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Japan catches 59 whales off Kushiro

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Nice catch! Fried whale is Awesome! You should try it. ;)

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Wow, that's a lot of "research"...

What a crock. Why can't Japan just Man-Up and admit that they are hunting for meat, not "research"? The real tragedy is that the demand for whale meat continues to drop, yet the "reasearch" continues as strong as ever.

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"Catches" Oh, so its a tag and release program. I hope they let them all go after they complete the research.

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The real tragedy is that the demand for whale meat continues to drop, yet the "reasearch" continues as strong as ever.

Hmmm..a logical explanation commands that they are not catching them for the meat market?

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good! keeping their culture at home where it belongs. kinda asinine to catch whale every year to study what they eat considering they eat the same thing every year. i.e local fish.

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Examination of their stomach contents found that the minkes most commonly fed on pollack, krill and anchovy in the research area

And after over 20 years of 'research programmes', they didn't know this already? What did they think the whales were eating, natto and onigiri?

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great catch!!

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twoyen - Wow, that's a lot of "research"...

Don't be shy! Say it! Wow! That's a load of bullsh!t!!!

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I eat meat, but whales are a different matter. They are such beautiful, majestic, intelligent, magical creatures; far more intelligent than the meatheads who go out 'researching' them.

20 years of 'research'.... what are they 'researching' exactly? This wouldn't be Japan refusing to admit to something again, would it?

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come on. The only reason they say research is so they can legally get away with it and avoid a full on international battle. Don't be so dense. Do you know anything about Japanese people. They want to keep their culture intact such as things like eating whale, and they want to avoid an outright confrontation. If they said we are just eating this stuff, then places like Australia would never ever let it down. And they have to do some half-a$$ research because then people would call them lairs. Do you people even like or respect japan at all? stop trying to bash them for EVERYTHING. and try some whale. its take great. cheers to the people who have tried whale, an ingrained part of Japanese culture, and to those that can make a comment that is annoyling shallow and negative against japan.

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Killing whales and dolphins is one my greatest pet peeves and I consider these people to be very cruel and inhumane. I hope that stay within their boundaries of the Pacific because once they cross Hawaii's boundaries, "ALOHA AND GOODBYE".

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hellhound at 07:10 AM JST - 20th October Nice catch! Fried whale is Awesome! You should try it. ;)

Agreed!! Nice job guys, keep it up! whale meat tastes SOOOO good!!

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Examination of their stomach contents found that the minkes most commonly fed on pollack, krill and anchovy in the research area.......oh now it all makes sense...you guys do all the research just to see what is in their big tummy.....now i understand......i guess it is ok now to go and kill some more. By the way after the first 3, 4 or 5 wouldn't that tell you numbnuts that they all eat the same types of things??????? Nice try guys...try spreading your BS elsewhere.

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@twoyen: Yeah, they eat a lot of whale meat. But a sizable portion of the whales captured go to aquariums in Japan and abroad. It's not all for eating.

Not that it really matters, whales aren't any more special than cows and sheep. I don't care how many times you saw Free Willy.

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I think that whaling is one culture of Japan and it would not stop it ever. Anti-whalers think whales are beautiful animals to observe but pro-whalers think whales are just food to eat. I've heard that Japan has been doing it for hundreds of years.

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RickS - But a sizable portion of the whales captured go to aquariums in Japan and abroad. It's not all for eating.

That's nearly as much BS as the whole 'hunting whales for research' scenario. So, after the whales have had huge holes blown in them with grenade loaded harpoons they are sent to aquariums? Classic!

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RickS - are you sure you're in the right thread? Some of the dolphins culled in Taiji are captured and sold to aquariums, but the whaling fleet harpoons and kills the whale before bringing it on board to slice & dice. Kind tough sell, don't you think? Psst, hey, wanna buy a chunk of whale meat? Really brings in the tourist!

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inakaRob -

You point out that the 'research' claim is a barefaced lie, then have the temerity to ask others if they 'even like or respect japan at all' and accuse folk of 'trying to bash them for EVERYTHING'. That's pretty rich.

I love this country. I do not believe (as you seem to do) that the majority of its people are barefaced liars, and I know that the majority have no interest at all in eating whale meat; it is NOT an 'ingrained part of japanese culture'. It's the fetish of a few old men with nostalgic memories of post war school dinners, and the handful of folk they've managed to brainwash.

whales aren't any more special than cows and sheep

It would be nice if folk could see their way to leaving the cows and sheep alone, too. Not to mention the chickens, pigs, etc etc etc.

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At least they haven't gone to another country's backyard to poach them this time.

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cleo - There are more than 40 million old people (age of 50 - 90). They still remember good taste of whale meat because they often ate them when they were younger. It is still large market, I think.

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Love Japan, hate whalers!!

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Why?

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A few years ago Japan admitted exceeding their bluefin tuna catch quota by 120,000 tonnes, though experts suggest it was a lot more. So one whale under the limit? I7d call that a slap in the face.

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I love whale bacon, but the quality is not there any more. Also it is hard to get whale blubber which is great with shoyu and mustard. I do not see much whale meat in the stores, so not really sure about what they do with it all. Prisons? Used to be given out at public schools all the time.

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It's the fetish of a few old men with nostalgic memories of post war school dinners, and the handful of folk they've managed to brainwash.

Not true at all. Most of the younger Japanese I know eat whale.

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Most of the younger Japanese I know eat whale.

Not even my MiL eats it, and she eats anything.

The younger Japanese I know - friends of my kids - all turn green at the gills at the thought of eating whale.

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Whale is a niche item in my particular corner of Japan and very rarely eaten. You can't order it readily and many restauranteurs will tell you that's because it's not at all popular. Honestly (and factually) this suggestion that the hunting and eating of whale is some sort of "ancient" Japanese tradition is complete bunk.

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At one restaurant I went to they had whale listed on the menu as "scientific sushi." I've yet to hear anti-whaling groups explain lucidly why it's ok to kill terrestrial mammals but not marine mammals. What's the difference? Four legs bad, no legs good?

Moderator: Readers, once again we remind you that comparisons to cattle, chickens, etc are, of course, irrelevant to this discussion. The subject is Japan's research whaling.

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What's happening in the oceans right now with regard to the depletion of food sources, including whales, is akin to humanity staging a resurection of pre-agricultural age attitudes. Except instead of nomands lacking basic farming techniques, we're behaving as if we were ignorant nomads of the sea, essentially strip-mining any food resources it has to offer until they're completely depleted, then moving on to the next frontier to do it all over again.

We seemed to have learned that creating sustainable and renewable agriculture on land pays positive dividends to societal growth and health. Why is it then so hard to imagine applying the same logic to the oceans?

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Takuma7

Why?

Because they kill one of the most sentinent being in the earth. Whale is not a food. More I read about them, more I believe that they are not here for us to eat. There are stories about sailors being brought to shore by whales after their ship sunk. This is why they are called sentinent. They understand in a level that we haven't yet figured out. We know so less about them, but I know there's much more than meets the eye. Killing them for profit is not fair. Not to them, not to the people like me, who loves them. Entire continent of Australians idolizes these creatures, are they wrong? If Japan keeps their so called research mission, how can we stop other nations from killing them too? Korea is now insisting that they want to start whaling again. If all countries restart whaling, they'll be gone in a year, maybe earlier. Can't breed whales. So I believe Japan should act like they are part of this world, and stop killing these amazing creatures. There's gotta be a law that we should kill and eat only what we can farm. Leave wild animals alone. Especially whales and dolphins.

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Cleo,

The younger Japanese I know - friends of my kids - all turn green at the gills at the thought of eating whale.

Yes, same with Japanese I know. I wouldn't really make a friend of whale/dolphin eating people. Thank god haven't met one yet in my 15years of staying here.

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twoyen,

They are doing research. But the IWC rules have the effect of requiring that whale product consumers benefit from the whales that are taken for research purposes to the full extent possible. Japan would happily permit hunts solely for the purpose of obtaining meat, but the IWC forbids this. Until such a time as the IWC permits it, the only option Japan has as a responsible user of these resources is to conduct research to contribute to sound management, and abide by IWC rules through disposal of the meat products for consumers. (If this sounds backwards, recall that the IWC was never intended to ban whaling, but to manage it.)

Demand for whale meat is hard to measure, but in terms of actual consumption, given the increase in volume of whale meat supplied since the early 1990's, it's clear that consumption has increased by at least 100%. Plus Iceland has another 1,500 tons of product on the way. This would not be happening if demand were continuing to drop as you claim. And see NeoJamal's pertinent comment.

spudman,

kinda asinine to catch whale every year to study what they eat considering they eat the same thing every year. i.e local fish.

The composition varies. They could close their eyes to it, sure, but I think it's better to have this knowledge rather than not. And indeed the anti-whaling propaganda would have us believe that "whales don't eat fish", which this research demonstrates is false. We can chose to be ignorant or we can chose to see the reality.

chotto,

20 years of 'research'.... what are they 'researching' exactly?

Population structure, dynamics, and particularly in this case potential competition with fisheries. If research eventually shows that whale populations can be increased by reducing exploitation of fish that whales feed on, this would be very good news for whale consumers.

ratpack,

By the way after the first 3, 4 or 5 wouldn't that tell you numbnuts that they all eat the same types of things???????

Statistically speaking, that sort of sample size would be entirely meaningless.

Nice try guys...try spreading your BS elsewhere.

It's the English newsmedia that is reporting this. The originally story was posted in Japanese on the MAFF website.

cleo,

It's the fetish of a few old men with

Pfft, you have no clue what you are talking about.

LFRAgain,

in my particular corner of Japan

Enough said. Japan is a surprisingly diverse place.

Why is it then so hard to imagine applying the same logic to the oceans?

There is a plan, maybe you just aren't familiar with it. Search for "Revised Management Procedure" with respect to whales, or more generally "fisheries management procedure risk reward uncertainty". The next step is to get politicians to actually implement these things properly rather than play silly children's game because of the culturally intolerant.

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David

And indeed the anti-whaling propaganda would have us believe that "whales don't eat fish", which this research demonstrates is false. We can chose to be ignorant or we can chose to see the reality.

That's a stretch.No one would ever argue that More like the whalers to suggest that whales eat fish destined for human consumption and thus to preserve the balance a whale cull is necessary. End of the day it's a political to appease the older conservative rural voters with their power base.

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@cleo. if you actually understood anything about Japan instead of being negative and bashful, they are doing something called saving face. not lying.

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Its amazing how the people who seem even somewhat openminded and intelligent are writting quite detailed and long entries, while the close minded and always bashing Japan just have nice little quips. see above, he bascily pointed them all out.

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spudman,

More like the whalers to suggest that whales eat fish destined for human consumption

Whaling, when conducted for business purposes, does not make ends meet by selling fish products, they would make ends meet by selling whale products. Take a look at Iceland's whalers. They are selling whale products to Japan, not fish products.

Fishermen might believe that whales are eating fish that they would like to catch and sell, but if we stop choosing sides between fishermen and whalers and look at the big picture - how to get "optimal use of marine resources" it's not necessarily the case that reducing whale numbers for the sake of fisheries would be a good thing. Indeed fisheries are largely over-exploited. I think we could find a better balance by catching less fish, which may perhaps be good for whale stocks. Which is good for whalers, but maybe not so good for fishermen.

political to appease the older conservative rural voters with their power base.

LOL, that would explain all the shops / restaurants in the Tokyo metropolis selling / serving whale products?

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GOOD! Let them fish their seas dry. Then maybe they'll realize their waste culture needs a major re-think. I don't know why they haven't got into fish farms. With as much fish as Japanese demand, They could only benefit from them. I know some people are gonna say "Space Space Space," but you know what are ya gonna do?

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I'm always wondered what kind of research program that should be... I guess, one of the reasons, why Japan isn't very much liked around the world. But every country has it's dark sides...

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I'm not a fan of whale meat, and I know Japan doesn't have a good track-record for preserving marine life, but in this specific case, if they're within the limit that the IWC established, and they're doing the research, then what's the issue?

As I understand it, Minke whales are not endangered, and that's why the IWC sets the annual whaling limit for the purpose of research. Japan hunts the whales, does the research, and then they sell/eat the meat.

Actually, the IWC rule of allowing whale hunting "for the purpose of research" doesn't make sense to me altogether. THAT'S why I think Japan doesn't "man up" to admitting they kill whales for consumption (as some of you have mentioned), is because they don't agree with the idea of killing whales only for RESEARCH! But if they were to argue that they don't want to research and would rather hunt whales for consumption, we all know they wouldn't win, so they just hunt, research, and eat.

Old, young, nostalgia, or for whatever reason, some people in Japan do consume whale meat. YOU CAN'T CONVINCE THEM OTHERWISE. So unless anti-whalers convince the IWC to ban whaling altogether, INCLUDING SCIENTIFIC WHALING, countries like Japan, Norway, and Iceland are going to hunt non-endangered whales.

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Monoflow,

According to western research, Japan is relatively liked around the world, but has a bad rep in China and South Korea. I don't think that's because of their fisheries policies.

Tahoochi,

Actually, the IWC rule of allowing whale hunting "for the purpose of research" doesn't make sense to me altogether.

Article VIII of the IWC convention says: <i>"Recognizing that continuous collection and analysis of biological data in connection with the operations of factory ships and land stations are indispensable to sound and constructive management of the whale fisheries..." </i>

This is why the IWC members agree to permit it. (Except those members who don't want whale fisheries, but signed the agreement anyway so as to be able to obstruct it.)

If you look at other fisheries, scientific data for management purposes is often obtained from examining catches. It's sometimes the only source of data available. Whales are not so different.

The IWC situation is strange because it was never envisaged the IWC convention would be used for the purpose of obstructing it's own mandate, but that's what has happened. The special permit provision can't be undermined in the same way. Yet we have lots of people complaining about it, despite the real problem being that the IWC has tried to ban an activity it is mandated to regulate(!)

But if they were to argue that they don't want to research and would rather hunt whales for consumption, we all know they wouldn't win, so they just hunt, research, and eat.

I think they'd like to be able to catch a sustainable amount of whales, which is most probably more than they are taking now. But they'll still collect a level of scientific data from the catch even once that happens, I expect.

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This research is a good idea, first we benefit a lot of knowledge about whales and once the research is done we can enjoy whale meat at its best. It is a real pity that they are only allowed to catch 60 as that drives the prices up.

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First, I'd like to say that I enjoy eating whale and buy it every chance I get and more importantly let my gaijin friends either living here or visiting to try it. Most of them all seem to agree that is tastes pretty good either sashimi with soysauce and grated ginger or marinated, etc.. At least in my local supermarket they carry whale almost daily and is quite popular which is why it sells out most of the time.

I believe Japan should just quit the IWC as it doesn't really seem to be an organization that would actually support a sustainable whaling industry even if it is completely sustainable from a scientific point of view. They should quit like Norway and Iceland. I recenly watched an NHK special on whaling culture in Japan historically and in modern times. Whale meat, dolphin meat, etc.. have been a tradition for many Japanese people for thousands of years and are greatly revered and respected creatures. Japanese have traditionally used every part of the whale just as Native Americans, Alaskans and other hunter gatherer types did before. Many on this forum, i suspect foreigners really are choosing to ignore our right to practice our culture even if it includes eating whale, dolphin, etc.. I do believe our culture of eating whale should not threaten extinction of a species or lead to it's decline. I think the whole whale issue is just bullying by Western nations, the very same nations that only a century ago hunted and killed whales throughout the world's oceans only for their oil depleting their stocks worldwide.

Japanese put up with this bullying because they can be bullied. Proper re-education of young Japanese is in order as it seems many Japanese today are too afraid to tell foreigners that they eat whale or think sustainable whaling is ok as to not offend the scary gaijin. I am so sick of spineless Japanese that cannot form a proper opinion about something I think is important to preserve in our culture and should stand-up and not be afraid of open and potentially hostile discussion.

Bring it on!!!!

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At least this time the didn't do it in the backyard of two of the most anti-whaling countries in the world. What some pro-whalers don't seem to understand that for Australians and New Zealanders, it's as much about national interest and sovereignty as about the "poor whales"

I don't like whaling but Japanese waters, Japanese business. International waters, everyone's business. And Australian or New Zealand waters, be ready for some really pissed off Aussies and Kiwis.

So this time, Japan was within it's rights, in opinion. This time.

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@Nihon Ryu, you think Japan is being bullied do you? Well you're welcome to your opinion.

Just remember Japan killing whales just outside of Australian and New Zealand waters, whales which are important for our tourism industries, and we can't stop it makes Aussies and Kiwis feel "bullied" too.

How would you feel if another country fished around your islands. Oh that's right, Russia does and as I recall Japanese are exactly happy about that.

Remember it's all about national interest.

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NihonRyu - I think the whole whale issue is just bullying by Western nations, the very same nations that only a century ago hunted and killed whales throughout the world's oceans only for their oil depleting their stocks worldwide.

You are right! The western nations were involved in the mass slaughter of whales that depleted their stocks worldwide, but the western nations also stopped whaling to let the species survive, which something Japan does not seem to want to acknowledge. There is no need for lethal research on any whale species.

Japanese have traditionally used every part of the whale just as Native Americans, Alaskans and other hunter gatherer types did before.

So, you are saying that, in the year 2009 Japan should be considered hunter gatherers? Give me a break!

I'm glad to know Japan is hunting whales in its own waters. This gives them no justification what-so-ever to travel to the other end of the earth and hunt whales in the southern oceans. They can do all the research they like on their local populations of minki - until they are extinct, of course. Just like the sardines around Japan.
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JayJayE - Are you saying Japan is whaling within the 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone off of Australia and NewZealand? I think not. My understanding is that they are primarily whaling for Minke whale which according to the American Cetacean society number in the million. (Their population being most abundant in the southern hemisphere.) Over fishing is a serious issue worldwide but the discussion here is how is taking a 1000+ Minke whales even putting a dent into the million+ minke whale population worldwide? I understand the abhorrence to hunting the rarer whale species that are endangered and need to be monitored. Are you saying all 1million minke whales are critical to Australia and NewZealand's whale watching industry? I always assumed the greys, dolphins, humback, etc. were vital to coastal whale ecotourism.

What if the research shows that sustainable amounts of whaling would have negligble impact on the whale population or ecotourism? I would still guess that most anit-whaling proponents would still cry foul and find any excuse possible to stop any kind of commercial whaling full stop because it is an emotional issue at the heart of the matter.

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pawatan : "Most of the younger Japanese I know eat whale."

Hahaha.Yeah,sure,young Japanese just LOVE whale.

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I do believe our culture of eating whale...

Does your culture stretch to include the Antarctic?

Many foreigners (me included) have no problem with Japan taking whales in the seas around Japan as reported in this story.

What we can't understand is Japan sending a massive Victorian-era style fleet of killing ships to the furthest reaches of the globe to greedily grab yet more whales from the Antarctic. How far does Japanese culture stretch?! If you keep crying "Our whaling food culture! Our whaling food culture!" then inevitably people around the globe will wonder what the hell has the Antarctic got to do with Japanese food culture.

These Antarctic whale grabbing expeditions make Japan look extremely greedy, arrogant and selfish on the world stage. Here is the Japanese government telling everybody about the abundant supply of whales in the seas around Japan and then yet it sends this huge killing armada to the precious and unique Antarctic environment to grab more. Japan likes to tell the world about it's "unique food culture"... well how about Japan start to think more about how unique the Antarctic is.

And how about all the 100,000s of liters of fuel burnt to get this enormous fleet down to the Antarctic. If you have an abundant supply of whales on your doorstep (as the Japanese government claims) then why emit all that greenhouse gas unnecessarily?

And don't forget how dangerous this fleet is. Anyone remember the terrible fire on the huge factory ship the Nishin Maru? It killed a poor Japanese sailor and left that massive ship dead in the water in the pristine Antarctic. Imagine if the fire had got out of control and resulted in a massive oil spill... would Japan be sending a clean-up operation? Oh, wait... there is no clean-up operation.

People are getting more and more angry at the danger being posed to this unique and precious environment. There is also the whole mistaken spirit of the Japanese Antarctic whale-grabbing. Many people won't have heard of the Madrid Agreement. In this wonderful document, countries have agreed to preserve the Antarctic for peaceful scientific research and also have banned mining down there. What a beautiful and amazing thing that countries could agree to that. So what does Japan bring to the Antarctic table? A huge killing fleet intent on greedily grabbing resources... yeah, well done Japan, that really does follow the spirit of the Madrid Agreement.

To put Japan's Antarctic whaling into perspective, consider that every single country nearest to the Antarctic opposes whaling!! Every single one! Count 'em... Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Oz, NZ... the five countries circling the Antarctic and countries that naturally consider that area to be a part of their neck of the woods... how can on earth can Japan just ignore all of them and grab the whales down there... is it a deliberate provocation?

So how about it NihonRyu? You are OK with this local whaling... do you also want to greedily grab more whales from the Antarctic for your "whaling food culture"?

(I am very kind and assume you are who you say you are, and not a bogus poster created by david@tokyo, but be aware that others may not accept you for real... I do notice you were created today).

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NihonRyu- I agree it is an emotional issue, on both sides. I blame the media for that, Japanese people have no idea where it's being done and it's it's only mentioned in the news when Sea Shepeads involved. It's funny how many Japanese people are amazed when I point on a map to where these incidents are all happening. Most think it's all being done around Japan (which is fine in my opinion). That's were this "bullying" idea you have comes from, you have to look at ALL the facts.

On the other hand many people in Australia and New Zealand think that Japanese people eat whale all the time and don't care about us. Most Japanese people I know don't eat whale and couldn't care less about the whole issue. So both are mislead views.

Regarding economic zones one problem is Australia claims an exclusive economic zone that Japan doesn't recognize. And two years ago Japan did indeed go inside this. Whether Japan broke the rules is disputed but they got close enough it rubbed people the wrong way. Secondly these whales migrate in and out of both countries waters. Regarding your numbers you may or may not be correct but that's not the point. I've never seen such figure so I can't argue either way.

The point is Japanese people act all surprised when Australia and New Zealand get all upset and then claim "bullied". Take a look at a map and it's not hard to see why it's an issue, regardless of whether it's within the rules or not. I've seen your posts on Japan's Northern Islands. Similar issue.

Regarding the morality of eating whale, I don't have a problem with it if that's what you like. Don't care.

You NEVER hear of issues between Aus and NZ and countries like Norway and Iceland. Why? Because it's nowhere near us. Japan should do the same or at least do it where opinion is not against it. Australia and New Zealand are NOT bullying Japan, only looking after their resources in and around their waters. Why they would get upset is basic logic.

To explain the logic of "protecting national interests, it's a lot like this. No matter how much you need to go, take a dump in your neighbors garden or even outside his property on the street, he's bound to come out and give you a neighborly greeting with a cricket bat. Simple.

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kushiro is the biggest dump of any city I have visited in Japan.(A heckuva lot)My favourite being the "Watch out for suspicious foreigner" public announcements in the streets.Unlikely to see a "Cove" type movie here.I suppose they need the whales because the whole place seemed like it had died 20 years ago.

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Imacat- Do you know how big the International waters is in the Southern Ocean is? Are you saying the entire Southern Ocean region should have no sustainable fishery of anykind what so ever and this be decided by the few nations that happen to be located in the southern hemisphere? This is a huge region not part of their 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone. It's not like the Japanese whaling fleet is sailing past Sydney harbor with their middle finger pointed at the Australians.

Think about this. Do you know there are twice as many Minke whales in the world than there are Aboriginies? Australia nor NewZealand really have a perfect record on protecting their native peoples a culture and civilization that was nearly wiped out and most still living on the fringes of your societies today. Maoris also traditionally ate whales. Perhaps if they had been able to modernize as the Japanese had yet retain their traditional culture you would have NewZealanders eating whale today and support a sustainable whaling industry. Both Maoris and traditional Japanese whaling cultures were similar that they both revered the whale and was vital as a food and resource. I guess when your land and culture is overrun, assimilated and replaced by foreign people, your religion and ideals repressed, losing 98% of your land, maintaining the tradition for eating and hunting whale is long lost afterthought at best.

My point is, Japan was able to modernize without being colonized and dominated by Western traditions and belief systems. Our aboriginal traditions and cultures such as whale eating is still retained. Do you know how much whole sale slaughter of whales was going on by the U.S. and many other western nations last century? Their operations were huge and global wasting most of the animal using only relatively small parts.

Again, my point is if scientific backed sustainable whaling can be accomplished in the Southern Ocean in international waters far from anyones backyard so to speak what is the point of your argument? It is simply emotional. If other sustainable fisheries can go on in international waters as it is defined today, I don't see the problem with whaling either. Getting greedy and overhunting whales and decimating their popultation I am severly against. Sustainable whaling, I am for.

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Btw- I don't know who David@Tokyo is and that is not me. I see very few posters with any Japanese perspective on English forums such as here and its high time someone Japanese post here. It's a shame too few Japanese have the ability or willingness to debate emotional topics such as this on a Japan based forum because its in English...

Btw- For those of you interested in understanding more about the whaling culture in Japan. I would recommend visiting the town of Wada in Chiba prefecture which is a prominent whaling port and a fairly close drive from Tokyo. You can also try out the many whale restaurants there. (Good food, try it before you knock it please!) All the whales served there are from local catches so no worries. No southern oceans whales there.

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NihonRyu- not the point. You completely missed the point. Whether Oz or NZ have a good track record (which they don't but Japan sure as hell doesn't either) is completely irrelevent and like all Japanese arguments, mearly shifting the point to "you do bad stuff too".

Again, like I've said twice now, the issue is nations protecting their national interests. I'll say it again, nations protecting their national interest. I hope I don't need to say it a fifth time.

Australia culls kangaroos. Some people think this is outright wrong. Maybe, but it happens in Australian terriory so it's a Australian issue. I'm not an Australian and neither are you so whether we disagree means nothing.

Like wise I feel the same about the movie "The Cove". I think it's sick but it's Japanese territory so Japan's business and Japan's animals right activists job to sort out (hahahaha!)

We're talking about one nation stepping on anothers toes regardless of who's right.

How much will it take for the point to get through without these defections of blame?

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Japan as a COUNTRY doesn't have and never did have a whaling culture,historically perhaps 4 seaside villages did,a minute percentage of the population.That old cultural argument is so annoyingly lame,come up with something else for a change,getting boring.

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Davidattokyo

LOL, that would explain all the shops / restaurants in the Tokyo metropolis selling / serving whale products?

Yeah bought off the oyaji whalers. Don't confuse consumers of a novelty product with the purveyors of a government subsidised trade.

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It's not like the Japanese whaling fleet is sailing past Sydney harbor with their middle finger pointed at the Australians.

Try Hobart and they are.

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Potsu- You are wrong: http://luna.pos.to/whale/jwa_trad.html The Japanese had a substantial whale eating culture that cannot be denied. Also, as stated earlier there is a recent well made NHK series documenting Japan's whale culture. If you can understand Japanese it would be good to view this and make your own judgements after having all the facts. Your facts that Japan had no substantial whale culture come straight from SeaShepard's site and is untrue. Try again.. I would think Japanese experts would know best about our own culture given the material of records and research are mostly Japanese.

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Look, NihonRyu, you brought up "Japanese culture" in regards to whaling. Please explain clearly for me your understanding of how Japanese culture stretches to include the Antarctic. I really want to know.

Frankly I think Japan is imposing its culture and values on the Antarctic and this kind of behaviour is becoming more and more unacceptable in this day and age. It's making Japan look greedy and arrogant on the world stage, especially when Japan's own government claims that there are abundant whales in the seas around Japan.

You only mention the Aussies, which is funny because they are always david@tokyo's target... are you sure you aren't really him? You were suddenly created today, almost seems that you were specially created to take part in this thread... strange.

But anyway, it's not just the Aussies is it? In fact it is every single country located nearest to this environmental wilderness wonderland. Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Australia and NZ... every single one of them opposed to whaling. How considerate of Japan to think of the opinions of all these countries.

You also mention EEZs. Australia has a claimed EEZ off the AAT. It's a controversial claim no doubt, but a claim nevertheless.

Japan also has controversial claims. Its claim to a massive 400,000sqkm EEZ around a tiny speck of coral called Okinotorishima is very controversial.

How would Japan feel if Ozzie fishermen sailed up to the seas around Okinotorishima to grab sea creatures for their "barbecue culture". I think we all know that Japan would send ships and airplanes to kick them out.

Perhaps Japan might want to start to think of things from other people's point of view for a change.

Anyway do tell me, why does Japan need extra whales from the Antarctic when (according to the Japanese government) there are abundant whales in the seas around Japan, more than enough to satisfy this tiny niche market? I really would like to know why extra whales from the Antarctic are necessary for Japan.

Japan was able to modernize without being colonized and dominated by Western traditions and belief systems

This comment made me laugh out loud, especially when I think about the young people I see and hear and speak to around Tokyo.

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Australia has a claimed EEZ off the AAT.

Which is suspended since the signage and implementation Antarctic Treaty. It's flat out violation of the current treaty in force if Australia claims EEZ.

Article 4 - the treaty does not recognize, dispute, nor establish territorial sovereignty claims; no new claims shall be asserted while the treaty is in force;

Japan's claim to Okinotori is based on satisfying one criteria of "Regime of Islands" under UNCLOS which states "1. An island is a naturally formed area of land, surrounded by water, which is above water at high tide."

Anyway do tell me, why does Japan need extra whales from the Antarctic when (according to the Japanese government) there are abundant whales in the seas around Japan, more than enough to satisfy this tiny niche market? I really would like to know why extra whales from the Antarctic are necessary for Japan.

Because it's MOST abundant (Minke)in Southern Hemisphere.

IWC Convention states,

"Considering that the history of whaling has seen over-fishing of one area after another and of one species of whale after another to such a degree that it is essential to protect all species of whales from further over-fishing;

"Recognizing that in the course of achieving these objectives, whaling operations should be confined to those species best able to sustain exploitation in order to give an interval for recovery to certain species of whales now depleted in numbers;

IWC states also that, "Having decided to conclude a convention to provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry"

Therefore, the notion of harvesting certain kind of whale species because of close proximity without regards to population abundance is irresponsible and is certainly going against the spirit of IWC as indicated above.

And finally, I just want to point out that Australia is a signatory for all three treaties cited above (ATS, UNCLOS, and IWC).

How would Japan feel if Ozzie fishermen sailed up to the seas around Okinotorishima to grab sea creatures for their "barbecue culture". I think we all know that Japan would send ships and airplanes to kick them out.

They are violating EEZ so there is a chance that they could be kicked out if they did not get a permission from the government beforehand. However, if they properly requested, I can see the Japanese government issuing permits to these fishermen limiting their catch quotas. I can also see the Japanese government issuing permits to Japanese fishermen to grab the sea creatures so that they could sell it to Australians to satisfy their "barbeque culture".

But I don't see the Australian government giving the same blessing. So let's dispense this overused lame analogy for good, shall we?

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They are violating EEZ so there is a chance that they could be kicked out if they did not get a permission from the government beforehand. However, if they properly requested, I can see the Japanese government issuing permits to these fishermen limiting their catch quotas. I can also see the Japanese government issuing permits to Japanese fishermen to grab the sea creatures so that they could sell it to Australians to satisfy their "barbeque culture".

But I don't see the Australian government giving the same blessing. So let's dispense this overused lame analogy for good, shall we?

But they don't and rules or not, they don't even come near. There may be even issues as to how far the EEZ goes but Australia doesn't make issues with Japan, only the other way around. Plus there's the whole Tuna thing which is another issue.

Point is Japan will step on anyones' toes to get their "ooishi" seafood and don't care where or who else cares.

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NihonRyu - It's not like the Japanese whaling fleet is sailing past Sydney harbor with their middle finger pointed at the Australians.

Yep, that's right. They wait till they are out of eyesight and then do it as they are hunting whales in an international whale sanctuary. Minki whale populations are substantial, but they are five years old before they can breed. If Japan keeps taking a thousand per year there is no way the population will stay substantial. Australia's biggest problem with Japan's 'research' hunt is, hunting humpback whales, which are part of a huge tourism industry in Australia and New Zealand. They are also protected in these countries and the people of these countries are very passionate about their conservation. There is a famous white whale named, Migaloo that travels up and down the east coast of Australia every year. Japan has stated they would not differentiate this whale from any other and it would be killed if it comes within range of their harpoons. Do you still think the Japanese are not sticking their middle finger up?

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Which is suspended since the signage and implementation Antarctic Treaty. It's flat out violation of the current treaty in force if Australia claims EEZ.

I see that you are confused. It was claimed before the treaty. The treaty simply ignores all such claims. As I said, it's a controversial claim... just as Japan has a controversial claim to an EEZ around Okinotorishima.

An island is a naturally formed area of land

So could you explain why Japan has poured 1000s of tonnes of concrete on to Okinotorishima? Is that natural? Your points are laughable really.

The fact is that the Aussies have a controversial claim in the Antarctic and Japan also has a controversial claim around Okinotorishima.

without regards to population abundance

Do you have trouble reading English? In my posts I have pointed out that Japan claims there is an abundant number of various whales in the seas around Japan. Indeed more than enough to satisfy this tiny niche market. The fact of the matter is that the greedy, whale grabbing Victorian-era style expeditions to the pristine Antarctic are insane... Japan can get its whales on its own doorstep, and that's according to its own data!

However, if they properly requested,

This is hilarious! So the aussies should have to request to fish there, even if they disagreed with Japan's very controversial claim (involving 1000s of tonnes of concrete). By the same token the Japanese government should ask the Ozzies if it could fish in their claimed EEZ off the AAT even if they disagreed with it.

Moderator: Readers, please stay on topic. Okinotorishima is not relevant to this discussion.

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NihonRyu,I've never seen the Sea Sheperd site ? Is it any good ? You said:"I would think Japanese experts would know best about our own culture given the material of records and research are mostly Japanese." What about regular Japanese people,let's say the vast majority,let's say 124 million for arguments sake that don't eat whale ? Because they aren't your "experts" we just dismiss them ?

Please,what are "all the facts" ? Are you new to all of this ?!

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I just wish whales could use harpoons!!!!!!

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I'm really confused about something. So maybe you folks can clear it up for me. Why some of you think whaling is bad?!?! They track the population of these mink whales very closely, and they take a few thousands out of the couple million estimated to be THRIVING in the ocean. There is a little fuss here and there about over-fishing, but no one is doing anything, and no one is showing ANY restraint. But Japanese whalers take a VERY specific amount of whales. Whales that have a VERY high population. It cant be because they are mammals, we eat plenty of mammals. Is is that we can train them? well I don't think we train mink whales. So please I beg you. PLEASE spell it out to me: why is whaling MINK WHALES WRONG?!?!?!

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And most decent sushi bars have whale. So I don't know why you don't think the majority don't eat it. Its available just about everywhere. The majority of people probably don't eat McDonalds, but I bet about 25% eat there A WHOLE LOT, but thats not a majority, therefor I guess no one really eats it. Is that your logic? What about Umi? I guess since only a few million people enjoy it, no one eats it and we should not have it available anywhere!

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@inakaRob

i don't think it wrong if they hunt in their own water. people got their own reason to believe and do thing. so keep your own believe and behavior with yourself. don't go to the south ocean and tell people over there what right and wrong. same thing the other way around.

Why some of you think whaling is bad?

i think eating whale is bad, but that is in my personal reason. i stop eat any kind of big fish for a long time already. it is soaked with mercury. i am not insane enough to pay money to poison my own family.

why not ask what kind of research they are doing? didn't they know the whale's meat is dangerous?

What about tuna... There is a little fuss here

people try to push it into the list of an endanger animal. read the news well and see who is opposing it, and what business are they in. who is their big customer.

Japanese whalers take a VERY specific amount of whales.

not without kicking and screaming from around the world though.

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Well it seems people have very set opinions on this subject. Certainly violating another country's territorial rights to exploit a resource is wrong. However, arbitrarily claiming an entire ocean area in the southern hemisphere as an exclusive whale santuary that resides in agreed upon international waters is another. I believe the Japanese should not target vulnerable whale species nor those species that could directly impact other nation's vital ecotourism. However, the facts seem to support that the Minke whale population is huge and taking a few thousand would have little impact on the population. There are numerous fishing ships operated by other countries just outside of Japan's exclusive economic zone, when does Japan make a stink about that? It's not like Japan is claiming a huge area in the North pacific as an exclusive fish sanctuary are they now?

I too have discussed this issue with many Japanese and what many Japanese tell foreigners (tatemae) especially those that harbor strong anti-whaling feelings v.s. what we discuss amongst ourselves (honne) is very different. I assure you that most Japanese will support a pro-whaling stance as long as it is sustainable and does not endanger these magnificent animals. For my part I try to encourage all my gaijin and Japanese friends to try it if they have not already and help educate them on what the real issue at hand. In either case, whale is tasty and good for you. http://luna.pos.to/whale/jwa_v8_suzu.html I sincerely hope Japan does not give in to the bullying and unreasonable tantrams of the anti-whaling nations and continue to flourish a new generation of whale eating culture. We should be open and proud of our whale eating heritage. I see some of the pathetic school lunches that Japanese kids are served now a days, I sure hope whale is back on the menu to foster a strong and able bodied generation. Again, I only support my stance if whaling is sustainable and only to particular species as we should never go back to the time when many of our great whale species were nearly extinct. With modern research and scientific process, I believe commercial whaling can be sustainable for those counrties that come from a whale eating culture.

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NihonRyu,

Great comments! I caught some parts of the NHK documentary too. Unfortunately though these kinds of cultural arguments are almost useless when dealing with people who "feel" they are obliged to try to obstruct people of other cultural persuasion from doing their own thing. (imacat is unique in believing that sustainable utilisation of RENEWABLE natural resources such as whales equates to "imposition of culture"... if so then his breathing oxygen would be also, but I won't waste my time with that anymore.)

I also tried whale in Wada earlier this year - as you said the food was great. I was impressed, this was one of the better meals I've had.

Actually I heard some Maori folks still eat whale in New Zealand. Apparently they have to be quick to get the whales when they strand, before the authorities come along to give the dead animal a "proper funeral and burial" etc. The quick people cut out their blocks and put it in the freezer :)

Another one - from an American guy the other day - he once found a blue whale stranded (dead) and scored some of it's baleen, but the authorities in his case also gave him a run for his money. He got away with it.

Disillusioned,

they are five years old before they can breed. If Japan keeps taking a thousand per year there is no way the population will stay substantial.

Wow sounds like you got your degree in population dynamics don't it. How on earth did you calculate that? Where is it written that a population of animals which reach maturity at 5 years can not sustain a harvest of 1,000 per year? What's the natural mortality rate? What's the population size? These factors play a role too, you know. People like you are the most annoying. You don't even think about it properly before you oppose it. If you at least thought about a good reason to oppose it then I could feel a little more respect for your point of view.

Australia's biggest problem with Japan's 'research' hunt is, hunting humpback whales

Japan isn't hunting those, but Australia moans all the same. Let's face it - Australians are going to moan about it no matter what. There is a commercial anti-whaling industry that will ensure this continues for the forseeable future. I hope the increasing whale populations lead to more and more strandings and thus more and more Aussies getting annoyed by stinking whale carcasses on the beaches.

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1 i have seen japanese here talk so much about "japan and whale eating culture". but i can not find any data to support that idea if it is really the national culture that majority in japanese really consume whale meat before WWII. most of the data i can find point to the same direction that it is just a couple of villages here in japan that hunt and eat its meat. any expert can point me to the right direction on my research?

and if it is for the sake of culture, from what i know, going that far south with modern slaughter ships is not in any part of japanese tradition and culture. where is the cultural hunting ground? what is the cultural method of hunting?

2 as for

However, arbitrarily claiming an entire ocean area in the southern hemisphere as an exclusive whale santuary that resides in agreed upon international waters is another.

that is another point no-one know what on earth japanese whaler really want to do. do science or do culture?

everyone know that "the research program is for the sake of science" but the way japan act and argue is pointing to commercial whaling and hunt for sale and eat! don't forget that action speak louder than words.

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Why some of you think whaling is bad?

It's impossible to kill whales and dolphins humanely; the animal is moving in the water, the hunter is on a ship/boat being tossed on the waves, making it impossible to guarantee a quick, clean kill. The terrified whales are subjected to lengthy chases until they are exhausted and the harpooner can get in close enough to fire an exploding harpoon that blows a hole in the animal's body but rarely causes instant death, necessitating the need for frequent use of a 'secondary killing method'. According to the IWC, the 'average time to death' (according to the data submitted by the whalers) is over two minutes, with many animals suffering for much, much longer. 'Death' is taken to be the time the animal stops moving, though there is every possibility that an animal with a huge hole blown in its side could well be paralysed and unable to move, yet still fully conscious and aware of what was happening to it. It's not like there's a vet in the water with a stethoscope monitoring the animal's heartbeat.

In addition, the size of catches does not include animals that are 'struck and lost', escaping with injuries that will kill them slowly or cause pain for the rest of their natural lives (or until they meet another whaling boat).

The IWC reports that Japan has failed to provide any data on struck and lost whales, data on maximum time to death and welfare data on the killing of Baird's beaked whales. The IWC points out that "it is the whales that take the longest time to die that may be of the most significance in welfare terms".

http://www.iwcoffice.org/_documents/commission/IWC58docs/58-WKM&AWI7.pdf

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Toxin- There is plenty of information on Japan's whale eating culture please read my earlier posts and see some of the links I provided. Please check out the excellent production by NHK that was done this year. The vast majority of this information is however only in Japanese. Culture is not static and is constantly evolving, there may be periods and areas that ate more or less whale than others in Japan prior to transportation, refrigeration and proximity to the sea, etc. The point is does 100% of the whole country need to have eaten whale for it to be part of our unique culture?

Our whale eating culture is real and is our own business and anti-whaling folks should not dismiss it like it doesn't matter. This is the same mentality that almost wiped out the entire indigenous population and culture in Australia and NewZealand. I don't see how taking 1000+ whales out of a population of a million+ in the middle of the ocean far from any international boundary should rake up this kind of emotional racket from those countries who so conveniently decided that whaling was inhumane all of sudden when they were the ones most responsible for their demise earlier this century. I think Japan's research is to validate the sustainablilty and resumption to properly managed commercial whaling. That's what it is and they should be upfront about it. It's time the IWC comes to terms that their organization to have any validity needs to look at both sides of the issue or what is the purpose of its existence? If there is no view to look at whales as a manageable resource that can be exploited in an optimal way without endangering their population, what's the point?

This is the same fight that many Native Americans and Alaskans had about their traditional right to whale. Thank god, Americans understand their plight as indigenous people who were nearly stamped out by the whiteman's expansion in the americas and this right for them to hunt as they used to is still honored. The U.S. coast guard actually protect the Makah hunts from the SeaShepard like terrorists trying to halt their hunts. (Way to go!) I hope the new Japanese government has enough balls to send the JSDF to escort the Japanese whaling fleet as well and protect them from the SeaShepard's antics. It's time to get serious and defend our rights and cultural interests from these loonies! These days we just give in and fold on almost any international issue or dispute. Today's persisitent culture of passive impotence to the West or our Asian neighbors have not gotten us anywhere. It's time we Japanese begin to realize this and demand more from our leaders and realize a stronger mature Japan that can be on a more equal footing on international issues.

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TOXIN,

Whether it's "national culture" or not is besides the point. No one would ever suggest that minority cultures not be respected just because they are minority cultures. On the contrary, minority cultures are vulnerable to the evil of mob-rule.

Do we believe in people's human rights or don't we?

the sake of culture

This is inextricably linked to people's rights.

going that far south with modern slaughter ships is not in any part of japanese tradition and culture.

Japan started this way back in the 1930's. This historical sequence of events was a simple extension of Japan's earlier whaling activities. It's now 2009, and a little late to be suggesting that Japan should not have sent whaling ships to the Antarctic (like a lot of today's anti-whaling nations) to exploit resources that were as of that time newly available thanks to technological developments. Where is it written that cultures and traditions and related practices must not change inspite of technological developments?

where is the cultural hunting ground? what is the cultural method of hunting?

Japanese people have no issue with utilising new technology in a range of areas. Why would Japanese people still try to catch whales with nets when we now have harpoon equipped vessels with which we can hunt far more efficiently?

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cleo,

If the whales that suffer the longest are top welfare priority (as you quoted from an IWC report) then before looking at Japan we must fix the US aboriginal subsistence whaling (by 9 year old kids, according to recent news reports).

Baird's beaked whales are not the IWC's competence so there's no obligation for Japan to provide any data about them to the IWC. Indeed Japan had been providing data on other species until the anti-whaling lobby abused the information so openly provided by Japan to the extent that Japan decided to submit it's welfare data to whalers forums where people actually care about making improvements, as humane human beings should.

in slaughterhouses must be killed humanely

Same with whales. But the perfect kill isn't always achieved in both cases (humans aren't perfect and probably never will be, but our humaneness makes us keep trying).

As for "struck and lost", this is a minuscule problem as compared with ship strike and entanglement in fishing gear. Frankly the people who complain about Japan (such as you) come across as being entirely insincere about it.

Struck and lost is again a much bigger problem in places like the US, where they have 9 year old kids permitted to hunt.

And, you are incorrect - Japan does report struck and lost figures to the IWC (the figure is pretty much always lower than what the US reports - if anything the US should be having their whalers adopt Japanese methods.)

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@NihonRyu

Yeah, after follow your link gave earlier. I can see that whale show up in a dish from time to time thought out the history. It also disappeared from time to time too. but no pro-whaling want to take that in to account.

The more I read the more I can see that the strongest influence of whale eating culture and the most important on my point is the hunting culture in japan today seem to come after japan was introduced to the western technology and hunting methods which can help catch more in number.

It isn’t that japan got so much domestic demand so/and they develop their own technology of hunting over the history. this culture became widely accept in this country by the westerner culture, technique and knowledge.

and It is actuary no point to keep refer to another people whaling culture like Indonesia, new zeland, America etc.

those people is using their own traditional methods of hunting to preserve their own culture.

@ davidattokyo

So now why you reduce your culture to begin at 1930 after she got an update from western technology. I used to hear pro-whaling keep say that you have this culture for hundred of year or even thousand of years.

the mass hunting style today you are supporting isn’t came from the real Japanese culture that was practiced hundred more years ago. Why would you try to preserve western style of culture in japan? are you trying to destroy your own traditional way of doing thing?

Why would Japanese people still try to catch whales with nets when we now have harpoon equipped vessels with which we can hunt far more efficiently?

Now you forgot what you had been standing for a log time which is “proteching Japanese culture and value of whaling.”

Japan did not develop this way of mass hunting, not even the way of thinking (mass commercial whaling), and japan even brought the hardware from the west. leaving their original way of hunting behind.

I didn’t know you love the west that much. Love them enough to try to protect their way of doing thing and say it out loud that it is what in your culture.

go back to my question,

where is the cultural hunting ground? what is the cultural method of hunting?

and what you are trying to protect?

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david -

If the whales that suffer the longest are top welfare priority (as you quoted from an IWC report) then before looking at Japan we must fix the US aboriginal subsistence whaling

Isn't that a bit like saying we shouldn't worry about murders being committed because more people die in traffic accidents? The one being a problem doesn't mean we shouldn't worry about the other.

you are incorrect - Japan does report struck and lost figures to the IWC

That's not what the IWC says. From the link I gave above - Although Japan provides some data from its special permit operations, to date (2005) it has failed to provide any data on struck and lost whales

As for "struck and lost", this is a minuscule problem as compared with ship strike and entanglement in fishing gear.

That statement is meaningless until we have some data on the number of struck and lost - which Japan fails to provide. The IWC says that there is a 'high incidence' of struck and lost.

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save the whales eat tofu

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Japan isn't hunting those, but Australia moans all the same. Let's face it - Australians are going to moan about it no matter what. There is a commercial anti-whaling industry that will ensure this continues for the forseeable future. I hope the increasing whale populations lead to more and more strandings and thus more and more Aussies getting annoyed by stinking whale carcasses on the beaches.

Gees davidattokyo, you are scraping the bottom of the barrel with this rhetoric. You are usually quite factual. However, it is one of the most amusing pieces of garbage you have come up with. Keep up the good work!

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I see that you are confused. It was claimed before the treaty. The treaty simply ignores all such claims. As I said, it's a controversial claim... just as Japan has a controversial claim to an EEZ around Okinotorishima.

Not confused at all. ATS, which Australia is a signatory of, prohibits claiming sovereignty. It's controversial in a sense that they clearly violates it. BIG DIFFERENCE

So could you explain why Japan has poured 1000s of tonnes of concrete on to Okinotorishima? Is that natural? Your points are laughable really.

Doesn't matter what the present condition is. Read the text.

Do you have trouble reading English? In my posts I have pointed out that Japan claims there is an abundant number of various whales in the seas around Japan. Indeed more than enough to satisfy this tiny niche market. The fact of the matter is that the greedy, whale grabbing Victorian-era style expeditions to the pristine Antarctic are insane... Japan can get its whales on its own doorstep, and that's according to its own data!

Did IWC approve of this such coastal whaling? No And furthermore, unless IWC finally lifts the ban and sets quota what specifies and where, the reasearch should continue based on the spirit of IWC. Read the convention. That's why I gave you the quotes. IWC ultimate purpose is not about banning whaling in certain locations/species especially in the area of most abundance. It's to "make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry".

By the same token the Japanese government should ask the Ozzies if it could fish in their claimed EEZ off the AAT even if they disagreed with it.

Why? ATS already covers that. (Going in circles)

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I have no beef (so to say) with Japan hunting whales in their territorial waters. As long as they don´t travel half around the world to do so in intl. waters.

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Whale hunters and whaler eaters are jerks. I hope developed nations, particulary the US will threaten sanctions to end these barbaric , primitive hunts. With Obama at the helm i doubt it though.

I emailed Fox News and Bill Oreilly to try to get them to highlight more these barbaric murders. Hopefully this will become an international incident and we no longer have to worry about tons of Japanese shoddy good coming to our stores. Also Japan, we don`t want your mecury laced poison whale,!

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NihonRyu's

Today's persisitent culture of passive impotence to the West or our Asian neighbors have not gotten us anywhere. It's time we Japanese begin to realize this and demand more from our leaders and realize a stronger mature Japan that can be on a more equal footing on international issues.

尊王攘夷!!!! Take it easy, man. You sound like you still living in the Meiji era. I understand the US forced occupation made you a little bitter, I would be too. Patriotism is so played out though.

People always feel so special. Like Abe's slogan 'Beatiful Japan', or 'God bless the USA'.

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TOXIN,

Your beliefs about culture and how it should develop are bizarre.

So now why you reduce your culture to begin at 1930

No, thats the rough point in history where Japanese whalers went to the Antarctic for the first time. Whaling culture did not suddenly spring into existence out of nowhere at that point in time.

the real Japanese culture

... is not something that YOU get choose or determine based on your romantic fantasy ideas.

Why would you try to preserve western style of culture in japan?

Eating whales is the main point of the culture, how the whales are hunted is subsidiary to that. If you find a better way of doing something, then you roll with it. This is how Japan works in a range of areas. In other places like Indonesia they prefer their old methods to their new ones. I don't know why myself, but I don't really understand their culture to be able to say what is right or wrong.

Japan did not develop this way of mass hunting,

...So?

japan ... leaving their original way of hunting behind.

Japan's older ways of hunting had already fallen into decline through the depletion of whale stocks in Pacific waters by Yankee whalers. Hey, had the Yankee whalers been behaving in a sustainable and cooperative manner perhaps Japan would never have needed to abandon it's old methods. History is history though, don't be complaining about it.

what you are trying to protect?

1) Human rights, cultural diversity and good natured mutual respect, 2) rational sustainable utilisation of naturally renewable resources. Both'll make the world a better place.

#

cleo,

Isn't that a bit like

No. Murders and traffic accidents are apples and oranges. Whaling one way, and whaling another way are both apples, just different types.

The one being a problem doesn't mean we shouldn't worry about the other.

And this is why everyone gives the US so much stick about their whaling practices right. Pffffft. Imagine the outcry from the west if Japan had 9 year olds manning the harpoon guns!

That's not what the IWC says.

Well, I'll tell you that you're wrong again and do a quick Google, and provide a link: http://www.iwcoffice.org/_documents/commission/IWC59docs/59-WKM&AWI8.pdf See from page 4 for a table of struck and lost incidents from Japan, Norway and Iceland. No need to retract, I'll take it as a given.

That statement is meaningless until we have some data on the number of struck and lost

So now you can address it.

Disillusioned,

You are usually quite factual. However, it is one of the most amusing pieces of garbage you have come up with.

Thanks! Who knows though, maybe I'll be annoyed to find eventually that some smart alec Aussie decides to start up a whale funeral business to give stranded whales a proper burial. (After all they do erect gravestones for whales in Japan.) I'm sure Aussies will be happy to donate to such a noble cause (especially if it keeps the stink from the beach).

DickMorris,

Fox News is a little too right leaning to waste time with anti-whaling claptrap, isn't it? Try the New York Times instead maybe.

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DavidatTokyo: Your points are very well said!! Thank you!

DickMorris: Fox News, Bill Oreilly? You gotta be kidding, we know where you stand. lol.. Btw- Japan rarely sends shoddy goods to the U.S. If yout hate Japan so much why are you even looking at this forum?

Please respect people's different cultures and view points, again this is about sustainable commercial whaling. I am pretty sure we Japanese respect American Citizen's right to bear arms and other cultural differences that might seem unfathomable to some Japanese. There are other more pressing world issues that need to be solved in the world today than to fuss over hunting a few thousand whales out of a population of over a million. Think about it: There are millions of people throughout the world that are dying from preventable diseases, poverty, war, etc.. How is one whale's life that can feed thousands of people have more visibility and more top of mind than the human suffering that is occurring today? It is politically motivated and in my opinion we Japanese should never ever succum to the kind of bullying over practicing our own culture especially if it is not endangering any species. Get over it! There are many other pressing things in the world to have an outcry about...

In fact, I hope someone institutes a eat whale once a week campaign in Japan to instill our solidarity on this issue and provide more visibility and drive demand. Ultimately, I think we Japanese need to stand together on key issues such as this and show that we aren't going to get bullied. My family and friends will be trying to eat whale atleast a few times a week going forward even though it's pricy as a political statement and have talked to my local supermarket to keep bringing more of it in. I encourage others to do the same and try to eat whale a bit more ofen if you can.

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david -

The paper you refer to is dated 2007, and gives data from 2002 to 2006. The link I gave states to date (2005) it (Japan) has failed to provide any data on struck and lost whales.

We can deduce that after the 2005 report Japan was forced or shamed into providing data it had previously failed to produce.

It makes one wonder -

1) why the data wasn't submitted in the first place if it was so readily to hand, and

2) how accurate the data can be considering the fact that the whalers are the ones doing the counting, and as your paper points out, '...hunters may not feel it is in their best interests to report accurately or to report at all. Hunters are aware that, if the existence of a significant level of struck and lost becomes known to wildlife managers, it may lead to lower levels of allowable catch in the future. If it becomes known to the public, it will give ammunition to the anti-hunting lobby. Also, hunters often find struck and lost to be an embarrassment because it reflects badly on their skill as hunters. Therefore they may be reluctant to report struck and lost, or may report falsely if they perceive it is in their best interest to do so. As a result, estimates of struck and lost from such programmes tend to be negatively biased'. (Translation: take the figures with a sackful of salt).

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What is "scientific" about killing 59 whales to find out what they were eating? When we all already know what whales eat! So Nihon Ryu is it "scientific" as is permissible by the IWC, or is it "commercial" whaling for your dinner plates which is NOT permissible? So you have just blown your own countries argument for whaling in the IWC out of the water, & the FACT Japan already has massive stockpiles of whale meat which it has been unable to sell. The only satisfaction I get out of knowing you are going to eat more whale meat is the fact it is very high in mercury, just as dolphin meat, so you are poisoning yourself, & your future generations, look up Minimata desease, Japan 1956, Minimata, & the Chisso factory. This high level of mercury was not contained in it before the industrial revolution, but then back then "traditional" whaling was carried out in wooden boats, not capable of outrunning the whales, & with spears rather than explosive harpoons, so the whales had just as much chance of killing the whalers, as they did of the whale! & back then you did not go down to Antarctica & hunt in what has been declared the "Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary", you were killing just off your own coastlines, but due to your own unsustainable fishing practices that is no longer possible, so now you fish in others territorial waters, & yes there is documented footage of your whalers slaughtering in Australian territorial waters. Finally I do not know where you have gotten the idea that there are "millions" of whales left in the oceans,so it is ok to slaughter them, because this too is wrong, less than 400 Nth Atlantic Right Whales remain, the Southern Right Whale has similar numbers, Humpbacks in the Southern oceans have made a come back, & number around 10,000, & Minke, & Fin Whales certainly do not number in the millions, unless you are just reading figures from pro whaling media releases from Japanese fisheries! Maybe when they are all gone you can explain to your mercury poisoned children, & show them pictures from books...

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david-at-tokyo:

" Japan's older ways of hunting had already fallen into decline through the depletion of whale stocks in Pacific waters by Yankee whalers. Hey, had the Yankee whalers been behaving in a sustainable and cooperative manner perhaps Japan would never have needed to abandon it's old methods. "

Oh really? So only the Yankee whaler decimated the whales, the Japanese and other whalers did not? Do you have any figures to support that fascinating theory?

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Oh really? So only the Yankee whaler decimated the whales, the Japanese and other whalers did not? Do you have any figures to support that fascinating theory?

Are you really arguing that its not true? That American and European whalers weren't responsible for the wholesale decimation of whale stocks?

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cleo,

Sorry, but you're wrong. Struck and lost data is a requirement under the IWC's "Revised Management Procedure", which was established way back in the early 1990's. Japan didn't suddenly make this data available as you are trying to make out (for who?).

And then I'm not surprised to see you next turn around and question the accuracy of the stuck and lost data anyway... yadda yadda and around in circles you spin.

'...hunters may not feel it is in their best interests to report accurately or to report at all.

Yeah, thats typical anti-whaling fundamentalist's thinking for you.

Hunters are aware that, if the existence of a significant level of struck and lost becomes known to wildlife managers, it may lead to lower levels of allowable catch in the future.

Indeed, see above re the RMP (which has always required these data). Now consider that commercial operations would come under international observation and it becomes amusing to even consider these daft allegations seriously. How does a harpoon boat approach a whale, have a harpoon gunner fire a harpoon, strike and lose the target whale, all without regulators knowing about it.

As for scientific whaling, why would the whalers care? The quotas are decided by the government of Japan, not the IWC so this argument makes no sense in that case either.

One word: pathetic.

My guess is that the paper you are quoting from refers to aboriginal subsistence whaling anyway, where struck and lost is a bigger feature than in the efficient hunts employed by Japan Iceland and Norway.

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hobbsy70,

we all already know what whales eat!

Anti-whaling rhetoric says that whales eat krill only (google it), yet Japan has again shown this dogma to be false. So we can stop there and be ignorant, or we can look to understand this better and thus make for more optimal utilisation of marine resources. The latter option makes sense.

So Nihon Ryu is it "scientific" as is permissible by the IWC, or is it "commercial" whaling for your dinner plates which is NOT permissible?

Scientific permit catches are supposed to be utilised fully, under the terms of the IWC's convention. The problem is that the IWC convention is being ignored by the IWC, and so we have a strange situation where the whaling regulatory body refuses to set non-zero "commercial" catches, but continues to allow scientific catches because... it is unable to stop it because it's in the rules.

the FACT Japan already has massive stockpiles of whale meat which it has been unable to sell.

Japan's whale meat stocks are able to be sold. The inventory levels go up and down all year long as the supply and demand influences play tug of war.

The only satisfaction I get out of knowing you ... are poisoning yourself,

Gee, aren't you are humane person?

you were killing just off your own coastlines, but due to your own unsustainable fishing practices that is no longer possible,

Yankee whalers hunting whales out at sea reduced the number of whales available to Japan's coastal whalers. They had been hunting for hundreds of years before the Yankee whalers came along and screwed everything up.

less than 400 Nth Atlantic Right Whales remain

No one is hunting such endangered species as this.

the Southern Right Whale has similar numbers

Actually those numbers are up to around 10,000. No one is hunting those either.

Humpbacks in the Southern oceans have made a come back, & number around 10,000,

More like 50,000+ according to latest estimates

Minke, & Fin Whales certainly do not number in the millions,

How certain are you and on what grounds? Even Australian estimates put minke abundance around 400,000+. As for fin whales, I don't know but I think the Japanese have a better clue about it than anyone else since they are the ones conducting sighting surveys etc to count them.

WilliB

Oh really? So only the Yankee whaler decimated the whales, the Japanese and other whalers did not? Do you have any figures to support that fascinating theory?

I don't have any figures on me, but Japan was hardly ravaging the seas with it's methods of netting whales that happened to swim into bays and inlets. I recall the Japanese catches were only a couple of hundred right whales etc in good years, but for some mysterious reason the Japanese methods became ineffective when the Yankee whalers arrived in the so called "Japan grounds".

If you can prove me wrong I'll happily agree that it was Japanese methods of catch whales with nets that lead to their depletion, and not Yankee whaling on the open seas that was targeting them for oil (rather than for meat).

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Y

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My guess is that the paper you are quoting from refers to aboriginal subsistence whaling anyway

That's your guess, is it? You mean you couldn't be bothered to look at the link, which is from the IWC and which states clearly that as of 2005 Japan has failed to provide any data on struck and lost whales. Not some aboriginal subsistence whaling. Japan.

you next turn around and question the accuracy of the stuck and lost data anyway...typical anti-whaling fundamentalist's thinking...

Again, not me. The quote is from the IWC.

If you can't be bothered to read, what's the point? Or does your contract forbid you to read anything that might disagree with the official line of your minders?

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wow thats a lot of research they can do now. Id like to read those papers and see what they have found out. Maybe they have made some interesting discovers that can help whales survive better or maybe lead to new medical discoveries. Or maybe they have found out that the meat contains high levels of mercury and isnt safe to be eaten by humans.

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cleo,

The report you are quoting from (now that I do read it) was a document submitted by New Zealand's representatives, and as I've already shown, they were wrong to state that. I already showed you one document outlining the figures.

The quote is from the IWC.

The quote was a submitted paper, not "from the IWC".

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LOL, now that I read carefully it appears that the New Zealand authors of the document you are quoting were back tracing, because it was a subsequent document from the same authors that I showed you already. They themselves admitted they were wrong essentially.

http://www.iwcoffice.org/_documents/commission/IWC59docs/59-WKM&AWI8.pdf

"Table 1 provides a list of whales reported as S&L <b>in papers submitted to the Scientific Committee between 2003 and 2006 by Japan, Norway and Iceland</b>. Since these data are available and are reported to other bodies within the Commission, we urge Contracting Governments conducting commercial or special permit whaling to also report these data to the WKM&AWI Working Group."

Translation: "we didn't know where to get the data as of last year, but now that we, do we're going to be real pedants and ask Japan etc to provide the data to this forum as well so that we can use it to moan about them."

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Or does your contract forbid you to read anything that might disagree with the official line of your minders?

Does your contract forbid you to admit it when you're wrong? See this all the time with Greenpeace.

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From the report of the Working Group on Whale Killing Methods and Associated Welfare Issues, Agenda Item 4 at the IWC meeting in June 2009:

Japan then recalled that up until a few years ago it had provided extensive data on killing methods and welfare data to the Commission, data that had shown a steady reduction in TTD, and that the discussion had been quite acrimonious. Since its data had been used in what it considered to be a non-constructive manner and handled differently from data provided by other governments, Japan had decided to submit its welfare data to NAMMCO for the time being, where more productive discussions occurred.

That sounds to me like Japan itself is saying that they do not provide reports on animal welfare (which would include struck and lost data) because the data reflects badly on them.

Since Japan doesn't catch marine mammals in the North Atlantic, it's decision to submit data to NAMMCO (whose fellow whale-killing members will understandingly stroke their fragile egos instead of being nasty to them?) seems bizarre to say the least.

http://www.iwcoffice.org/_documents/commission/IWC61docs/61-Rep6.pdf

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Here in Hokkaido, which is where this hunt was, most people I've met have eaten whale. There's one whale specialty restaurant here in Sapporo. But I haven't met any Japanese of any age that are too keen on the stuff.

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I can understand why westerners are againt whaling but i can also see why Japan is not ^^

Some obvious reasons being, they were brought up with it being ok and its a source of food.

westerners, strangly, seem to not know how we get fish, ya know the stuff we buy in the markets and shopping cetres? it comes from the sea! ;o shock and horror!!!! ^^

I can understand whales are important and all, but unfortunatly there is going to be a drop in sea creatures AND land creatures, we cant just stop that from happening, save the animals or quit eating any kind of meats? and dont go herbivore on me cause i dont want that option xD good for you if you are, but that doesnt mean the rest of us have to ^^.

We are born meat eaters, hunters, and we are trying to stop something that years ago was the natural way to get food (and still is) and nobody thought twice about it? Since then population has grown, and food demands have increased, plus some people are pigs these days, and stuff there faces even without being hungry.

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westerners, strangly, seem to not know how we get fish

On the contrary, we know where the whale meat comes from and how it gets to us. Which is why we think it's a Bad Thing. Some of us think the same about fish and other animals.

there is going to be a drop in sea creatures AND land creatures, we cant just stop that from happening, save the animals or quit eating any kind of meats?

Not quite sure if you're saying we can't 'save the animals and quit eating any kind of meats' or that we should....

and dont go herbivore on me cause i dont want that option xD good for you if you are, but that doesnt mean the rest of us have to

The world simply cannot support 7,8,9 billion people all pigging out on meat. Either you can choose to cut down your meat consumption, or your grandchildren will 'have to'.

some people are pigs these days, and stuff there faces even without being hungry.

That sounds like a good argument in favour of shooting whales with exploding harpoons....not.

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cleo,

We now seem agreed that Japan <i>was</i> providing data (despite what the New Zealand government's anti-whalers were saying, and you swallowed so eagerly with fact checking for yourself).

And as you also point out they stopped doing so a couple of years ago due to the nonconstructive use of the data by anti-whalers.

Since Japan doesn't catch marine mammals in the North Atlantic, it's decision to submit data to NAMMCO ... seems bizarre to say the least.

What is bizarre is that anyone would imagine that the differing geographical locations of these people should preclude them from working together to improve their hunting techniques.

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jessssicaaa,

unfortunatly there is going to be a drop in sea creatures AND land creatures, we cant just stop that from happening, save the animals or quit eating any kind of meats?

It doesn't need to be this way. When naturally renewable resources are exploited on a sustainable, conservative basis, the level of those resources can be held more or less flat over a sustained period of time. The science behind this is one of the lessons that has been learnt in part due to the consequences of over-exploitation of some large whale species.

So, we can have our whales and eat them too.

people are pigs these days, and stuff there faces even without being hungry.

This is very true...

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if you think about about the amount fish eaten in japan, not just whales, no way can any of it be sustainable.

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I think at the end of the day, japan doesnt need whale meat, the majority of people dont actually want to eat it, they are just doing it for the sake of it because its tradition and its what the old guys ate at school during the war. Ive seen events where they make up whale food to try to tempt people to eat it. Its just not commercially viable. If they want to eat it then the government should withdraw funding, let them go hunting and if nobody buys it then the industry would collapse, end of problem.

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Well at least with respect to whales it should be sustainable. I am sure more worried about fish.

japan doesnt need whale meat

Heard it before. No one needs any arbitrary type of food one happens to eat. This isn't an argument against whaling.

Limited supply means realistically only a limited amount of people can actually eat it, but the majority of people who don't eat it don't actually want to prevent other people from doing so.

It does actually taste very good if you have a well prepared meal, that's why my friends who eat it do. But sure some old folks like to eat it because they always did. I don't blame them for it.

Ive seen events where they make up whale food to try to tempt people to eat it.

I've seen events where they make up aussie beef dishes to try to tempt people (children even!) to eat it.

Its just not commercially viable.

Not my impression.

if nobody buys it then the industry would collapse, end of problem.

Exactly. Total agree on this point. In reality however the IWC setting sustainable whaling catch limits is a prerequisite. What the government does fund currently is special permit research whaling. This puts some meat on plates but that's subsidiary.

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Davidattokyo, if whaling is "commercially viable", as you believe, then why does the Japanese government spend millions of Yen propping up the hunts in the Southern Whale Sanctuary? Does not commercially viable mean it can sustain itself? But then again you believe that slaughtering thousands of whales is "sustainable"! Again with "tradition", the Romans used to feed christians to the lions, so would it be ok now for the Greeks to do the same? According to your arguments it would be because it was "tradition", or maybe, just maybe humankind has moved past this sort of unacceptable behavior? & as for my earlier comment regarding you poisoning yourself with whale & dolphin meat, all you could do was to say "aren't I so inhumane", what about slaughtering of dolphins in an inhumane way, or whales dying over hours, drowning in their own blood, is this the kind of behavior you call humane? Is it not "inhumane" to poison you children with such a diabilatating desease, while knowing you are doing so? But then again you never mentioned "Minimata" desease, or Mercury poisoning again, is that because you know it to be true, & has happened in Japan previously, & has been shown in scientific studies of the meat,(both whale & dolphin), so you would prefer to ignore these health implications & arguments, while you can say others are racist or bigoted towards Japan, when in actual fact we are trying to protect "our oceans",(the worlds, not just for Japan), for ALL future generations, & help prevent you from poisoning your future generations! But we are all so inhumane & bigoted against you, right? As for hunting in Australian & New Zealand territorial waters, it has been documented, as it is also ILLEGAL to hunt in sanctuaries, if you do not believe me look up the definition of the word "sanctuary" in a dictionary! The Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is NOT Japanese territorial waters, or anywhere near Japan for that matter, nor is it "traditional" for you to hunt down there. As for Minke whale numbering 400,000, well that is not "millions" is it? By your own admission there! The "spotting" you talk of? Is this the spotting by the whalers before they slaughter them? Gee they would not be biased to increasing those numbers for the sake of keeping the industry going would they??? & finally just how many whales do you need to kill to find out what they eat? Or did you find something totally new & different in the last batch of 59 that got killed? If so what is this amazing new discovery you just made by slaughtering them? Or how old they are, but i guess once they're on the dinner plate they are not going to get any older are they?

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hobbsy70,

Davidattokyo, if whaling is "commercially viable", as you believe, then why does the Japanese government spend millions of Yen propping up the hunts in the Southern Whale Sanctuary?

Commercial whaling is banned currently, and Japan abides by this. With commercial whaling banned, the only option to obtain biological data which the IWC convention recognises as vital for fulfilling it's mandate is special permit whaling. The Japanese government supports this special permit whaling financially, although the majority of the costs are offset by whale meat costs. This is appropriate, because if the operation was selling meat at higher prices and turning profits, it would then technically be commercial, and arguably in violation of the IWC commercial whaling moratorium.

Does not commercially viable mean it can sustain itself?

Yes. But note that there is a commercial whaling moratorium now.

Meanwhile, Iceland no longer abides by this, and it's commercial whaling operators are busy exporting fin whale meat products to Japan, free of government subsidies as far as I know.

But then again you believe that slaughtering thousands of whales is "sustainable"!

It is sustainable if the natural rate of growth is high enough to compensate for the numbers taken. A few thousand whales out of a population of hundreds of thousands is just a couple of percentage points at the maximum.

Again with "tradition", the Romans used to feed christians to the lions, so would it be ok now for the Greeks to do the same?

These days we have a notion of human rights, so no. Whales aren't humans though.

According to your arguments it would be because it was "tradition"

Why do Aussies slaughter kangaroos and cows? It's their tradition I suppose.

as for my earlier comment regarding you poisoning yourself with whale & dolphin meat

The meat is not poisoned. There are levels of toxins etc in different parts of the meat in different species, and generalizations can't be drawn but fair to say that eating different parts in moderation according to their peculiar features is wise.

what about slaughtering of dolphins in an inhumane way

What's a better way of slaughtering them?

whales dying over hours, drowning in their own blood

The vast majority die very rapidly of wounds from explosive harpoons or secondary killing methods, at least in Japan, Iceland, and Norwegian hunts. Can't say the same for US hunts, granted, but they seem to have some financial constraints.

is this the kind of behavior you call humane?

Accidents do happen.

But then again you never mentioned "Minimata" desease

On another thread I was just quoting The National Institute for Minamata Disease (a government organization), and how interesting their advice regarding consumption of whale products was.

in actual fact we are trying to protect "our oceans"

Sustainable utilisation does not harm the oceans.

& help prevent you from poisoning your future generations!

See NIMD comments on dolphin consumption. They infer that frequent consumers might eat a little more baleen whale instead.

As for hunting in Australian & New Zealand territorial waters, it has been documented

The international community doesn't recognise those territorial claims, let alone Japan.

it is also ILLEGAL to hunt in sanctuaries

Special permit catches are legal in "sanctuaries".

if you do not believe me look up the definition of the word "sanctuary" in a dictionary!

Read the IWC's convention carefully. Their use of "sanctuary" does not prevent special permit whaling, only commercial whaling. These sanctuaries were only created AFTER the "moratorium" and AFTER Japan was already conducting special permit operations. "Sanctuaries" are just duplicating the "moratorium" which also has no effect on special permit whaling.

Both the moratorium and sanctuaries ought be abolished and sustainable catch limits set appropriately.

As for Minke whale numbering 400,000, well that is not "millions" is it?

Globally there probably are about a million, but in any case 400,000 is enough for sustainable utilisation.

Gee they would not be biased to increasing those numbers for the sake of keeping the industry going would they???

The IWC has an independent programme which counted the whales. Japan only provided the vessels on which the international researchers did the counting on.

did you find something totally new & different in the last batch of 59 that got killed?

The results were different from last year, if you check the reports and compare. I do recommend you check the reports if you are interested.

Or how old they are, but i guess once they're on the dinner plate they are not going to get any older are they?

Age is important for modeling population dynamics which helps us understand what levels of utilisation would be sustainable.

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So once again davidattokyo you admit what you are doing is ILLEGAL & against the IWC moratorium on commercial whaling, the "research" is just a ruse for killing whales for your dinner plates, & yet you do it in sanctuaries, you just contradicted yourself with your own comments & arguments! So which is it? "commercial" or "research"? & if it is subsidized by the government just to make it not "commercial", & is done in a designated sanctuary, is that not ILLEGAL, & brokered by your government? & if it is all so above board why do the Japanese buy off small broke countries to vote with them in the IWC, is that not corruption?

The levels of mercury found in dolphin & whale meat is toxic by your health standards, & the rest of the worlds as well. & if these territories are not internationally recognized, then how do Patagonian Toothfishermen from Sth America end up prosocuted for fishing in these waters? & previously you have complained of other hunts being carried out in Japanese waters, but now according to you Japan can hunt anywhere it likes? You are quite the hypocrite. Just like by saying eating mercury laced whale meat is going to help people with Minimata desease, so treat mercury poisoning with more mercury???

So if there were 400,000 Japanese left in the world, would you consider it sustainable for us to keep killing them, at rates their reproduction could not keep up with? But as you say;"accidents do happen"! Ohhh that's right, you are all for human rights, what about destroying & over fishing of the oceans & in turn destroying ecosystems that all humans rely on to survive, is not that an abuse of human rights, for the rest of the world not just Japan?

The results were different from last year? So please impart these amazing new facts you learnt from killing these 59 whales? What their diet slightly differed from the ones you killed last year, because of different conditions of the oceans, slightly less or more availability of one or another food source maybe? Gee glad you had to kill them to find that out! Such GREAT "scientific " research done there, maybe you should put yourself up for a "Noble" prize. But i guess it is just like with tuna being over fished & the rest of the world looking to cut back on but Japan believes it can keep killing all, what about when there are none left? I guess you can look back at your "research" & say ohh well this one died at this age, maybe before it could reproduce! & the reproduction of whales takes a lot longer than humans David, just as fish stocks being over fished, it is going to take decades for them to make sustainable comebacks, that is if they are even given that chance too!

The counters you refer to on these whaling boats are also crew on these boats & sourced by Japan, not independent arbitrators! This can be seen in the video released from these vessels, ALL are Japanese!

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hobbsy70,

So once again davidattokyo you admit what you are doing is ILLEGAL

???

& against the IWC moratorium on commercial whaling

Japan abides by the moratorium. Iceland and Norway aren't bound by it. There is no illegality by any of these nations (let alone me).

the "research" is just a ruse for killing whales for your dinner plates,

It's not a ruse, it's the only type of whaling that is permitted by the Japanese government right now in accordance with international rules Japan has decided to adhere to.

yet you do it in sanctuaries

Special permit whaling is exempt from "sanctuaries" and "moratoriums". This is written in the IWC's convention, Article VIII.

So which is it? "commercial" or "research"?

Currently it's research, because that's all that is allowed under the rules Japan adheres to.

if it is subsidized by the government just to make it not "commercial"

They are doing research so its not commercial, but it would be a bad look if research projects were turning profits.

if it is all so above board why do the Japanese buy off small broke countries to vote with them in the IWC

That's why countries receiving ODA from Japan have recently not been voting with Japan at the IWC?

The levels of mercury found in dolphin & whale meat is toxic by your health standards

The NIMD suggests the meat be eaten in appropriately moderate quantities. It's not toxic.

how do Patagonian Toothfishermen from Sth America end up prosocuted for fishing in these waters?

What law are they prosecuted under?

according to you Japan can hunt anywhere it likes?

All nations can catch marine resources where they like in accordance with international agreements.

Just like by saying eating mercury laced whale meat is going to help people with Minimata desease, so treat mercury poisoning with more mercury???

NIMD notes that baleen whale (specifically Bryde's whale) has low levels of contaminants and is safe to eat. Cetacean consumers can switch to it from dolphins etc to fulfil their needs.

So if there were 400,000 Japanese left in the world, would you consider it sustainable for us to keep killing them

Japanese people are humans, and humans have human rights. So it's kind of a stupid situation to suggest.

what about destroying & over fishing of the oceans & in turn destroying ecosystems

Sustainable exploitation requires that the exploitation be sufficiently conservative that when accidents do happen they do not have catastrophic and unintended effects and consequences.

Indeed some have noted that if the regime for the sustainable exploitation of whales was applied to other fisheries, the vast majority would have to be shut down straight away. The whaling regime is that tough. For example, no whale stock with a 95% chance of being less than 54% of it's un-exploited natural level of abundance can be harvested under IWC rules.

Whereas with various fisheries the managers actually target depleting fish stock abundance to levels below 50% in order to obtain maximum sustainable yield.

If you are worried about ecosystems then you should be very much in favour of sustainable whaling being implemented, as it would serve a fine example to other international fisheries.

The results were different from last year?

Yes, as I noted the details can be found in the reports, if you are actually interested in the research.

the reproduction of whales takes a lot longer than humans David

That's a gross generalization at best.

The counters you refer to on these whaling boats are also crew on these boats & sourced by Japan, not independent arbitrators!

Not true. The people counting the whales include New Zealanders, Americans etc.

This can be seen in the video released from these vessels, ALL are Japanese!

Don't confuse the "crew" of the boats with the researchers who do the actual counting

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So David, yet you still refuse to answer a simple question & continue to contrdict yourself between these responses & others you have forwarded, you say your hunts are not commercial, yet when questioned on them you say your government could turn a profit from, but would be embaressed to do so, because these hunts are NOT scientific, they are about putting whale meat on your dinner plate, yet you carry them out in a "sanctuary" under the guise of "research", so by that you are breaking the law, conducting ILLEGAL hunts in a designated whale sanctuary. & once again the information you provide with this "research" can be obtained through non lethal methods,(collections of skin samples & DNA testing), but then you would have no whale meat for your dinner table, would you? Yes you have lost some countries you bribed & paid of to vote for you in the IWC because their corrupt governments were voted out, so now you have recruited more, Kiribati, Laos, to name but 2. But when their people find out the conditions that come along with your money I am sure you will have to go & find more, since a vast majority of your Caribbean block has deserted you! You talk about American whale hunts, like they run a commercial oppertion the same as you, but the only whales killed there are to the Inuit's, & done in traditional manner, eg, rafts, & hand thrown harpoons, & the numbers are less than a 100 per annum, not commercial in boats that can outrun the whales, & firing explosive harpoons, therefor the whales have as much chance of kiling the hunter as they do of it, so why do not Japanese whale hunters use these "traditional" methods anymore if it is all about "tradition" Once again I asked you what are these "new" earth breaking discoveries you made by killing these 59 whales, & once again you avoided answering & tried to turn it back on me, so once again, PLEASE explain to us all what these great new discoveries were? As for gross generalization at best on whale & human reproduction, whales gestate for 11 months, or in some breeds longer, humans gestate 9 months, not a gross generalization, scientific fact, also whales then do not breed for another year - 2 years as the calf is still with the mother, which per chance you kill in the "sanctuaries" during your "scientific" slaughter, as well as pregnant whales, so kill not only the 1 whale but also the calf, multiple kills with the 1 explosive harpoon, yet you do not include this in your "scientific" research, why not? I have seen footage, & passenger manifests off your boats, sorry NO Americans or New Zealanders on them, so who exactly are these "phantom" researchers, & please give proof this time, not a gross generalization! It is great to know you are all for human rights, what about acting humanely, & respecting animal rights, or are all animals, endangered or not just here for your consumption? & as for Minimata desease I was just reading an article from Taiji, where many are suffering from high levels of mercury, yet your government & NIMD refuse to then test these people for Minimata desease, what is your government trying to cover up? The fact you have another outbreak of the desease on your hands, or are you going to wait like the original one & deny all until it is proven outside Japan before you accept the truth? & as for fishing in another countries economic exclusion zone, you know that is ILLEGAL, just as commercial whaling in a designated "sanctuary" is, just as anyone fishing in Japan's economic exclusion zone, & you government enforces that, otherwise the Chinese or Koreans could fish freely in your waters, which your government definately does not allow! So this time how about answering questions directly rather than trying to bluff them off

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Then lets talk about numbers, & breeding rates, commercial whaling of Humpbacks,(what Japanese tourist come to Australia to see), reached a low point of 100 whales a century ago, at which time whaling stopped,(unlike Japan when it wiped out all its local stocks), now 1 century later we have official numbers,(not from Japanese whaling boats), at 10,000, so over 100 years it has grown 1 a year, yet Japan wants to slaughter 50 humpbacks a year,(under scientific purposes), but the population has only grown on average 1-5 a year, so please explain David how this is within the population growth, & can be sustained, when ALL scientific reports say otherwise, ohhhh yes that's right, it's not about "science", it's about putting whales on your dinner plate! When are you going to admit this publicly, as you have said it a few times now through your other comments, eg whaling is sustainable as an industry, the government is only subsidizing it to prevent it making money & embaressing Japan internationally, admit who you are David, & your motives behind this fight, the rest of us have! SO who are you David, & what is your vested interest in this debate? As you are not an average citizen walking down the street to go to work, your work involves the industry of whaling, & trying to convince the average consumer it is ok, & while we are on the average consumer, why do you not tell them when they are purchasing dolphin meat? Why do you hide it as "whale meat", & charge the same for it? Another commercial ploy to back up your ILLEGAL hunts in the Southern Whale Sanctuary, so you can say our industry is sustainable, what about the villages that used to have dolphins, but has since hunted the populations into extinction? Ohh yes that is right, you are not willing to admit this, along with any proof of what you are doing is not sustainable. Just as when i questioned you on your millions claim, by your own admission there are not millions, 400,000, & maybe a million worldwide, not millions,(multiple of million), as you had stated. But then bribe another few 3rd world countries to support you in the IWC & you will think you have the whole world fooled right? Well keep it up, for your whaling policy is causing Japan as much damage & embaressment as America's foreign policy under Bush did, & the world is watching, & do not believing your story for a second. Just as in Taiji right now, do you think because no media is there the story & reports are not getting out? I as others have footage of your latest inhumane slaughters in Taiji, & you cannot stop it being released to the world, or hide what you are doing there, THE WORLD IS WATCHING, David, I hope Japan, & Japanese people are willing to live with this shame & dishonor from the rest of the world????? Just as in Iran during the last elections & civil disturbance afterwards, the footage is getting out, & will be made public, much to the discrace & dishonor of the Japanese people...(To whom you will have to answer)

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So where is your point by point explaination now David? Or because the article is no longer posted maybe you feel you do not have to explain any longer? & you can an run and hide behind your "commercial" whaling? Time to confess up, & provide us with some facts we are long waiting for, eg "great" new "scientific" finds in the last hunt of 59 whales of Japans coasts finds us.Thats right there is none, so you have no argument, so why answer the post or question, because David I have been posting it & all your comment all over the internet! So we are all waiting your reply, as to why this whaling or any other is "sustainable" or "acceptable" in your words? PLEASE EXPLAIN??????

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