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After 31 years, Japan resumes commercial whaling

88 Comments
By Kyoko Hasegawa

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© 2019 AFP

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88 Comments

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Scientific or commercial whaling it is only just a name, Japan has been ( commercial whaling ) all this time, just using scientific as an excuse.

Don't be a hypocrite.

5 ( +26 / -21 )

Really, who cares. It's commercial so let the market decide it's future. If it continues it continues. If it doesn't it doesn't. Nobody is taking endangered whale species and nobody is taking them in International Waters that some countries may "think" is theirs. Let's stop repeating the same old arguments ad infinitum.

1 ( +28 / -27 )

A whale in the picture is very big. Is that minke whale? Can Japan catch such big whales commerciallly feasibly in limited zones?

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Booooo

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Nobody is taking endangered whale species and nobody is taking them in International Waters that some countries may "think" is theirs.

*On what side of which planet did you get out of this morning????
-12 ( +9 / -21 )

OssanAmericaToday  06:56 am JST

Really, who cares.

Only a few people. Unfortunately one of them is Shinzo Abe.

It's commercial so let the market decide it's future.

It's too politically useful for the government to leave it to the market. LDP politicians who want whalers' votes will continue to make sure it's subsidized even if there is no actual demand, and they'll go on peddling the fallacy that eating whale meat is as intrinsically Japanese as karaoke and miso soup.

-5 ( +16 / -21 )

Japan has hunted whales for centuries and the meat was a key source of protein in the immediate post-World War II years when the country was desperately poor.

This is a double-Dutch justification. Yes, it is true that coastal communities have carried out small scale whaling for centuries. A smaller percentage was for food, but it was mostly for the oil, like many other countries at the time. It is also true that Japan was a poor and starving country after WW2 and large scale whaling was introduced by McArthur to feed the destitute people of Japan. However, Japan is no longer destitute nor do they need whale oil. There are only three reasons why large scale commercial whaling by Japan is necessary in 2019. Greed, gluttony and pride, none of which are substantial reasons for wanton slaughter of whales.

-1 ( +20 / -21 )

Ha ha! Great analogy Simon!

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Disagraceful

-7 ( +13 / -20 )

A whale in the picture is very big. Is that minke whale? Can Japan catch such big whales commerciallly feasibly in limited zones?

The photo is of a Minke whale, which should grow to 11 meters, but looks much larger because of the way the photo was taken. In this sense, it is a very good photo. Sure got my attention. As for what Abe's motivations are, perhaps whales are the only thing he can shoot without being shot back at?

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Well atleast they're being honest now.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

Well atleast they're being honest now.

Well, in other countries there are other traditions.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

the size of coastal whaling is tiny," he told AFP. "The withdrawal from the IWC means the Japanese whaling industry is on the path towards extinction."

We can always hope..

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

Their country, their culture, their right.

0 ( +21 / -21 )

Those who have brought this back: shame on you. Your arrogance is astounding. Most Japanese don't have an interest in commercial whaling or whale meat. Whaling is also economically insignificant. There are only four traditional whaling villages, with five boats between them. Yet, you will kill an animal that bonds deeply with its young, has complex communication, and shows remarkable understanding.

-6 ( +14 / -20 )

An entire species is under threat for the arrogant appeasement of just a few, mostly, men. Japan, stand up and tell them NO.

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

oldman_13Today  07:55 am JST

Their country, their culture, their right.

Yes, so you keep saying. Somethihg else Japan has is freedom of speech so it's our right to comment on whaling, no matter what you think about us doing that.

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

@oldman. Whales have their families, lives, existence, a right to be. They perceive the world around them and as a result have subjective experiences. Not only are they sentient, but sapient.

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

I know eating whales is Japanese important food culture. In those days, I often ate them which are deep fried. But today, Japanese people have massive quantity and a wide range of foods. So it's absolutely obsolate to eat such smart animals.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Commercial but not economically viable without a huge tax payer imput. Someone has to pay the cost of freezing it indefinitely.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

oldman_13 - Their country, their culture, their right

But, it’s ‘our’ world and our oceans.

-6 ( +13 / -19 )

Hunting whales for meat in Japan provides a convenient cover for mis-labelled dolphin meat to make its way into the food chain. Both are legally allowed to be sold as whale meat in Japan.

The difference is that because of the coastal nature of dolphins they tend to hunt and kill prey which are more likely to have come in contact with pollutants and they themselves become heavily contaminated with chemicals and heavy metals. Not something that you want to eat. The problem is that this contaminated meat is mixed with 'real' whale meat.

In short, Japanese consumers have no way of knowing what they are eating when consuming 'whale' meat.

Here is an interesting article on the topic. A bit old, but still very relevant.

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1999-oct-30-mn-27832-story.html

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

My heart is full of hope," added Kai, who belongs to a fisheries cooperative in Taiji in Wakayama Prefecture,

Hope for what? More Japanese buying and eating the stuff ?...not gonna happen as evidenced by the

"But consumption has declined significantly in recent decades, with much of the population saying they rarely or never eat whale meat"*

Hope for more taxpayer money wasted on subsidies by the govt dinosaurs?.....yes, thats very likely.

"The withdrawal from the IWC means the Japanese whaling industry is on the path towards extinction."

As it should be.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

Kobe White Bar OwnerToday  07:17 am JST

Nobody is taking endangered whale species and nobody is taking them in International Waters that some countries may "think" is theirs.

*On what side of which planet did you get out of this morning????

Minke Whales are not endangered and Japan is whaling in it's own territorial waters and EEZ. Do you have a problem with the truth?

4 ( +16 / -12 )

After 31 years, Japan resumes commercial whaling

After 31 years, Japan stops pretending it was research whaling.

Minke Whales are not endangered

Sei whales are. Japan cheerfully hunts them too.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

There's a good chance that commercial whaling will be unviable, so if these whaling communities have an ounce of initiative, they'll start to look at offering whale watching tours instead.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

oldman_13Today  08:59 am JST

Like I said, no one has a right to judge Japan or any other country for what they eat.

Japanese people can judge my country for what we eat if they like. I might not always appreciate it but I don't try to defend anything I also disapprove of and they have the right to express any opinion they want. There's nothing I can do about that so I might as well accept it. Likewise, people from overseas are going to express some pretty harsh criticisms of the Japanese whaling industry and you'll just have to put up with it.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

ClippetyClopToday 09:31 am JST

Minke Whales are not endangered

Sei whales are. Japan cheerfully hunts them too.

The article makes no mention of Sei whales.

"Elsewhere, five small whaling boats from across the country will gather in Kushiro port in northern Japan and start hunting minkes "

1 ( +10 / -9 )

The article makes no mention of Sei whales.

Despite that Japan still hunts them, and they are endangered. Species extinction must be a tradition.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Japanese fishermen set sail

Japanese whalers left port, it should read. 

Interestingly, there is nothing about this on the top page of Yahoo! Japan today. I did see it on the Japanese news this morning though, where it was mentioned that around 50 people protested in London against it. Top billing here at JT though!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It's a secret, not reported too much, that people do check the meat sold in Japanese fish markets, using DNA and there is an alarming amount of rare and supposedly protected species sold under the guise of the "blanket" whale meat label ..that includes Dolphins, in the future probably penguins too.

It's a grubby business that tax payers unknowingly support, cut it loose put those funds elsewhere.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Do the hustle - But, it’s ‘our’ world and our oceans.

International waters are for everyone's use. You can't claim any of it for yourself.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Japans country, Japans culture, Japans right.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

"But, it’s ‘our’ world and our oceans."

No it is not. It Japan's territory waters and Japan's EEZ. We can do what we want in our not your waters.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

arrestpaul

International waters are for everyone's use. You can't claim any of it for yourself.

To be fair, they aren't planning anything in international waters...

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I think the whaling will continue to receive government subsidies so to be realistic it will only end when enough people no more buy it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

All this for 5 small whaling boats.  And hardly anyone eats whale meat any more.  whatever their strong "cultuiral" views, surely this is just not worth all the opprobrium it generates from friends and allies.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Japan has hunted whales for centuries and the meat was a key source of protein in the immediate post-World War II years when the country was desperately poor.

Why are these people so passionate about hanging on to a memory of the dark destitute times following WWII?

It used to be the done thing to burn witches, have people carrying katana, use horse drawn carts, and write letters with typewriters - but we stopped doing those things because we either realised it was wrong, or better alternatives were introduced.

We don’t need to hunt and eat whales any more, for any reason.

If these people are so concerned about protecting ‘culture’, I suppose they wear kimonos and yukata every day, right? What...they don’t?!

2 ( +10 / -8 )

There are some prefectures which consume zero whale meat.

Yesterday I was surprised to see on the TV news that the whaling factory was being readied for sea. I thought Japan might have stopped using it since its in need of replacement. They intend to cut up the whales at sea.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The government (LDP) has done so much for their local electorate. What’s in it for the big cities? LDP electorate IS in the inaka, countryside. Nevertheless, the LDP are here to stay since the opposition has no idea how to fight this corrupt party.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Ganbare Japan!Today  10:19 am JST

Japans country, Japans culture, Japans right.

That's just parroting what someone else wrote.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

I feel very strange that anti-whaling movement does not happen in Japan. Even among young generations. While there are many people who love dogs and cats in Japan. Whaling is a national disgrace.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Japans country, Japans culture, Japans right.

Tired to read such silly comments. So poor intellectually. Here is a fact for you. Whales are not farming animals, they are wild big mammals. They are not a property of Japanese, they are the property of no one. So Japan can't decide to exterminate them, you and the other stupid Japanese nationalists like it or not.

That's not your world, talking about country and about Japan's right makes not sense whatsoever, this is not your world. You can't just impose your primitive behavior to the rest of the world.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

I feel very strange that anti-whaling movement does not happen in Japan

This is actually not strange given how ignorant and poorly educated they are about so many things. I am still desperate to see around me that a lot of Japanese still think that whales are fishes.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

I see lots of comments saying it's tradition, part of the Japanese culture, source of protein, it's their territories the Whalers are hunting in, etc...

None of this makes it right.

It is an outdated practice and not relevant in these times.

As a food source, there are other more sustainable options.

As a tradition, there are other Japanese traditions worth maintaining, far less barbaric.

As for industry, other outdated industries have had to adapt to changing conditions and demand, as well as global sustainability for all inhabitants of this fragile planet.

I love Japan and love living here. But these type of decisions are a slap in the face of the global community. Disrespectful and irresponsible.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

It sound like Japan's desire to continue whaling is similar to coal mining here in the US. Both subsidized dying industries.

Whaling made sense when Japanese did not have other animal protein.

It does not make sense in this modern world

4 ( +10 / -6 )

I think the whaling will continue to receive government subsidies so to be realistic it will only end when enough people no more buy it.

That would seem realistic. If one is to believe the western media, it may be a similar story in Iceland, where a lot of the whale eaten is by tourists who can't wait to tuck in to some Moby! Then of course they export thousands of tonnes of whale meat here to Japan (even though - apparently - no one wants to eat it). A few hundred thousand Icelanders can only eat so much by themselves, and it's probably not significantly different over in Norway etc either. Similar again in Greenland with curious tourists in supermarkets. I understand the interest, it's pretty good when well prepared.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Minke Whales are not endangered

Such an ignorant comment, it's pathetic. At this point, we are in a situation where all species on this planet are endangered, all of them. A recent study from WWF showed that our planet has lost 60% of its wild population of animals since 1970. A study last year published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) showed that only 4% of mammals on Earth are wild animals, humans represent 36% and 60% are livestock. Those numbers are mind blowing and anyone with the most basic intelligence can understand that there is a serious problem. But no, the Japanese can't get it, can they?

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

If Iceland was selling most of their stock to Japan, what is going to happen to that whale meat now?

In short, Japanese consumers have no way of knowing what they are eating when consuming 'whale' meat.

Here is an interesting article on the topic. A bit old, but still very relevant.

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1999-oct-30-mn-27832-story.html

Lots of foods in Japan are purposely mislabeled to take advantage of the public. Fukushima fish, poultry, beef, and rice are perfect examples. All those products are being mixed with products from other areas, so we won't know the original location.

A recent study from WWF showed that our planet has lost 60% of its wild population of animals since 1970. A study last year published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) showed that only 4% of mammals on Earth are wild animals, humans represent 36% and 60% are livestock. 

Wow!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I know eating whales is Japanese important food culture.

Wrong tense.

They intend to cut up the whales at sea.

They do that because most of the corpse is waste - they just dump it over the side. All they want is the 'tasty' bits. If they brought whole carcasses ashore, they'd have the problem of having to process huge amounts of rotting flesh and entrails.

Those photos, by the way, are disgusting.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

We need a help of Trump to let Japan stop whaling. Trump is the only and powerful person in the world Abe and LDP listen and obey to.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

I think the whaling will continue to receive government subsidies so to be realistic it will only end when enough people no more buy it

Yes. I just can’t see a government in the foreseeable future ( inevitably LDP ) pulling the plug on the subsidies. There is too much pride invested and rightists to please. Plus, the LDP aren’t known for a dislike of wasteful spending.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

In point of fact, it has been commercial whaling masquerading as "research" all along. The only thing that has changed is that after 31 years they are no longer lying about it.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

A lot of "traditional" Japanese food is imported. A huge amount of soy beans, a huge amount of buckwheat (soba), and even a large amount of what people mistakenly think is regional food, such as taraba gani caught in Russia and tuna caught in the Atlantic.

This begs the question of why Japan has to hunt its own whale. It costs the taxpayer an absolute fortune in subsidies and costs Japan a fortune in lost influence and soft power. It would be easy to import whale meat from Norway just like Norwegian salmon. Stick it in a can, and sell it to anyone interested.

If the taxpayer is going to subsidize Japanese traditions, there are dozens of dying crafts around the country. Subsidizing them wouldn't get people overseas boycotting Japan or refusing to buy Japanese cars.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

In Iceland they land the whole whale, such as the Fin Whale, but only the belly and the fin are for human consumption, which are exported to Japan. The remaining parts of the whale are turned into oil used to power the whalers.

Someone was even making whale beer.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

No it is not. It Japan's territory waters and Japan's EEZ.

and Japan continues to use that excuse for every species they fish in their waters. almost half of the species Japan fish is now either endangered or threatened

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

kohakuebisuToday  12:23 pm JST

If the taxpayer is going to subsidize Japanese traditions, there are dozens of dying crafts around the country.

Unfortunately for them they aren't located in the Prime Minister's constituency.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

2020hindsights - To be fair, they aren't planning anything in international waters...

But, therein lays the problem. Whales are migratory and travel far beyond Japans economic zone. It’s only when the whales enter Japan’s economic zone are they slaughtered. It should also be noted that, the whales are entering Japanese waters during their calving season, which means most are pregnant or have young calves. They kill a pregnant whale they kill two whales. They kill a whales with a young calf and the calf will die, killing two whales again. It shouldn’t take Japan long to force the whales back into near extinction at the rate.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

kohakuebisu - If the taxpayer is going to subsidize Japanese traditions, there are dozens of dying crafts around the country. Subsidizing them wouldn't get people overseas boycotting Japan or refusing to buy Japanese cars.

No one who actually drives a car is going to boycott Japanese cars over whaling, or whales.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

No one who actually drives a car is going to boycott Japanese cars over whaling, or whales.

Some people feel pretty strongly about whales. When I tell people overseas I live in Japan, I often have people commenting on the whales to me. People who drive cars. Now, whether any of the people I spoke to are boycotting Japanese cars, I don't know. But I'd be quite surprised if no people you just said don't exist, don't actually exist. Care to justify that statement?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Truthfully i also didn't find the meat to be that good. Whether we eat them or not, i don't really care. But i guess i kinda support the notion of finally leaving that IWC. Was a great waste of time and money anyway. Plus like many others, we don't like to be told what we can do or not. Is not others people decision to make to forbid us from hunting whales if we want. We have been doing it for so long. This is why most of us in Japan tolerate it even though many of us doesn't eat the meat anymore. Mainly because outsiders start telling us what we can do or cannot do and many of the population doesn't like that. Public opinion matters too and mainly is because whale environmental groups are really dislike by many. They treat animals more important than humans and are taking many things too far sometimes. There was one time when i read on a Sea Shepherd article that they were celebrating about the Tsunami that happen in 2011 and say is divine judgement because we hunt whales. After that, i really didn't care about them anymore. Hunting whales, we now see it as tradition.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

well most of the guys i knew who lived in japan in the past 15 year have been saying that they are getting whale meat anywhere they go so basically the 31 year is a lie which is just to make the IWC shut up ... it's really sad if they just made some whale farm it would be better for them and the environment

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Is not others people decision to make to forbid us from hunting whales if we want.

It's absolutely the case. Again this is not your planet. You can't just decide to do whatever you want and decide to exterminate wild animals. Again whales are not the property of Japanese hence everyone has the right and the duty to say you that you are wrong. And by the way, I will tell the same to the people from Iceland and Norway, so you don't need to play the victim like your nation often likes to do.

This is why most of us in Japan tolerate it even though many of us doesn't eat the meat anymore. 

Stop to just speak about eating, you are insulting human civilization. This is not about eating, this is about whether or not it is morally acceptable to exterminate wild animals for commercial reasons and for making money. That's a civilizational question, this is not about your stomach.

what we can do or cannot do and many of the population doesn't like that.

We don't care you don't like it but you will listen to what people say to you because again that's not your planet. Since we all share it, I am telling you that I DO NOT AGREE AND WANT you destroying it. Hence I have all the world rights to stop you.

They treat animals more important than humans and are taking many things too far sometimes. 

That's not the point. Science is telling you you are wrong. Instead of living in your distorted world of ignorant Japanese, check the science. And the figures which I wrote in my previous post are not just alarming, they are a disaster. We can't afford at this point to commercially hunt even more fragile populations of mammals. We just can't, and your so-called culture does not prevail on facts and science.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Very Sad to read this news.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Notice how Japan waited until after G20 to resume the whaling, sneaky move there...

Japan is a disgrace, not being content with driving Tuna to near extinction they want to do the same with Whales now..

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Minke Whales are not endangered and Japan is whaling in it's own territorial waters and EEZ. Do you have a problem with the truth?

From the BBC...

The fisheries ministry has set a kill cap for the season of 52 minke, 150 Bryde's and 25 sei whales.

The Sei whales are endangered...

Following large-scale commercial whaling during the late 19th and 20th centuries, when over 255,000 whales were killed, the Sei whale is now internationally protected... As of 2008, its worldwide population was about 80,000, less than a third of its pre-whaling population.

I don't particularly care if the Minke and Bryde's whales aren't endangered - I'm vehemently against ANY whaling, anywhere... commercial, 'scientific', subsistence... I don't care. Ban whaling completely...

We in the UK hunted whales for 300 years until 1963... why can't Japan do as we did? Or is there an incentive to continue this senseless slaughter?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

After 31 years Japan admits they have been hunting whales for commercial purpose would be a better headline

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

"Japan leaving the IWC and defying international law to pursue its commercial whaling ambitions is renegade, retrograde and myopic," said Kitty Block, president of Humane Society International based in the UK.

Japan is not 'defying' any international law by hunting whales commercially.

An entire species is under threat

What species is under threat?

there is an alarming amount of rare and supposedly protected species

Can you cite a recent source?

 in the future probably penguins too.

What?

similar to coal mining here in the US

The world wide use of coal is increasing. The latest projections have it increasing by 1% or more a year through at least the 2030.

It shouldn’t take Japan long to force the whales back into near extinction at the rate.

Japan has been hunting whales in their EEZ for well over 30 years and they haven't cause a decrease in any species of whales. The commercial hunt is expected to take fewer whales than the previous years. So there is little if any risk of driving any whale species to near extinction.

Hence I have all the world rights to stop you.

No. You have the right to protest and make your views known. You don't have the right to stop it.

Notice how Japan waited until after G20 to resume the whaling, sneaky move there...

Notice how they waited until their membership in the IWC actually ended before they resumed commercial whaling? And how they publicized the date for the past year?

The Sei whales are endangered...

Yes. The IUCN says the population is increasing by about 2% a year, even with Japan hunting them for the past 31 years. In 1974 there were ~8600 in the Pacific, according to the IUCN, and in 2017 the estimate is ~35,000. The IUCN expects to lower the sei whale from endangered to vulnerable in the next 5 years or so.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I have been wondering if this can be correctly be called "commercial" if it is so heavily subsidized by the government.

"Commerical" to me implies that the whaler would have to run a profitable business that can stand on its own. I wonder how much whale meat would cost in that case.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The school lunch will have a lot of protein.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

decide to exterminate wild animals

No one decided to do that. I think you need to haul in this extreme thinking, if you wish for any concerns you might have to be taken seriously.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

the whales are entering Japanese waters during their calving season, which means most are pregnant or have young calves. 

Well, less than half of them are pregnant, I would estimate.

It shouldn’t take Japan long to force the whales back into near extinction at the rate.

It's not the case that the whalers will kill every single pregnant whale. So long as they kill whales at a rate that is lower than the natural replacement rate of the population, it will be fine.

And given that Japan has been conducting scientific research catches for decades already without forcing them into near extinction, it is pretty clear that there is a sustainable rate at which they can catch them.

The important thing is to ensure that catches are safely within that rate. Had the IWC simply permitted Japan to catch whales commercially, the IWC could have had some say in that. But now, Japan can just catch as many as it likes. 

Fortunately, Japan does not appear to be keen on allowing catches at unsustainable rates though.

Therefore, this is all a storm in a teacup.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

The green party hauled in more than 20% of votes and even if they don't exist

look at what is ahead.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

the whales are entering Japanese waters during their calving season, which means most are pregnant or have young calves

In the North Pacific off Japan there appears to be two phases of conception, the majority of which occurs from February to March but also from August to September, with births occurring from December to January and June to July.

So it seems that Minke whales calving season is occurring year round. And the O and J stock of Minke whales (east and west side of Japan respectively) are not very migratory. They tend to stay in the same regions all year.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

This is so wrong and completely revolting. That huge Minke whale belongs in its home...patrolling the ocean!!! NHK's TV coverage is just awful...so slanted. More money and jobs in WHALE WATCHING, not eating the highly suspect, possibly contaminated with mercury and who knows what not. Damn, I hate this about Japan! All for Abe to keep his constituents in his home base happy. Where is the wider picture, the morality? Protest, and change this asap.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

daito_hakToday  11:53 am JST

Minke Whales are not endangered

Such an ignorant comment, it's pathetic.

"Minke whales in the United States are not endangered or threatened"

https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/species/minke-whale

"Common minke whales were taken in most parts of the North Atlantic but these stocks are in a healthy state. Reliable recent abundance estimates exist for the northeastern and central North Atlantic and off West Greenland; these total over 180,000 animals."

https://iwc.int/estimate

"As of 2018, the IUCN Red List labels the common minke whale as Least Concern and the Antarctic minke whale as Near Threatened. COSEWIC puts both species in the Not At Risk category [1]."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minke_whale

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I have no idea what was wrong with my post here. Do I have to assume the whalers have real reasons for starting whaling again, or that they even believe the reasons they tell us? I certainly don't think that of the average pro-whaler either. It does seem to me that some people's mission in life is to do anything they can to cause others grief.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

fxgaiToday  05:35 pm JST

So long as they kill whales at a rate that is lower than the natural replacement rate of the population, it will be fine.

Except for the fact that in all honesty there isn't really a good reason for killing them.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Except for the fact that in all honesty there isn't really a good reason for killing them.

It's their right to kill them, which they seem to think is reason enough. They spent three decades killing thousands of whales in order to 'research' if they could kill thousands more. In those three decades we've made them barely edible. The greed, wanton destruction and stupidity of humans shows no sign of abating.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Whale meat is destined for Cat/Dog food, as it really does not have the Quality that Japanese palettes have become accustomed to.

The question is, will the Cats & Dogs accept it ? Given that they too have been pampered beyond excess.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Norman Goodman

Do I have to assume the whalers have real reasons for starting whaling again, or that they even believe the reasons they tell us?

Yes, that would be a good start.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I have always enjoyed our visits to Japan. This just does not "fit" to me.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The IUCN expects to lower the sei whale from endangered to vulnerable in the next 5 years or so.

Oh, that's alright then... what a crass statement. Vulnerable is still not 'sustainable', in the words of whalers and their supporters

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japan getting lectured by foreigners who have different cultures again...

Maybe Japan needs to start lecturing other countries on theirs

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Vulnerable is still not 'sustainable'

Neither Vulnerable nor Endangered have anything to do with 'sustainable'.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Nobody is criticising the other people in the world who are killing and eating whales. Just the Japanese.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Nobody is criticising the other people in the world who are killing and eating whales. Just the Japanese.

There is plenty of opposition to whaling elsewhere.

It doesn't matter whether a whale is being chased to the point of exhaustion, shot with an explosive projectile, dragged bleeding and dying through the waves and strung up by its tail so that it cannot lift its head out of the water and eventually drowns, by Japanese, Norwegians, Icelanders or whoever. It's the act that's indefensible, whoever is doing it. And people of whatever nationality or ethnicity who attempt to defend this kind of barbarity, whether in terms of tradition, culture, it's their/our right, it tastes good or just making a quick buck are the dregs of the human race.

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Just to clarify, the welfare payment given to coastal whaling industry in Japan is almost 4.5 million USD per year, and for all whaling operations extends to about 45 million USD, and that is what is it.

The industry is living off welfare hand outs. There's nothing noble about it.

Why not just pay normal welfare payments and all the men to sit at home, drink beer, do a bit of gardening without causing all the harm to Japan's brand on the world stage, to the environment and to the whales?

It's a huge PR gaff that is damaging Japan worldwide.

Funny, where the smart money is going these days, is towards Lab Grown or "Clean meats", the protein myth element of this debate will soon be debunked for ever.

Attempting an objective analysis of what the industry is really all about, perhaps it is still really about the value whale oils? Perhaps it was really just about some element of national security and having to keep the skills and industry alive to supply that in a worst case scenario?

But, even their, sythetics have taken over.

That's a question rather than a statement. The whaling industry is like a plantar wart dug in deep into Japan's 'soul'. Excuse the wordplay there.

It's not "Japanese".

Historically, it has not even actually had a comfortable relationships with the fishery industry. It serves some purpose for the Japanese equivalent of the Tea Pary and Alt-Right to "stick it" to the foreigners.

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