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Australian court case against Japanese whaling to begin Wednesday in The Hague

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By ROD McGUIRK

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yabits,

Are you claiming the Japanese are too hapless or inept to develop it? Or just too unmotivated?

If motivation can develop such a technology, anti-whaling nations such as Australia, US, UK, Germany would already have such a technology.

There is tracking technology being used for fish and marine mammals today.

You must be genius. So, please provide detailed steps of how to use tracking technology on huge, fast minke whales.

From the blood and tissue, scientists could estimate age, gender, pregnancy, etc.

Where is evidence of such the method? Even Australia has not claimed it to Japan.

It should not require slaughtering hundreds of samples to get a statistically valid result on any of the tests.

There are 515,000 minke whales. 850 is less than 0.2%. It is not unreasonably large number.

And, as the methods of the non-lethal testing become more improved and validated, the need for killing as many whales to validate the data will decrease.

Japan uses the non-lethal research in feasible cases, it does more such research than Australia.

But, to aim for the non-lethal methods only, at any cost, is nonsense. ICRW purpose is development of whaling industry. Not development of non-lethal whale research method. Final purpose of research is to support the sustainable whaling in future.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What my example shows is that cost is a factor in decisions. Even if there is a better way it may be cost prohibitive. I believe you know exactly what my example shows but just refuse to admit it.

You can want research proposals to be peer reviewed but unfortunately the IWC charter does not require that.

And your talk of honorable countries is really funny. Is it honorable for countries to pass a moratorium that required them to conduct reviews of the status of all whale species by 1990 and yet they haven't conducted a single one even 23 years later?

Oh and even the IWC agrees that some of the data that Japan's research plan calls for can only be collected by lethal means. So even honor would not allow your wish to be fulfilled.

Now will you answer the questions you dodged?

Have you calculated the sample size needed for the stated aims of the JARPA II research? Have you read the JARPA II research plan which lays out the maths they use to determine their sample size? And lastly have you proven where their statistical method or maths are wrong?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Let me use a technology example that in no way is applicable to whaling but I believe shows why your apparent claim is false.

Mike, the example of the alcohol sensor in no way shows my claim as being false. It was just an extremely strange sidetrack that showed nothing.

Have you taken a class in statistics?

Yes.

Have you calculated the sample size needed for the stated aims of the JARPA II research?

The "stated aims" and means for achieving them should be up for a peer review by a comprehensive representation of the scientific community, and not just those whose bias is plain to see by their actions.

An honorable nation would make -- as its aim -- the undertaking of research of marine mammals in a way that kills as few as possible, while relying heavily on non-lethal technology to validate the data.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So yabits your claim seems to be that if they were doing Real research then money would be no object and they would be willing to spend as much as needed to develop and deploy the technology? Are you serious?

Let me use a technology example that in no way is applicable to whaling but I believe shows why your apparent claim is false. The technology exists to connect a sensor to a cars ignition that prevents the car from starting if the driver can't pass a breathalizer test. Just think of how much it would cut down on drunk driving and how many injuries and deaths it could prevent. So why isn't this mandatory on all cars? Or all vehicles for that matter, people drive boats and fly planes drunk too?

As to your talk about sample size. Have you taken a class in statistics? Have you calculated the sample size needed for the stated aims of the JARPA II research? Have you read the JARPA II research plan which lays out the maths they use to determine their sample size? And lastly have you proven where their statistical method or maths are wrong?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It seems the fantasy of anti-whalers. Which technology does any nation have for it?

Are you claiming the Japanese are too hapless or inept to develop it? Or just too unmotivated? There is tracking technology being used for fish and marine mammals today. More improvements can be made by a serious people intent on doing real research -- and not the phony research disguised as such to sell whale meat to consumers.

But will this tracking tell them whether the whale is pregnant? Whether it is fertile? What the levels of toxins in its organs are? How climate change is effecting its blubber layer?

There are two general answers to these questions. But both have to be applied by people who are serious about doing genuine research, and not just something they conveniently call "research" to accomplish an ulterior purpose.

The first answer has to do with new developments in the technology. Just because a few initial efforts have not proven successful does not mean that we don't learn from the failures and come back with something even better. If we can send a probe to another planet, I am very confident a probe could be designed to acquire blood and tissue samples from a whale with insignificant disturbance to its life. From the blood and tissue, scientists could estimate age, gender, pregnancy, etc. Real research.

The second answer has to do with the size of the samples needed to be killed for validation. Especially, to ensure that the methods used in the first answer are returning the desired accuracy. It should not require slaughtering hundreds of samples to get a statistically valid result on any of the tests. And, as the methods of the non-lethal testing become more improved and validated, the need for killing as many whales to validate the data will decrease.

Of course, all this assumes a technologically adept nation that is serious about doing research in a world that views their activities as a pure sham, and a total shame. Apparently, listening to the whale-killers view, when it comes to developing non-lethal technology for this, Japan is a "Can't-Do" nation.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Also recently Australia and NZ tried to tag and track whales in the Southern Ocean and had almost zero success and the few trackers they did put on whales all fell off within a short period of time.

Mike

It's even worse. Their objective was to collect biopsy samples (whale poop/fart) of Minke but couldn't even do that.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Gosh sorry, I didn't realise only pro-whalers were allowed to express their opinion. Silly me.

Yes silly you, as that is not what said. What anyone who wasn't playing games would have understood was why do you discuss research when you would be against whaling even if you thought the research was real.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

You refuse whaling, anyway. Why you pretend to discuss scientific research?

Gosh sorry, I didn't realise only pro-whalers were allowed to express their opinion. Silly me.

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The whales they 'research' are neither pregnant nor fertile any more, once the harpoon has exploded.

Astute observation there cleo. But the whales they research do give a representative sample of all the whales they don't sample. So the results of what the conditions of the researched whales where before they died allows the scientists to determine they conditions of the whole whale population. That is the way scientific research works.

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cleo, it is the sampling method. Whale does not answer question if one asks "how old?", "pregnant?". You refuse whaling, anyway. Why you pretend to discuss scientific research?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

will this tracking tell them whether the whale is pregnant? Whether it is fertile?

The whales they 'research' are neither pregnant nor fertile any more, once the harpoon has exploded.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Let us be serious here. Japan is an advanced technological nation. It is capable of deploying technology to "mark" and track whales, along with computer modeling to collect and publish data on findings.

And if all their research entailed was tracking where the whales go you would be right. But will this tracking tell them whether the whale is pregnant? Whether it is fertile? What the levels of toxins in its organs are? How climate change is effecting its blubber layer?

Sorry yabits but tracking the whales will collect only a small part of the data Japan has been collecting.

Also recently Australia and NZ tried to tag and track whales in the Southern Ocean and had almost zero success and the few trackers they did put on whales all fell off within a short period of time.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

yabits,

Let us be serious here.

I am always serious.

Japan is an advanced technological nation. It is capable of deploying technology to "mark" and track whales

The tracking and data collection is done with other species, and can be successfully done with whales.

It seems the fantasy of anti-whalers. Which technology does any nation have for it?

Whale is big powerful animal, and mostly is out of sight in the ocean. Also, whales do not wear the leash as do dogs. Where is the efficient technology to tag so many whales, and technology for long lasting tag which can transmit data for many many years, and not fall off whale?

However, lethal method has provided data since long ago. It works.

ICRW does not require the non-lethal research. ICRW says Japan can decide the number of whales to catch for it. This is simple legal question. ICJ can not deny right of any ICRW nation to do it.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

If Japan stops the research whaling, data series would end. Then, it means less knowledge of current condition of whale numbers.

Let us be serious here. Japan is an advanced technological nation. It is capable of deploying technology to "mark" and track whales, along with computer modeling to collect and publish data on findings. The "data series" would not end. The tracking and data collection is done with other species, and can be successfully done with whales.

They don't have to be slaughtered on the scale they are just for "research" purposes. The case should clearly expose Japan's pretense in this.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

yabits,

Wow, how many whales have to be slaughtered for the sake of research? And what is the scientific output or product of this research?

It is one of the time series analysis. Here you are. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_series

If Japan stops the research whaling, data series would end. Then, it means less knowledge of current condition of whale numbers. It is not appropriate for the sustainable use of the whales, which is purpose of ICRW. (Already, Sea Shepherd is causing big problem for research.)

I would suppose ICJ case starts today. Maybe anti-whalers can not have good understanding of Japan's research, however they accept judgement of ICJ, maybe that is the best way?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is culture imperialism.

Wrong.

Why can’ t they hunt whale commercially and trade some of the products from the whales they hunt in the same was as Norway?

The species needs to be protected. Native peoples know that. They can't afford to have their traditional practices being misused as a pretense for factory whalers to claim they are just doing the same. Native peoples harvest a tiny fraction of a percentage of what is taken by the industrial whalers.

The case in point highlights the pretense made by Japan that it is just conducting "research." I would love for these native groups to file amicus briefs for the case. They would be staunchly opposed to increased commercial whaling by Japan and other countries. Ask them who is being "Imperialist" when it comes to the attitude about whaling.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Probie Mate you sound like an expert in the matter and arguing vehemently in favor of Japan's massacre of whales in the ocean. I am not sure however, if you fully understand what it means for Australia or countries of the region. Just curious where you live, as we in this surrounding where the Japanese come to kill whales go through a trauma everytime they come. Have you really looked at any of the videos of it? Whales are big part of the ocean ecosystem, I am not saying they should not be killed because they are cute( I do personally think they are beautiful anyway), its because their sheer presence contributes to the survival of lives in the ocean in big way. Yes, it is the backyard for all countries where Japanese killer ships come to hunt, there is no two way about it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Inuit people today hunt whales from high speed power boats using large caliber scoped rifles. They butcher the whales and carry off the meat on snowmobiles to not only their homes but to the local supermarkets where the whale meat is sold.

This is a deceptive and misleading statement. The "selling" of whale meat in Inuit communities has to follow very stringent guidelines so that it cannot be misconstrued to constitute commercial whaling. Hundreds of years ago, the Inuits lived in communities where nearly everything was shared. Today, more of a market system is in place to distribute the meat to the community, and to enable the hunters to gain access to the resources they need for their hunts. The indigent and elderly of the community can get a free allotment of meat, as the need applies. Try that with your local supermarket.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

All readers back on topic please. Focus your comments on the court battle.

zichiJun. 26, 2013 - 02:20AM JST Unlike the Japanese the indigenous people never killed whales in the tens of thousands. Never travelled half way >across the globe in whaling fleets with whaling factory ships and tankers in tow to kill whales. indigenous people killed >only what they needed for survival and for their own needs.

The Inuit people today hunt whales from high speed power boats using large caliber scoped rifles. They butcher the whales and carry off the meat on snowmobiles to not only their homes but to the local supermarkets where the whale meat is sold. Perhaps you thought they still hunted in skin covered kayaks with bone tipped harpoons and carried off the meat only to their villages in dogsleds? The Japanese commercial whaling which started in the 1920s with the help of Europeans has never brought whales to the brink of extinction. It was the western nations, Britain, France, Norway, United states that devastated the global whale populations for whale oil. Even Australia did not close it's last whale processing plant until 1978. The Japanese, like other peoples who consume whale meat have a vested interest in ensuring that "stocks are maintained" as per the IWC charter.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan's more than 10 years research on "whales meat into some Japanese stomach", should reach a conclusion; high time for this research to end. All nations should please leave the Antartic and Artic alone; mankind has destroyed enough natural habitat recklessly.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Unlike the Japanese the indigenous people never killed whales in the tens of thousands. Never travelled half way across the globe in whaling fleets with whaling factory ships and tankers in tow to kill whales. indigenous people killed only what they needed for survival and for their own needs.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

the IWC is a joke, its like if your not a member you dont have to abide by its rules. this is why Australia is taking is Japan to the International court because all countries need to abide by its rulings unlike the IWC

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Wow, how many whales have to be slaughtered for the sake of research?

And what is the scientific output or product of this research?

The research is done to calculate how many whales one can hunt to make the hunt sustainable.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Dreyfus said Japan had killed more than 10,000 whales since the moratorium was declared.

Wow, how many whales have to be slaughtered for the sake of research?

And what is the scientific output or product of this research?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

zichi

I explained in detail previously why it is not illegal for the ICR's vessels to refuel at sea below 60 degrees South. Here it is again:

USNinJapan2Mar. 22, 2013 - 05:59PM JST Disillusioned: "This refers to the whale sanctuary. Vessels are not allowed to partake in refuelling operations within the sanctuary for environmental reasons." It's high time someone schooled you on this. Refueling in antarctic waters is prohibited ONLY by Australia within their self-proclaimed and globally unrecognized Australian Arctic Territory. In other words, it's only "illegal" if one accepts Australia's claim over that portion of the Southern Ocean and since the international community (all but 4-5 nations) disregards Australia's claim, it's hardly illegal to conduct refueling there. Like it or not, it's not Australian waters as far as 99% of nations are concerned so by practice Australia's domestic laws don't apply there. Verdict: Not "illegal." Furthermore, the UN's International Maritime Organization (IMO) has prohibited the use of heavy fuel oils to fuel ships below 60 deg. south since 2011. All fuel oils are classified as one of No.1-6 Fuel Oils based on their characteristics and only No.5 and No.6 Fuel Oils are heavy fuel oils. Now, fuel used by ships for propulsion is called Bunker Fuel of which there are several categories: Bunker A, B, and C. of which only Bunker B and C, which are No.5 and No.6 Fuel Oils are heavy fuel oils. The ICR operates its research whaling fleet exclusively using Bunker A which is a No.2 Fuel Oil and not a heavy fuel oil. Most ships burn Bunker B and C because they are less refined and therefore much cheaper than Bunker A which is a similar grade to home heating oil and automobile diesel fuel. Despite the added cost, the ICR has complied fully with the IMO's prohibition of heavy fuel oils in antarctic waters and the fuel that is used by the vessels of the whaling fleet as well as the fuel aboard the South Korean commercial refueling vessel was all Bunker A/No.2 Fuel Oil which is NOT heavy fuel oil. Verdict: Once again, NOT "illegal." It really shouldn't be any wonder why only Australia and those with anti-whaling sentiments have claimed that the refueling of the ICR's whaling fleet is "illegal" (but have taken no action), and why the IMO, who has the only recognized legal authority in this case, has never stated anything of the kind. Unfortunately for you Disillusioned, it's illegal in your mind only because you want it to be illegal, but alas no more than wishful thinking.

If the Japanese weren't whaling inside the Antarctic, the Sea Shepherd group wouldn't be there too.

Ridiculous. Try to be rational for once instead of looking at the situation through your love for whales. Sea Shepherd's mission is to get underfoot and interfere with and disrupt the ICR's research whaling by any means necessary including violence where as the ICR, who has a legal right to be there conducting their lethal research whaling in accordance with existing IWC regulations, would be happy if they never saw a SS vessel ever again. Yet you believe the Japanese are responsible for creating any dangerous situation or the resulting accident and environmental damage. You may as well blame the whales since without them the J-ICR wouldn't be down in the Antarctic either.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@USNinJapan2

If the Sea Shepherd group wasn't in the Antarctic, the Japanese whaling fleet would still be there, would still need a tanker for refuelling and without being watched the tanker would probably enter the 60 degree South more often than it does.

We both know how dangerous refuelling at sea can be. Oil tankers have fatal accidents and cause massive pollution even in places like Alaska.

If the Japanese whaling fleet needs a tanker for whale hunting in the Antarctic, then it shouldn't be there in the first place.

No oil tanker should be anywhere near the Antarctic.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@USNinJapan2

The Japanese Antarctic whaling fleet needs to use a fuel tanker and uses the South Korean owned Sun Laurel. This tanker has discharged oil into the Antarctic sea, which in itself is a violation of international law. Marpol Regulation 15 Subpart B, Discharge in Special Areas Point 4 states: “In respect of the Antarctic area, any discharge into the sea of oil or oily mixtures from any ship shall be prohibited.”

The Sun Laurel has also illegally refuelled vessels of the Japanese whaling fleet below 60 degrees South; a direct violation of the Antarctic Treaty. The Sun Laurel carries Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) onboard, which is a further breach of MARPOL.

If a tanker of this size with fuel sank in the Antarctic seas it would pollute the Antarctic ice pack, and kill the wild life. The pollution would not be easy to remove given the nature of the environment.

We are already losing the Arctic at a very rapid rate. The Antarctic needs protecting against all activities in the area.

If the Japanese weren't whaling inside the Antarctic, the Sea Shepherd group wouldn't be there too.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

zichi

If there was a disaster, like a large ship sinking or the refuelling tanker sinking with its load, the pollution which would hit the Antaractic would be impossible to clean up.

Since you're so concerned about safeguarding the environment and of course the safety of vessels in the Antarctic and Southern Oceans, you most definitely should send your sentiments to the folks who single handedly pose the biggest risk of causing an environmental disaster there. You can contact them at: Sea Shepherd, PO Box 2616, Friday Harbor, WA 98250 USA or info@seashepherd.org

Good luck!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Australia, New Zealand including the Maroi, and all the islands of the South Pacific support the whale sanctuary. No country in the region is opposed to it and the only outsider country to make whale hunting are the Japanese.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Especially since it isn't even a loophole, it is written directly into the charter, so it isn't a loophole. The anti-whalers just say that to make it sound underhand.

Well it depends how it's used. If Japan were dynamiting whales, not recording any data and not using the meat, it would contravene the IWC charter and be an unacceptable loophole. As it is, Japan makes a cursory nod to research, to meet the bare minimum requirements.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

zichi,

There should be no treaties which countries join but then opt out when they don't like it or try to find another way to overcome the ban. The ban should be permanent and cover all countries.

However, whaling countries would never join such "ban" treaty in first place.

Problem is countries do not like whaling anymore, but rather than quit IWC, they abused IWC to try to make it such "ban" treaty, after whaling was already agreed as in ICRW.

ICJ can not deny ICRW is whaling agreement. If ICJ were to deny it, whaling nations can leave. I do not think ICJ would want it. In terms of law, Australia is wrong one.

then I can only hope Australia wins the court case.

I wish you luck, cordially.

There is no need for any whale hunting in the fragile Antaractic and Southern Oceans.

Under ICRW agreement, whaling in Antarctic is basically accepted in principal. Until entire world agrees that Antarctic and Southern Oceans should be totally protected areas, ICRW will not change, although you may wish so.

Only way for Australia is to seek to disrupt operation of IWC. It's bad behavior. Maybe Australia thinks its OK for the purpose of whales, though.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

then I can only hope Australia wins the court case.

I doubt they will. Although, I think it would be interesting if they did. Wonder if Japan would just quit the IWC and go on full scale commercial whaling?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

It is change of international rules. I don't think it happens, ever.

then I can only hope Australia wins the court case. There is no need for any whale hunting in the fragile Antaractic and Southern Oceans. If there was a disaster, like a large ship sinking or the refuelling tanker sinking with its load, the pollution which would hit the Antaractic would be impossible to clean up.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Even the killing of all the whales in all the oceans won't be able to feed the world

It is off-topic.

Sustainable whaling means NOT kill all the whales in all the oceans.

I expect by at least 2050, the sea will be so polluted, people won't be able to eat anything from it.

Off-topic as well, and I also think your prediction is wrong. Humans will never allow such a thing. They will prevent it. It is same as whaling. Although there was unsustainable whaling in past centuries, now there is sustainable whaling. We humans can do it.

With world's population likely to increase by 3-4 billion by the end of the century, people need to start thinking about how the world could feed 11-11 billion people.

Stopping sustainable whaling does not contribute to solution to this problem.

Maybe the IWC could decide just how many whales and which species could be killed each year, and then divide the quota between all the member countries of the IWC.

Divide between whaling nations is better idea. Not all the nations would use their part of quota, which is wasteful, in potential.

As for whaling or for that matter any kind of activity in the Antarctic and Southern Oceans, I made my point clear with my first comment, that the entire area should remain free of any activity by any country, except for the scientific work on the ice pack.

It is change of international rules. I don't think it happens, ever.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A country, like Australia, that believes from the outset that there shouldn't be any commercial whaling under any circumstances, shouldn't be permitted to be a member of the International WHALING Commission, an organization whose mission is the conservation and MANAGEMENT of WHALING.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Just because I'm happy to see Australia prevent whale hunting in the Antarctic and Southern Oceans does not mean I would agree that it owns any part of it. The Antarctic belongs to the world and all activities which would include whale hunting banned from the area.

There should be no treaties which countries join but then opt out when they don't like it or try to find another way to overcome the ban. The ban should be permanent and cover all countries.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Well the best UN estimates are that world population won't even top 10 billion before starting to decline.

And the IWC is alraedy suppose to ;

decide just how many whales and which species could be killed each year

In fact it was stated as such as part of the moratorium. But they refuse to do it

And your speculation on what Japan, Iceland and Norway would do is just that, your speculation. But since Japan made a proposal to the IWC which would have given them a quota less than half their current one and put in place other controls, it would appear that your speculation has little basis in fact.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

My personal opinion it that countries agree to join international treaties like the IWC or CITES but when they don't like the outcome, they leave, then try to rejoin under a different set of conditions. Its much the issue of having an International Court, which America won't join, unless it meant no American citizen would be tried by that court?

Even the killing of all the whales in all the oceans won't be able to feed the world, and I expect by at least 2050, the sea will be so polluted, people won't be able to eat anything from it. With world's population likely to increase by 3-4 billion by the end of the century, people need to start thinking about how the world could feed 11-11 billion people.

Maybe the IWC could decide just how many whales and which species could be killed each year, and then divide the quota between all the member countries of the IWC. Those countries which decide not to kill their quota could do so but somehow I think countries like Japan, Iceland and Norway may find their quotas reduced from current levels. Then of course, the countries like Japan, Iceland and Norway would disagree with reduced quotas and continue to make their own actions.

As for whaling or for that matter any kind of activity in the Antarctic and Southern Oceans, I made my point clear with my first comment, that the entire area should remain free of any activity by any country, except for the scientific work on the ice pack.

If there's to be whale hunting, it should not be happening inside the Antarctic or Southern Oceans, which still leaves plenty of other open seas, at least until it becomes so polluted its no longer safe to eat anything out of the sea.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

From a historic perspective. In 1986, the IWC placed a moratorium on all commercial whaling until the exact level of whale stocks was established. By 1991, counts revealed that some whale stocks were abundant and hunting the animals for food could no longer be objected based on concern for the populations. But despite these facts, Australia and England still voted against whaling due to "ethical and moral" reasons. Whose ethics and morals? This lead to the chairman of the IWC scientific committee to quit in 1991, commenting, "What is the point of having a scientific committee if its unanimous recommendations on a matter of primary importance are treated with such contempt?"

2 ( +6 / -4 )

When it comes to the IWC and CITES treaties, Japan, Norway, Iceland have been dishonest and decided to make their own rules on whaling.

Nope, you are wrong. Both the IWC and CITES explicitely allow signatories to object to any changes or listings.

So the actions of Japan, Iceland and Norway are following the rules, it is the people who whine about those actions that want to make up their own rules

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I hope they take a hike and leave IWC if not start to respect agreements like honest people and honest countries do.

When it comes to the IWC and CITES treaties, Japan, Norway, Iceland have been dishonest and decided to make their own rules on whaling.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Australia has said, "whaling does not belong in the 21st century". This statement is unacceptable and is prejudiced cultural imperialism. The self proclaimed champions of the whales should focus on not winning the mammal extinction race at home before trying to save every single whale in the world because they think they are cute. Australia´s condemnation of the research programs on the basis that "it is not science" directly contradicts the IWC Scientific Committee. If Australia can no longer agree to the IWC Charter it should withdraw from IWC. Once they get shredded in court, I hope they take a hike and leave IWC if not start to respect agreements like honest people and honest countries do.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Mike O'Brien, wonderful comments.

But here is the funny part. If Japan does lose, all they have to do is quit the IWC and then they are free to hunt all the whales they want.

Such outcome would be unfortunate, but likely. If ICJ agrees with Australia that ICRW is not agreement for whaling, then IWC has no purpose for whaling countries any more.

I hope ICJ will respect purpose of ICRW. Australia should leave IWC, rather than whaling nations. It is the proper way.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

It is really quite simple.

The IWC was established to regulate whaling not stop it. It is right in their charter and has never been changed. And when it was established Article VIII of their charter clearly allows any member to issue research permits without any restrictions, except that the meat must be processed to the extent practicable. Article VIII even clearly says that it is exempt from the rest of the charter and Article VIII has never been changed.

The moratorium clearly says that it is temporary and within a decade the IWC was suppose to review the status of all species and for those that could support hunting the IWC was suppose to issue quotas based on a system developed by their Scientific Committee. Well the Scientific Committee has developed the Revised Management Plan to set the quotas but the IWC membership refuses to approve it and even after 25 years the IWC has yet to review a single species claiming not enough data. So Japan's collection of data is directly called for by the very moratorium itself.

Now the Sanctuary is a non-issue because Article VIII is exempt from it. But just to further destroy it's status. First off the IWC regulation that allows them to establish sanctuaries requires them to be established based on a scientific basis and one was not given when it was established and has never been given. Second the sanctuary clearly states it only applies to commercial whaling, thus research whaling and aboriginal whaling are exempt. And lastly the IWC's Article V Section 3 allows any member to object to any changes and if a member objects they are exempt from the change, Japan objected to the sanctuary and is thus exempt. Note that this objection mechanism is also why Norway and Iceland can legally conduct commercial whaling despite the moratorium.

So basically Australia's case has no legal leg to stand on. It was filed for political reasons (keep their local Greenies happy and get their votes) and the only way it could win is if the ICJ ignores the clear language of the IWC's charter.

But here is the funny part. If Japan does lose, all they have to do is quit the IWC and then they are free to hunt all the whales they want.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Commercial whaling has been banned around the world since 1986 under an International Whaling Commission moratorium. But various exceptions are allowed, including whaling for scientific research which Japan says is the motivation for its annual hunt.

This is key point. I do not see that Australian politician understand it.

Whales slaughtered for research can legally be sold as food, which Japan does.

This is key point, too.

Dreyfus said Japan had killed more than 10,000 whales since the moratorium was declared.

Japan would say so, too. It is not secret thing.

Australia initiated proceedings against Japan in The Hague court in 2010 alleging the “large-scale” whaling program breached Japan’s international obligations, including for the preservation of marine mammals and the marine environment.

ICRW is not for preservation of marine mammals. It is for WHALING.

Don Rothwell, an Australian National University expert on international law in relation to whaling who has advised the Australian government, said Australia’s case would be difficult to make.

Anti-whalers will deny it is so, however.

Rather than end whaling, the court could potentially decide how many whales Japan could take for legitimate scientific research reasons, Rothwell said.

I expect court to deny Australian complaint, completely.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

One thing I never see in these discussions is the subject of pest control. This article centers more on the legality, but to the people who argue that whaling doesn't make economic sense... From a more macro perspective, each ton of minke whale removed from the ocean will free up 10x or more biomass in the ocean, including krill, Saury, herring, etc and other fish that Japanese fishermen want. Sure, Japanese need to dial down their over fishing, but on the same note, Blue whales probably also wish Minke whale populations go down since they compete for the same breeding grounds.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

IWC needs to close the research loophole or allow limited sustainable whaling. In the former case, Japan would quit the IWC and go its own way. In the latter case, the governments (but not the anti-whalers) would stop bleating about a treaty which came with the loophole before Japan ever joined the IWC.

Especially since it isn't even a loophole, it is written directly into the charter, so it isn't a loophole. The anti-whalers just say that to make it sound underhand.

It's like saying someone parked their car using a loophole that allows cars to be parked in a car park.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

IWC needs to close the research loophole or allow limited sustainable whaling. In the former case, Japan would quit the IWC and go its own way. In the latter case, the governments (but not the anti-whalers) would stop bleating about a treaty which came with the loophole before Japan ever joined the IWC.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Then riddled this Probie; why have 2 other nations taken Japan to the ICJ,

Because they must have money to burn on a case that has little chance of winning? Because they want to score votes at home because their citizens love whales for some reason?

why has Japan refused to abide by IWC motions,

Which ones are you talking about?

why does Japan continue to hunt in a IWC sanctioned SANCTUARY

It is allowed to conduct research whaling in the SANCTUARY.

... the list goes on & on...

No, your list goes on and on.

Apart from all that there are small nations that rely on tourism from whales

Yeah, I'm sure they care about the whales well-being and not about the money rolling in...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14107381

"The economic benefits for local communities can be really positive, but you need a balance. If there is over exploitation and the whales are harmed in the long term then the industry will eventually collapse just like fishing."

not on the ICR payroll,

Yes, they're on the anti-whaling groups' payroll.

Besides, the IWC is meant to be about commercial whaling. Any country that is not interested in whaling and just wants to stop it, shouldn't be allowed to be a member.

so you are saying the economic interests of a few Japanese companies are above that of 3rd world nations trying to survive on tourism?

No. I'm saying that what Japan is doing in LEGAL. If the countries who survive on whale watching tourism want to protect their OWN waters, then they are free to do that. International waters is a different thing.

Once again Japanese thinking of FTW we are in it for our own, even if it just ends up in freezers, or we just use for doggy treats...

Well, they caught the whales, they can use it however they want to. Just because you don't like it or agree with it, that doesn't make it illegal.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

What's needed above all else is an international law which states that ALL whales (from dolphins up to blue whales) are protected. I really hope that Australia wins this, but there's too much money changing hands for it to have much hope of success.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Then riddled this Probie; why have 2 other nations taken Japan to the ICJ, why has Japan refused to abide by IWC motions, why does Japan continue to hunt in a IWC sanctioned SANCTUARY... the list goes on & on...

Apart from all that there are small nations that rely on tourism from whales, not on the ICR payroll, so you are saying the economic interests of a few Japanese companies are above that of 3rd world nations trying to survive on tourism? Once again Japanese thinking of FTW we are in it for our own, even if it just ends up in freezers, or we just use for doggy treats...

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Japan just needs to implement a whale "fishery" and be done with it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As an Australian born Japanese. I find it stupid to cause a massive fuss! Can someone tell me what makes whales so important?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I do believe whales are special.

WHY are they special?

They are different from the other animals reared for human consumption.

Not relevant to the discussion.

Japan does not need whale meat for their hunger, they have enough of other meats and fishes already.

Not relevant to the discussion.

Japan, get out of Australia's backyard, before other nations start doing same near sea of Japan.

Since WHEN did Australia own the Antarctic oceans? The Japanese aren't in "Australia's backyard".

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I do believe whales are special. They are different from the other animals reared for human consumption. Japan does not need whale meat for their hunger, they have enough of other meats and fishes already. Japan, get out of Australia's backyard, before other nations start doing same near sea of Japan.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

I do wish Japan would just quit the IWC already.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@DJbooth

If Japan complied with the reglatory board,(the IWC), in this matter then this case would not happen.

They DO comply with the IWC.

As many have stated the IWC regulates whaling, & it has set a GLOBAL MORITORIUM, meaning NO WHALING, simple.

No, wrong again. Members of the IWC can't whale commercially. Iceland etc aren't members and whale as much as they want and set their own quotas. IWC allows for "research" whaling. So, that doesn't mean "NO WHALING, simple".

Furthermore the IWC does NOT CONDONE Japans hunts, quite the opposite, it has passed numerous motions,(majority vote), telling Japan to cease & desist from it's whaling program.

Really? Then why did they write research whaling into their charter? Also the "majority vote" comment made me laugh, because everyone knows that pro and anti, both sides, bribe member countries, so any vote is pretty much a farce.

So Japan refuses to comply with the regulatory board on the matter, & now find themselves in the ICJ for their transgressions & failed to comply with the IWC...

No. Wrong yet again. Besides, it's not the IWC taking them to court. It's the dumb Aussie politicians trying to look good at home.

Like it or not. Japan are doing what they do LEGALLY.

Japan should just leave the IWC and re-commence commercial whaling, if only to shut up the people who seem to think they are Perry Mason or something and constantly bring up the research whaling stuff as a case-breaker, when in fact it is the complete opposite.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

If Japan complied with the reglatory board,(the IWC), in this matter then this case would not happen. As many have stated the IWC regulates whaling, & it has set a GLOBAL MORITORIUM, meaning NO WHALING, simple. Furthermore the IWC does NOT CONDONE Japans hunts, quite the opposite, it has passed numerous motions,(majority vote), telling Japan to cease & desist from it's whaling program. So Japan refuses to comply with the regulatory board on the matter, & now find themselves in the ICJ for their transgressions & failed to comply with the IWC...

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

I hope the courts nail Japan to their own harpoons in this case.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

The only thing that will stop Japanese whaling in the south seas is Sea Shephard or a sudden increase in Japanese consciousness of whaling as a waste of national resources and brain-washing by conservative leaders. I bet the former will come before the latter.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Whales slaughtered for research can legally be sold as food, which Japan does.

Ah, the customary biased reporting. This isn't the whole truth is it? Whales slaughtered for research are REQUIRED to be legally sold as food by the IWC regs.

The ICJ is not going to rule in favor or Australia. To do so it would have to ignore the following facts:

1) The IWC continues to authorize Japan's research whaling. Whether or not one believes it is a cover for commercial whaling, the IWC accepts Japan's explanation that it is for research purposes.

2) The Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, which exists as declared by the IWC, is off-limits only to commercial whaling. The IWC, who is the sole governing body over the SOWC, condones Japan's research whaling there, i.e. the IWC has no issue with Japan doing what it has been doing around the Antarctic.

At least Australia is smart enough not include in its case that the Japanese are violating Australian laws. That would be an exercise in futility since for it to be successful the IJC would have to recognize Australia's unilaterally claimed Australian Antarctic Territory. And that simply won't happen.

Ultimately, the ICJ will naturally refer to the IWC, the only international body with any authority over whaling, and its stance on Japan's whaling activities in the Antarctic, and find that Japan is not violating any existing laws or conventions. It's the only logical outcome.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Spending more money to defend a loss making industry? Emotional argument aside. It would be cheaper to pay the wages of those involved through tax then prop up an industry that brings nothing but negative global condemnation.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Australia does have a difficult case to prove, but their ace in the whole is that, Japan openly states their 'research' is to prove that commercial whaling is viable, which goes against the IWC charter giving them permission to hunt whales in the first place.

No it doesn't go against the IWC charter. The IWC is all about whaling. They WROTE the charter, which states that scientific whaling is okay, and that the caught whales have to be "consumed".

It's not an ace in the hole for them, it's the ace in the hole for Japan, because it proves that what they are doing is well within the law.

Forget about all the emotional sides to this argument, and look at it logically, and you'll see that Japan isn't doing anything wrong.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

So Japan is going to spend even more money defending a practice that has been a loss maker, both internationally and monetary. You would think that there are higher priorities besides the few involved in this loss making industry. Talk of cultural practice do not wash when people are still living in school gyms. Is that a cultural thing too?

3 ( +10 / -7 )

For once Prof Rothwell is pretty much on the money. Anyone who is getting their hopes up needs to read:

http://www.smh.com.au/environment/whale-watch/doomed-whaling-fight-aimed-at-saving-labor-vote-20110104-19f52.html

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Australia does have a difficult case to prove, but their ace in the whole is that, Japan openly states their 'research' is to prove that commercial whaling is viable, which goes against the IWC charter giving them permission to hunt whales in the first place.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

I would like to see all activity kept out of the Antarctic, whether its whaling or some other activity. Just the scientists working on the ice pack and everyone else staying away including cruise ships.

11 ( +18 / -7 )

except of course that Japanese whaling IS almost purely commercial and the "research' bollocks is believed by any normal person.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Last time I checked the Antarctic Ocean isn't a part of Australia. Not only that but Japan hasn't actually breached any laws. Regardless of your views on the matter you can't say that Japan is breaking international laws on whaling.

-2 ( +17 / -19 )

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