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No surprise Japan's whaling fleet planning return to Antarctica

37 Comments

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is disappointed but not surprised that Japan's whaling fleet is reportedly planning a return to Antarctica later this year to kill more whales for its dying market.

Following Japanese media reports last week that whaling will continue with around $27 million in additional government security budget to protect the fleet, Patrick Ramage, Director of IFAW's Global Whale Program, said: "I'd bet this is whaling's last gasp. The industry is out of gas and crashing. This move is more about pride than profit, more about politics and prerogatives of the Japanese Fisheries Agency than it is about public support."

IFAW opposes whaling because it is cruel and unnecessary; there is simply no humane way to kill a whale. Footage of Japanese whaling analyzed by IFAW scientists has shown whales can take more than half an hour to die. Whaling is also uneconomic, whereas whale watching offers a humane and profitable alternative to the cruelty of whaling, generating around $2.1 billion annually for coastal communities.

Ramage added: "If true as reported, this decision doesn't change the basic facts: whaling is an economic loser that makes no more sense for post-tsunami Japan than it did before the tragedy. The government bureaucrats are throwing good money after bad to pursue whales in a sanctuary.

"Meanwhile, the good people of Japan have lost their yen for whale meat and coastal communities around the country are pursuing profits from whale watching. The future lies with them. That Japan will quit the Southern Ocean seems certain. But Tokyo will determine when and how they will retreat, not Canberra, Auckland or Washington."

IFAW urges Japan to reconsider its decision to continue whaling in the pristine Southern Ocean Sanctuary, in defiance of global opposition and several international laws.

Despite the worldwide ban on commercial whaling, Japan hunts whales in Antarctica under the loophole of "scientific whaling," which in reality is commercial whaling by another name. There is no science in scientific whaling; in fact non-lethal research is providing us with all the data we need to unlock the secrets of these incredible mammals.

Last November, the Japanese fleet headed for Antarctica to train its harpoons on around 1,000 whales. However, under pressure from many fronts, Japan called an early halt to its whaling season and headed back to port having killed less than half of its self-allocated kill quota.

The Australian government has presented a case against Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean to the International Court of Justice. IFAW calls on all governments to take the strongest diplomatic action possible against Japan and demand that it ends its whaling program now.

© PR Newswire

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

37 Comments
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And of course the whaling will continue only because the powers that be will always add the $27 million to the "security" budget. In fact, even if the fleet sits at the dock the money will be allocated.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So is JT going to run a counter commentary after this utterly biased and misinformed one sided anti-whling diatribe?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

If you'd care to submit one, we'd be happy to consider it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let them do it. Japan is doing her best to discredit herself and paint the most unfavorable image of herself with this much ado about nothing. This actions will be great contribution to the world to create the true image of the strongheaded Japanese and their mentality.

To build such an unfavorable image truly worth of $27 million and Japan is and overpopulated country the have taxpayers enough to carry the burden.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sorry the last sentence should read,

To build such an unfavorable image truly worth of $27 million and Japan is an overpopulated country they have taxpayers enough to carry the burden.

@OssanAmerica

I agree with you that some articles and opinions as well as comments here on the Japanese (scientific) whaling might be one sided and biased or hostile, yet the whole whaling thing is absolutely unnecessary to go on with it and totally ran its usefulness.

Causes more problem to Japan than any good.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I would like to give the mod's comment a thumbs-up.✌

Waiting now for Ossan's utterly biased and misinformed one sided pro-whaling diatribe.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Readers, please keep the discussion civil.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The minority hunt the whale that the majority wish to protect, where is the justice in that?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think there were four whaling ships in the Antarctic last year. The number of crew is kept secret due to paranoia, but let's assume there are 100 crew per ship, 400 in total.

If $27,000,000 is being spent just to protect the fleet, that's $67500 per crew member. Then there are the operational costs of running the ships (fuel, provisions etc), which can't be cheap. The government claims to be against waste, but clearly it would be cheaper to pay the whalers to stay at home in bed, rather than carry on this fiasco year after year. It's only the pig-headed bureaucrats in the fisheries ministry that see this as a good way to spend my taxes: firing them would save even more money.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Your mahmatics Scrote prove the indefencible

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sea Shepherd's anti-whaling operations in the Antarctic this year will be named Divine Wind. Sounds like the gloves will be off.

Japan accepted donations from all over the world to help the people affected by 3/11, and now the Japanese government is diverting huge amounts of money to fund/protect this unnecessary and bloody slaughter. As Watson says, It's an insult and a smack in the face to all those who helped Japan. Not to mention an insult and a smack in the face to all those whose taxes are going to go up in the near future because 'Japan needs the money'.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Divine wind , Kamakase if Ive spelt it correctly the name given to the typhoon that blew up when a Mongolian fleet prepared to attack Japan. The population were ordered to pray for divine intervention by the Emporer, if the Sea Shepherds operation lives up to that legend the whalers are in for a stormy reception

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Agree with Christina.

Kamikaze might spell bad for the SSCS, unless they want to limit themselves to Kamikaze style attacks on whaling ships in which case they will be sunk by public opinion in case some serious injuries happen. The last one didn't go all that well as they lost a big sponsor. ;)

Also stupid to announce them as the whalers got now time to prepare for them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am pro whaling and pro nuclear. When is strike three going to come at me?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

So I wonder if the Japanese have modified their ships to burn light oil and added an extra hull? If not I believe their very presence south of 60 degrees latitude will be a violation of international maritime law.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yeah, SS says they will give up their lives or something.

Me, I hope it's on YouTube so I can watch it while eating popcorn.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Lets just hope we don't wake up one day to find that the wales has voted , 'pro humaning' and starts to come a land and harvest humans. ;-)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm disappointed that Japan will continue with whaling in the Southern Oceans, especially after last year when because of the success of Sea Shepherd the country would have released what a waste of money it is.

Also coming in the year of so many disasters and mass destruction of country and the environment.

I think it will get more physical between Sea Shepherd and the whaling fleet.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think NuckingFutz raises a very interesting point. An oil spill on those latitudes could cause serious damage, and I to wonder if International Maritime Law is being adhered to.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No surprise cuz guess what...its not illegal. I hope sea shepard folks break more boats again this year.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I hope they have a successful hunt and bring the Maritime SDF ships with them to defend against SS and their terrorists. Would love to see the SS ships try to menace an armed escort ship. One thing I can say about the Russians, they would sink the SS clowns if they tried to harrass their whaling ships. I love my whale sashimi!!! lol

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Squidbert, Nuckinfutz doesnt just propose a problem, this is now IMO law. IMO MARPOL regulations now require the vessels to be double skinned in Antarctica. None of the whaling fleet, nor any of the protest fleet for that matter, can legally enter Antarctic waters. With no enforcement of maritime law evident in Antarctica however, it seems unlikely anything meaningful will be done.

An interesting sub plot in this, Koji Sekimizu of Japan is the new chief of the IMO, and it would set a double standard if he were to tolerate transgressions in IMO law by Japanese vessels in Antarctica, and yet police the laws elsewhere.

NihonRyu, I also hope the Japanese are silly enough to send military vessels, as I believe this would be an infringement of the Antarctic Treaty and allow other countries to take direct action :)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

rewatched the sinking of the ady gil...so justifiied and funny watching those terrorists go down. Hope shepherd loses 5 more boats this year.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

@cleo

Sea Shepherd's anti-whaling operations in the Antarctic this year will be named Divine Wind. Sounds like the gloves will be off.

Japan accepted donations from all over the world to help the people affected by 3/11, and now the Japanese government is diverting huge amounts of money to fund/protect this unnecessary and bloody slaughter. As Watson says, It's an insult and a smack in the face to all those who helped Japan. Not to mention an insult and a smack in the face to all those whose taxes are going to go up in the near future because 'Japan needs the money'.

Excellent post! Always right on the money, my friend. So these smegma-bureaucrats insist in using my hard-earned money to protect this fleet from hell, huh! I really hope for some giant squid to come our from the depths of the ocean and swallow them all alive..... That'd be really something!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@NihonRyu

I hope they have a successful hunt and bring the Maritime SDF ships with them to defend against SS and their terrorists. Would love to see the SS ships try to menace an armed escort ship. One thing I can say about the Russians, they would sink the SS clowns if they tried to harrass their whaling ships. I love my whale sashimi!!! lol

Are you kidding me? Trying to impersonate "us" again? lol No one's gonna sink anybody, ok? Get over it, please. besides, whale sashimi is gross, I had plenty as a child and grew up hating it, so never again! wanna be 日本人? try shiokara( 塩辛) 美味しい~

0 ( +1 / -1 )

'But Tokyo will determine when and how they will retreat, not Canberra, Auckland or Washington.'

I'd like to point out firstly that Auckland (as this quote unclearly suggests) is not the Capital of New Zealand, it's Wellington.

I'm really disappointed to hear this news, especially as I know that whale watching companies in both New Zealand and the east coast of Australia are struggling big time already due to low whale sightings. It appears Japan doesn't care about these businesses or this regions wildlife. Very disappointing!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I would not wish harm towards the crews of either the whalers or the Sea Shepherd, the only demise I would wellcome is the final death throes of the whaling industry

1 ( +1 / -0 )

$27 million? And there still people living in shelters up north, with winter coming? Give me a break. My kid's school raised thousands after the tsunami - next time there's a disaster in Japan I'll tell them not to bother, since their own govt. hasn't got any sense of priorities. Jeez.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Stubborn and sustained display of arrogance. No science, no genuine interest in ecological sustainability. Just a pig headed attempt to sustain something considered 'cultural'. Well, the SS, equally stubborn and pig headed will be wiating for them again, bouyed by their success last year. Let the games begin.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If the Japanese whaling fleet gets into difficulties in the Southern Ocean because of a "divine wind" , the Australian Navy etc., will always come to its rescue on national friendship and responsibility grounds. However, the majority of Aussies are strongly against Japan's whaling per se, let alone in the pristine Southern Ocean. I hope the sailors have a safe voyage and just enjoy the whale watching the rest of us do and leave these wonderful creatures alone. Perhaps they would be better off running whale watching tours to the Southern Ocean. People fly down to sea the Antarctic. Bit hard to see a whale from a fast flying jumbo jet - a fortnight on a Japanese ship, without whale meat on the menu would be n ice. Do the sailors eat the whale meat they harvest I wonder?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do the sailors eat the whale meat they harvest I wonder?

They eat it, they salt it away, they send it home in boxes and buy houses and cars from the proceeds.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/14/whistleblower-expose-japanese-whaling

"I heard from my sources that the theft of whale meat has stopped because of the media attention. But dozens of younger crewmen have left the fleet because they can no longer steal whale meat. They only joined the fleet because they knew they could make lots of money at the end of each trip. It was the only perk of a very tough job. The older whalers are just hanging on for their pensions."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think we all know there's only one person fully informed and qualified to write a counter commentary. Cleo- Every article that is against whaling claims that Japan is whaing in a "sanctuary". This of course immediately creates the impression that they are doing something illegal. No article ever goes on to explain that the IWC scientific permits ALLOW WHALING IN SANCTUARIES. The same IWC allows scientific whaling to IGNORE MORATORIUMS. And in fact, if the IWC didn't permit scientific whaling in the first place this argument wouldn't even exist. So to make such openly verifiable facts clear constitures a "biased and misinformed one sided pro-whaling diatribe."? It is the complete disregard for the these very pertinent facts in the above commentary which make it biased and misinformed. There are a great many anti-whaling proponents who, as much as they'd like to see all whaling cease, are vehemently against the actions of Sea Sheperd which they consider Eco-Terrrorism, as do some law enforcement agences. I suppose this is what separates those resopnsible people who respect law and order from those who feel that they can take the law into their own hands.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

An extremely sad caw of no one's going to tell us what to do. You are worse than infant children who are going to do it simply because you were told not to. Get over it whoever you are controlling this mindless stupidity you have more than enough trouble at home to spend your money on. The Japanese people should be as mad as hell and especially the poor sods that are still homeless following the disaster of March 11.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@BlueWitch: Many people including 外国人 love whale sashimi which I suppose is highly subjective. I also like shiokara, so what?? Personally, I support sustainable legally sancitioned whaling as I like to eat whale and hope future generations in Japan will continue to be able to as well. Contrary to your opinion, many Japanese also feel the same as me..and certainly despise the actions of SS and Australia and NZ's ethnocentric and emotional opinions on this matter. As Ossan says there is a legal framework and Japan is not doing anything illegal in anyone's territorial waters. Some whale species are overabundant and I don't see any reason why we Japanese who eat whale cannot harvest a sustainable, healthy, not to mention tasty food supply just because others feel it to apprehensible to them.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

NihonRyu,

If so many Japanese want to eat whale meat why is there a stockpile of 6,000+ tons, that's a lot of flesh. If it's not sold by a certain date, it'll be sold on for cat food which probably love it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Zichi: Perhaps the stockpile is for emergency food rations just as there are supposedly stockpiles of coal stored within Tokyo bay in the event of emergencies. I don't know, but whale meat is regularly sold out in my supermarket and is still rather expensive compared to Tuna and other sashimi, same goes for most sushi places that carry whale. Japan carries one of the greatest risk for food dependancy as we import almost everything. Since we cannot turn our mountainous terrain into large grazing lands or farms the sea is one of our greatest benefactors thus our mainly traditional Seafood diet. I would love to replace imported Aust Pork and beef with tasty and healthy whale from the Antarctic. Unfortunately, the cost of whale meat is much higher than imported meat. Perhaps with fullscale resumed (sustainable) commercial whaling, we can begin to enjoy more often and choose whale over imported beef, pork, etc..

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

NihonRyu

but unlike coal, whale meat has a limited shelf life. If Japan joins the Pacific Trade Pact, which is on the cards at the moment, domestic food production will drop from the current 40% to about 14%.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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