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Icelandic whalers suspend hunt; denounce Japan

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"Icelandic whalers suspend hunt; denounce Japan" a headline which suggests that Icelandic whalers have stopped whaling and are denouncing Japan for whaling, Only when you read the article do you realize that the Icelandic whalers stopped their whaling because Japan won't buy their whales. And that's why they are denouncing Japan. "but it has never made a secret of the fact that the whale meat from these hunts often ends up on dining tables." AFP has been repeating this line over and over for years and still not stating that it is a REQUIREMENT under the IWC Article VIII which authorizes these scientific hunts. It's pretty obvious that AFP is a biased news source capable of only gutter journalism. And of course JT always uses their stories,

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Fewer endangered fin whales are going to be killed for profit. This is good news.

They are using stone age methods.

For a Stone-Age industry.

it is a REQUIREMENT under the IWC Article VIII which authorizes these scientific hunts

Article VIII authorises scientific hunts, not 'food culture' or 'for the table' hunts which is what Japan gives itself permits for. Totally ass-backwards.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Dear Iceland this year we are catching our own we dont want your whales...

0 ( +7 / -7 )

cleo - Article VIII authorises scientific hunts, not 'food culture' or 'for the table' hunts which is what Japan gives itself permits for. Totally ***-backwards.

It is still a requirement under the IWC Article VIII which authorizes these scientific hunts. The meat must be utilized, whether you approve of it or not.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Click bait headline. Seems to have backfired though, these whale articles are usually boiling over with comments.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

cleoFeb. 26, 2016 - 08:18AM JST "it is a REQUIREMENT under the IWC Article VIII which authorizes these scientific hunts

Article VIII authorises scientific hunts, not 'food culture' or 'for the table' hunts which is what Japan gives itself permits for. >Totally ass-backwards

Wrong honey, Article VIII makes mo mention whatsoever about "food culture". But it does clearly state that the meat must be consumed.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Wrong honey, Article VIII makes mo mention whatsoever about "food culture". But it does clearly state that the meat must be consumed

Exactly Sweetiepie, Article VIII makes no mention of 'food culture', it's what the Japanese whaling lobby comes up with whenever it's asked to justify its 'scientific research' whaling programme which is in fact (as noted by the ICJ) NOT conducted for the purpose of research as specified under Article VIII.

Article VIII does not cover what Japan does in the Antarctic, so whining that 'Article VIII says the meat must be consumed' is totally beside the point. Added to which, if we're going to abide by Article VIII to the letter, it says nothing about any meat being consumed. It says, and I quote, Any whales taken under these special permits shall so far as practicable be processed and the proceeds shall be dealt with in accordance with directions issued by the Government by which the permit was granted.

Let's break this down : Any whales taken under these special permits shall so far as practicable be processed - not just the meat, but the whale in toto. Including all the blood, guts bones etc., (the greater part of the animal) that the whalers dump overboard in the Antarctic.

the proceeds shall be dealt with - again, all the bits of the whale, not just the meat, should be brought back and used. Fertilisers, bone meal, accessories, lamp oil ... could be processed out of the offal, instead all but the tasty bits gets chucked overboard.

in accordance with directions issued by the Government by which the permit was granted. - in other words, it's up to the Government of Japan to decide what to do with the whales after they've been 'researched'. If the government issues directions for the whole body to be tossed overboard, that's totally in compliance with the letter of Article VIII and the whalers are under no obligation to bring back a single piece of bacon or unesu .

Not at all in compliance with the spirit of Article VIII of course, but Japan's 'scientific research' was never that anyways.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

“The Antarctic Ocean is very clean so there is little PCB. yes but whales only spend half the year feeding there the other half they feed in northern waters where chemical levels are much higher, long living mamals of the sea have found to have high levels of mercury in there meat, not a healthy meat to consume.

he Government of Japan and the country’s largest online marketplace for whale and dolphin meat have been urged to stop turning a blind eye to consumer health after the latest analysis revealed unsafe mercury contamination in 100 per cent of samples tested.

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) tested 13 products purchased from Yahoo! Japan – the only major online retailer to continue to profit from sales of whale and dolphin meat – and an additional seven products from Japanese supermarkets.

Every sample showed mercury contamination exceeding the Japanese Government’s own recommended safe level of 0.4 parts per million (ppm).

In one instance of dried pilot whale meat purchased from Yahoo! Japan, the mercury level was found to be 19ppm – a shocking 47.5 times the safe limit.

Releasing the results today, EIA Oceans Campaign head Clare Perry said: “Time and again, our analysis of cetacean products on sale in Japan has shown them to be riddled with mercury and other pollutants which pose serious threats to human health.

“By continuing to allow Japanese consumers to buy and eat these toxic products in ignorance of the very real risks they pose, the Government and Yahoo! Japan are utterly failing in their duty of care.

“EIA calls on both – and on all retailers of whale and dolphin products in Japan – to stop gambling with consumers’ health and to take swift and decisive action to remove them from the market.”

Among the products from Yahoo! Japan tested by EIA were pilot whale rib cut (18ppm), Baird’s beaked whale jerky (3.7ppm) and stew (7.2ppm), pilot whale spare ribs (13ppm) and roasted whale (10ppm). Products obtained from supermarkets and identified as deriving from the notorious Taiji drive hunts included dolphin meat (11ppm), dolphin stomach meat (2.8ppm) and whale intestines (10ppm). Some 50 per cent of the products were not labelled with the name of the cetacean species, in contravention of Japan’s labelling laws. Studies of populations that consume cetacean meat and blubber have shown that mercury and other contaminants adversely affect foetal development, including infant immune function, neural development and memory, as well as increasing the risk of developing Parkinson’s, hypertension and arteriosclerosis in adults.

The full table of toxicity test results is available to view and download https://eia-international.org/wp-content/uploads/Japan-whale-dolphin-meat-mercury-contamination-results-2015.pdf

3 ( +4 / -1 )

" Icelandic whaling giant Hvalur announced Thursday it will not hunt endangered fin whales this year, "

Yeah, lets complain about that. Those evil SS eco-terrorists are destryoing Icelandic culture.... wouldn´t that be the kneejerk comment by the pro whalers here?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

By all means, please read this report from the Guardian. It goes into much more detail, from all sides (some of which surprised me).

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/25/no-fin-whales-to-be-hunted-in-iceland-this-summer

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Whale meat tastes terrible. Leave the whales alone, sell your boats and get real jobs.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The practice has drawn fire from numerous corners including the European Union and the United States which in 2014 threatened Iceland with economic sanctions.

I didn't know THAT... Whatever happened with that? Also, why only Iceland? Why not Norway and Japan too? And if you're going to impose economic sanctions on one country for whaling, why allow another into the TPP? I know the EU isn't in the TPP, but the US is. Would like to hear everyone's 2 cents on that.

Personally, I think that they should impose sactions on all three until they give up this useless practice.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

This is great news. During recent debates on these pages with our resident right wingers, I've argued that the biggest threat to Japan's whaling industry for the last few years has not been Sea Shepherd or Greenpeace etc, but has in fact been the Icelandic whaling industry - this is because Hvalur has been flooding the Japanese market with much cheaper whale meat than that sold by the Japanese government from its 'scientific' whaling (which is more expensive as it has to try and regain some of the ridiculous costs - to the taxpayer - of sending a fleet to the Southern Ocean to kill whales that very few want to eat). I'm going to hazard a guess that Japan is intentionally making it difficult for Hvalur to import whale, in order to protect its own whaling - supply has far exceeded demand for years now, but the Japanese program will continue regardless as it's all a big tax boondoggle with a flow of taxpayer funding to prop up the Institute of Cetacean Research and it's bogus program; being undercut by Icelandic whale meat was just making the Japanese program even more economically unjustifiable than it already was.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

“The Antarctic Ocean is very clean so there is little PCB. But it is higher in the waters closer to Japan, where it is above the limits set by Japan, but all of the whale products go on market nonetheless,”

Exactly! But hey, when THEY do it it's different! Don't attack their ancient culture of sending diesel ships to the Souther Ocean... errr... science!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

seems strange that japan does not capitalize on the all those whale products, im sure a market could be found for it with the right kind of promotion. shame to waste such a usefull resource.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Dear Iceland this year we are catching our own we dont want your whales...

But from whose waters will you be poaching these magnificent creatures from?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

wtfjapanFEB. 26, 2016 - 11:40AM JST

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) tested 13 products purchased from Yahoo! Japan – the only major online retailer to continue to profit from sales of whale and dolphin meat – and an additional seven products from Japanese supermarkets.

"Environmental Investigation Agancy (EIA)" is not a government organization, but an activist group.

Here is their report. https://eia-international.org/wp-content/uploads/EIA-Dangerous-Diet-FINAL.pdf

In one instance of dried pilot whale meat purchased from Yahoo! Japan, the mercury level was found to be 19ppm – a shocking 47.5 times the safe limit.

19ppm is just one sample out of 341 samples.

I am looking at the table 3 of their report that shows very interesting move in mercury contamination level.

In 2009, they tested 32 samples, of which 5 showed higher than recommended 0.4 ppm reading.

In 2015, they tested 20 samples, of which all 20 showed higher than recommended 0.4 ppm reading.

Is it because the contamination level changed dramatically over the 6 years, or the activist group is just cooking the data?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Ronald Hassem: "seems strange that japan does not capitalize on the all those whale products"

Not at all. They would only do it as a show of defiance when they've been told AGAIN that their science is completely bogus, they get whiney and suspend the fleet for a season (vowing to have the ban lifted or ignore it), and order heaps of unused whale meat from Europe for the unused stockpile to go under here (only further proving it's not at all about science). But now they are back in action using the loopholes under the guise of 'science', so if they are already importing a bunch of meat it's harder to blatantly lie about it being for science, then falling back on the 'it's our ancient food culture' rubbish if the meat freezers are already full of rotting meat no one wants. Imagine how much more they would have to literally force on children through their school lunches!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@CH3CHO respected scientist professor Endo from Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, Japan.

Between 2000 and 2002, Endo and his colleagues purchased whale meat in towns across Japan — from tiny fishing villages to Tokyo. They measured total mercury levels in the samples and did a genetic analysis to verify the species of each whale.

The researchers analyzed 137 meat samples in all and found that every one exceeded the provisional mercury level set by the Japanese Ministry of Health, which is 0.4 parts per million (ppm). Out of nine different whale species identified, the lowest average mercury level was 1.26 ppm and the highest was 46.9 ppm, with the majority of species ranging from 5-10 ppm.

The two highest mercury levels in individual samples were found in a false killer whale (81 ppm) and a striped dolphin (63.4 ppm). Nago, the southernmost of the six regions studied, had the highest average concentration, and levels decreased steadily moving northward.

The effect of eating mercury-tainted meat on people in Japan is not well studied, but a 1997 survey in the Faroe Islands revealed neurological problems in children whose mothers ate whale meat frequently. Mercury levels in most of the toothed whale samples from the current study are higher than levels in pilot whales from the Faroe Islands, according to the researchers.

In another study published earlier this year, Endo and his colleagues found that rats developed kidney disorders when they ate whale organs contaminated with mercury. They plan to examine the Japanese population in the future to determine the effects of mercury contamination.

but Im guessing youll try to discredit Professor Endo now!? Whales diets havent changed since 2002~2003 so its doubtful there mecury levels have dropped, and with the worlds Oceans becoming more polluted yearly there levels have probably gotten worse. All long living whales species have been found to have high levels of mercury due to the amount of fish they eat and the long period of time the mercury accumulates in there bodies.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

cleoFeb. 26, 2016 - 11:36AM JST "Wrong honey, Article VIII makes mo mention whatsoever about "food culture". But it does clearly state that the meat must be consumed"

Exactly Sweetiepie, Article VIII makes no mention of 'food culture', it's what the Japanese whaling lobby comes up with >whenever it's asked to justify its 'scientific research' whaling programme which is in fact (as noted by the ICJ) NOT >conducted for the purpose of research as specified under Article VIII.

The Japanese whaling lobby always refers to the food aspect only because Culturally Imperialist Whale Hugging Westerners are always harping on the Japanese eating whale meat as if they were the only ones on the planet doing it and it is somehow equivalent to cannibalism. A view with which you undoubtedly agree darling, and a tact which shifts the argument from the real issue and debate over conservation, to borderline, and in a few cases outright, racism.

Article VIII does not cover what Japan does in the Antarctic, so whining that 'Article VIII says the meat must be >consumed' is totally beside the point.

Yes it does. You know very well that whaling under IWC Scientific Permit exempts recognizing Moratoriums and Sanctuaries.

Added to which, if we're going to abide by Article VIII to the letter, it says nothing about any meat being consumed. It >says, and I quote, Any whales taken under these special permits shall so far as practicable be processed and the >proceeds shall be dealt with in accordance with directions issued by the Government by which the permit was granted.

You have no idea what "Processed" means in this context. You also don't know what "practicable" means either.

Let's break this down : Any whales taken under these special permits shall so far as practicable be processed - not just >the meat, but the whale in toto. Including all the blood, guts bones etc., (the greater part of the animal) that the whalers >dump overboard in the Antarctic.

Nowhere does the Article say "in toto", you just added it. And even if it did it would probably say "in total". Fishing vessels that PROCESS fish take apart the fish, the meat is stored and the unwanted portions are tossed overboard. This is the standard internationally accepted procedure and interpretation of "PROCESSING" any marine resource at sea, which is why the IWC Article contains it.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Culturally Imperialist Whale Hugging Westerners are always harping on the Japanese eating whale meat as if they were the only ones on the planet doing it

You could not be more wrong, Lovebug. The point is your typical Japanese does not eat whale meat - the total consumed in any given year averages out at less than 40gm per person. I probably (inadvertently) get through a greater volume of bugs in my lettuce over the course of a year. I am not against anyone eating whale as such; if an animal is stranded on the beach and cannot be returned to the water, by all means put it out of its misery as humanely as possible and have a barbecue. The body has to be disposed of somehow, before it rots. (Rotting whale carcasses have a tendency to explode, did you know?)

the real issue and debate over conservation

Maybe you want to debate conservation, Sweetheart, but that isn't my bugbear. What bothers me is cruelty; it's impossible to kill a marine mammal humanely. As such, they should not be being killed at all, regardless of how good some people might think they taste, or how plentiful they might be.

You know very well that whaling under IWC Scientific Permit exempts recognizing Moratoriums and Sanctuaries.

Who's talking about moratoriums and sanctuaries? Totally beside the point.

You have no idea what "Processed" means in this context.

The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling was drawn up in 1946, when the main global interest in whales was for their oil, not their meat. 'Processed' did not then and does not now mean 'turned into bacon and sashimi'.

Nowhere does the Article say "in toto", you just added it.

I didn't 'add it', I used it to try to explain to you that any whales taken does not mean just the meat. Do try to keep up, pumpkin.

Fishing vessels that PROCESS fish take apart the fish, the meat is stored and the unwanted portions are tossed overboard.

Whales aren't fish, petal, any more than cows are flounders.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

For the whales and for the well being of the human population that sadly still consume whale flesh. It's baby steps forward but definitely good steps.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So, finally these countries are admitting that the slaughter of these magnificent animals is not for science.....

It is about time that Iceland and Japan told the world the truth.

Lying is not honourable!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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