Even the Australian government has been bold enough to call the scientific research a fraud. A joint media release last month from Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Environment Minister Tony Burke said: “The Australian Government condemns Japan's decision to continue whaling in the Southern Ocean this year under the guise of science. Australia remains resolute in its opposition to all commercial whaling, including Japan's so-called 'scientific whaling.'”

There is little, if any, Western acknowledgement about Japan’s legitimate desire to conduct scientific research to provide evidence to the IWC – the scientific research is habitually presupposed as a farce.

Ignorance (and denial) about the actual function of the IWC and the scientifically unfounded rejection of sustainable whaling in the form of the 1982 moratorium shapes the West’s justification for fervent criticism against Japanese scientific whaling.

In reality, the true motivation behind the condemnation of Japanese scientific whaling lies in our cultural affiliation to the whale.

Japan has been backed into a corner and it may be the case that it has been compelled into killing whales during its scientific research in an attempt to save its whaling industry from collapse.

If so, it is a political decision that is perhaps deceitful from the West’s perspective; but a decision equal to that of political maneuvering in the application of the 1982 moratorium and more likely less deceitful than U.S. economic threats against Japan (which were never overturned once Japan eventually agreed to the moratorium).

The act of killing whales to conduct scientific research is not a moral wrong or legal wrong. Only a cultural wrong. And it is only a cultural wrong in our eyes.

I have no answer ... just that my heart is against killing whales.

The author is a double-degree graduate in Japanese and finance at Monash University. He is currently in his final year of journalism at La Trobe University. He previously studied and worked in Japan for 5 years.

© Japan Today

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

166 Comments
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At the end of the day (at least for me), the "research" means that there will be 850 minke whales and 10 fin whales (per season) less than there would be without this research.

When people are trying to confirm the number of black rhinos still in existence, they don't kill them and call it research do they?

5 ( +14 / -8 )

@Bluebris - If the black rhinos were swimming the Japanese might!

If the Japanese are whaling for scientific purposes, I wounder if and what they are publishing from their research. This would at least show some justification that they are not lying to the anti-whaling world.

2 ( +7 / -6 )

@namabiru4me

I agree 100%, if Japan is taking a large cull of the international whale population for research purposes. Then the research motivating this should be published internationally. I have yet to see any research that motivates the killing of the animals.

It also seems to me that the market for this whale meet is diapering. Not a single person I have talked to actually thinks the meat tastes good. It seems to me that the hunt is done on mere principal to show the world that Japan will not back down.

I also believe that if it wasn't for Sea Sheppard and other organizations shining a light on this, the whaling fleets would very likely have taken more than their allowed scientific quota.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

a highly intelligent mammal with complex human-like social patterns.

I highly disagree. There is absolutely no proof on intelligence. Smart whales would gang up and turn over whaling vessels.

-5 ( +13 / -18 )

In 2010 alone, over four million pigs were slaughtered in Australia

We Brits have much more respect for our police force.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If they condemn Japan's result of the research, they should offer some more reliable ways and conduct a research with Japan in order to conclude valide number. Only they do is to condemn Japan's whaling and to allow eco-terrorists to intervene violently.

By the way, selling whales' meat after the research is an order from IWC. Read the ICRW.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

I see the one thing that JT forgot to mention in this little pro Japan, pro Whaling spiel by Mr Clancy is his pro whaling, pro dolphin hunt support. It seems Mr Clancy has written several pieces for media in Japan and in Australia pointing out the good points of both Japans Antarctic whaling and its annual dolphin slaughter. And true to form with those other articles he even uses the same analogies (pigs getting slaughtered) and cultural difference. He even goes so far as to say that animal cruelty is in the eye of the beholder. Well l guess we can chalk this article up to a pro whaling article l wonder when JT will actually run an opposing view.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

kaketama

If they condemn Japan's result of the research, they should offer some more reliable ways and conduct a research with Japan in order to conclude valide number.

Have you ever considered counting whales, oh thats right its better to blow their head off with an explosive harpoon makes it much easier to count right? And you get all that yummy meat as a bye product. Maybe someone should start counting Japanese whalers the same way the whalers count whales! BOOM, thats one!

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

@JapanGal:

At least for Orcas there is definite proof of being intelligent. There is nice video on Youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxDZW4k8tCY) where a family of Orcas swims uniformly to create a waves to smash a seal from an ice floe. That is more intelligence (and applied physics) than lots of humans can accomplish without tools. However, Japan doesn't try to hunt orcas (which would be severely affected by low quotas even), since they live mostly near the North American continent.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Japan was forced to call off its scientific whaling program in the Southern Ocean earlier this year due to constant attacks from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessels.

Wrong. Japan called off the hunt because with the SS literally sitting on the tail of the factory ship preventing carcasses being loaded for butchering the hunt came to a halt and there was no more profit to be made. If researching numbers was really so important they could still have counted whales for the rest of the season.

it may be the case that it has been compelled into killing whales during its scientific research in an attempt to save its whaling industry from collapse.

Oh give over. The whaling industry has already collapsed. The boats cannot go out without hefty government subsidies paid for by mostly non-whale-eating Japanese taxpayers, and people don't buy the stuff even at reduced prices.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

@cleo

Japan was forced to call off its scientific whaling program in the Southern Ocean earlier this year due to constant attacks from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessels.

Wrong. Japan called off the hunt because with the SS literally sitting on the tail of the factory ship preventing carcasses being loaded for butchering the hunt came to a halt and there was no more profit to be made. If researching numbers was really so important they could still have counted whales for the rest of the season.

it may be the case that it has been compelled into killing whales during its scientific research in an attempt to save its whaling industry from collapse.

Oh give over. The whaling industry has already collapsed. The boats cannot go out without hefty government subsidies paid for by mostly non-whale-eating Japanese taxpayers, and people don't buy the stuff even at reduced prices.

Your post implies that the SS were peaceful in their actions and managed to somehow "block" off the loading bay by just "sitting" there, while the Japanese just looked at them, threw up their hands and went home. The SS's tactics are well known. They use tear gas, ropes, nets to snare and snarl equipment and personnel, damaging and otherwise rendering the loading bay unable to be used. Without that kind of action, the whaling certainly would not have been stopped.

Had they attempted this kind of action against any other nation but Japan, you can be sure they'd have been shot full of holes. Japanese whalers have managed to sink one SS ship, if I am not wrong, due to a collision.

Does this imply anything about the right or wrong of Japanese whaling? No, I myself am opposed to whaling. On the other hand, however, the violent tactics that SS uses justifies nothing. In point of fact, they have ignored all other nations that engage in whaling, which includes Canada, Indonesia, Russia, Norway etc among others, simply because they would get arrested and prosecuted, if not killed outright for pirate behavior. The bully that avoids the big boys and targets easy prey. They are nothing more than a terrorist group masquerading under an "eco-friendly" agenda to get donations and line their own pockets at the same time.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

I think I should also point out, that the reason Japan can't hunt whales in it's own waters any more is because they're all eaten. That should be scientific enough research as to why Japan should be allowed to hunt whales period. Just wait for them to come back to Japan.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Your post implies that the SS were peaceful in their actions ...

In all their actions? No it doesn't. We all know about the stink bombs and flares. But tear gas? And personnel being snarled? New one on me. Got any links to back up those claims?

The only way the loading bay was rendered 'unable to be used' was by having a boat sitting on its tail.

.... and managed to somehow "block" off the loading bay by just "sitting" there

That's exactly what they did. Shows that a bit of strategic manoeuvring is more effective than stink bombs. They say they intend to use the same tactics this year. I hope they succeed.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

well im an american & support Japan whaling. many do, its Australia & many of them who are against it it should be titled why the South is wrong NOT the "west"

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Whales are just another renewable resource, like any other sea creature. As long as they arent hunted to extinction, it's nobody's business. If the whales were so intelligent, they would avoid being caught in the first place.

For those who are confident the whaling industry would die, why not put that thesis to the test? Allow Japan to hunt unmolested by Sea Hippies for a couple seasons. See if they can make enough money to sustain the industry. If there truly is no market for whale products, those who make their livings on the hunt will soon turn to other pursuits. Let the marketplace do its magic.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

I wonder why Sea Shepherd or Australian government doesn't complain about Faroe Islands but only to Japan?

http://earthfirst.com/pilot-whales-brutally-slaughtered-annually-in-the-faroe-islands/

5 ( +8 / -3 )

DS, your premise is that if whaling is commercially non-viable, it should be ceased. That would be great, if commerce were the issue. Japan does its whaling under the cover of "research", not as a commercial venture. Commercial whaling is banned. That's why your argument has no worth.

If the whales were so intelligent, they would avoid being caught in the first place.

DS, this isn't a question of intelligence or lack of intelligence. Whales are very intelligent. Humans are much more intelligent. That's why we're able to kill whales, or any other species on earth. You seem to be saying that any creature that isn't as intelligent as a human being deserves what it gets.

Hopefully someone who actually knows about these things is reading this thread.... I wonder what percentage of published whale research comes from Japan? What percentage of whales killed for "research" are killed by Japan? Of all published whale research, what percentage requires killing the whales? Of all published research that requires the killing of whales, what percentage covers new territory, not just "refining numbers"?

I have a feeling that the answers to all of the above will expose the lies of Japanese justification for whaling.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Given the chance a whale would eat you and everyone you care about!!

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Have you ever considered counting whales,

They do. Japan 's method of visual sighting counting is one of the best. But relying such method alone is just plain inefficient simply because whales are not census friendly so one has to estimate based on figuring out the population dynamics which include age distribution, diet, suceptible diseases, growth rate, etc. to achieve a more reliable data. Whether such data can be extracted by visual method alone is a debate alone especially the accuracy part of each of those criteria.

So in the end, if the community wants more reliable data, then taking more samples is the best course of action.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

As the author states, if the IWC is for the "orderly development of the whaling industry", the members should adhere to this spirit.

Let the scientific committee finally decide on the catch limits for each species, eliminate the moratorium, and implement the already in place like RMP/RMS which will deter going over the catch limits.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I believe the author remembered to leave out that the research is considered a farce for four very large and obvious reasons.

Lethal research is in no way necessary to collect data on whale populations, so for pure research purposes there's no excuse to kill any at all. The Whale meat is sold both legally in Japan, and illegally in other countries. The population estimates that Japan does submit have been recognized as biological impossibilities, they claimed the antarctic minke whale was experiencing a population explosion up until the IWC's and IUCNredlists best evidence actually showed a very very dramatic decline in the populations, this was found even with Japan trying to tamper with the facts. Japan is bribing and threatening small nations to buy their favor to believe in their research. They are far more interested in buying supporters then earning them.

You also bring up some things about the whale, but then disregard them as cultural, what is that? The facts about the whales being are not culturally founded as you make them seem, these animals exist as a separate entity to human politics, it's not a human culture thing as much of a species.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Brandon, you might think you're sounding smart, but your mindset is exactly what Clancy's complaining about.

1)

It is plausible that Japan kills whales in conducting this research for two reasons—not just to carry out the research but also to prevent the collapse of the Japanese whaling industry (through the redundancy of whaling apparatus and political precedence).

[...]

Japan has been backed into a corner and it may be the case that it has been compelled into killing whales during its scientific research in an attempt to save its whaling industry from collapse.

If so, it is a political decision that is perhaps deceitful from the West's perspective; but a decision equal to that of political maneuvering in the application of the 1982 moratorium and more likely less deceitful than U.S. economic threats against Japan (which were never overturned once Japan eventually agreed to the moratorium).

2) It isn't necessarily illegal to sell whale meat internationally. Maybe you're thinking of endangered whales? Minke is not endangered, and even if its status with CITES changed in the near future, Japan and Iceland could lodge reservations and continue their trade.

3) I've never heard of this before. Can you show me your source of this supposed information?

4) It's only fair for Japan to play politics in the IWC. The mere fact that the IWC has been stacked with anti-whaling puppet states in the last couple of decades is reason enough.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

No, they're killing whales, and making up statistics that suite their means (if you would of actually read what I wrote you'd know I went over that, you might think you were sounding smart, but you didn't read what I actually wrote). Lets see, whale meat from Japan has showed up no more then 20 miles from where I live in california, it came from Japan, and has been frequently coming for years before being busted. Why are people so ignorant about the species japan hunts? JAPAN IS NOT HUNTING THE COMMON MINKE WHALE IN THE ANTARCTIC, there are two species, the common minke and the antarctic minke. The antarctic minke is DD and believed to be undergoing a decline of as much as 60% of the population. It is the belief of the US, Australia, among other countries that Japan and Iceland are in fact breaking the law which has been stated many many times over. The Sunday Times. It's not playing politics, it's breaking the system. They're buying votes, buying whores, threatening to pull "financial support" this is criminal extortion and manipulation at its finest. Bribery is illegal, extortion is illegal, and prostitution is illegal. We know the Japans fisheries is doing all of this.

You have proof that anti whaling nations are using bribery, threats, and prostitution? Or is this simply speculation?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

@Namabiru4me, SquidBert:

If the Japanese are whaling for scientific purposes, I wounder if and what they are publishing from their research. This would at least show some justification that they are not lying to the anti-whaling world.

-

I agree 100%, if Japan is taking a large cull of the international whale population for research purposes. Then the research motivating this should be published internationally. I have yet to see any research that motivates the killing of the animals.

~sigh~

They've published in international journals and with the IWC. You can find a list of publications on their website, http://www.icrwhale.org/eng-index.htm.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

@Spidapig24:

I see the one thing that JT forgot to mention in this little pro Japan, pro Whaling spiel by Mr Clancy is his pro whaling, pro dolphin hunt support. It seems Mr Clancy has written several pieces for media in Japan and in Australia pointing out the good points of both Japans Antarctic whaling and its annual dolphin slaughter. And true to form with those other articles he even uses the same analogies (pigs getting slaughtered) and cultural difference. He even goes so far as to say that animal cruelty is in the eye of the beholder. Well l guess we can chalk this article up to a pro whaling article l wonder when JT will actually run an opposing view.

I notice that not even once in that comment did you ever actually find fault with anything Clancy has ever said. You're just posturing.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

@cleo:

Wrong. Japan called off the hunt because with the SS literally sitting on the tail of the factory ship preventing carcasses being loaded for butchering the hunt came to a halt and there was no more profit to be made.

Wrong. The Japanese press release specifically cited dangerous Sea Shepherd attacks as the reason for halting the hunt, not successful peaceful intervention. Personally, I think the turning point was when Sea Shepherd started to try to set the whaling ships decks on fire with all hands still aboard.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

@NetteMarie:

I think I should also point out, that the reason Japan can't hunt whales in it's own waters any more is because they're all eaten.

Misinformation. There are still whales off of the coast of Japan, and they can and do hunt them there. But you'll never hear Sea Shepherd planning to do anything about it, because they know that the Japanese won't treat them with kid gloves in domestic waters like they do in the Antarctic. The Steve Irwin would get raided or sunk.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

@John Becker:

Commercial whaling is banned.

Wrong. Commercial whaling is not banned. It was under a moratorium, which was supposed to be lifted more than twenty years ago.

Please don't try to make statements of fact if you've neither read the article nor done any research on the topic....

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

@Brandon Labeet:

No, they're killing whales, and making up statistics that suite their means (if you would of actually read what I wrote you'd know I went over that, you might think you were sounding smart, but you didn't read what I actually wrote).

Prove it.

Lets see, whale meat from Japan has showed up no more then 20 miles from where I live in california, it came from Japan, and has been frequently coming for years before being busted.

The whalers have about as much to do with the black market for whale meat as Apple does with the market for stolen iPhones.

Why are people so ignorant about the species japan hunts? JAPAN IS NOT HUNTING THE COMMON MINKE WHALE IN THE ANTARCTIC, there are two species, the common minke and the antarctic minke. The antarctic minke is DD and believed to be undergoing a decline of as much as 60% of the population.

They aren't separate species, they're subspecies. And frankly, nobody worth a damn gives a damn about beliefs about population numbers. Let's see some actual research - like the Japanese are doing.

It is the belief of the US, Australia, among other countries that Japan and Iceland are in fact breaking the law which has been stated many many times over.

Oh wow, belief again....

The Sunday Times.

Of where? What was the article name and date? "The Sunday Times" doesn't do anything for me.

It's not playing politics, it's breaking the system. They're buying votes, buying whores, threatening to pull "financial support" this is criminal extortion and manipulation at its finest. Bribery is illegal, extortion is illegal, and prostitution is illegal. We know the Japans fisheries is doing all of this.

It isn't any different from what the anti-whaling cabal is doing.

And besides, if you think it's alright for Sea Shepherd to attack people because fighting "evil barbaric whaling" is a just cause" then surely you should accept a little collusion for the just cause of negating other collusion.

You have proof that anti whaling nations are using bribery, threats, and prostitution? Or is this simply speculation?

Don't put words in my mouth. The fact that there's collusion on the anti-whaling side is obvious. Countries that are completely anti-whaling have no place in the IWC. They shouldn't be there in the first place. The simple fact that they're there, exercising power, is collusion enough. The IWC is about preserving whaling traditions, not abolishing them.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Aw, you're downvoting my comments now? Talk about impotent rage....

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Prove it, oh golly gee, do research for something you haven't? Sure why not Masayuki Komatsu stated that "I believe the minke whale is the cockroach of the ocean." "Because there are too many. The speed of swimming is so quick."

q8 from ICR "The JARPA sighting survey results indicate that humpback and fin whales migrating to the research area begun to increase around 1990 (annual rate of increase: 14 to 16%)" This was rejected by the IWC's scientific commity as a scientific impossibility.

as well as "Others consider that Antarctic minke whales have increased to the level of being a threat to the blue whale, since they compete over prey and habitat. "

However by most scientists this has been proven to be an enormous lie "Although there is no accepted estimate of current abundance, the population size is clearly in the hundreds of thousands. The data analyzed by standard methods suggest a reduction of approximately 60% between the 1978–91 period and the 1991–2004 period. " -IUCNredlist

Lol, you got to be S#$#ing me if you call the Japanese whalers researchers. They're as much researchers as seal clubbers in Canada.

It is not a belief, Australia is taking Japan to court and the US has openly stated opposition to Japans activities.

Here's an article citing the sunday times undercover investigation (I can't believe you're not competent enough to just look it up on your own) http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2010/06/japanese-officials-bribe-for-w.html

You're attaching sea shepherd to political parties, that's completely asinine

Face it, the new face of the IWC is anti whaling,and it's going to stay that way. The IWC may have started for a different reason and objective, but it's going to stay anti whaling now.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Dave Rideough

I've never heard of this before. Can you show me your source of this supposed information?

Why do you think Japan's figures for whale population still after all these years of killing (sorry counting) has not been accepted by the IWC. But you will hear from the pro whaling crowd that next year it will be accepted, the fact is it hasnt been and this argument of next year has been going on for years. Surely if the Japanese research is sooooo good they would have definitive numbers that can be trusted. But no as of this very moment the Japanese estimate is not accepted so their numbers mean nothing, so one may ask why then are they killing whales if their counting means diddly squat.

It's only fair for Japan to play politics in the IWC. The mere fact that the IWC has been stacked with anti-whaling puppet states in the last couple of decades is reason enough.

I think if you look most of the major anti whaling members Aust, NZ, SA, Peru, US, etc etc have all been long term or founding members. There has been countries that have joined that are anti whaling but there has been equally a number that have joined that are pro whaling including countries that dont even have a coastline. So your point is fairly mute there.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Dave RideoughN

Wrong. The Japanese press release specifically cited dangerous Sea Shepherd attacks as the reason for halting the hunt, not successful peaceful intervention. Personally, I think the turning point was when Sea Shepherd started to try to set the whaling ships decks on fire with all hands still aboard.

See Dave thats were you lose the argument with a statement like "The Japanese Press" now there is a totally unbiased even reporting group if ever l have seen one. When has the Japanese media EVER painted whalers in a bad light? When have they ever written a fair and honest account of the events. They take the mindset of Japan being victimised and bullied by these evil SS people. Yet do they report the fact that most of the countries in the region they are whaling are opposed to their actions, do they report both sides of the argument? Have you ever seen an anti whaling article in a Japanese paper?

Oh and when did SS try and set fire to a whaling ship and how. If you are refering to throwing a flare unless there is fuel spilt that will not cause a fire.

There are still whales off of the coast of Japan, and they can and do hunt them there. But you'll never hear Sea Shepherd planning to do anything about it, because they know that the Japanese won't treat them with kid gloves in domestic waters like they do in the Antarctic. The Steve Irwin would get raided or sunk.

Why do you think that SS and the countries in the region are so against the Japanese action in Antarctic waters and not in Japanese waters? Its not for the reasons you claim, maybe it has something to do with the Japanese whaling in a whale sanctuary. Maybe it has something to do with Japan whaling in another countries claimed EEZ. But you hit the nail on the head Dave when you said "Japanese won't treat them with kid gloves in domestic waters like they do in the Antarctic" That is exactly right Japanese domestic waters are Japan's, the southern ocean is not Japans yet they want to treat it as their own and disrespect the wishes of the countries in that region. UNDERSTAND!

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

@Dave Rideough

I have not read trough the research on the link you graciously provided. But after a quick browse trough I still don't see anything that motivates the killing of 850 mink whales a year.

How many studies do we need about the mink whales feeding habit? How many whales do we need to kill to find out what their response is to gram negative bacteria?

Seems highly dubious to me. But if independent researchers were to tell me that this research is important to humanity and does not pose a major danger to the population of whales, I would not have any major problems accepting it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Spidapig24:

There has been countries that have joined that are anti whaling but there has been equally a number that have joined that are pro whaling including countries that dont even have a coastline. So your point is fairly mute there.

No, that is my point. You just refuse to see it from the other side.

See Dave thats were you lose the argument with a statement like "The Japanese Press" now there is a totally unbiased even reporting group if ever l have seen one. When has the Japanese media EVER painted whalers in a bad light? When have they ever written a fair and honest account of the events. They take the mindset of Japan being victimised and bullied by these evil SS people. Yet do they report the fact that most of the countries in the region they are whaling are opposed to their actions, do they report both sides of the argument? Have you ever seen an anti whaling article in a Japanese paper?

I wrote "press release". Press release. You know, those official statements that people and organizations put out for the media? God, is your reading comprehension really that bad that you directly quote me and still don't have any clue what you're reading?

Oh and when did SS try and set fire to a whaling ship and how. If you are refering to throwing a flare unless there is fuel spilt that will not cause a fire.

Why don't we break the windows of your car and throw some flares in and see how you like it.

Why do you think that SS and the countries in the region are so against the Japanese action in Antarctic waters and not in Japanese waters? Its not for the reasons you claim, maybe it has something to do with the Japanese whaling in a whale sanctuary. Maybe it has something to do with Japan whaling in another countries claimed EEZ.

The whale sanctuary and EEZ claims are invalid. The whale sanctuary was created in violation of the ICRW and the Australian Antarctic Territory is not an actual territory per the Antarctic Treaty System. But you are partly right. It's easy to make people like yourself buy the EEZ and sanctuary canards and that would be the other part of Sea Shepherd's justification and strategy.

But you hit the nail on the head Dave when you said "Japanese won't treat them with kid gloves in domestic waters like they do in the Antarctic" That is exactly right Japanese domestic waters are Japan's, the southern ocean is not Japans yet they want to treat it as their own and disrespect the wishes of the countries in that region. UNDERSTAND!

No, you understand: those are international waters, and the Japanese have every bit as much right to do what they want in them as the Australians do.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

@Brandon LaBeet:

This was rejected by the IWC's scientific commity as a scientific impossibility.

Show me their statement to that effect.

Lol, you got to be S#$#ing me if you call the Japanese whalers researchers. They're as much researchers as seal clubbers in Canada.

Let me guess - you have something against the seal hunt too.

It is not a belief, Australia is taking Japan to court and the US has openly stated opposition to Japans activities.

Withot a legal leg to stand on, it's still nothing but a belief.

It's really very simple. If you think the whalers are breaking any laws, quote me the laws.

Here's an article citing the sunday times undercover investigation (I can't believe you're not competent enough to just look it up on your own) http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2010/06/japanese-officials-bribe-for-w.html

I can't believe you expect me to lend you any credibility when you want me to do your homework for you.

You're attaching sea shepherd to political parties, that's completely asinine

I'm doing no such thing.

Face it, the new face of the IWC is anti whaling,and it's going to stay that way. The IWC may have started for a different reason and objective, but it's going to stay anti whaling now.

Well then, that's too bad. They have no credibility that way.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

The Japanese press release specifically cited dangerous Sea Shepherd attacks as the reason for halting the hunt

lol Are you taking gullible pills, or does it just come naturally? The Japanese press, as Spidapig told you, simply parrots the official line on all things whaling. The icr also claimed the 'research' had been called off because 'the continued illegal attacks and sabotage by Sea Shepherd'. And if the icr says it's so, you can safely bet your life savings it's the opposite.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

@SquidBert:

Read the article. Clancy says it pretty well: The killing is frankly not needed for the research, but it's a good enough excuse and payback for when the USA reneged on its deal to get Japan to play along with the 1980s moratorium.

From the article:

it is a political decision that is perhaps deceitful from the West's perspective; but a decision equal to that of political maneuvering in the application of the 1982 moratorium and more likely less deceitful than U.S. economic threats against Japan (which were never overturned once Japan eventually agreed to the moratorium).

Actually, maybe you should read the article and actually try to grasp what Clancy's saying, because it sounds like you haven't quite done so.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

@Dave You can check the population estimates yourself for Humpback whales. You will never see it say a population increase of 14 % let alone 16. You can read similar statements from multiple websites. For further information you'd have to purchase the document.

Quote a law? Madrid protocol, Antarctic whale sanctuary, moratorium on whaling, hell they even lost ship registry once for illegal transportation of whale meat. Remember the Oriental blue bird?

Lol, you haven't done any homework, you just keep asking me things, I find your comment completely hilarious.

I brought up Japans corruption of the IWC, and you bring up sea shepherd for no apparent reason other then a political agenda, um, yeah you are.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Here are some fun things that the IWC scientific committee has said about Japans whaling program

ALSO NOTING that some humpback whales which will be targeted by JARPA II belong to small, vulnerable breeding populations around small island States in the South Pacific and that even small takes could have a detrimental effect on the recovery and survival of such populations;

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It painfully obvious that Japan is hunting out of spite since IWC had not lifted the moratorium and dragged their feet insisting that there was still NOT ENOUGH PROOF based on various demographic and dispersal patterns of the subject whale population to resume hunting. Those data cannot be obtained without lethal research AKA hunting the whales.

So it's just a farce on the IWC part and Japan is just playing along until IWC execute it's obligation as the representing international regulatory body for whale hunting.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If the Whaling industry collapsed where would ex-politicians be able to find work?

It's a corrupt boys club bastardizing one of the most pristine wilderness areas in the World and it needs to stop.

Tradition - What tradition?

Science -What Science?

If Japan wants to hunt whales why don't they hunt their own in their own waters?

I know the answer why hunt you own when you can hunt somebody elses!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Let's all settle down with some nice hoya and namako and some beers and chill out for a bit, shall we? Then we can pick up again where we left off.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

BOTTOM LINE IS THIS:

Japan set its quota at 850 minke whales and 10 fin whales. The IWC has agreed that an annual take of 2000 Antarctic minke whales for 100 years would “not adversely affect stocks.”

Japan is taking LESS THAN HALF of the amount that would still "NOT ADVERSELY AFFECT STOCKS".

Suck it.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

The Japanese government gets furious when a Chinese (or just any other nation) fishing vessel gets into their waters and say "dame dame". But then it's OK for them to go somewhere else to fish and ask "why are we getting blocked?".

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Dave Rideough

Dave a couple of things here, l take it that by the aggressive response l must have hit a nerve, either that or you have no better argument and just resort to aggression schoolyard bully style. And the other thing your not going by a different username are you as your posts sound remarkably like david@tokyo. Same arguments, same aggression, same inability to see anyone elses point?

"There has been countries that have joined that are anti whaling but there has been equally a number that have joined that are pro whaling including countries that dont even have a coastline. So your point is fairly mute there." No, that is my point. You just refuse to see it from the other side.

Oh ok so l cant see it from the other side. If you read my point again l actually acknowledged that there have been some countries join the anti whaling camp recently that have no history of whaling as there have been several that have joined the pro whaling side. Its amusing though that some of those that have joined the pro whaling side openly admit doing so in response to aid from Japan. As for people not seeing it from the other side l think its you struggling there buddy if you actually read my posts.

I wrote "press release". Press release. You know, those official statements that people and organizations put out for the media? God, is your reading comprehension really that bad that you directly quote me and still don't have any clue what you're reading?

A so you say press release and l said japanese press oops my mistake. Just because a Japanese organisation puts out a press RELEASE then it must be 100% factual then its not like the group in question the JWA & ICR have a vested interest in telling their spin on the story true? Must be true as they said it, its not like a Japanese organisation to spin the truth to their advantage and make them look good and others bad. Oh lets see TEPCO, Olympus, J Government, are just a few examples of organisations that have put out false press releases to make themselves look good but the whalers wouldnt do that now would they. Good for you Dave....

Why don't we break the windows of your car and throw some flares in and see how you like it.

Because Dave a car unlike a ships deck is flammable anyone with a shred of intellegence knows that. Steel decks on ships with no flammables and oh didnt they have high pressure hoses firing too at that time. Now thats a big difference to a car my friend, maybe pick a better analogy next time.

The whale sanctuary and EEZ claims are invalid. The whale sanctuary was created in violation of the ICRW and the Australian Antarctic Territory is not an actual territory per the Antarctic Treaty System. But you are partly right. It's easy to make people like yourself buy the EEZ and sanctuary canards and that would be the other part of Sea Shepherd's justification and strategy.

So the whale sanctuary is invalid hey? Did it pass a vote in the IWC? Yes. Is Japan a member of the IWC? Yes. Japan just doesnt like it. If there are as many whales as Japan claims then what is the harm of having a sanctuary? Oh and maybe you should read the IWC charter as it states that "The Commission may amend from time to time the provisions of the Schedule by adopting regulations with respect to the conservation and utilization of whale resources, fixing (a) protected and unprotected species; (b) open and closed seasons; (c) open and closed waters, including the designation of sanctuary areas" Notice the last part INCLUDING THE DESIGNATION OF SANCTUARY AREA'S and thats what they did. So how is that invalid. As for the EEZ, Australia's claim predates the Antarctic Treaty by oh about 100 years and the ATS actually states if you care to read it that by signing it any claims that predate (as Australia's does) the ATS are not adversly affected by the signing and still stand.

No, you understand: those are international waters, and the Japanese have every bit as much right to do what they want in them as the Australians do.

Actually part of them are a whale sanctuary as deemed by the IWC to which Japan is a signatory (not that treaties mean much as Japans history amply shows), also part is a claimed EEZ by a foreign country. Now Japan doesnt recognise that claim l agree just as China doesnt recognise Japans claim on the Senkaku's yet Japan demands that China abide by its EEZ and does so at gun point yet Japan freely tramples another countries claim and has the gaul to send a military vessel to assist with it illegal activities.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Japan has been backed into a corner and it may be the case that it has been compelled into killing whales during its scientific research in an attempt to save its whaling industry from collapse.

And therein lies the truth. A whaling industry is a commercial enterprise, thus making it illegal under the rules of the IWC, does it not? A spade is a spade, a sham is a sham and BS is BS!

I grew up on the east coast of Oz. When I was a kid (some 40 odd years ago) we never saw whales cos at that time many countries were still hunting whales commercially and had been for many centuries. Now, however, whales of many species are common sight all up and down the east and west coasts of Australia, including Orcas, which was unheard of in the last century. The whale watching industry in Australia is a multi-million dollar industry and plays a major part in supporting the tourism industry in Australia. Yes, Japan has been singled out for their 'scientific research', which they kill, or attempt to kill, a thousand or so whales a year. The main reason for Australia's opposition to this is not just because of the tourism industry. It is because 'if' Japan starts commercial whaling in the southern oceans there is no reason for any other country (mostly Asian countries) with a so-called 'whaling culture' to start the practice again. This would result in the whales being slaughtered at huge rate and their numbers would diminish very quickly, once again. To me, Japan's continued 'research' is a very selfish and childish action that shows a total disregard to the rest of the modern world's conservation efforts and should be stopped immediately.

I still have a vivid memory of sitting in the surf off Byron Bay around 6am in the morning some 15 years ago and an 8m Humpback whale popped its head out of the water 6m away from us to check us out. We didn't even see it coming. It stared straight at us for a good 10 to 15 seconds and then just disappeared. Awesome stuff!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Brandon:

@Dave You can check the population estimates yourself for Humpback whales.

That's humpbacks. We're talking about minke.

Quote a law? Madrid protocol, Antarctic whale sanctuary, moratorium on whaling, hell they even lost ship registry once for illegal transportation of whale meat. Remember the Oriental blue bird?

Too vague, false, false and false.

Madrid Protocol: How do you think the whalers are violating it?

Antarctic Whale Sanctuary: Under the ICRW, member-states that lodge reservations to resolutions are not bound by them. Japan lodged a reservation to the creation of the Sanctuary w.r.t. minke.

Moratorium on whaling: There is no moratorium on whaling in general, only one on commercial whaling. Japan is conducting scientific whaling.

The Oriental Bluebird: Yeah, they had it registered in Panama, which technically put it in Panamanian jurisdiction instead of Japanese, and the Panamanians had a snit over it being used for whaling and threw the book at them.

Woo. Congratulations, you're one for four on a technicality.

Lol, you haven't done any homework, you just keep asking me things.

No, I have done my homework, and I don't have the time or the patience to figure out for myself where all your hare-brained speculation and misinformation comes from.

I brought up Japans corruption of the IWC, and you bring up sea shepherd for no apparent reason other then a political agenda, um, yeah you are.

Are you on crack? I never brought up Sea Shepherd. I brought up the notion of the IWC being unbalanced by an anti-whaling cabal.

Here are some fun things that the IWC scientific committee has said about Japans whaling program

"ALSO NOTING that some humpback whales which will be targeted by JARPA II belong to small, vulnerable breeding populations around small island States in the South Pacific and that even small takes could have a detrimental effect on the recovery and survival of such populations;"

Although Japan has a quota for humpbacks on paper, they haven't hunted any in decades. Who's not doing his homework again?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@Chris Jacques:

BOTTOM LINE IS THIS:

Japan set its quota at 850 minke whales and 10 fin whales. The IWC has agreed that an annual take of 2000 Antarctic minke whales for 100 years would “not adversely affect stocks.”

Japan is taking LESS THAN HALF of the amount that would still "NOT ADVERSELY AFFECT STOCKS".

Suck it.

Haha, your comment was downvoted to a rating of -4 when I read it. These people really hate seeing facts that don't jibe with their ideology.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@iceshoecream:

The Japanese government gets furious when a Chinese (or just any other nation) fishing vessel gets into their waters and say "dame dame". But then it's OK for them to go somewhere else to fish and ask "why are we getting blocked?".

Japan hunts in international waters, not territorial waters. That's a big difference.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Japan hunts in international waters, not territorial waters.

Exactly my point, they are not hunting in their waters.If they were hunting in their waters, it wouldn't be such a big deal to the international community.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It shouldn't matter if it was in international waters either since it is no man's sea.

Each nation has their say and as long as Japan is following IWC's ruling no nation does not have a saying against Japan's action.

That is the law of the INTERNATIONAL SEA.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@Spidapig24:

l take it that by the aggressive response l must have hit a nerve, either that or you have no better argument and just resort to aggression schoolyard bully style. And the other thing your not going by a different username are you as your posts sound remarkably like david@tokyo. Same arguments, same aggression, same inability to see anyone elses point?

There's no aggression in my response. That comes just about entirely from you confabulating me with this other David.

Oh ok so l cant see it from the other side. If you read my point again l actually acknowledged that there have been some countries join the anti whaling camp recently that have no history of whaling as there have been several that have joined the pro whaling side. Its amusing though that some of those that have joined the pro whaling side openly admit doing so in response to aid from Japan. As for people not seeing it from the other side l think its you struggling there buddy if you actually read my posts.

The point remains that anti-whaling zealots have no room to complain about pro-whaling collusion in the IWC when there's just as obviously also anti-whaling collusion.

A so you say press release and l said japanese press oops my mistake. Just because a Japanese organisation puts out a press RELEASE then it must be 100% factual then its not like the group in question the JWA & ICR have a vested interest in telling their spin on the story true?

I think you've lost track of what we're talking about. We're talking about the ICR stating their own reason for cutting the season short. There's nothing to lie about there.

Why don't we break the windows of your car and throw some flares in and see how you like it.

Because Dave a car unlike a ships deck is flammable anyone with a shred of intellegence knows that. Steel decks on ships with no flammables and oh didnt they have high pressure hoses firing too at that time. Now thats a big difference to a car my friend, maybe pick a better analogy next time.

Okay, so for a better analogy, you're fine with me throwing lit flares on the hood, windshield, roof, trunk, etc. of your car? By your standards that's just fine, because I guess as long as I'm not completely destroying your car I'm not damaging it at all either. At least, that's what I gather. Your zealot logic is really tough to make sense of sometimes.

The whale sanctuary and EEZ claims are invalid. The whale sanctuary was created in violation of the ICRW and the Australian Antarctic Territory is not an actual territory per the Antarctic Treaty System. But you are partly right. It's easy to make people like yourself buy the EEZ and sanctuary canards and that would be the other part of Sea Shepherd's justification and strategy.

So the whale sanctuary is invalid hey? Did it pass a vote in the IWC? Yes. Is Japan a member of the IWC? Yes. Japan just doesnt like it.

[...] Oh and maybe you should read the IWC charter as it states that "The Commission may amend from time to time the provisions of the Schedule by adopting regulations with respect to the conservation and utilization of whale resources, fixing (a) protected and unprotected species; (b) open and closed seasons; (c) open and closed waters, including the designation of sanctuary areas" Notice the last part INCLUDING THE DESIGNATION OF SANCTUARY AREA'S and thats what they did.

You're missing a critical fact: A sanctuary can not just be created by a majority vote of IWC member-states. It must be done with the approval of the IWC scientific committee. Not only was the sanctuary created without said approval, it was done against them. Thus, it's invalid.

If there are as many whales as Japan claims then what is the harm of having a sanctuary?

The harm is obvious: You hurt the whaling industry when you pointlessly pick a particularly rich swath of ocean and try to mandate that no whaling should happen there.

As for the EEZ, Australia's claim predates the Antarctic Treaty by oh about 100 years and the ATS actually states if you care to read it that by signing it any claims that predate (as Australia's does) the ATS are not adversly affected by the signing and still stand.

You're confusing territorial claims with actual territory. Despite its age, Australia's territorial claim to part of Antarctica is just that: still just a claim. So the idea that they have an EEZ around it is dubious at the very best.

No, you understand: those are international waters, and the Japanese have every bit as much right to do what they want in them as the Australians do.

Actually part of them are a whale sanctuary as deemed by the IWC to which Japan is a signatory (not that treaties mean much as Japans history amply shows), also part is a claimed EEZ by a foreign country. Now Japan doesnt recognise that claim l agree just as China doesnt recognise Japans claim on the Senkaku's yet Japan demands that China abide by its EEZ and does so at gun point yet Japan freely tramples another countries claim and has the gaul to send a military vessel to assist with it illegal activities.

Senkaku and the AAT are different situations. Japan has a good case for the ownership of the Senkaku Islands. The ATS ensures that all land in the Antarctic retains the fuzzy status of "territorial claim" rather than ever becoming actual territory, so the concept of EEZs arguably just plain doesn't apply.

And they haven't sent a "military vessel" to assist the whalers. They may be sending a Coast Guard vessel. And again, Japan's Antarctic whaling is not illegal.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I would be happy to see Japan to grow a pair and just sink the pirate ships who are putting their commercial ships and crew in danger. That is what international community is doing in the coast of Somalia too.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

@Disillusioned:

'if' Japan starts commercial whaling in the southern oceans there is no reason for any other country (mostly Asian countries) with a so-called 'whaling culture' to start the practice again. This would result in the whales being slaughtered at huge rate and their numbers would diminish very quickly, once again.

Which is why the anti-whaling cabal needs to buckle down and do some actual science and number crunching to determine what level of hunting is sustainable, and let whaling nations hunt at that level. Because all there is right now is inane bickering - "we want to hunt whales" and "screw you, we don't want you hunting whales at all", which leaves pro-whaling countries carte blanche to make their own assessments and quotas. That doesn't work out well for the whales at all.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

I wonder why Sea Shepherd or Australian government doesn't complain about Faroe Islands but only to Japan?

I wonder why some posters don't do even a minimum of checking before asking baseless questions.

http://www.seashepherd.org/news-and-media/2011/08/26/sea-shepherd-prevents-pilot-whale-bloodshed-in-the-faeroe-islands-1276

http://www.seashepherd.org/ferocious-isles/sscs-history.html

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I SUPPORT THE JAPANESE WHALERS!...

9 ( +13 / -4 )

@ Dave They're violating the madrid protocol because Japan has failed to conduct an adequate environmental impact assessment before engaging in whaling as required by the Madrid Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty

There is a moratorium on whaling, that is what it is called.

"That's humpbacks. We're talking about minke."

Well you've made it painfully obvious that you're not actually reading what I'm writing. My population estimate concerning the 14-16 percent was in relation to humpbacks, not Antarctic minkes

My statement of a 60% decline is to do with Antarctic Minkes, of which Japan is hunting a vulnerable group.

Lol "collusion"? Collusion is far far different from corruption. What the anti whaling side is doing is cooperation, Japan is conspiring in corruption. But it's funny how you so easily excuse such disgustingly illegal acts of manipulation of poor nations and the perpetuation of prostitution as a business negotiating point.

Lol, you're not connecting sea shepherd to political parties and corruption in the IWC? Oh really?

"It isn't any different from what the anti-whaling cabal is doing.

And besides, if you think it's alright for Sea Shepherd to attack people because fighting "evil barbaric whaling" is a just cause" then surely you should accept a little collusion for the just cause of negating other collusion."

Sure as hell could of fooled me, you probably fooled yourself while you were at it.

Haha, the biggest lie in the world. Japan doesn't hunt humpbacks? That's really funny. They just happen to have thee highest rate of ship strikes of humpbacks in the world, and they happen to also process them too right? There's humpback meat in the Japanese market, and it's not just because they hit them with their boats like they claim.

"The remains of a baby humpback whale, found by a GPF team at Kawana Harbor in Japan, 1981. Humpbacks had been officially "protected" since 1966, but it didn't help this baby. DNA testing shows fresh humpback meat still in Japan's markets today."

"Taking surreptitious samples from sushi restaurants and supermarket freezers two sleuthing New Zealand scientists have uncovered strong evidence of an international black market in whale meat in Japan and South Korea. Tests conducted by the University of revealed that a wide variety of whale meat is still on sale in despite a 12-year-old moratorium on whale-hunting. A piece of meat from a Japanese fish market, for example, was found to be from a type of humpback whale found only in Mexican coastal waters."

Here's a survey even done by the IWC in 2008 that showed humpback was on the Japanese menu

"ABSTRACT We report on species identification of whale-meat products purchased directly and via the Internet from commercial markets of Japan from early July 2008 to early April 2009. The total of 59 products included six species of baleen whales, humpback (n=1), fin (n=27), Bryde’s (n=1), sei (n=3), North Pacific minke (n=18) and Antarctic minke whales (n=6), and one species of beaked whale, Baird’s (n=1). The individual identity of market fin whales was considered by comparison to products purchased since scientific hunting of fin whales in the Antarctic was initiated in the austral season of 2005/06 as part of the JARPA II programme. Although only 13 fin whales have been reported in the JARPA II program with a further 2 reported as coastal bycatch, a minimum of 20 individual fin whales were represented by products on the market during this time. Only one of these individuals matched to the mtDNA sequence of a product that was purchased before 2005/06. The import of fin whales from Iceland, released from Japan customs October 2008, was excluded as a likely source of products in the survey based on date of purchase and sequence identity. To improve control of commercial whale-meat markets and estimation of illegal, unreported or undocumented (IUU) takes, we recommend that information from the Japanese and Icelandic DNA register be made available through the data availability procedure of the IWC Scientific Committee"

DO YOUR HOMEWORK, YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVEN'T

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Waht percentage of Japanese actually eat whales? Very small i am sure,.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Although I am basically against both sides on this issue, I sure wish the anti-whaling crowd would focus their emotions on some subject where so many more animals are needlessly slaughtered. The emotional appeals and arguments here, along with the failures of reading comprehension, really don't endear me to the anti-whaling crowd at all, although I find plenty of fault on both sides yet.

One thing is for certain though; without the whalers, slaughtering whales for no good reason, there would be no anti-whaler crowd to fault for anything.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"How ironic that the IWC Scientific Committee was stifled by anti-whaling nations in the formulation of the moratorium and Japan was forced to comply through intimidation."

Ummm... that's not irony. Irony would be a world-class swimmer drowning in a kiddie pool, or me asking Mr. Clancy, "Say, are you pro-whaling?"

"From the Japanese perspective, this scientific research is necessary to prove to the IWC that sustainable commercial whaling is not a threat to the survival of the species."

Yes, well... the 'Japanese perspective'. This is about as useful a reason for whaling as suggesting it's necessary to eat something to 'prove' you'll poop later. And what are they going to do if 'proven' wrong? "Oops! Ummm... Captain Tanaka, sir... that seems to have been the last one... etttooooouuu... etttouuu ne. Guess we were wrong."

nigelboy: "They do. Japan 's method of visual sighting counting is one of the best. But relying such method alone is just plain inefficient simply because whales are not census friendly so one has to estimate based on figuring out the population dynamics which include age distribution, diet, suceptible diseases, growth rate, etc. to achieve a more reliable data."

Glad their sighting method is one of the best -- hunters often do have pretty good vision, else they wouldn't be very good hunters. But according to logic, wouldn't they have to sight them first to kill them? If so how does killing them make them more 'consensus friendly' than simply spotting them if they have to spot them to kill them in the first place?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

wow, a lot of people really care about whaling!! Most other topics don't get this kind of treatment. Not sure why whaling is such a big deal, but if they vanished I probably wouldn't notice. If they stopped slaughtering other mammals like cow and pigs I would notice. I just wish people would focus on other more important issues like contaminated sea water which has to be a higher priority as that will also kill whales let alone humans in the long run.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Mr. Clancy falls for the red herring that labelling a whaling ship as a "research" vessel makes whaling research. Talk about being naive....

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@WilliB:

Mr. Clancy falls for the red herring that labelling a whaling ship as a "research" vessel makes whaling research. Talk about being naive....

It isn't painting the word "research" on the ship that makes it a research vessel. It's the fact that it's been instrumental in dozens of research papers that makes it a research vessel.

Peer reviewed journal publications from the Antarctic expedition:

http://www.icrwhale.org/JARPA91paper.html

Peer reviewed journal publications from the North Pacific expedition:

http://www.icrwhale.org/JARPNpaper.html

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Brandon LaBeet:

@ Dave They're violating the madrid protocol because Japan has failed to conduct an adequate environmental impact assessment before engaging in whaling as required by the Madrid Protocol to the Antarctic Treaty.

Says who, you?

There is a moratorium on whaling, that is what it is called.

There's a moratorium on commercial whaling. Research whaling is still permitted.

That's humpbacks. We're talking about minke.

Well you've made it painfully obvious that you're not actually reading what I'm writing. My population estimate concerning the 14-16 percent was in relation to humpbacks, not Antarctic minkes

Exactly my point. Wow, you really are confused.

My statement of a 60% decline is to do with Antarctic Minkes, of which Japan is hunting a vulnerable group.

Your 60% decline is misinformation in any case. The IUCN says there has been an apparent decline of 60% (from somewhere in the high hundreds of thousands if not the low millions, by the way). They stress that it's only an apparent decline, because over the measurement time frame, effectiveness of observation methods was reduced, the species was reclassified as two separate species and ice conditions changed. They also state that the current population is "clearly in the hundreds of thousands", which the Japanese's catch numbers - less than 1000 a year - do not significantly affect.

http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/2480/0

Lol "collusion"? Collusion is far far different from corruption. What the anti whaling side is doing is cooperation, Japan is conspiring in corruption. But it's funny how you so easily excuse such disgustingly illegal acts of manipulation of poor nations and the perpetuation of prostitution as a business negotiating point.

Wow, gotta love that hypocrisy on full display. If people are conspiring with you, it's "cooperation" but when they're conspiring against you, it's "corruption".

If you think there's something illegal about what Japan is doing, go ahead and quote me the laws.

And whatever bent you have against prostitutes, keep it out of this.

Lol, you're not connecting sea shepherd to political parties and corruption in the IWC? Oh really?

It isn't any different from what the anti-whaling cabal is doing.

And besides, if you think it's alright for Sea Shepherd to attack people because fighting "evil barbaric whaling" is a just cause" then surely you should accept a little collusion for the just cause of negating other collusion.

Sure as hell could of fooled me, you probably fooled yourself while you were at it.

I don't see me making any connection between Sea Shepherd and political parties there. I see me just bringing Sea Shepherd up because I associate you with them. I thought you're a Sea Shepherd fan because your name sounded familiar to me and your misinformation sounds like it came straight from them.

Haha, the biggest lie in the world. Japan doesn't hunt humpbacks? That's really funny. They just happen to have thee highest rate of ship strikes of humpbacks in the world, and they happen to also process them too right? There's humpback meat in the Japanese market, and it's not just because they hit them with their boats like they claim.

"The remains of a baby humpback whale, found by a GPF team at Kawana Harbor in Japan, 1981. Humpbacks had been officially "protected" since 1966, but it didn't help this baby. DNA testing shows fresh humpback meat still in Japan's markets today."

"Taking surreptitious samples from sushi restaurants and supermarket freezers two sleuthing New Zealand scientists have uncovered strong evidence of an international black market in whale meat in Japan and South Korea. Tests conducted by the University of revealed that a wide variety of whale meat is still on sale in despite a 12-year-old moratorium on whale-hunting. A piece of meat from a Japanese fish market, for example, was found to be from a type of humpback whale found only in Mexican coastal waters."

Here's a survey even done by the IWC in 2008 that showed humpback was on the Japanese menu

"ABSTRACT We report on species identification of whale-meat products purchased directly and via the Internet from commercial markets of Japan from early July 2008 to early April 2009. The total of 59 products included six species of baleen whales, humpback (n=1), fin (n=27), Bryde’s (n=1), sei (n=3), North Pacific minke (n=18) and Antarctic minke whales (n=6), and one species of beaked whale, Baird’s (n=1). The individual identity of market fin whales was considered by comparison to products purchased since scientific hunting of fin whales in the Antarctic was initiated in the austral season of 2005/06 as part of the JARPA II programme. Although only 13 fin whales have been reported in the JARPA II program with a further 2 reported as coastal bycatch, a minimum of 20 individual fin whales were represented by products on the market during this time. Only one of these individuals matched to the mtDNA sequence of a product that was purchased before 2005/06. The import of fin whales from Iceland, released from Japan customs October 2008, was excluded as a likely source of products in the survey based on date of purchase and sequence identity. To improve control of commercial whale-meat markets and estimation of illegal, unreported or undocumented (IUU) takes, we recommend that information from the Japanese and Icelandic DNA register be made available through the data availability procedure of the IWC Scientific Committee"

There you getting confused again, confabulating things. The important thing from that mass of text? : Scientists found a couple of samples of humpback (along with other whales which aren't part of this discussion) in Japanese businesses. Where did it come from? Who knows. Who knows.

The bit about Japan having the most humpback ship strikes is interesting, and I'd like to see the source, which, true to form, you didn't give up front.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK, YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVEN'T

Oh, sit down.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@smithinjapan:

@nigelboy:

They do. Japan 's method of visual sighting counting is one of the best. But relying such method alone is just plain inefficient simply because whales are not census friendly so one has to estimate based on figuring out the population dynamics which include age distribution, diet, suceptible diseases, growth rate, etc. to achieve a more reliable data.

Glad their sighting method is one of the best -- hunters often do have pretty good vision, else they wouldn't be very good hunters. But according to logic, wouldn't they have to sight them first to kill them? If so how does killing them make them more 'consensus friendly' than simply spotting them if they have to spot them to kill them in the first place?

Oh c'mon, they don't kill every whale they spot. Some of the ships used in JARPA don't even have harpoons.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This article should be titled: "Japanese whaling: How to present a biased narrative by selectively ignoring history"

1) Japanese whaling hasn't been "traditional" since Juro Oka introduced Norwegian whaling technology and methods at the start of the 20th century. There is nothing traditional about killing as many whales as possible in a single season in order to sell whale oil to western countries for margarine production -- but that's exactly what Japan's first modern whaling companies did. And traditional Japanese whaling was shore whaling in open boats -- not pelagic whaling or Antarctic whaling.

2) Some like to pretend that the ancestors of every living Japanese person were once whalers but early "traditional" whaling was limited to a few isolated coastal villages like Taiji. In fact, some parts of Japan worshiped whales and never ate them -- something commonly overlooked by those determined to insist whaling is inherently Japanese.

3) "...thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry" are not the only words in the 1946 ICRW. Some like to pretend that the IWC exists to only facilitate whaling. However, the 1946 ICRW was based on earlier agreements intended to protect whale stocks from extinction. The ICRW also gives the IWC the authority (in Article V) to declare protected species, closed seasons, off-limits areas (including sanctuaries), size limits, acceptable methods, catch quotas, and more...

4) The Japanese whaling industry has historically violated size limits, species protections, seasonal limits, all manner of quotas, and even facilitated "pirate whaling" (that's front companies with foreign labor killing whales in secret and smuggling the unreported meat to Japan)...

5) Japan first abused the 'science loophole' just after Bryde's whales were declared 'protected' by the IWC in 1976 by issuing its whalers a 'science permit' and killing over 200 protected Bryd'es whales the following season.

6) The world's whaling industries were systematically wiping out nearly all species of whales and when the public became aware of this the Save the Whales movement was formed. Activists, including Paul Watson, went after the Soviet Union, Iceland, Norway, pirate whalers, and even Australia long before interfering with Japanese whaling. Japan has NOT been singled out.

7) IWC statistics show that since the moratorium went into effect, Japan has killed endangered Fin whales, endangered Sei whales, vulnerable Sperm whales, Bryde's whales (population uncertain), common Minke whales in the North Pacific (many from the vulnerable J-stock), and Antarctic Minke whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary (this species is also in decline according to the IUCN). Not to mention more whales indiscriminately taken as bycatch and the commercial slaughter of up to 20,000 dolphins including rare beaked whales.

8) Japan also acts as the world market for whale meat by importing hundreds of tons of endangered Fin whale meat from Iceland -- a trade that would not exist otherwise and which is prohibited by the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES)

9) Only a small fraction of the Japanese population actually consumes whale meat and if not for the government including whale in compulsory school lunches most Japanese children would never know the taste of whale. According to Jun Morikawa, author of "Whaling in Japan: Power, Politics, and Diplomacy", whale meat was only ever a substitute meat during the post war recovery. When Japanese families could afford other meat, they stopped purchasing whale, even when it was cheaper.

How is industrial whaling 'cultural' when the hunting methods and locations are foreign, the animals are killed to mass produce canned meat like any other product, and hardly anyone in the country actually eats the meat?

How are protests culturally biased when anti-whaling activists have carried out campaigns against western "white countries" too?

How is a long pattern of subverting and violating international whaling regulations considered 'science' when so many scientists have openly criticized lethal research as unnecessary to manage whale stocks?

Perhaps the readers of Japan Today would be better served by authors who actually research the whaling conflict instead of publishing an opinion piece that selectively ignores the last century of whaling.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

@Animux:

1) The same could be said for a lot of other forms of hunting and isn't even an argument that can or should be addressed logically because it isn't based in logic. Japan's current whaling methods aren't traditional... so what?

2) Again, so what?

3) Yes, the IWC was given the authority to designate sanctuaries, etc. but it can't just wave a wand and do so. There are rules and procedures. These include resolutions being non-binding to member-states who lodge reservations to them, and sanctuaries requiring the consent of the Scientific Committee to be created. Of these two that I mention, the first is the main reason why it's perfectly legal for the Japanese to hunt in the SOWS, and the second is a large part of their moral justification.

4) This merits a big "so what!" When you make rules that are such an insult and a joke, they get treated as such.

6) The thing is, the world's whaling industries are not systematically wiping species out anymore. The whaling industry is something like 20x smaller than it used to be. It's just about a complete non-issue. At this point it's just a moneymaker for career activists like Watson.

7) Japan only kills a handful of endangered whales each year, and Antarctic Minke are NOT in decline according to the IUCN. The IUCN says they are apparently in decline, but stresses that it doesn't actually have any clue, because in the measurement timeframe conditions changed, observation effectiveness changed and the species was reclassified into different subspecies.

8) The Japan-Iceland whale trade is not prohibited by CITES. Both Japan and Iceland have lodged the necessary reservations to make it legal.

How is industrial whaling 'cultural' when the hunting methods and locations are foreign, the animals are killed to mass produce canned meat like any other product, and hardly anyone in the country actually eats the meat?

It's not like the stuff is just rotting in fridges. People do want to eat it, just like people still do want to hunt.

How are protests culturally biased when anti-whaling activists have carried out campaigns against western "white countries" too?

I admit I don't put much weight in the cultural motivation argument. I see it more as a matter of Sea Shepherd getting a lot of attention for the cause, and being too chicken @#$% to attack any other countries' more harmful coastal whaling operations because of fear of reprisal from their coast guards and navies.

How is a long pattern of subverting and violating international whaling regulations considered 'science' when so many scientists have openly criticized lethal research as unnecessary to manage whale stocks?

How long does a whaling commission subverted by an anti-whaling cabal need to carry on the farce of illegal and unnecessary protection?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I find this article to be a very refreshing take on the issue at hand. It is important for us to have a dialogue on such issues so that we may eventually reach an understanding that the Japanese opinion is correct. Japan's whaling is conducted under IWC guidelines and is perfectly legal. Japan has to worry about its food self-sufficiency.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Dave Rideough,

Same arguments, same aggression, same inability to see anyone elses point?

There's no aggression in my response. That comes just about entirely from you confabulating me with this other David.

There's no aggression here either, you wouldn't believe the amount of this nonsense I put up with for simply posting factual information about Japan's whaling research, and the whaling convention here. It's hardly worth it, I warn you...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Brandon LaBeet,

My population estimate concerning the 14-16 percent was in relation to humpbacks

Just FYI, you appear to have confused a estimates of an increase in population abundance within a specific area with an increase in the size of a biological population. Two different things.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Brandon,

Regarding your black market claims etc, if it's illegal to sell whale in the US, then the US authorities have the responsibility to enforce their own laws. In Japan, the whale meat can be legally sold.

And it has nothing to do with research whaling anyway. The research whaling is supposed to offload the meat for full utilisation in accordance with the whaling convention.

If anything, that whale meat is in demand in places like the US argues in favourable of regulating sustainable whaling, not mindlessly banning it without basis, as has been the case at the IWC thanks to the commercial anti-whaling industry.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Faceless1,

One thing is for certain though; without the whalers, slaughtering whales for no good reason, there would be no anti-whaler crowd to fault for anything.

But whales are slaughtered for very good reason.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

smithinjapan,

how does killing them make them more 'consensus friendly' than simply spotting them if they have to spot them to kill them in the first place?

Because the biological samples reveal information that can not be gathered simply by spotting the whale.

The IWC's own scientific committee is using data from Japan's data as an input to statistical catch-at-age models. You can confirm this for yourself if you care to read the latest IWC Scientific Committee report (around section 10 or thereabouts).

1 ( +4 / -3 )

WilliB,

Mr. Clancy falls for the red herring that labelling a whaling ship as a "research" vessel makes whaling research. Talk about being naive....

Yeah, well the IWC Scientific Committee itself is using the Japanese data, so he Clancy naive, or it it the people who believe all the commercial anti-whaling industry propaganda who are naive?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Brandon, Dave,

As for minke whale numbers, the latest IWC Scientific Committee report indicates that the estimate to be agreed next year is likely to be above 500,000 (the report is on the Whaling commission's homepage).

In any case 500,000 is more than enough for sustainable harvests of a conservative 0.4% a year (e.g. 2,000 whales say), for at least the next 5 years.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Brandon,

There's humpback meat in the Japanese market, and it's not just because they hit them with their boats like they claim.

Humpback whales have died from time to time in fixed fishing nets along the Japanese coast may be sold legally.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

AnimuX,

No one mentioned the word "traditional" in this post until your (what appears to be copy-and-paste) comment.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

More impolite comments from cleo too, and child porn, seriously, we are talking about whaling.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

This was an enlightening article. It's interesting to see that there is at least some reasoning behind the research. This has given me some context for those images of Japanese whalers holding signs saying "research" with with a bloody whale carcass next to them. Without this context, it's easy to assume the research is unfounded.

In regard to the taste of whale, I have spoken to some older Japanese people about it. Everyone I've spoken to says it doesn't taste great, but they eat it because it makes them feel "natsukashii" or nostalgic to their youth. It's not something they eat all the time, just every now and then.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

David and Dave. Thank you both for your combined comments.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Exactly my point, they are not hunting in their waters.If they were hunting in their waters, it wouldn't be such a big deal to the international community

Red herring. Can you name a nation that does not fish in international waters?

note: paraguay and mongolia do not count
1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nessie,

You can't say name countries that don't fish in international waters, then say excluding x and y... Pointless question, but let's see the Swiss would be another unless they are excluded too?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Sustainable whaling quota? Um, try zero! That is very sustainable!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@Dave R

1 & 2) The author goes to great lengths to imply anti-whaling protest is a cultural matter but fails to address the lack of cultural tradition or significance in modern Japanese whaling - ie: the protest is against whaling - not against Japanese culture

3) The IWC has, through democratic processes, established protections for just about every species of whale prior to the moratorium and a ban on factory ships - then the moratorium on commercial whaling and the southern ocean whale sanctuary - Japan has historically flouted IWC decisions and the legality of its current abuse of Article VIII is disputed. The IWC has repeatedly passed resolutions calling on Japan to stop killing whales.

Unfortunately, pro-whalers believe Japan can just kill as many whales as it likes regardless of how many international conventions prohibit the slaughter of whales or trade of whale products.

4 & 5) Japan's whaling industry has a long and sordid history of violating and subverting internationally established whaling regulations -- this lack of respect for international regulations is exactly why so many whale species were driven to extinction and shows a pattern of criminal behavior that must be taken into consideration when evaluating Japan's current stance on whaling.

6) The origin of the Save the Whales movement is important to consider - a result of the near extinction of every species of large whale except for the Minke - not the result of cultural imperialism as some falsely suggest...

7) Japan kills 100 endangered Sei whales annually. Only a pro-whalers would call that a "handful". The decision to import endangered Fin whale meat from Iceland has resulted in 273 dead Fin whales just from 2009-2010... another "handful" in the eyes of pro-whalers I suppose... one endangered whale killed for commercial profit is one too many and prohibited by the IWC and by CITES

8) Unfortunately, pro-whalers believe whaling nations can simply ignore international conventions and kill as many whales as they like regardless of the democratic decisions of the international community.

Finally, thousands of tons of the stuff IS just rotting in cold storage. As pointed out by Jun Morikawa, Japanese families stopped buying whale when they could afford other meat, even when whale was cheaper because whale meat was only ever a substitute meat during the post war recovery.

Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd took on the Soviet Union, in Soviet waters and the North Pacific, as well as Iceland, Norway, and more. Unfortunately, some like to leave these details out when they demonize Sea Shepherd and falsely claim the group only focuses on Japanese whaling.

The IWC has prohibited all whaling by democratic decision of two-thirds majority of its members in 1982 following a UN decision from 1972 also calling for a moratorium on commercial whaling. Unfortunately, pro-whalers have no respect for the democratic decisions of the international community.

Japan lost the vote on whaling. In fact, Japan lost many votes on whaling.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Correction above - driven to "near extinction"...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Disillusioned,

Sustainable whaling quota? Um, try zero! That is very sustainable!

Zero is arguably sustainable, but so is one, and so is 2,000 over 5 years for starters when we calmly and rationally consider that would be but 0.4% of the population if we take the IWC Scientific Committee at their word that the estimate agreed next year will be upwards of 500,000.

Given that the whaling convention's purpose includes serving the interests of consumers of whale products and development of the whaling industry, in addition to conservation of whale stocks, clearly a zero catch limit for even Antarctic minke whales is as inappropriate today as it has been for the past 25 years.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Animux, it's off topic, but frozen products do not "rot". Just FYI.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan was forced to call off its scientific whaling program in the Southern Ocean earlier this year due to constant attacks from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessels.

“They will have to kill us to prevent us from intervening once again,” says eco-terrorist SS founder, Capt Paul Watson.

Clancy didn't cover the eco-terrorist SS long history of violence. Sinking ships, ramming ships, launching glass bottles of acid, shooting red phosphorus flares, illegally boarding ship to issue extorsion demands, and conning senile, old hollyweird types out of millions of dollars to fund his lifestyle.

Now Watson is once again promising to get someone killed if he doesn't get way. Everyone who supports the eco-terrorist actions of Watson and his SS will be responsible for any and all injuries and deaths caused by eco-terrorist Watson's actions.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

david:

Animux made a good contribution. And, sorry, freezing does NOT stop the process of rotting, it just slows the process down.

If you don't believe, this is why even frozen goods have a "best before date".

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Generally speaking your point is true.

But specifically as for the whale meat in storage, if it were really rotted, the operators of the cold storage facilities would dispose of it, rather than hold it in storage at further cost.

Japanese cold storage facilities store millions of tonnes of various types of sea food. To describe a few thousand tonnes of whale meat as rotting (without evidence of this) illustrates an obvious bias and willingness to employ propaganda rather than fact.

I thought that poster misses the point on a number of other issues as well, to be honest.

1 & 2) Whale cuisine is a part of Japanese culture, to claim that because the "protest" is against whaling not Japanese culture is at best a semantic difference (given that whaling is the primary source of products used to supply whale cuisine).

3 & 8) The poster selectively ignored the fact that the whaling convention requires IWC Schedule amendments (for sanctuaries etc) to have, amongst other things, a scientific basis and also to take into consideration the interests of consumers of whale products and the whaling industry (obvious blanket bans on whaling fail to deliver on both these counts). The amendments were nonetheless adopted by the IWC, however the whaling convention allows the signatory states to object to any such decisions. So for this to be characterised as Japan doing "as it likes regardless" has no basis in reality, and is also well in the realm of sheer propaganda. Every nation who adhered to the whaling convention knows very well exactly what it says. It's one thing to be anti-whaling, it's another thing entirely to make out that Japan is not acting in accordance with the whaling convention.

4 & 5) This refers to behaviour by the whaling industry from years ago before I was even born. There is no doubt that there were regulatory failures in the past - but that isn't a rational reason to forever ban a legitimate activity into the future in spite of the whaling convention's own mandate.

6) The Save the Whales movement probably did have a genuine start, but today it does appear to have morphed into cultural imperialism, in my opinion also. There is no other explanation as plausible to account for the IWC's maintenance of a baseless moratorium for a quarter of a century when everyone knows that there are whale stocks that are capable of sustaining harvests.

7) Sei whales aren't endangered, Iceland's Fin whales aren't endangered. Just saying a species is endangered and saying that the IWC banned it doesn't mean it makes sense for that to be the case.

This is why the Australians are harvesting Red Listed southern bluefin tuna ("critically endangered") and exporting the fish to Japan for commercial purposes.

Examples of endangered species are the Maui dolphin around New Zealand, and the Blue whale in the Antarctic.

The whalers target neither.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

davidattokyo

1 & 2) Whale cuisine is a part of Japanese culture, to claim that because the "protest" is against whaling not Japanese culture is at best a semantic difference (given that whaling is the primary source of products used to supply whale cuisine).

David, l agree whale is a small part of Japan's food culture. And as such Japan should be able to maintain its whaling culture. They should maintain this culture in its traditional areas, and given that Antarctica is NOT a traditional Japanese whaling area then they should confine their traditional and cultural whaling to those traditional and cultural areas wouldnt you agree.

The poster selectively ignored the fact that the whaling convention requires IWC Schedule amendments (for sanctuaries etc) to have, amongst other things, a scientific basis

I will actually cede to you on this point that the sanctuary was not established based on scientific findings. However it is hard to provide scientific findings to establish a sanctuary when the data Japan provides is in the words of the scientific community "Japan's whale 'research' program fails to meet minimum standards for credible science". And the Japanese even refuse to allow its scientific findings to be scrutinised by independent review.

and also to take into consideration the interests of consumers of whale products and the whaling industry (obvious blanket bans on whaling fail to deliver on both these counts).

Once again the sanctuary is in an area that is NOT a traditional or cultural Japanese whaling area given this very important point then it shouldnt affect the Japanese whaling now should it. Both yourself and the JWA claim that the sanctuary is affecting Japanese culture and traditions in whaling. Can you please explain this to me as up until 60 years ago Japan did not whale in these areas. Given this point then a sanctuary hardly impact on Japans traditions and culture now does it.

The Save the Whales movement probably did have a genuine start, but today it does appear to have morphed into cultural imperialism, in my opinion also.

Ah the old cultural imperialism argument. When all else fails pro whaling supporters fall back onto this time and again. The only nation that is using cultural imperialism is Japan. No-one is stopping Japan whaling in its CULTURAL AND TRADITIONAL region now are they? The nations are trying to stop Japanese expansion into non traditional areas. Japan does not have a tradition or long term history of whaling in this region yet you site cultural imperialism in trying to stop Japanese expansionism. Interesting!!!!

Sei whales aren't endangered, Iceland's Fin whales aren't endangered. Just saying a species is endangered and saying that the IWC banned it doesn't mean it makes sense for that to be the case.

Um David try again. "The species remained listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2000, categorized as "endangered"" The northern species are described as not being at risk of immediate extinction but if not protected will become so. The southern species are actually listed on CITES and are at risk of extinction if trade does not cease. So to say they are not endangered is complete and utter bull and is typical pro whaling rhetoric.

This is why the Australians are harvesting Red Listed southern bluefin tuna ("critically endangered") and exporting the fish to Japan for commercial purposes.

Interesting point there David, yes Australia is catching SBT, it is doing so within the internationally set catch limits. Interestingly l notice you failed to mention that Japan also catches these fish as well. As do several other countries. I also note you failed to mention what country has been caught on numerous occasions catching over its quota, that would be Japan who caught 100,000 tonnes OVER its set quota. See they cant even stick to that quota now can they?

And yet you want the world to trust them. Now thats a joke

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

davidattokyo

Zero is arguably sustainable, but so is one, and so is 2,000 over 5 years for starters when we calmly and rationally consider that would be but 0.4% of the population if we take the IWC Scientific Committee at their word that the estimate agreed next year will be upwards of 500,000.

And how many years have we been hearing this same argument, we will have agreement on numbers next year, oh maybe next year, nope definately next year. The fact is there are no definitive numbers as yet that all parties agree upon. So after all these decades of research we are still no closer to having proper and scientifically proven numbers.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Spidapig24

So after all these decades of research we are still no closer to having proper and scientifically proven numbers.

No I think we are definitely much closer. I've been following this in the IWC SC reports for some years now and the IWC Scientific Committee should definitely produce agreed estimates next year, probably in excess of 500,000, as they eluded to in their latest report.

Irrespective, a zero catch limit is clearly inappropriate - at least "1" would be sustainable, given the units in the hundreds of thousands of whales that are being bandied about. A "zero" catch limit is unjustifiable unless the mandate of the whaling convention is completely ignored (which is a breach of the Vienna convention that treaties must be adhered to in good faith)

I am hoping that the Japanese will have this point addressed at the ICJ in their defence against Australia's allegations - a recommendation from the ICJ to the IWC to do it's job to help resolve the issue would be most welcome in bringing the whaling kerfuffle to a conclusion.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Spidapig24,

The whaling convention was established to regulate whaling in "non-traditional" international waters, for the benefit of the consumers of whale products and the development of whaling industry, an agreement amongst various nations.

In view of this together with whale cuisine's being a part of Japanese culture, I don't see a reason why these Japan should now be expected to limit their whaling to ancient Edo-era whaling grounds alone.

Indeed from my perspective as a conservationist, the Antarctic minke whale stock is best able to support commercial harvests, so if anything the Antarctic minke whale is the first stock for which commercial whaling should be permitted. This would be the most risk averse approach that meets the mandate of the whaling convention.

However it is hard to provide scientific findings to establish a sanctuary when the data Japan provides is

Well, it's not Japan that was arguing for a blanket sanctuary in the whaling grounds - the onus was on those who were for it to stump up with science to justify it. (As we know they pushed their proposals through with numbers instead of science in the end.)

in the words of the scientific community "Japan's whale 'research' program fails to meet minimum standards for credible science".

Those are the words of some scientists, but certainly not all. And it's a matter of record that biological data from Japan's programmes is utilised by the IWC's Scientific Committee for it's stock assessment work.

Can you please explain this to me as up until 60 years ago Japan did not whale in these areas. Given this point then a sanctuary hardly impact on Japans traditions and culture now does it.

I don't think we can just ignore 60 years of history like that, and from the basis of the whaling convention I see no reason to.

No-one is stopping Japan whaling in its CULTURAL AND TRADITIONAL region now are they?

I disagree. The IWC's moratorium indeed precludes Japanese whaling in Japan's own EEZ.

The nations are trying to stop Japanese expansion into non traditional areas.

They already expanded into those areas, 60 years ago, in accordance with the whaling convention, and no one complained about it for decades. Some Japanese people spent their entire working lives involved in whaling in the Antarctic. I don't see a justification to just wind back the clock and expect everyone to forget all of this suddenly.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Spidapig24,

So to say they are not endangered is complete and utter bull and is typical pro whaling rhetoric.

It's not "utter bull" at all.

Being IUCN Red Listed as "endangered" is not necessarily the same as actually being endangered. This is illustrated by Australia's SBT exploitation. (As for CITES, those listings are determined by politicians, not scientists.)

"Endangered" in IUCN Red List terminology indicates only that a species falls into a particular set of criteria, that criteria does not necessarily mean that exploitation of that species will lead the species to extinction.

That's why Australia has no qualms about commercial exploitation of "critically endangered" SBT - despite this listing I recall seeing a quote from a top IUCN scientist (P. Mace IIRC) agreeing that SBT was not at immediate risk of extinction of something to similar effect, hence I don't have issues with Australia's behaviour - except for their hypocritical criticism of Japan for taking a few "endangered" fin whales for research.

Interesting point there David, yes Australia is catching SBT, it is doing so within the internationally set catch limits. Interestingly l notice you failed to mention that Japan also catches these fish as well. As do several other countries.

But if we are concerned about conservation, if it were truly bad to harvest IUCN red list "critically endangered" species, Australia ought to stop (as well as all of them).

But as you note, SBT is managed internationally (by the CCSBT). Just as are whales are supposed to be (by the IWC).

So it's the same thing, but Australia employs double standards, commercially exploiting "critically endangered" species while criticising Japan for extremely limited research catches of "endangered" fin whales.

I also note you failed to mention what country has been caught on numerous occasions catching over its quota,

It was the Japanese SBT fishing industry that was found to have caught over it's quota, not the Japanese whaling industry, and that issue has already been dealt with some years ago - the SBT fisheries regulatory systems were given a big overhaul in response to it. This is exactly what should happen - where regulatory systems fail, they ought be corrected (as opposed to banning everyone from doing something forever).

SBT aren't whales though, systems ought be established as appropriate for different types of fisheries.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

davidattokyo

The whaling convention was established to regulate whaling in "non-traditional" international waters, for the benefit of the consumers of whale products and the development of whaling industry, an agreement amongst various nations.

Hang on a minute, we are specifically refering to whaling in the southern ocean here. And you claim that the ban is cultural imperialism. No one is stopping Japan whaling in its territorial waters (research whaling for example). To make the claim as you did of cultural imperialism when we are discussing southern ocean whaling would suggest a history and tradition of such whaling which is false.

In view of this together with whale cuisine's being a part of Japanese culture, I don't see a reason why these Japan should now be expected to limit their whaling to ancient Edo-era whaling grounds alone.

Funny but both you and JWA claim (again you seem to repeat word for word) that whale meat and whaling are part of Japans culture and tradition and the "anglo saxon west (as JWA refers to them)" are stopping that tradition. Well l say keep the tradition alive by all means, however do as the Russians, Canadians, Americans, Icelanders, Indonesians do. They all have traditional whaling and they maintain their whaling to traditional grounds. It Japan who claims a tradition yet wants to carry out that tradition in a non traditional area.

I don't think we can just ignore 60 years of history like that, and from the basis of the whaling convention I see no reason to.

Ah so 60 years makes a tradition and a culture now does it. Funny how when a point you use to back your argument is refuted you then change it around. You and the JWA both consistently claim tradition and culture, l am agreeing however 60 years does not make tradition and culture. If you want to use the tradition and culture argument then it must be confined to Japanese coastal whaling because Japan does not have a tradition or a culture of whaling in the Southern ocean. You need to chose which way you want it as you cant argue it both ways.

I disagree. The IWC's moratorium indeed precludes Japanese whaling in Japan's own EEZ.

Fine conduct scientific whaling (oh wait they do JARPA) is conducted in the northern hemisphere, oh does SS intervene there? NOPE. Is Australia outraged when they whale there? NOPE. See where lm heading David.

They already expanded into those areas, 60 years ago, in accordance with the whaling convention, and no one complained about it for decades. Some Japanese people spent their entire working lives involved in whaling in the Antarctic. I don't see a justification to just wind back the clock and expect everyone to forget all of this suddenly.

Oh thats right 60 years makes a tradition in your eyes.... HMMM

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

davidattokyo

Being IUCN Red Listed as "endangered" is not necessarily the same as actually being endangered. This is illustrated by Australia's SBT exploitation. (As for CITES, those listings are determined by politicians, not scientists.)

Oh so to be called endangered by CITES doesnt mean they are endangered, so who would you believe to call them endangered JWA or ICR maybe? Face facts David they are declared endangered they are listed as endangered and the only people who believe otherwise are those that want to hunt them. I suppose you dont think elephants and rhinos are endangered either as they are on the CITES list too?

"Endangered" in IUCN Red List terminology indicates only that a species falls into a particular set of criteria, that criteria does not necessarily mean that exploitation of that species will lead the species to extinction.

Yeah ok... So something is endangered and there are only 2000 left in the northern hemisphere but you think its ok to continue hunting them and you want Japan to be allowed to resume commercial whaling. That statement my friend says it all.

But as you note, SBT is managed internationally (by the CCSBT). Just as are whales are supposed to be (by the IWC).

Ah yes and which country abides by the rules (Australia) and which country blatantly ignores the rules and takes 100,000 tonnes in excess of the quota for 1 year? That would be Japan, the same country that you argue is able to be trusted to resume commercial whaling. David 100,000 tonnes per year the Japanese exceed their quota of a listed endangered species. I notice you make no mention of that at all and continue to just concentrate on Australia who takes only their quota. Thats 100,000 reasons Japan cant be trusted David.

It was the Japanese SBT fishing industry that was found to have caught over it's quota, not the Japanese whaling industry, and that issue has already been dealt with some years ago - the SBT fisheries regulatory systems were given a big overhaul in response to it. This is exactly what should happen - where regulatory systems fail, they ought be corrected (as opposed to banning everyone from doing something forever).

Yes David it was the Japanese SBT fishing industry and what makes them any more trustworthy than the JWA after all they are both Japanese and Japan has a bad track record of following rules it doesnt like.

SBT aren't whales though, systems ought be established as appropriate for different types of fisheries.

YEAH!!! Lets see Japan ignores SBT rules and over fishes despite being a signatory, Japan ignores IWC requests despite being a signatory, bit of a trend there isnt there. Japan just being Japan

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@Spidapig24:

Nessie,

You can't say name countries that don't fish in international waters, then say excluding x and y... Pointless question, but let's see the Swiss would be another unless they are excluded too?

No, it's a perfectly valid rhetorical question, the point being that whales are not any more of a conservation concern than fish. In fact, today, fish are even more of a conservation concern than whales. Bluefin tuna, anybody?

@Animux:

1 & 2) The author goes to great lengths to imply anti-whaling protest is a cultural matter but fails to address the lack of cultural tradition or significance in modern Japanese whaling - ie: the protest is against whaling - not against Japanese culture.

Modern culture is to an extent the evolution of tradition. Whaling is part of the Japanese culture, period. Your argument that it is not is a distraction.

3) The IWC has, through democratic processes, established protections for just about every species of whale prior to the moratorium and a ban on factory ships - then the moratorium on commercial whaling and the southern ocean whale sanctuary - Japan has historically flouted IWC decisions and the legality of its current abuse of Article VIII is disputed. The IWC has repeatedly passed resolutions calling on Japan to stop killing whales.

We've already discussed how the IWC democracy is a farce.

Unfortunately, pro-whalers believe Japan can just kill as many whales as it likes regardless of how many international conventions prohibit the slaughter of whales or trade of whale products.

Unfortunately, anti-whalers believe that there's nothing wrong with emotionally motivated conventions lacking proper basis in conservation science.

4 & 5) Japan's whaling industry has a long and sordid history of violating and subverting internationally established whaling regulations -- this lack of respect for international regulations is exactly why so many whale species were driven to extinction and shows a pattern of criminal behavior that must be taken into consideration when evaluating Japan's current stance on whaling.

That's a blatant lie. Whale species were driven to extinction in the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century, before the ICRW, IWC and moratorium existed to be flouted by the Japanese. Americans and Europeans are to blame for the extinction of some species of whale, not the Japanese.

7) Japan kills 100 endangered Sei whales annually. Only a pro-whalers would call that a "handful". The decision to import endangered Fin whale meat from Iceland has resulted in 273 dead Fin whales just from 2009-2010... another "handful" in the eyes of pro-whalers I suppose... one endangered whale killed for commercial profit is one too many and prohibited by the IWC and by CITES.

As I've already told you, Japan and Iceland have the relevant reservations to IWC and CITES for the species they hunt and trade.

Sure, the size of the Japanese and Icelanders' sei and fin quotas is a bit of a cause for concern, but again, that's why a rational approach needs to be taken toward sustainable whaling, not this zero quota farce.

8) Unfortunately, pro-whalers believe whaling nations can simply ignore international conventions and kill as many whales as they like regardless of the democratic decisions of the international community.

Unfortunately, anti-whalers believe that there's nothing wrong with emotionally motivated conventions lacking proper basis in conservation science.

Finally, thousands of tons of the stuff IS just rotting in cold storage. As pointed out by Jun Morikawa, Japanese families stopped buying whale when they could afford other meat, even when whale was cheaper because whale meat was only ever a substitute meat during the post war recovery.

We're talking about the national stock of a country of 130 million that serves the stuff in school lunches. A few thousand tons is just a buffer stock.

Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd took on the Soviet Union, in Soviet waters and the North Pacific, as well as Iceland, Norway, and more. Unfortunately, some like to leave these details out when they demonize Sea Shepherd and falsely claim the group only focuses on Japanese whaling.

And after suffering the consequences of their vigilanteism in national waters - depth charges, being shot at, boardings, arrests and seizures, etc., they lost their spine. Most of the countries that Sea Shepherd has attacked still whale just as they did before Sea Shepherd arrived on the scene.

The fact of the matter is, Sea Shepherd only attacks Japan because they're an easy target, not because their whaling activities are especially bad.

The IWC has prohibited all whaling by democratic decision of two-thirds majority of its members in 1982 following a UN decision from 1972 also calling for a moratorium on commercial whaling. Unfortunately, pro-whalers have no respect for the democratic decisions of the international community.

We've already discussed plenty how the democracy in the IWC is a joke.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Some continue to ignore the history of modern whaling and reality in general in these comments...

For example, some suggest the Antarctic Sanctuary is not 'scientific' despite the preceding decades where scientists advised reduced quotas that went ignored and saw every species of whale decimated (other than the minke - and the IUCN which has data that suggests the Antarctic minke may have declined 50% in the last three generations) - not to mention the separate IWC decisions for protection of various stocks of whales and banning the use of factory ships.

Here is some commentary from an actual IWC scientist regarding the Southern Ocean and the history of commercial whaling nations that ignored scientific advice:

"Most importantly it's exactly eighty years since the eminent Argentine international lawyer, José Leon Suárez, proposed to the League of Nations that a sanctuary for whales be established in the Antarctic. Suarez reported that if nothing were done the fin, blue and humpback whales would be practically exterminated in the Southern Hemisphere. That took rather longer than he thought it would, but it had happened by 1959.

Then the sei whale resource was plundered in the 1960s.

Demolition of the minke whales was begun in the 1970s.

The biomass of the still numerous minke whales is less than one percent of the biomass of the Southern Hemisphere baleen whales at the time Suarez reported to the League of Nations. Think about that. We're talking endlessly about how to sweep up the crumbs left on the table after the feast. If anything's dysfunctional, that's it."

-- Dr. Sidney Holt, Marine biologist and former IWC scientific committee member

In that statement to the IWC, Dr. Holt goes on to explain that improvement in scientific knowledge of whales, non-lethal methods of study, and non-lethal use of whales justifies and end to commercial whaling.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"Modern culture is to an extent the evolution of tradition. Whaling is part of the Japanese culture, period. Your argument that it is not is a distraction." According to Jun Morikawa, the importance of whaling as "tradition" is invented and does not exist outside of a few isolated coastal villages.

The historical evidence is plentiful... as previously posted:

Modern Japanese whalers do not use traditional methods. They kill whales using Norwegian methods for mass production.

Most Japanese people do not eat whale meat and whale was only a substitute meat during the post war recovery. In fact, Japan's modern whaling industry first profitted from selling whale oil to western countries for production of margarine in the early 20th century.

Some regions of Japan historically worshiped whales and never ate them -- a fact overlooked by pro-whalers keen to falsely imply that every ancestor of Japanese people was once a whaler.

The fact is that whaling today is carried out because of bureaucrats (amakudari) who often take high paid positions in the commercial whaling industry they once oversaw, and secured tax funded subsidies, for as public officials.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Pro-whalers often make odd claims about opposition to whaling being entirely emotional, in addition to their other odd claims about opposition to whaling being entirely cultural.

In order to do this, they must ignore all of the scientists and conservationists who have made reasonable arguments against whaling as well as the historical decimation of whale stocks all over the world during the 20th century by commercial whaling industries.

However, the only truly emotional argument is that made by the whalers.

There is no scientific need to kill whales. There is no economic need to kill whales. There is no nutritional need to kill whales.

So, pro-whalers resort to emotional arguments.

They claim they must kill whales for tradition when only a tiny fraction of the population actually eats whale meat, traditional methods of hunting aren't used, and the hunting doesn't take place in traditional places.

They claim they must hunt whales for science. However, scientists all over the world, including in the IWC scientific committee, have repeatedly condemned Japan's lethal research and shown that whale stocks can be adequately studied with non-lethal methods.

And when all else fails, they claim victim status, as if the third largest economy in the world and its national government is under threat from a menacing boogeyman of the outside world.

These pro-whaling claims are not reasonable or rational.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Spidapig24,

Your comments about culture is already covered in my previous comment at Nov. 15, 2011 - 02:42PM JST.

Although you claim SS and Australia don't oppose Japanese whaling in the northern hemisphere, such a claim doesn't reconcile with the reality that SS is in Taiji opposing Japanese whaling and Australia notes in it's application to the ICJ that it does oppose Japanese whaling in the northern hemisphere (I can give you the link to this if you like, or you can go read it on the ICJ homepage for yourself)

The point about the IUCN listings is, if I try to put it as simply as possible, the management bodies for the SBT fishery (CCSBT) and whale fisheries (IWC) have their own scientific committees to provide advice specifically about the stocks of marine resources being exploited. The IUCN Red Listings are just generic listings that aren't relevant as far as species under management are concerned. This is why Australia exploits "critically endangered" SBT for commercial purposes in accordance with the CCSBT rules and Japan catches a few "endangered" Fin whales for research in accordance with IWC rules. If IUCN Red Listing a species as "endangered" meant it should not be hunted, then clearly Australia wouldn't be commercially exploiting SBT. Given that Australia does this, it should be obvious enough that a few fin whale catches for research purposes should not automatically be considered unacceptable without due consideration.

And you haven't offered any reason why Japan should be expected to forgoe it's rights under the whaling convention to harvest whale resources from international waters, which is in accordance with the mandate of the whaling convention, as well as Japan's culture which includes whale cuisine, other than to ignore 60 years of history including several decades in which no one was complaining about the Japanese harvesting whales in the Antarctic whaling grounds.

So something is endangered and there are only 2000 left in the northern hemisphere

I have no idea what species you could be refering to. Species that Japan is looking at in the northern hemisphere number in the 10's of thousands.

Ah yes and which country abides by the rules (Australia) and which country blatantly ignores the rules and takes 100,000 tonnes in excess of the quota for 1 year? That would be Japan, the same country that you argue is able to be trusted to resume commercial whaling.

Yes David it was the Japanese SBT fishing industry and what makes them any more trustworthy than the JWA after all they are both Japanese

You are mixing up two entirely different industries, purely on the basis of people involved in those two industries both consisting of Japanese people. This line of argumentation isn't convincing to me (and I imagine many others).

I notice you make no mention of that at all

You must not have read / understood my comment at Nov. 15, 2011 - 06:47PM JST

Japan just being Japan

I think this sums up where you are coming from nicely.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Dave Rideough

Modern culture is to an extent the evolution of tradition.

Well put. I can't understand why some people expect others to think that history suddenly stops at some point in time and culture ends there, for all eternity - even to the extent that years covering the working careers of two generations can be swept under the carpet like it never happened.

Americans and Europeans are to blame for the extinction of some species of whale, not the Japanese.

Indeed, I hesistated to mention it earlier, but perhaps if the Americans hadn't brought their black whaling ships along to Japan at the end of the Edo era and decimated Japan's local whale stocks, Japan may never have found it necessary to head to the Antarctic in search of new whale stocks to exploit to satisfy their cultural needs.

Sea Shepherd only attacks Japan because they're an easy target

Bingo. If Japan toughed up and took no nonsense ala Canada Iceland and Norway SS would be out of business in a flash.

AnimuX,

Despite the claims of Sidney Holt (who has a curious history as an IWC delegate for a certain nation in the 1980's), the IWC's own scientific committee to this very day is utilising biological data from Japan's research programmes in it's stock assessement work.

The fact is that whaling today is carried out because of bureaucrats (amakudari) who often take high paid positions in the commercial whaling industry they once oversaw, and secured tax funded subsidies, for as public officials.

Mmmm, Greenpeace Japan tried to tell the Japanese public that, but then the Japanese public (like me) generally know that whale is a type of food that can be found on the menus in Japan.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Unfortunately, some pro-whalers continue to ignore the history of modern whaling and assert opinions as if they were facts.

As previously mentioned, they emotionally claim that Japan must kill whales for tradition and culture despite that most Japanese people don't eat whale, the whaling is performed using Norwegian methods for mass production (not tradition), and pelagic whaling is often performed thousands of miles away from Japan when traditional whaling was only ever conducted near-shore.

They go on to take liberty with the history of modern whaling and suggest that American whalers took all of the whales in Japan's waters while ignoring the fact that Japan's own modern whaling industry rose at the start of the 20th century with Norwegian whaling gear (and even Norwegian whalers as crew), grew very quickly profiting from sales of whale oil to western countries for margarine production, exhausted stocks in traditional hunting grounds, expanded into new territory as Japan's naval power grew, and began exploiting whale stocks as far away as Antarctica into the 1930s.

They also conveniently ignore the long history of Japan's whaling industry defying international whaling regulations including exceeding quotas, hunting out of season, killing undersized and protected whales, hunting in areas declared off-limits, and even facilitating "pirate whaling" operations all over the world (that's front companies with foreign labor killing whales in secret and smuggling the unreported meat to Japan). Indeed, Japan's modern whaling history is complicit in the destruction of the world's whales and continues to kill endangered species in defiance of international resolutions to this day.

Dr. Sidney Holt was a member of the IWC "Committee of Three" from 1960 to 1985 and continued to advise nations and NGOs in the years following. It is true that IWC scientists refer to data presented by Japan as they are obligated to do so. However, Japan's continued use of lethal research programs have been criticized by scientists within and outside of the IWC as unnecessary to manage whale stocks and flawed.

Professor Jun Morikawa, author of "Whaling in Japan: Power, Politics, and Diplomacy" has explained that Japanese whaling continues because bureaucrats (amakudari) who often take high paid positions in the commercial whaling industry they once oversaw, and secured tax funded subsidies for, as public officials. That whale meat was only a substitute meat during the post WWII recovery, and that the significance of whaling as national culture in Japan is invented where whaling traditions are limited to a small number of coastal villages.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

They go on to take liberty with the history of modern whaling and suggest that American whalers took all of the whales in Japan's waters while ignoring the fact that Japan's own modern whaling industry rose at the start of the 20th century with Norwegian whaling gear

The American whalers had moved in to the Japan grounds prior to the 20th century.

Re-supplying their whaling vessels was one of the primary reasons the Americans wished to gained access to Japan back at the end of the Edo-era (circa 1854).

It's no sheer co-incidence that hundreds of years of stable Japanese coastal whaling started to fall into decline around this time, which is what ultimately led the Japanese whalers to seek to import foreign methods for pelagic whaling.

The constant throughout? Whale cuisine is a part of Japanese culture. The methods used to obtain whale meat changed according to circumstances, and skipping out huge chunks of historical facts such as the above does not change them.

It is true that IWC scientists refer to data presented by Japan as they are obligated to do so.

It's more than just referencing. Biological data provided by Japan is a key input to the ongoing SCAA modeling work being done for Antarctic minke whale stock assessment (it's all in the latest IWC Scientific Committee report). Without this data from the research programme, the data series would have ended with the data from final commercial whaling catches.

The IWC scientific committee is "obligated" to use the data only in the sense that, if they didn't, they wouldn't have any data to use for their ongoing SCAA work.

The IWC Scientific Committee has a purpose, and that is to provide scientific advice to the IWC such that it may take decisions in the interest of the mandate of conserving whale stocks while making for the development of whaling industry.

There is no doubt that whaling industry in many countries flouted international rules in the IWC's early years. But as it stands, the IWC still exists, and there are still nations who wish to see it fulfil it's mandate. Mistakes made decades ago are not a valid reason to deny this, and clearly a non-zero catch quota for Antarctic minke whales is required for the IWC to be seen to be fulfilling it's mandate.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Readers, you are going around in circles again, rehashing the same arguments. From here on, posts that are repetitive will be removed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Animux:

Thank you for explanation of the Norwegian based technology used for Japanese whaling. So at least this part of using strong engine powered ships and sailing long distances from the home country is not Japanese, but Norwegian culture.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It seems the difference in view points expressed here stems from whether one believes technology is the same thing as culture or not.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Begs the question have the Japanese modified Nisshin Maru to comply with the new rules that came into affect this year regarding the use of heavy fuel oil in the Antarctic waters or is it just another rule that they will disagree with hence ignore and do as they please.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Spidapig24.

Heavy diesel is just one of the new conditions that ships need to adhere to now and that includes all vessels(Japan, etc).

How is the (Brigitte Bardot renamed Gojira, doing after SSCS got hit with the law-suit on copy-right infringement)?

Steve Irwin, etc all ready to comply with new regulations?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It"S ME

Heavy diesel is just one of the new conditions that ships need to adhere to now and that includes all vessels(Japan, etc).

You are correct, another new condition bans the dumping of waste etc in these waters (which will also be an issue for the whalers), It also bans refuelling at sea in the region which the Japanese ignored a couple of years ago and got in trouble for (infact the vessel that refuelled them was stripped of its flag)

Steve Irwin, etc all ready to comply with new regulations?

Steve Irwin was built with diesel engines (British Polar engines) not heavy oil unlike the Nisshin Maru which up until last year was still using heavy oil fuelled engines.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Nice reply.

But you totally ignore all the other criteria I mentioned/hinted at. And it is known that many SSCS vessels can't fulfill those without mods.

So we will see reduced fleets from all sides very soon.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@spida

You can't say name countries that don't fish in international waters, then say excluding x and y... Pointless question, but let's see the Swiss would be another unless they are excluded too?

My point was to limit it to non-landlocked countries. I think it's fair to assume that landlocked countries are not going to be doing much fishing in international waters -- or any ocean waters, for that matter.

In other words, countries with fishing industries fish in international waters. It's hardly unusual.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Nessie - My point was to limit it to non-landlocked countries. I think it's fair to assume that landlocked countries are not going to be doing much fishing in international waters -- or any ocean waters, for that matter.

In other words, countries with fishing industries fish in international waters.

All nations are entitled to use international waters. A "whaling" organization (the IWC) was formed to properly maintain whaling stocks for future use. Later, animal-rights zealots (WWF) began recruiting non-whaling, non-member nations to become members of the organization to influence the voting. Currently that "whaling" organization is stymied because it can not reach a majority decision. The IWC cannot ban it's own members from the organization.

There are many animal-rights groups who object to all whaling but there is only one that believes that eco-terrorism and violence is the way to accomplish that and that is the eco-terrorist Watson and his SS. Even Greenpeace refuses to have any dealings with the eco-terrorist SS because of their repeated and documented acts of violence.

The Australian Green party is using the Australia government to allow the eco-terrorist to operate from Australian ports. The Australian Greens are promoting violence. Everyone who supports the eco-terrorist Watson and his SS are promoting violence.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

finally an article that goes beyond the usual whiny tone of standard anti whaling opinions. Whether you like it or not, even some of us foreigners go to whaling restaurants in Japan. I chose to live here, no one forced me to, and I try the things that are different from my own country on my own choice. The whaling issue is more about cultural understanding and overcoming ignorance than about anything else. I wish people could just relax and appreciate the good time we have getting to know the Japanese culture than picking something out to randomly bash about. chill people, peace out!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

good article, props to the author for being so honest. This anti whaling crap is for lifestyle good-feel that is far too simple for a complex truth. Don't bitch about whaling, GET A LIFE!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Where I live in Japan, there are quite a few people into local whaling. They hunt whales just off the shore. In my local train station you can get local whale bento, and there are a couple of whale restaurants. I think it is great. If they were to listen to anti whalers, they would be out of a job and a culture would be lost. Maintain your pride and dignity. Do not let anyone tell you what not to eat Japan.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Dotobock,

No one is telling you what not to eat in Japan, no-one is trying to stop you whaling in your waters. Read the article its about whaling around Antarctica which is about 10,000 km from you shoreline. That is the issue, keep your culture just keep it in Japanese waters.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Whatever. People can hunt fish whales in international waters. This means, if Australia wants to hunt whales they can too.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Spidapig24 - No one is telling you what not to eat in Japan, no-one is trying to stop you whaling in your waters. Read the article its about whaling around Antarctica which is about 10,000 km from you shoreline. That is the issue, keep your culture just keep it in Japanese waters.

International water is still international water.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

arrestpaul

International water is still international water.

Do me a favour and try rereading the post l responded to. Dotobock was commenting on Japanese whaling just off the coast of Japan i.e. within the Japanese waters. Dotobock while refering to those areas mentioned that if anti whalers were listened to THOSE people would be out of a job and that their culture would be lost. Now please tell me where in the article it refers to whaling in these waters which is what l pointed out to Dotobock.

And yes international waters are international waters, so Australia and anyone else for that matter is free to protest Japans whaling in these waters. Especially when these international waters fall in Australia's region.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

TheNickster,

even some of us foreigners go to whaling restaurants in Japan.

Doesn't matter, anti-whalers only care about what their propaganda says.

Spidapig24,

No one is telling you what not to eat in Japan, no-one is trying to stop you whaling in your waters.

Are you not aware of: 1) SS being on the ground in Japan trying to stop whaling in Japanese waters, and 2) Australia's policy of "bringing about a permanent ban on commercial whaling world-wide"?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Is the editor of this article supporting the killing of whales? Hmmmm

@cleo

Japan was forced to call off its scientific whaling program in the Southern Ocean earlier this year due to constant attacks from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society vessels.

Wrong. Japan called off the hunt because with the SS literally sitting on the tail of the factory ship preventing carcasses being loaded for butchering the hunt came to a halt and there was no more profit to be made. If researching numbers was really so important they could still have counted whales for the rest of the season.

it may be the case that it has been compelled into killing whales during its scientific research in an attempt to save its whaling industry from collapse.

Oh give over. The whaling industry has already collapsed. The boats cannot go out without hefty government subsidies paid for by mostly non-whale-eating Japanese taxpayers, and people don't buy the stuff even at reduced prices.

Well said cleo. Yesterday my husband and I went to 2 different supermarkets. Kasumi and Yaoko and ironically we were talking about whale meat and how disgusting it looks and smells and we noticed that none of the places we went had whale meat. No fresh or canned. How pleasant!

On the other hand, we saw canned corn-beef mixed with horse meat.... YUCK!!!

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Davidattokyo,

I will repeat this for you too. The poster was refering to whaling AROUND Japan in their post which is in response to a story about whaling around ANTARCTICA. Now last time l looked Antarctica was about 10,000 km from Japan and wasnt part of Japan or its whaling culture. I was therefore pointing this out to the poster in question.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

<----- Look at my profile photo,does this look like just blocking the slipway? The sscs never found the Nisshin Maru until after they quit, the photo is of the YM, a non-lethal research ship. It might explain why all 89 member countries of the IWC unanimously voted to condemn the sscs for their violent and illegal acts. A unanimous vote in the IWC is definitely rare.

Why is Brandon stuck on the humpbacks? Japan has no permit for them and has not killed one since 1966.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Jamiesue,

So by non lethal research ship you mean the jcg manned vessel that was employed to run interference between the fleet and ss. Gotcha! Isn't that the same ship that fired high pressure water cannon at the landing helicopter a couple of seasons ago?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Jamiesue,

Having just watched the video clip from where your picture came from l can say the following:

The SS vessel was indeed closely following the Nisshin Maru, probably too closely however it was the YM running interference that caused the issues. Not to mention the fact that in the full footage shot by the J whalers the YM actually positions itself between the SS vessel and the NM even closer to both vessels than SS got. After years of the whalers complaining about SS using prop foulers it was interesting to see the whalers had on deployed from the rear of the NM. You can clearly see it streaming out behind the vessel.

Oh and that was from the footage shot by the whalers themselves not SS footage.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

davidattokyo

You twice claimed that "no one" opposes whaling in Japan's waters

David, please read "They hunt whales just off the shore" and "there are quite a few people into local whaling" this was posted this morning. This is what l was commenting on. Now given that NO WHERE in the article does it mention whaling in Japanese waters only in the SOUTHERN OCEAN this is what l was commenting on. The fact that the poster was mentioning local whaling when the article and discussion was about whaling in the Southern Ocean. Can you see the difference, as you cant l will spell it out again for you the article hence the story is about whaling in the southern ocean it doesnt mention local whaling unlike the poster. I was merely correcting that detail.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Spidapig24,

FYI, the story is about whaling more broadly, as is the discussion.

I was merely correcting that detail.

The claim that "no one" opposes coastal whaling was what warranted correction, IMO. Thanks for your understanding.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Readers, you are still posting the same arguments. Nothing new here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Spidapig24 - And yes international waters are international waters, so Australia and anyone else for that matter is free to protest Japans whaling in these waters. Especially when these international waters fall in Australia's region.

Australia doesn't own international waters. They only think they do.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

arrestpaul

Australia doesn't own international waters. They only think they do.

YES Paul, as usual you see only what you want. Where exactly did l say the comment that you claim l said? Please l would love you to show me. What l said (and l quote) " And yes international waters are international waters, so Australia and anyone else for that matter is free to protest Japans whaling in these waters. Especially when these international waters fall in Australia's region." Now where in that do l say Australia owns international waters? I can see the bit where l agree they are international waters, l can see the bit where l say countries are free to protest Japans actions in these international waters. But l cant see the bit you claim l said, now why is that? Oh because l didnt say it, you just put those words there that actually where never said.... Oh and the only nation who thinks they own international waters is Japan, one only needs to look at its actions not only in the Southern ocean but also in the Northern Pacific. So please you are so blinded by your hatred that you cant even make a decent argument all you see is SS bad / whalers good. Your username and comments give that away

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

arrestpaul's point was quite correct. Australia does not own international waters, by definition, although they claim otherwise.

the only nation who thinks they own international waters is Japan, one only needs to look at its actions not only in the Southern ocean but also in the Northern Pacific.

Those actions are in accordance with the Law of the Sea and Whaling convention. They are exercising their established rights, not claiming ownership as Australia has done.

What l said (and l quote)

Just FYI Spidapig24, you can type "I" by holding down the shift key and then pressing i, rather than using l all the time.

you are so blinded by your hatred that you cant even make a decent argument

That's a great rebuttal.

But l cant see the bit you claim l said, now why is that? Oh because l didnt say it, you just put those words there that actually where never said....

Is it just me, or does it reek of irony and black pots here today?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

At one time Whaling was essential to living but those days are long gone by. Today we know how very highly evolved and intelligent whales and dolphins are. It is time for the entire world to stop killing these amazing beings and to embrace all they want to share with man. "Tradition" and "Culture" are every changing.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

The mere fact that people are killing whales solely because they want to proves a point that they can kill them shows that the whales are more intelligent then man.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

@Kirsten:

At one time Whaling was essential to living but those days are long gone by. Today we know how very highly evolved and intelligent whales and dolphins are. It is time for the entire world to stop killing these amazing beings and to embrace all they want to share with man. "Tradition" and "Culture" are every changing.

This point was already brought up (and rebutted) very early on.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

No point arguing with camn camp fellows with a whale fetish. When one has an agenda, reasonable discussion is impossible. Same on both sides though of course.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I think we're making headwaves with Spidapig.

I don't know if Spidapig will also claim that I'm putting words in his mouth or something later but he is basically agreeing to that Japan's conduct within the legally defined international waters (whether Pacific, Atlantatic, or South Ocean) is fine.

http://www.environment.gov.au/coasts/species/cetaceans/pubs/sanctuary-map.pdf

3 ( +4 / -1 )

nigelboy, teh best bet is not to piss off too much your trading partners or you may head into a 2 decades long recession, oops, already happened.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

One reader suggests that Japan's ongoing whaling is done in accordance with the "Law of the Sea".

However, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea states in Article 65:

"States shall cooperate with a view to the conservation of marine mammals and in the case of cetaceans shall in particular work through the appropriate international organizations for their conservation, management and study."

The appropriate international organization in this case is, of course, the International Whaling Commission which has prohibited all commercial whaling, listed nearly all large whales as "protection stocks", and repeatedly passed resolutions calling on Japan to stop killing whales.

Resolution 2007-1

RESOLUTION ON JARPA

WHEREAS paragraph 7(b) of the Schedule establishes a sanctuary in the Southern Ocean;

RECALLING that the Commission has repeatedly requested Contracting Parties to refrain from issuing special permits for research involving the killing of whales within the Southern Ocean Sanctuary, has expressed deep concern at continuing lethal research within the Southern Ocean Sanctuary, and has also recommended that scientific research involving the killing of cetaceans should only be permitted where critically important research needs are addressed;

CONSCIOUS that the Scientific Committee last year convened a workshop to analyse the results of JARPA 1, which is reported in SC/59/REP 1;

NOTING that the Workshop agreed that none of the goals of JARPA 1 had been reached, and that the results of the JARPA 1 programme are not required for management under the RMP;

FURTHER NOTING that the Government of Japan has authorised a new special permit programme in the Antarctic, JARPA II, in which the take of minke whales has been more than doubled, and fin whales and humpback whales have been added to the list of targeted species;

CONCERNED that fin whales in the Southern Hemisphere are currently classified as endangered, and that humpback whales in the JARPA II research area may include individuals from depleted breeding populations overwintering in the waters of certain Pacific Islands;

CONVINCED that the aims of JARPA II do not address critically important research needs;

NOW THEREFORE THE COMMISSION

CALLS UPON the Government of Japan to address the 31 recommendations listed in Appendix 4 of Annex O of the Scientific Committee report relating to the December 2006 review of the JARPA I programme to the satisfaction of the Scientific Committee;

FURTHER CALLS UPON the Government of Japan to suspend indefinitely the lethal aspects of JARPA II conducted within the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

One poster suggests that Japan is not acting in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea states in Article 65.

That claim is backwards. Even Australia in their spurious complaint to the ICJ about Japan's contributions to the IWC didn't have the gall to suggest that.

There are many nations that undermine conveservation, management and study of whale stocks at the International Whaling Commission, but Japan is not one of these anti-whaling nations.

While Japan and otheres seek to aid the Whaling Commission fulfil it's mandate, their opponents actively seek to prevent it from doing so. It is those anti-whaling nations, who are also involved in repeatedly passing resolutions at the Whaling Commission calling on Japan to stop killing whales that are failing to cooperate for the conservation, management and study of whale stocks.

Everyone knows what Whaling means. Due to anti-whaling nation's intransigence, the "moratorium" is still in place after 25 years, scientifically baseless "sanctuaries" that encompass the whaling grounds themselves have been imposed, and spurious resolutions requesting nations that act in accordance with the Whaling convention cease their activities have been agreed. It is the nations who have overseen these deeds that have failed in their obligations under the Law of the Sea, the Whaling convention, and the Vienna Convention which requires adherents to international agreements act in good faith.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@Animux:

One reader suggests that Japan's ongoing whaling is done in accordance with the "Law of the Sea".

It's rude to address people in the third person.

However, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea states in Article 65:

"States shall cooperate with a view to the conservation of marine mammals and in the case of cetaceans shall in particular work through the appropriate international organizations for their conservation, management and study."

The appropriate international organization in this case is, of course, the International Whaling Commission which has prohibited all commercial whaling, listed nearly all large whales as "protection stocks", and repeatedly passed resolutions calling on Japan to stop killing whales.

Despite being constantly antagonized by the anti-whaling cabal hijacking the IWC, Japan remains in the organization, keeps it informed of its permits and quotas, and submits its research to it. I'd say that from a legal standpoint, that's more than enough to be considered "cooperation with other states" and "working through the appropriate international organizations".

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Unfortunately, pro-whaling antagonists continue to present their opinions as if they were facts.

The facts are (as illustrated in resolution 2007-1) the International Whaling Commission has repeatedly called on Japan to stop killing whales.

Rather than address the reasons why commercial whaling has been prohibited by the IWC (ie: decades of over-exploitation threatening species, economic interest in utilizing 'living' whales, effective non-lethal methods of research, etc) they merely proclaim that the IWC has been taken over by radicals or is somehow biased against Japan.

These emotional arguments from pro-whalers are not rational or reasonable. Neither present any effective legal defense for the actions of Japanese whalers - the legality of which has been challenged and the International Court of Justice will hear additional arguments in the coming years.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

"resolution 2007-1"

Resolutions are nonbinding and generally meaningless. We could also discuss the St Kitts Resolution which demands a resumption of commercial whaling. Or more than 5 resolutions that demand Australia and New Zealand stop supporting Eco Terrorists.

As for the reasons IWC originally passed the moratorium, you seem to like changing history. The moratorium was passed based on an argument that we didn't know exactly how many whales there are out there. Since nobody else was going to, Japan has undertaken to determine that information.

Why the need to lie about such things, Animux?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Pro-whaling antagonists go on to express the opinion that the decisions of the International Whaling Commission simply do not apply to Japanese whaling.

The history of modern industrial whaling has seen whaling nations, time and time again, ignore or subvert the regulations set forth by the International Whaling Commission. Not surprising, nearly every species of large whale was driven to the brink of extinction and many remain classified as endangered species today.

The moratorium on commercial whaling followed many other IWC decisions protecting various whale stocks. The decision was made by more than 2/3rds majority of IWC members in 1982 in order to halt the ongoing destruction of whales - done so with Japan and Soviet Russia threatening to break up the IWC and followed by Japan subverting the decision through its abuse of Article VIII.

Japan has historically violated size limits, species protections, seasonal limits, all manner of quotas, and even facilitated pirate whaling operations all over the world. Japan did not suddenly undertake "scientific research" in the Southern Ocean to satisfy the IWC. Japan continued whaling under a loophole intended for science in defiance of the whaling ban.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

AnimuX Broken record? Japan was doing research prior to the moratorium. I see nothing to back-up your lies, are we just supposed to take your word for it? Let me back-up what I say Article VIII

Notwithstanding anything contained in this Convention any Contracting Government may grant to any of its nationals a special permit authorizing that national to kill, take and treat whales for purposes of scientific research subject to such restrictions as to number and subject to such other conditions as the Contracting Government thinks fit, and the killing, taking, and treating of whales in accordance with the provisions of this Article shall be exempt from the operation of this Convention. Each Contracting Government shall report at once to the Commission all such authorizations which it has granted. Each Contracting Government may at any time revoke any such special permit which it has granted. Any whales taken under these special permits shall so far as practicable be processed and the proceeds shall be dealt with in accordance with directions issued by the Government by which the permit was granted. Each Contracting Government shall transmit to such body as may be designated by the Commission, in so far as practicable, and at intervals of not more than one year, scientific information available to that Government with respect to whales and whaling, including the results of research conducted pursuant to paragraph 1 of this Article and to Article IV. Recognizing that continuous collection and analysis of biological data in connection with the operations of factory ships and land stations are indispensable to sound and constructive management of the whale fisheries, the Contracting Governments will take all practicable measures to obtain such data.

So what have they violated again? http://www.iwcoffice.org/commission/convention.htm#convention

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Many pro-whaling antagonists assert that Japan's abuse of Article VIII effectively exempts Japan from all decisions of the IWC and the existing regulations established by the ICRW and the Schedule to the ICRW.

In other words, they believe that as long as Japan claims to be killing whales for science that no other conditions, rules, or regulations apply.

They ignore the long history of previous regulatory violations as if it is somehow unrelated to current events.

Consider the way Japan first used Article VIII to sidestep the IWC decision to protect Bryde's whales in 1976. When the IWC declared Bryde's whales off-limits, Japan issued itself a science permit and proceeded to kill over 200 Bryde's whales the following season.

Japan's ongoing abuse of Article VIII has been condemned by conservationists, called unnecessary at best by the IWC - which has also repeatedly called upon Japan to stop it's "lethal research" - and the legality of this move has been officially challenged with the International Court of Justice. Arguments will be heard by the court in coming years.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Spidapig24 - YES Mr. arrestpaul, as usual you see only what you want. Where exactly did l say the comment that you claim l said? Please l would love you to show me. What l said (and l quote) " And yes international waters are international waters, so Australia and anyone else for that matter is free to protest Japans whaling in these waters. Especially when these international waters fall in Australia's region." Now where in that do l say Australia owns international waters? I can see the bit where l agree they are international waters, l can see the bit where l say countries are free to protest Japans actions in these international waters. But l cant see the bit you claim l said, now why is that? Oh because l didnt say it, you just put those words there that actually where never said.... Oh and the only nation who thinks they own international waters is Japan, one only needs to look at its actions not only in the Southern ocean but also in the Northern Pacific. So please you are so blinded by your hatred that you cant even make a decent argument all you see is SS bad / whalers good. Your username and comments give that away

But l cant see the bit you claim l said, now why is that?

Hahahaha, because I never "claimed" you said it. I made a statement of fact that you agree with.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

AnimuX - However, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea states in Article 65:

"States shall cooperate with a view to the conservation of marine mammals and in the case of cetaceans shall in particular work through the appropriate international organizations for their conservation, management and study."

Conservation? Management? Study? Which one of these words means, "end all whaling for all time"?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

As previously stated, article 65 of UNCLoS emphasizes conservation and effectively declares that, in the case of cetaceans, states shall work through the International Whaling Commission - the same commission which has prohibited all commercial whaling and repeatedly called upon Japan to stop killing whales.

Unfortunately, pro-whaling antagonists continue to make emotional arguments in defense of Japanese whaling as if international conventions have no meaning or significance.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

AnimuX - As previously stated, article 65 of UNCLoS emphasizes conservation and effectively declares that, in the case of cetaceans, states shall work through the International Whaling Commission - the same commission which has prohibited all commercial whaling .....

And scientific research is allowed by the IWC with the stipulation that the whale meat not go to waste. That means it can be sold or eaten after the scientific research has been completed.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Readers, you are going around in circles again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some pretend as if the Japanese whaling industry receives tacit approval from the International Whaling Commission.

However, this is most often the result of feigned ignorance or a fundamental lack of understanding the difference between the IWC and the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW).

The ICRW gives the IWC the authority to regulate whaling (Article V)

The ICRW also contains a loophole intended for science (Article VIII)

Japan abuses Article VIII in order to purposely defy the regulations established under Article V - including the moratorium on commercial whaling and the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

Japan continues whaling as a unilateral action, issuing permits to Japanese whalers, determining quotas for Japanese whalers, without the express approval of the IWC.

In fact, the IWC has repeatedly called on Japan to stop killing whales and conduct "research" with non-lethal methods only.

To claim that Japan's whaling is "allowed" by the IWC is factually incorrect and misleading.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

AnimuX, again, really?

The Sanctuary itself has been argued to be a violation of Article V of the ICRW in that it's establishment was not based on scientific findings, as required by Art V, 2. At the time of the establishment of this sanctuary, Japan lodged an objection in the allowed time frame and is able to take Minke whales in the sanctuary. From the Schedule to the Convention: "[Paragraph 7(b)]

** The Government of Japan lodged an objection within the prescribed period to paragraph 7(b) to the extent that it applies to the Antarctic minke whale stocks."

http://www.iwcoffice.org/commission/schedule.htm#footnotes

Article VIII is also quite clear on the role of sanctuaries and scientific permit whaling. See Article VIII, 1.

http://www.iwcoffice.org/commission/convention.htm#convention

In violation of the global moratorium on commercial whaling

Scientifiic permit whaling is not commercial whaling, it is allowed for under the terms of the Convention (ICRW). See again, Article VIII, 1.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Occasionally, pro-whaling antagonists claim that the Antarctic sanctuary is somehow invalid, particularly with respect to Japan.

However, in 1994 the IWC democratically established the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary with the 2/3rds majority required.

http://www.iwcoffice.org/conservation/sanctuaries.htm

The claim that there is no scientific finding justifying the prohibition of commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean is ignorant of the last century of industrial exploitation which, according to Dr. Sidney Holt -- member of the IWC "Committee of Three" scientists from 1960-1985 -- reduced the whales to "crumbs left on the table after the feast."

More specifically, Dr. Holt explained that the "biomass of the still numerous minke whales is less than one percent of the biomass of the Southern Hemisphere baleen whales at the time Suarez reported to the League of Nations" -- referring to more than 80 previous years of whaling in the Southern Ocean.

It seems the science is clear on the Southern Ocean Sanctuary. The whale stocks there, with the possible exception of Minkes, have been over-exploited.

However, the International Union for Conservation of Nature also has data which suggests that the Antarctic Minke whale population has declined 50% over the last three generations -- which could classify the species as endangered.

Regardless, pro-whaling antagonists often express the belief that Article VIII of the ICRW exempts Japan from all other rules, regulations, and restrictions. The legality of Japan's abuse of Article VIII has been officially challenged and the International Court of Justice will hear arguments in coming years.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Readers, you are still going around in circles. Posts that do not touch on something new will be removed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The claim that there is no scientific finding justifying the prohibition of commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean is ignorant of the last century of industrial exploitation

On the contrary, it's precisely because the mistakes of the past have been learned from that prohibition of commercial whaling is no longer justified.

There are plenty enough minke whales for conservative harvests under quotas set by modern day management procedures.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Glancy just mention everything have different veiw. People must determine thing by multi-view. But cetacean lovers have too narrow view especially culture.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nitpick on the article: Sea Shepherd's Paul Watson is not a captain, even though he gets everyone to call him one.

He candidly admits to not having certification, joking "they can't revoke what I don't have to begin with".

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wonder how many people have actually experienced wild whales in their wild habitats. We don't have to kill whales for population information. Science technology can now tell us cetacean age, diet, health, growth rate, and more, through biopsy samples and collecting poop! Unfortunately we learned cetaceans have some of the highest toxic loads of any species, from all the synthetic chemicals, toxins, and pollution we humans have created and dumped into our waters. So if you eat cetaceans, you are poisening yourself. Maybe the cetacean hunters and eaters will go extinct first.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Guess what?! 4,500 whales dead and the Japanese 'research' tells us that there are less krill in the oceans. Whoop-tee-do, tell me something that common sense couldn't tell any of us. I suppose they'll want to kill another 4,500 whales to tell us that same thing in another decade or so? Stop the whaling already Japan, it makes you look like barbarians. As far as the other reason that you want to eat the whales...we now have a little blue pill for that problem.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So am I to believe that because whales dont have the intelligence to avoid being killed that means its fine to kill them?? Right...so your saying then the 6 million Jews that died in WW2 deserved to be killed cause they werent smart enough not to be killed, Something tells me this is rather flawed.... And can someone explain why killing a whale slowly by explosive harpoon and isnt animal cruelty, yet they are air breathing mammals just like cows but if we killed cows like that noone would be eating hamburgers!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Japanese are right to resist being forced to stop whaling by the world community.

But having asserted their right to whale they should then choose to stop, themselves. Why?

Most Japanese don`t support whaling, sure if you conduct a poll on the street or by telephone, you will get (a mere) 52% in favour, why? Because only old people who want to express a political opinion have the time to answer the phone or a canvaser and then give an opinion. Although I know many nationalistic Japanese, virtually none of them really want to kill whales. More and more evidence is coming in showing just how smart and human-like whales are, we just cannot justify killing them. The Japanese love animals and are very scientific so increasingly they will come to more and more agree with the opinion that whales should be protected not killed.

The whole issue is just a political football. Let`s be honest about that.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think those who say Japan is carrying out viable research and whaling can be justified need to remember that:

1) all the so called research currently performed whilst the animal is dead can be gained whilst the animal is STILL ALIVE using darting methods 2) the data collected from the animals when dead such as blood samples will be severely skewed due to the stress and trauma of the hunt and so does not produce any viable data anyway 3) the IWC has deemed that they do not meet the requirements for the research to be called scientific and so are in breach of the law 4) the research performed has already been done in other studies in the 1980s 5) there is no evidence to support the fact that whales are the cause of depleting fish stocks (might be something to do with humans overfishing more like?)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

this US threat towards Japan is a bit rich coming from the fact Japan used foreign aid money to bribe smaller countries into joining the IWC as pro-whaling nations. Lets not forget the Dominican minister for fisheries resigned when Japan said it was going to pull foreign aid from them for not agreeing to be a pro-whaling nation as well as Antigua openly stating Japan had given then millions of dollars be have a pro whaling stance

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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