national

Australia invests in whale research to challenge Japan

73 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2008/9 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

73 Comments
Login to comment

Thatd be right waste money on letting some educated peoples float around the ocean, oh for definitely several years. Indefinitely might be worth it!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Oh, if it isn't davidattokyo the Japan whaling schill who spammed my blog a few years ago with some pro-whaling nonsense.

Nice to see you are still on the payroll.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

While I was in Shizuoka, I had whale meat, I liked it pretty tasty. If I can I will have more again when I visit there. I they want to hunt so they can eat it, I am all for it. If they are just going to store it then thats wrong.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A few reasonable talking points I've noticed on this topic:

If the whales aren't hunted in Australia's internationally recognized territorial waters, Australia has no business dictating what Japan does to them. It smacks of pure cultural imperialism.

If Japan is hunting whales in defiance of international laws, the crews and owners of the ships need to be punished, and the ships need to be dry-docked.

If Australian-based members of the Greenpeace vandalize or otherwise try to obstruct Japanese operations at sea, they are breaking international laws and need to be punished by the Australian government.

If whale research can be conducted without actually killing whales, Japan has no business killing whales.

And on the domestic front:

The Japanese government and people need to come clean about motives for whaling. Is it for science, to satisfy a non-existent consumer demand, to just thumb its nose at what it regards as cultural imperialism, or to support a relatively insignificant local tradition?

The Australian government people need to come clean about their motives for being against whaling. Is it purely out of concern for the well-being of whales, a righteous indignation at the flouting of international laws, a territorially-hegemonic mindset, or just more anti-Japanese sentiment?

The way I see it, both sides are wrong on many respects, and hypocritical on many points. I think both sides are acting pig-headed, so I'm not supporting either.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Heda Madness: if you think throwing butter is terrorism I suggest you chat to a relative of a victim of 9/11, London 7/7, Bali etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"it is unthinkable for an ordinary business entity."

I may have been unfair to the audit organization - this single comment may of course been taken out of context.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

surely if the demand was there, there wouldn't be 4000 tonnes left over.

1,900 of that "left over" stuff wasn't even on sale as of the end of September - it had only just come in to the stockpiles at the end of this year's JARPN II programme (August and September). The stockpile goes down over the winter months until spring when the JARPA meat will arrive.

If there is "left over" whale meat, the stockpile level should keep rising continuously. The figures show that isn't the case. The stockpile peaked when supply peaked. There was less supply this year and last, and surprise surprise the stockpile is at lower levels now.

The whale meat supply in FY 1987, when research whaling started, was 1,140 tons.

It was 32,000 tons in 1985 at the end of the commercial whaling days, worth noting.

and reached 4,154 tons in FY 2006.

That seems like research whaling supply only. Additionally since 2001 by-caught whales can now be sold legally - 100+ more whales a year. It doesn't make sense that there is a "glut" and people are still able to sell by-caught whales inspite of it.

It was at the 2,000 ton level, but suddenly increased to the 3,000-4,000 ton level in the latter half of FY 2004

This correlates with increases in JARPN research whaling quotas. They catch more big Sei and Bryde's whales now than they used to, I think they increased the minke quota as well. An increase in stocks is natural when more whales are caught.

and peaked at 5,969 tons,

Similarly this figure is after the first year of the JARPA II programme, and an expansion of whales caught.

I am certain that it is not possible for supply to increase, and stock levels to NOT increase in turn. This seems like common sense to me.

As a CPA of a major audit corporation acknowledges, "it is unthinkable for an ordinary business entity."

So this is the audit you were talking about, but as with the increases in supply that I noted above, this analysis doesn't seem too thorough or well-informed (and supply from scientific whaling isn't "ordinary business" in the first place - but it's clear the meat that is supplied does find enough stomachs anyway. They also don't mention the stockpile hitting a recent multi-year low in March 2008. So I wonder which "major audit corporation" this is.

may say just as much about the foreign domestic market as it does about demand here

There are only 5 million people in Norway and Iceland, but they wouldn't be selling the meat here if they weren't getting better prices for it than they could get elsewhere.

137 of the samples from nine species of toothed whales ... Another 62 samples came from six species of baleen whales ... Average mercury concentrations

Why would they average baleen whales and toothed whales together? I don't doubt the average value could be as stated, but I suspect the average would be higher again if the baleen whales were taken out.

Every sample exceeded 0.4 [micro]g/g, the maximum allowable mercury concentration in foods in Japan.

If this includes baleen whales, then frankly I don't believe it. Other studies have shown quite different results, and it also defies common sense as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

davidattokyo,

If you are sticking to facts and figures, then I applaud you, but your posts seem to reveal evidence to the contrary. For example, the characterization of protest groups as eco-terrorists and thugs is hardly supported by evidence. While the actions of some of these groups and/or their members may not be particularly edifying in your mind, they have not been found guilty under international law. Rightly or wrongly, they have not been proven to be thugs or terrorists. Your assertion that annecdotal(sic) evidence 'needs to be fair' is again, a little bit of a furphy. It is, by definition, subjective. It is one individual or group's recollection of a situation. On the subject of protesting and it's relation to the financial situation of the restaurant mentioned earlier, surely if the demand was there, there wouldn't be 4000 tonnes left over. Maybe the ICR should thank the 'eco-terrorists' for preventing them from looking even sillier.

How much whale meat is consumed? Clues are found in the whale meat supply, released semiannually by ICR, and the whale meat inventory, compiled monthly by MAFF. The whale meat supply in FY 1987, when research whaling started, was 1,140 tons. Since then, the supply has increased together with the number of whales caught and reached 4,154 tons in FY 2006. Inventory also increased rapidly. It was at the 2,000 ton level, but suddenly increased to the 3,000-4,000 ton level in the latter half of FY 2004 and peaked at 5,969 tons, which exceeds the maximum annual supply of 5,560 tons (2005-2006) at the end of April 2006. As a CPA of a major audit corporation acknowledges, "it is unthinkable for an ordinary business entity."

The spurious attempt to link the proposed expansion of foreign commercial whalers into the Japanese market as indicative of domestic demand for whale by-products may say just as much about the foreign domestic market as it does about demand here. While I'm not au fait with the foreign situation you mention, the evidence is firmly stacked against your conclusion.

You're right, I'm not planning to make any consumption graphs, you got me. I was responding to your suggestion. I actually don't believe I need to make a graph at all. Even under duress (from those naughty 'eco terrorist thugs') the whalers slaughtered and processed more than the existing stockpile of whale by-products they still have in storage. Imagine if they caught their full quota! You should be careful who you support, David. You may have a fisherman knocking on your door after Christmas asking to borrow your freezer.

Finally, I must offer you an apology. I wrote- 'As it contains up 200 times the safe level of mercury'. While that does not equate to your assertion that I said 'whale meat contains "200 times the safe level of mercury"', it was a typo- I meant to write 'up to'. I think I read somewhere that your average piece of whale sold for human consumption contains something like 12- 70 times the recommended safe level of mercury, but it's late and I'm too tired to go looking for it- that number is much more comforting, don't you think? Dozo meshiagatte kudasai. A final quote, sorry for taking up your time, I'm off to bed.

Tetsuya Endo of the Health Sciences University of Hokkaido and his colleagues measured the mercury content of nearly 200 meat samples collected from vendors or processors of the marine mammals. The researchers determined that 137 of the samples came from nine species of toothed whales, including false killer whales, pilot whales, and several species of dolphins and porpoises. Another 62 samples came from six species of baleen whales, which eat tiny organisms filtered from water by comb-like mouth structures. Average mercury concentrations for individual species of toothed whales ranged from 1.3 to 46.9 micrograms per gram ([micro]g/g) of meat. Every sample exceeded 0.4 [micro]g/g, the maximum allowable mercury concentration in foods in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

funkymofo,

I form my opinions based on facts and figures and annecdotal evidence needs to be fair to be taken into consideration.

You refer to the "whaling industry", when it would be more accurate to talk about the "ICR, a publicly funded non-profit organization, recently suffering from harrassment by eco-terrorists". Their financial problems are no surprise - the leader of the band of eco-terrorist thugs has stated repeatedly that his aim is to keep hurting the ICR economically. So, I think the ICR's financial troubles (which seems to be linked with the proposed closure of the Yushin restaurantthat you mention) is hardly indicative of matters concerning demand for whale meat.

On the other hand, commercial whalers in Iceland and Norway (as opposed to non-profit publicly funded scientific whalers in Japan) have recently started exporting whale meat here. It's possible that they will burn themselves if indeed there is a "glut", but you'd expect them to know more about the true market situation here than you or I. Still this is just an annecdote and what comes of it remains to be seen - although it's worth noting that the commercial whalers have been trying to get access to the Japanese market for at least 5 years now.

I'd be interested to know which figures you are planning to use for your consumption graphs. I'm not aware that there are any such figures, which is why I refer to the movements of the frozen stockpile instead - it seems to be the best available indicator of consumption trends. Please do get back to me.

Re your comment that whale meat contains "200 times the safe level of mercury", this is not true of whale meat, and the whale meat that the ICR puts on the market is tested for these things. Even a well known anti-whaler admitted as much recently in a letter to the Japan Times. Small cetaceans are another issue, but as you yourself note, we're yet to hear of people dying because of a toxic dosage of dolphin. Strange indeed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

davidattokyo, '

Was the characterisation of 4,000 tons of meat as a "glut" yours or someone elses?

' When supply outstrips demand- as has been found in audits of the whaling industry, a glut is the result.

Anyway, glad to see you're focusing on the arguments instead of pointless semantic quibbles. Oh, wait a minute....

And suppose I do graph the figures you quote- I might also be tempted to graph the annual consumption of the products you mentioned. Yushin, the 'flagship' whale restaurant in Tokyo is closing, citing 'high operating costs', I believe. Isn't the whaling industry also having problems paying back the loans it has been given, above and beyond the massive subsidies they receive, that is. Any comparison between this oversubsidised niche and mainstream food industries is a rather transparent attempt to give it legitimacy that it clearly does not deserve.

Anyway, I have to wonder why you don't address the health concerns I mentioned. Have you ingested enough whale to affect your memory?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm in favor of whaling. Yep, in favor of killing the cows of the sea! Oh, not all of them. I wouldn't want anything hunted to extinction. But managed fishing, yep, that I am in favor of. Don't see anything wrong with it at all. So long as there are sufficient numbers of the animals, why not allow limited hunting?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cleo, as you are opposed to killing whales in the first place I struggle to understand why you are so adamant to assert what is your obviously biased opinion with respect to the science involved. You don't seem to really know what you are talking about either, which makes it even more baffling.

Data on diet etc doesn't change so radically that you have to keep ripping whale stomachs open year after year.

1) With respect to diet, the JARPN programme has provided evidence to the contrary. Diet does change, even from year to year. 2) Your "etc" encaptures numerous other data samples that are collected, without offering proof that none of them change and don't require monitoring.

And you don't need to kill to count.

Japan doesn't kill them to count them. That's what the visual sightings surveys are for, and as the IWC has found the information from sightings surveys alone is not always sufficient to gain a proper understanding of what is happening in whale land.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

these things can obviously not be based on old, out of date data from years ago. Many scientific endeavours are not once-off short term projects. This is but one of them.

translation - any excuse to keep killing.

Data on diet etc doesn't change so radically that you have to keep ripping whale stomachs open year after year. And you don't need to kill to count.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

funkymofo,

Was the characterisation of 4,000 tons of meat as a "glut" yours or someone elses?

In comparison with the whale meat stockpile at the end of September of 4,209 tons, there was 80,158 tons of beef and 180,227 tons of pork in stock as of the end of August. Graph those figures and you get a stark contrast.

Additionally, the recent peak size of the whale meat stockpile was 5,969 tons in April 2006. In March of 2008 there was just 2,368 tons - a multi-year low.

It's a stockpile, it goes up and down like a yoyo as stock goes out and new stock comes in.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

GeorgeRoper,

The research involves monitoring the health and structure of the whale populations over time. Future knowledge of these things can obviously not be based on old, out of date data from years ago. Many scientific endeavours are not once-off short term projects. This is but one of them. You can not sustainably manage whale populations without constantly updated data from recent measurements.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hear Japan has a glut of approximately 4000 tonnes of whale meat in storage. As it contains up 200 times the safe level of mercury, I say to Japanese people 'eat and be damned'. Enjoy your ancient and precious 'tradition' of hunting with grenade tipped harpoons far across the world surrounded by people who don't want you there. It's interesting that there is no outcry over poisoned and contaminated whale meat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Moddy, please don't edit folk's posts at will. It's very bad manners. (I assume the arbitrary deletion was because you consider my alternative to thinking twice to be 'impolite'.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

right on Australia

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I agree with Cleo. Anyone who thinks whaling is alright should watch how much a whale suffers as it is murdered.

And as i have said before, after killing so many thousands the Japanese study is not complete, then they must be bleeding thickos!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ebisen, techall -

I don't think the argument is 'we shouldn't eat whale meat because it tastes bad'.

Do you two think that if an animal tastes good, it's OK to kill it slowly and agonisingly, inflicting a great deal of pain and suffering in the process? Coz that's what happens to the whales. It is impossible to guarantee a quick clean kill of a moving target from a moving boat on the high seas.

If you think that's not OK, maybe you'll think twice before ordering your next whale bacon butty.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ebisen:

Present yourself to the nearest GreenPeace or Sea Sheperd activist for execution.

(P.S. I like the bacon too!)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ok, so I ate whale meat, and I really liked the taste. It was smoked and with the texture of very high quality bacon. Now kill me for this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People who hunt whales are horrible. I saw on Telly, the whale getting killed and it was pregnant and the baby whale will still alive. Mildred was in tears.

If you can't work out thr reasearch after killing so many thousands of whales, then you must be thicker than Jerry.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cleaner water will help them also, ever notice how fewer humans seems to be the answer to many of natures problems?

Well call me a dreamer, Id rather live with um, possibly good news for whales and Aus, good on ya, both!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Huh, I wonder how the Japanese will react to the Animal Planet/Discovery Channel "Whale Wars" series. It takes a pretty dim view of the Whalers. That showing in the US right now, and world wide soon after.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow..Australia must be loaded with money. I guess the global recession hasn't hit down under yet. Maybe they can help the rest of out of this financial crisis.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Looks like you prefer those blinkers to reality. I'll look forward to you posting the same old crap about me again the next time a whaling thread comes up!

I have posted exactly what you said.

If you want to refer to that as the "old cr#p" then does that mean your posts today are the "new cr#p"?

Moderator: Readers, enough of this sniping. You are to focus your comments on the story, not at each other.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ignore the lot of 'em.

Actions speak louder than words. They wouldn't be adhered to the ICRW if they were serious.

You've finally come round to my way of thinking.

Looks like you prefer those blinkers to reality. I'll look forward to you posting the same old crap about me again the next time a whaling thread comes up!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

having two little islands thousands of miles from Australian mainland doesn't make the entire Southern Ocean Australia's backyard.

How about South Africa, Argentina, Chile, Australia and New Zealand. Every single one of them opposed to whaling. Every single one.

Way to go Japan! Ignore the lot of 'em.

How about the wonderful spirit of the Madrid Protocol? Not even on Japan's radar.

Japan knows all about considering huge areas around "little islands thousands of miles from the mainland" to be part of their backyard. Just look at tiny speck of coral called Okinotorishima. How much concrete have they poured on it to make it a bit bigger than a twin bed?

no it is true. Go read the context and understand it without your distortionary blinkers on.

Don't sweat it. It's fine for you to "personally think" that a compromise "will need to be found" under which Australia accepts Japan taking whales in the seas around Japan and in return Japan gets out of the Antarctic. You've finally come round to my way of thinking.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

lol, even just look at the last bit of the sentence that you snipped:

so that whalers and non-whalers can "agree to disagree".

That you also distort Japan's position on whaling is also evidence that you are either incapable of, or deliberately choose to not correctly interpret comments in their plain English meaning.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

imacat, lol, having two little islands thousands of miles from Australian mainland doesn't make the entire Southern Ocean Australia's backyard. Go read the ICRW again, the one that Australia remains willingly adhered to.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My comment was a suggestion of what a possible compromise might look like

That's not true. You clearly said:

"I personally think some mid-point will need to be found"

Look at the phrases that you used: "I personally think..." and "will need to be"

These aren't phrases outlining the appearance of a possible compromise. It's clear you are stating a personal belief which by definition you support. I'm sorry but you can't just change it now because it doesn't suit you any more.

And why would you want to change it? Your belief is one that many people here share.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

browny1, you are welcome to your opinion and imacat will be happy that he has at least one person agreeing with him.

As for me I don't see why Japan should quit whaling in the Southern Ocean just because Australia and other nations did and have changed their minds at the moment, despite still being adhered to the very international agreement that expressly acknowledges the rights of nations to catch whales in that area. Maybe you can't see the hypocrisy and lack of reason that I do.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't personally advocate nor support that. My comment was a suggestion of what a possible compromise might look like (not one that I advocate). But Australia isn't prepared to just look out for it's own purported interests, it wants to impose it's culture on the people of whaling nations as well (make them no longer be whaling nations). Japan Iceland and Norway aren't forcing Australians to catch or eat whales.

At this stage though, the IWC is now on life-support and its probably going to remain that way for the forseeable future. Australia is basically irrelevant already, and even if they seriously believed in their research thing it's pointless anyway - if we had so much information about whales it would just result in more impetus for more sustainable whaling.

Which is what I do personally advocate. I think Australia should be whaling too, on a sustainable basis. Their current cultural-fad precludes this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't consider the Southern Ocean to be "Australia's backyard". Australia doesn't even appear on the map: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Ocean

Oh, don't be silly. If you going to quote Wikipedia have a look at the entry for Heard Island:

Heard Island and McDonald Islands are barren islands located in the Southern Ocean... They have been territories of Australia since 1947

0 ( +0 / -0 )

to david@tokyo - observing from a point of no particular vested interest I'd say imacat's stated bits appear far more compelling.

Whether you consider Antartica Australia's backyard or not is of little note, as Australia's historical association with the said land, esp with a notion of conservation foremost, is beyond reproach.

Perhaps Japan should approach it's own backyard in similar fashion and serve to conserve such local waters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

to david@tokyo:

I personally think some mid-point will need to be found, so that whalers and non-whalers can "agree to disagree". "Not in our backyard" seems to be a likely winner to my mind.

You accept that you said this. Good. At least your memory seems to be intact if none of your other faculties.

From the context of the thread where you made this statement, it is clear that you advocate a deal whereby Australia accepts Japan whaling in its own backyard in return for Japan getting out of the Antarctic.

I mean, it's great that we are on the same wavelength. Well done. But what I can't understand is, if that is your position, why are you still blathering on about Antarctic whaling?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

imacat, you know I don't consider the Southern Ocean to be "Australia's backyard". Australia doesn't even appear on the map: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Ocean (no this isn't an invitation for you to repost your nonsense about ... - oh look you already did!)

tclh, I would be very surprised if Australia's plan produces anything useful in a time span that is relevant. The situation at the IWC is that the organization is on life support and the whalers are going to fall back on creating a new organization for sustainable whaling if the IWC doesn't get it's house in order by the middle of 2009. Japan's program has been running for 20 years and thus they have long time series of data already, which are already being used in analyses at the IWC (although Australia won't promote this fact in their rhetoric, and people like cleo will just ignore it as it doesn't suit their argument).

Australia on the other hand is backing techniques that remain yet to be properly developed and tested, let alone accepted as standard.

But I agree that they are wasting their $6M. Says a lot about Australia's politics.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan kills about 1,200 whales a year in two hunting expeditions... in the seas near Antarctica and the north Pacific Ocean.

Japan likes to remind the world about its unique culture and history.

Well, how about Japan start to think about how unique Antarctica is?

To understand how provocative Japan's Antarctic whaling really is, try this:

Next time you look at a globe, hold it upside down in your hands and look directly at the Antarctic. What countries do you see nearest to this unique and precious environment? You will see South Africa, Chile, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. Every single one of them opposed to whaling.

When it sends its huge whaling fleet every year, why is it that Japan chooses to completely ignore the views of those countries who consider this area (perfectly reasonably) as part of their backyard?

Add to this the wonderful spirit of agreements such as the Madid Protocol which designates Antarctica as a 'natural reserve, devoted to peace and science' and also manages to prohibit mining there, and we can see that Japan's activities belong to a bygone era.

The whole exercise is made more mystifying by the fact that, according to Japan's own data, there are abundance of whales in the seas around Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Australia urgently needs money for :education,health ,rails, roads...not whale research. What if in the end the research shows that there are sufficient numbers of minke whales for sustainable whaling? That will be like Japan gets the result for free then. And if the research shows that number of whales is not good enough for any whaling activity, Japan will simply disagree and carry on with its own version of research. In any case, 6 millions dollars for expensive research in such a wide area involving highly trained personnels and ships and planes will not last long at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To davidattokyo:

but repeatedly attributing statements to me that I never made is another.

What you said was:

I personally think some mid-point will need to be found, so that whalers and non-whalers can "agree to disagree". "Not in our backyard" seems to be a likely winner to my mind.

That's what you said.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What Heda said.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cleo...thanks and agree.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I also don't think anything will change. At least Japan will have to admit that leathal whaling is no longer necessary. They might even get to telling the truth about their program one day and then do away with that abnoxious Institute of Cetacean Research! Wouldn't that be lovely!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nothing will change. Numerous groups have been going on about this for years and there continues to be no ban on whaling for Japanese. If the International community really wanted such actions to be discontinued then it would have happened long ago. As long the Japanese Govt says "Its Culture" or "Its Tradition" (excuses because most people cant form a logical opinion and can only use such phrases), the slaughtering will not halt. I`m almost convinced that all the hype just makes the news and goes no further. Australia, save the 6 million and force the International community to get tough.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I expected better off you Cleo. So trying to endanger the lives of people doing a job (whether you agree with that job or not is irrelevant) is accaptable?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan conducts research because without research there can be no sustainable whaling.

If people are opposed to whaling (sustainable or otherwise, remember for some of us 'there's lots of them' isn't a valid argument), you can hardly expect them to be in favour of 'research' the sole purpose of which is to kill whales.

So it's right to support piracy/terrorism?

Didn't someone say one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter? Blowing up the whalers would be terrorism. Trying to stop people killing, isn't.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good luck and God bless all the crew of Sea Sheperd.

With a bit of luck they will cause some serious mayhem for the Japanese this time. Quite simple really... Warn them first, then ll one need do is fire poison into the carcasses with 12 guages and they won't be eaten for sure.

So it's right to support piracy/terrorism?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wrong angle; Japan refuses to acknowledge that its 'scientific research' is merely an excuse to get meat.

Oh, excuse me. I thought you actually recognised that Japan conducts research because without research there can be no sustainable whaling.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cleo is right in her analysis. Australia doesn't want to acknowledge that Japan's scientific interest in whale biology etc stems from an interest in whales as a source of food.

Wrong angle; Japan refuses to acknowledge that its 'scientific research' is merely an excuse to get meat.

If you're objecting to people attributing statements to you that you never made, perhaps you'd be kind enough to return the compliment.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am familiar with elementary schools and yes they serve whale meat but they don't return the meat most of the time. Why?

Because in many schools the kids get into trouble if they don't clear their plates. My kids' elementary school was pretty easy-going on the whole, but there were days when son was in tears on days natto was on the menu. Whale was never on the menu.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cleo is right in her analysis. Australia doesn't want to acknowledge that Japan's scientific interest in whale biology etc stems from an interest in whales as a source of food.

For Japan scientific knowledge is a means to an end, and research whaling is also research that potentially pays for itself when armed thugs aren't harrassing anybody, but that goes for any sort of legal activity.

Australia could do better if they invested in research on to how to flense the meat off whales without killing them. Then Australians could be happy that the whales aren't killed and the whale eaters can still enjoy a meal.

Even better would be for Australia to contribute the 6 million towards the IWC's SOWER programme. Currently Japan is the only nation providing a vessel to it. Australia afforded sending a gunboat to spy on the Japanese last year, so you'd think they could also afford to commit financial resources to supporting the IWC's SOWER programme before trying to undermine it with this latest PR exercise.

imacat: copying and pasting the same stuff in every thread is one thing but repeatedly attributing statements to me that I never made is another.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OK, here we go; round three in this year's pro/con whaling debate.

The point is clear; whaling is about as relevant to the 21 Century as morse code is to IT. It's patently absurd to sail down to 40 degrees, ad further latitude to prop up an industry that not even the Japanese themselves want much. This is all about belligerence in the form of national pride. So be it... Good luck and God bless all the crew of Sea Sheperd.

With a bit of luck they will cause some serious mayhem for the Japanese this time. Quite simple really... Warn them first, then ll one need do is fire poison into the carcasses with 12 guages and they won't be eaten for sure.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan as a whole has NOT hunted whale for centuries.A few very small villages have,and even then like a lot of history in this country it's very vague with even Japanese historians admitting the pro-whale movement making a lot of that 100's of years history up to try and justify what they do.Isn't this whole issue just Japanese being stubborn for the sake of it ??

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mikihouse-mate I'm talking about JHS shipmate. Mate or whatever mate you are talking about.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Very funny Samuraiiki. . . .Please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

children returning the whale meat 80%? never heard of it mate. I am familiar with elementary schools and yes they serve whale meat but they don't return the meat most of the time. Why? there is nothing left but rice eh? anyway, I am not interested in their species, I am interested in my own. Go DARWIN lets evolve

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My understanding is that most have a disease called clahmydia or some like that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a bunch of fools!!!!!!!!!! The Japanese will fight facts with fiction.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

$6 million dollars? A token PC gesture with money that could be better spent staffing prisons.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Supreme Court has given the Navy the green light to blast the hell out of the whales with active sonar. What will the green warriors do now? Harass a Japanese fishing fleet that kills clean or wave some signs at the dock before the submarines depart to scramble whale brains with massive bursts of torturous sonar. Green = gutless.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

jerseyboy -

My point is that the Japanese are not interested in, and do not understand the need for, non-lethal research. The Aussies are not going to change any Japanese minds by demonstrations of the effectiveness of non-lethal research, because it doesn't put any blubber on plates and so, from the pro-whaling point of view, is pointless.

I most certainly do not believe that 'the killing should be allowed to go on'. You'll not find a more ardent opponent of whaling - or the inhumane killing of any animal - than cleo on this board.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

CaptDingleheimer:

Just like the Norwegians did.....good on 'em.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think I'd have an easier time taking Japan and it's whaling activities seriously if they just came out and said "Look, we hunt whales because we like to eat them. Now buzz off." The whole 'research' thing just seems so lame, as it's such an obvious cop-out. Right up there with back in the '80s when "Rossignol can't sell skis in Japan because Japanese snow is unique and different." Gimme a break...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The Australian campaign will invest in aerial surveys, satellite tags and genetic studies. ... The fund will also carry out an assessment of Japan’s scientific whaling program."

$6,000,000 AUD doesn't buy a lot of research. If it were all spent on sat tags, it would buy about 900 of them - but you wouldn't have the cash left over to put them on whales or maintain the data monitoring costs. $6 mil spread across this many projects doesn't amount to very much of anything.

A public relations move, and nothing more. At the end, they'll come out with a press release saying the sat tech is viable (regardless of the fact that it's already in use and widely available), pick through the Japanese research to find a few esoteric master's thesis titles for the press, and conclude that (a) the Japanese are evil and (b) more money is needed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a waste of money, Japan kills the whales for food, they know it and the rest of the world knows it, no matter what other data is produced as long as it is legal to kill in the name of science in order to eat the food Japan will do so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cleo...and your point is what? That Japan cannot see anyone else's view, so the killing should just be allowed to go on? As Spanishwoman says, that is Japan's response to everything -- "We are unique, with special Japanese sensitivities/tradtions which must be respected, so just leave us alone." Even if we are practicing these traditions in international waters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan will always say that "it is the tradition". They don't need to excuse themselves anymore with the "research" lie, for them, "tradition" is a powerful reason for everything, be it right or wrong for the rest of the world. In Japan, "tradition" = "God's word". This is my conclusion after having received the answer "it is the tradition" to anything I dare to complain in front of Japanese people. Amen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan kills about 1,200 whales a year... in the seas near Antarctica

What business does Japan have with whales in the Antarctic? The main reason Japan always gives for grabbing the whales for this tiny niche market in Japan is to preserve its local traditional food culture. What Japan has to understand is that it looks ridiculous and also very greedy to insist on a local "food culture" that stretches all the way to the Antarctic.

According to Japan's own data there are an abundance of whales in the seas around Japan. If Japan is so concerned with preserving its oh-so-precious whaling "food culture" then it should stick to those whales.

Even the most ardent pro-whalers on this board such as davidattokyo have already admitted that the best way forward is for Japan to give up its Antarctic whaling and stick to the whales in the seas surrounding Japan. This fits in much better with their local traditional "food culture" argument.

Anyway, this is a good PR move by the Aussies. Japan hates all this publicity surrounding its huge Victorian era style expeditions to the Antarctic each year. It would much rather quietly sneak down there, grab the whales and sneak back again. They would probably also like to put up blue tarpaulins around the whale slaughter as they do at Taiji ;-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think the final report has already been written hasn't it ???? Why don't they just give the money to some poor aborigines or to prop up the public education system and then just go ahead publish the report anyways...

The carbon footprint left by this "researching the research program" will likely do as much harm as the killing of the wales but to a far greater spectrum of wildlife - especially in such a sensitive are as the Antarctic / Southern Oceans...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Whales should be left alone. Hunting should be permitted for third world countries who's reliable food source is whale meat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The trouble is that Japan's 'research' is (they say) aimed at finding out how many can be killed without the species completely disappearing.

Since the whole point of the exercise is killing whales, I imagine they won't understand the Australian stance.

All that money spent - and not a single plate of blubber to show for it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Killing whales on a full stomach is downright absurd. When I was a English Teacher a few years ago,some schools serve whale meat as an traditional meal during school lunch. From my observation alot of the students didn't eat whale meat. I say about 80% put the whale meat back on the food tray. I didn't eat the whale meat either because of my stance on whales and plus stories of High Mercury percentage in the whale meat. The parents & PTA wanted the students to enjoy whale meat,whale meat was apart of the lunch menu long time ago when the student's parents were going to school. I protest killing whales.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Never did understand the mentality of killing something to see how it lives.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites