national

Japan cuts Antarctic whale catch quota

68 Comments

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

© 2014 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

68 Comments
Login to comment

sad..... setting back science to appease the ocean terrorists.

;-)

-12 ( +12 / -24 )

I found that Abe’s (or Japan’s) flip-flop of decision-making process is really troubling.

For instance, About four month ago, Abe told the crowds in a press conference in Australia regarding to ICJ’s ruling “Japan is a country which values international law and order and the rule of law and therefore Japan will abide by the(ICJ’s) decision.”

Now story is changed, no wonder Japan is losing respect from the international community and becomes increaseingly irrelvent.

So, if Japan is not able to abide by the rule of law, then don’t preach it, please.

16 ( +24 / -8 )

Ha! Brilliant strategy by Japan. Set some ridiculously high quota initially (one they had no real intent on keeping) and then say we will cut that quota by half! See! Aren't we such nice people!

6 ( +16 / -10 )

Saving energy? Shut down the whale meat freezers.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Ethan,

The story hasn't changed. Japan said that they would respect the decision of the ICJ that made JARPA II illegal. It did not say, nor suggest that another program could not be started.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Japan said on Tuesday it has cut its Antarctic whale-catch quota by two-thirds....

Since the hunt hadn't been financially viable to begin with ("controversial program, which sees taxpayer-subsidies"), and their plan is to cut the quota by two-thirds, what's the point of continuing it other than to protect a dying industry and keep their political base content. Is it necessary for the government to save traditional/cultural industries, such as whaling, silk producers, and Katana craftsman and the like, using our tax money if sales of these products isn't sufficient to sustain said industries?

Usually it's consumer demand that drives innovation and change and those products that don't sell become a fading memory. But I guess we will all be forced to continue paying for these one way or the other, whether we like it or not!

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Heda, I respectfully disagree with your rebuttal. IMO, Japan is trying to circumvent ICJ’s decision.

Let's get this straight,, Japan's Antarctic whale research program , in essese, is a commercial whale in disguise.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Ethan,

You can disagree with my rebuttal all you like it doesn't change the fact the ICJ found that JARPA II was unscientific but it did not say anything about future programs or adjustments.

Japan is adhering to the ICJ's decision.

As was reported extensively at the time:

The ruling left the door open for Japan to launch a new scientific hunt, though any new program would face intense scrutiny and would presumably need to be better designed. Judges said explicitly there was nothing in international law that forbids killing whales as part of a scientific study. It also noted that whales culled for scientific purposes may be slaughtered and sold — although that could not be the primary purpose of a scientific study.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Even in times of recession the government can afford money to continue this important scientific research. This is most inspiring and the people of Japan should be proud.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

"...Japan has set a new annual target of 333 minke whales, down from some 900 under the previous program, the government said in a statement."

Here's a question: What about other whale species beside minke whales?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

although that could not be the primary purpose of a scientific study.

It was not merely the primary purpose, it was the only purpose. Everybody knows that.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Give it up Japan. The rest of the world can see right through you. Your arrogance toward the world's oceans is counter to efforts in trying to save them.

No oceans, no planet. No planet, no future.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Regrettably, the mortal, whaling loophole is and will be exploited to the hilt.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Seeing as most of the meat ends up sitting in freezers anyways, it sounds like they are just cutting out the unneeded excess - which is a good thing.

Heda, I respectfully disagree with your rebuttal. IMO, Japan is trying to circumvent ICJ’s decision.

No, they are restructuring their program to be in line with the ruling by the ICJ, not circumventing it. The ruling was quite clear on what was and wasn't allowed.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

A smaller quota does not comply with the international court ruling. Japan still has to prove their "uhum" 'new' research is actually research. I just wish they would stop wasting so much bloody money on this farce. They are using a ruling against commercial whaling to prove that commercial whaling is viable. That in itself is totally absurd!

0 ( +7 / -6 )

The 1984 moratorium of commercial whaling was supposed to be ended by 1990.

What is unfair is that the moratorium is still continuing 24 years overdue, and that it is continuing even after the justification for moratorium has been lost because the stock of Minke whales is large enough for sustainable whaling.

http://www.iwcoffice.org/convention

International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, 1946 Schedule

10 (e) Notwithstanding the other provisions of paragraph 10, catch limits for the killing for commercial purposes of whales from all stocks for the 1986 coastal and the 1985/86 pelagic seasons and thereafter shall be zero. This provision will be kept under review, based upon the best scientific advice, and by 1990 at the latest the Commission will undertake a comprehensive assessment of the effects of this decision on whale stocks and consider modification of this provision and the establishment of other catch limits.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Not only does the new 'quota' greatly exceed the number of whales Japan has caught in recent years, the article does not mention that the area in which the hunt will be carried out has been vastly increased to cover two-thirds of the Antarctic coast.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Since the hunt hadn't been financially viable to begin with ("controversial program, which sees taxpayer-subsidies"), and their plan is to cut the quota by two-thirds, what's the point of continuing it other than to protect a dying industry and keep their political base content. Is it necessary for the government to save traditional/cultural industries, such as whaling, silk producers, and Katana craftsman and the like, using our tax money if sales of these products isn't sufficient to sustain said industries?

Yes, Mr. Perfect. Lift the moratorium, cut the subsidies, and let the industry die naturally.

-4 ( +7 / -10 )

nigelboy Nov. 19, 2014 - 10:48AM JST Nov. 19, 2014 - 10:48AM JST

Yes, Mr. Perfect. Lift the moratorium, cut the subsidies, and let the industry die naturally.

I never mentioned "Lift the moratorium". Lets be honest here! If they need our tax money to survive then lets put that up for a vote and see how many Japanese want to subsidize this industry. And this antarctic hunt isn't about tradition or culture because*

Nisshin Maru is owned by Tokyo-based company Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd which is a subsidiary of the Institute of Cetacean Research.

Shōnan Maru 2 (第二昭南丸 Daini Shōnan Maru?) is a Japanese security vessel, operated by the Japanese Fisheries Agency.

Yushin Maru is a whale catcher owned by Tokyo-based company Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd which is a subsidiary of the Institute of Cetacean Research.

Yūshin Maru No. 2 is a whale catcher owned by Tokyo-based company Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd which is a subsidiary of the Institute of Cetacean Research.

Yūshin Maru No. 3 is a whale catcher owned by Tokyo-based company Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd which is a subsidiary of the Institute of Cetacean Research.

Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd was formed in 1987 (formerly Kyodo Hogei, since 1976) and is a consolidation of earlier whaling departments of Japanese fisheries. The for-profit company conducts the collection, processing and wholesale of the whale byproducts on behalf of the Institute of Cetacean Research.

Don't see any local fisherman listed as owners here so this is ALL about Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd. and the Institute of Cetacean Research the tax payers are subsidizing.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Good luck with that Japan.... you're going back to court if you think renaming the type of research is going to get you off the the hook.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

I never mentioned "Lift the moratorium". Lets be honest here! If they need our tax money to survive then lets put that up for a vote and see how many Japanese want to subsidize this industry. And this antarctic hunt isn't about tradition or culture because*

I'm not talking about the antarctic. I'm proposing the idea which was suggested by the U.S. to allow coastal whaling commercially in return for ceasing the Antarctic research. Of course, this was rejected by Australia.

As to the vessels, ICR can and will reform into a limited company if the moratorium is lifted.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

"sad..... setting back science to appease the ocean terrorists"

Well said :)...You have described the J scientific whaling program perfectly. Lucky we have the Sea Shepherd who try to stop them "ocean terrorists".

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

They're just managing expectations.

They know as usual Sea Shepherd will stop them from getting as much as a third of the usual 1,000 or so, so they're going for a slightly more realistic number.

Must be deflating for the mighty government-subsidized and supported whaling fleet to limp home with less than it promised every year.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

This whole issue is besides the point. The IWC should be permitting Japan to catch whales commercially under international oversight.

There is no reason for a moratorium on catching minke whales, which the IWC itself says on their website number more than 500,000.

Even if Japan were catching 900 minke whales a year, this amounted to only 0.18% a year!

This is obviously sustainable folks.

But due to the intransigience of the IWC, not only is Japan forced to waste money conducting research which is basically unnecessary since sustainability of whaling is already obvious, just think of all those foreign bureaucrats who are sucking off the teets of their own public purses, participating in these IWC meetings and discussions. ALL of the money spent should be put towards helping prevent Ebola or something of value to human society, rather than people of one culture trying to dictate to people of another what they should not regard as food.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

its all a ploy over the long term, Japan will be ramping up the lobbying (vote buying) to get commercial whaling restarted over the coming years, time for more donations to SS, let the battles continue

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

“We will explain the new plan sincerely so as to gain understanding from each country,” Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Koya Nishikawa told reporters.

Just quit already, and boost your international reputation. Japan is swimming very much against the tide of international opinion on this one. If anything, they should be seeking to gain international understanding for resumption of coastal whaling. The whole "tradition" thing could be sold on that one - but sending their fleet off to Antarctica - where Japan started operating at the beginning of the 20th century (not earlier) - is another matter. This is something that other whaling nations like Norway, Iceland etc don't do. Hence the reason they aren't being opposed with the same intensity. Sorry Japan, your latest "whopper" won't be bought

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Japan keeps poking itself in the eye with this. Stop already. It hurts. Gone are the days of large commercial whaling. Give it a rest. Get yourself a Big Mac and sushi.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Get yourself a Big Mac and sushi.

I agree with all the above, but the blue fin tuna shortage has been reported before. So it seems their sushi consumption might be curtailed a bit soon

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Japan should use its resources wisely. :)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

if killing these whales is in the interest of science, can we see this date that is gathered? Iam sure it will never turn up, but any cut in the killing of whales is good news.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

if killing these whales is in the interest of science, can we see this date that is gathered?

Sure you can. There are hundreds of published papers you can read if you are that interested. They also give the data to the IWC every year, so you can also request the data from the IWC.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

not only is Japan forced to waste money conducting research which is basically unnecessary

They're not forced to waste money. they have the option of staying home and not wasting scarce tax yen on something only a handful of old men want.

any cut in the killing of whales is good news.

There is no cut in the killing of whales (except this year, when NO whales are being killed in the Southern Ocean). The new quota is still more than they've managed to catch in recent years,and there is no reason to suppose Sea Shepherd will allow them to catch anywhere near their self-awarded, 'minimum necessary' quota.

As Greenpeace says, they're just fiddling with numbers. It doesn't change the fact that the purpose of the hunt is to put meat on plates. Or in freezers, at least.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

if killing these whales is in the interest of science, can we see this date that is gathered?

Apparently, they've determined that minke whale is delicious with grated garlic and ginger. But seriously here's an article summing up what we've learned from all their "research."

http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/what-have-we-learnt-from-24-years-of-japans-scientific-whaling-program/story-fnjww010-1226871173847

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Mike O'BrienNOV. 19, 2014 - 05:16PM JST Sure you can. There are hundreds of published papers you can read if you are that interested. They also give the data to the IWC every year, so you can also request the data from the IWC.

And only a handful of those papers relied on killing whales for the collection of Data. I think it was either four papers or four percent over the past 25 years if memory serves.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

It doesn't change the fact that the purpose of the hunt is to put meat on plates. Or in freezers, at least.

Actually the whole purpose is to save "stung national pride". Japanese people have been told, and believe, that western countries are being hypocritical in opposing their "culture". Funny that, when Japan has been telling the rest of the world it's scientific "research." It's a known fact that except for some coastal communities and decrepit oyajis, Japanese don't eat whale meat. Yet they can't bear the idea that the west is telling them to stop something they've been brainwashed to believe is their culture. And therein lies the rub

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Mike O'Brien Nov. 19, 2014 - 05:16PM JST

if killing these whales is in the interest of science, can we see this date that is gathered?*

Sure you can. There are hundreds of published papers you can read if you are that interested. They also give the data to the IWC every year, so you can also request the data from the IWC.

They publish papers that shed their research in a favorable manner. Why is it that there are no papers to be found on the toxins and heavy metals contained in the meat which most people would put as the most important issue to be studied? And we all know the answer to that question, don't we. If they did publish the data, and other scientists have produced data on it which shows that it's not even fit for use in pet food, no-one except the hunters themselves (and their poor wives and kids) would eat the toxic meat and there would be no more demand for the product!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

What a great nation you are. Can go to the southpole!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Brian WhewayNov. 19, 2014 - 04:20PM JST

if killing these whales is in the interest of science, can we see this date that is gathered? Iam sure it will never turn up, but any cut in the killing of whales is good news.

Here you are. http://www.iwcoffice.org/jarpaii-review-workshop-feb-2014

I can see 58 papers in 2014 alone.

MrBumNov. 19, 2014 - 05:35PM JST

But seriously here's an article summing up what we've learned from all their "research." http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/what-have-we-learnt-from-24-years-of-japans-scientific-whaling-program/story-fnjww010-1226871173847

The problem of that biased article is that the writer thinks that it is OK to distribute misinformation for the paramount cause of protecting the environment. I actually rank environment activists below used car dealers in terms of integrity of information.

Mr. PerfectNov. 19, 2014 - 06:13PM JST

Why is it that there are no papers to be found on the toxins and heavy metals contained in the meat which most people would put as the most important issue to be studied?

You can see one in the list. https://events.iwc.int/index.php/workshops/JARPAIIRW0214/paper/viewFile/547/536/SC-F14-J23.pdf

"Pattern of mercury accumulation in the Antarctic minke whale and its prey based on JARPAII data"

I am getting tired of misguided arguments here. Why are they so easily carried away by propaganda?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I have not seen any scientific advances coming out of Japan from their commercial (you can't really call it anything else) whaling practices.

Last year it was seen by the whole world that the whales were caught and butchered straight away on the deck of these whaling ships.

We have learnt more in the last five years studying live whales in their natural environment than Japan's whaling practices in the last 50 years!

It is time to stop this barbaric process.

And leave the dolphins alone too!

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Well said Joanne. I just hope that common sense will prevail soon, and stubborn pride will be left by the wayside for the greater good

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Just cut it to 0. I'm tired of paying tax money to these parasites.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Why is it that there are no papers to be found on the toxins and heavy metals contained in the meat which most people would put as the most important issue to be studied?

Well actually there are papers that study those issues.

And we all know the answer to that question, don't we.

Yes we do. The answer is you were wrong.

I have not seen any scientific advances coming out of Japan from their commercial (you can't really call it anything else) whaling practices.

Well of course you haven't because you haven't looked.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If you cannot explain why whale is different from other animals or why only Japan should be criticized, you are the ones who have no common sense and evil.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

A step in the right direction.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It is time to stop this barbaric process. And leave the dolphins alone too!

Who are you? God?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

just think of all those foreign bureaucrats who are sucking off the teets of their own public purses, participating in these IWC meetings and discussions. ALL of the money spent should be put towards helping prevent Ebola or something of value to human society* oh and the over $1billion yen in wasted whaling subsidies could have been better used to oh say social security, Fukishima, Tsunami disasters, etc etc etc. foreign governments wouldnt have to waste there money on fighting Japan at the IWC, ICJ if Japan just stopped there Antartic hunts. they want to conserve the whales unlike the many ocean species Japan consumes that are becoming endangered.
1 ( +3 / -2 )

I can see 58 papers in 2014 alone

I wonder how many of those 58 you bothered to read. A quick count shows that at least 28 are cruise reports, data based on sightings or observer statements, none of which require the killing of a single animal. Many of the others appear to cover the same ground (how many papers on the contents of a whale's stomach do we need?), or to be reviews or summaries (aka rehashings) of what other papers reported. The first observer paper I opened at random stated that the sampling strategies adopted by the JARPA and JARPA II programs are structured poorly, inconsistent and inappropriate given the stated objectives. As such the data are confounded and biased.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

I just hope that common sense will prevail soon, and stubborn pride will be left by the wayside for the greater good these are J bureaucrats/nationalist your talking about. ritual suicide is a more attractive option than losing face/pride

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Mr. Perfect Nov. 19, 2014 - 06:13PM JST

Why is it that there are no papers to be found on the toxins and heavy metals contained in the meat which most people would put as the most important issue to be studied?

CH3CHO Nov. 19, 2014 - 07:20PM JST

You can see one in the list. https://events.iwc.int/index.php/workshops/JARPAIIRW0214/paper/viewFile/547/536/SC-F14-J23.pdf

"Pattern of mercury accumulation in the Antarctic minke whale and its prey based on JARPAII data"

I am getting tired of misguided arguments here. Why are they so easily carried away by propaganda?

I concede that I was WRONG and the Institute of Cetacean Research published the results of a study on Pattern of mercury accumulation in the Antarctic minke whale and its prey based on JARPAII data.

Have you actually read through this short analysis of hepatic Hg (liver/mercury contamination) by chance as I'm quoting you; "I am getting tired of misguided arguments here. Why are they so easily carried away by propaganda?"

First of all, my question was; Why is it that there are no papers to be found on the toxins and heavy metals contained in the meat which most people would put as the most important issue to be studied? You provide a link to a narrowly focused study on hepatic Hg and not total mercury (THg) liver/muscle ratio. The study you linked does NOT conduct ANY tests on whale muscle tissue which is what the Japanese consumers ingest, not the whale's liver which is why a total mercury (THg) or concentrations of mercury in muscle and liver tissue would be of use to the general public and there is a difference in HG and THg testing and testing methods nor are tests performed on other whale species taken in the Antarctic hunt. Nor does this link provide any mention of the vast list of other dangerous toxins found in whale or dolphin meat.

Secondly, this study pertains to the impact of mercury in krill and it's impact on minke whales and this document does not address in any way the multitude of other heavy metals and toxins that accumulate in whale muscle tissue which was more to the point of my assertion that the Institute of Cetacean Research has produced no data/results regarding the effects of whale meet consumption on humans.

So after careful consideration, I take back my conceder and maintain my position that the Institute of Cetacean Research has provided no data regarding the suitability of whale consumption on human health, as far as I am able to find.

And one final point, I take ANY study the Institute of Cetacean Research congers up with as much importance as I would say, a report on "North Korean Human rights violations", conducted by Kim Jong-Un's secretariat, a report finding no links between cancer and cigarette smoking by Philip Morris or a findings on the "Sexual abuse of minors by priests" conducted by any diocese of the Catholic church. the Institute of Cetacean Research sole purpose is to promote whale hunting and consumption at ALL costs. Why are we so easily carried away by propaganda, you asked?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Mr Perfect, very well put

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

And one final point, I take ANY study the Institute of Cetacean Research congers up with as much importance as I would say, a report on "North Korean Human rights violations", conducted by Kim Jong-Un's secretariat,

So in other words you asked a question knowing you would flatly refuse to believe any answer except the one you had already decided with your extensive scientific knowledge was the correct one.

the Institute of Cetacean Research has produced no data/results regarding the effects of whale meet consumption on humans

The ICR is studying whales not humans.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Mike O'Brien Nov. 20, 2014 - 08:37PM JST

So in other words you asked a question knowing you would flatly refuse to believe any answer except the one you had already decided with your extensive scientific knowledge was the correct one.

I asked why the ICR had not provided any data on the suitability and safety of whale and dolphin meat to which you and CH3CHO replied the ICR had done so and that I had not searched hard enough to find. I took issue with that as I have look into the matter and then pointed out that the study CH3CHO provided in fact did not pertain to the point I was making. And sure I can ask the question as it's our tax money that extensively supports this research and I'm sure most Japanese would be quite surprised that the ICR as well as the J-gov have suppressed data that would shed a dark light on the consumption of both whale and dolphin especially in areas where school children are forced to eat it. But you would argue that no children have developed mercury poisoning related illnesses. YET that is.

There is plenty of scientific evidence and published data that does prove that both dolphin and whale meat are not fit for human consumption and are several to dozens of times over J-government restrictions, as you my friend are well aware, but you refuse to believe any answer except the one you had already decided with your extensive scientific knowledge was the correct one according to the data provided by pointing out that mercury poisoning illnesses weren't reported. Let's take you reasoning & logic and apply it to teen smokers as they have yet to develop smoking related illnesses so there is no need to stop children from smoking.

Selling this whale meat for human consumption is no different than drug dealers selling their product on the streets! Pushing it into school cafeterias is no different than letting drug dealers stuff our children's lunches with their product.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mr. Perfect, Almost all fish have mercury. No point in singling out only whale and dolphin. Maybe chemicals from cultured fish are more dangerous because Japanese consume a lot of them. Do you think the vegitables contain no chemical or pesticide?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

tinawatanabe Nov. 20, 2014 - 10:08PM JST

Mr. Perfect, Almost all fish have mercury. No point in singling out only whale and dolphin. Maybe chemicals from cultured fish are more dangerous because Japanese consume a lot of them. Do you think the vegitables contain no chemical or pesticide?

First of all, it is widely known that sea creatures are subjected to considerably more toxins and heavy metals which accumulate on the sea floor to include airborne toxins and substances that make their way into the aquatic food chain. Whales and dolphins are at the top of this chain and as Minke whales have a life expectancy of over 20 years and several whale species live for 100 years or more, their tissues absorb considerably high amounts of toxins than do other fish species.

What is the life expectancy of a vegetable? I'm guessing not that long. Do I eat products that come from Fukushima, not if I can help it but do I fuss over it, no I don't. The question is why are we whaling when the demand is not there and the industry can't survive on it's own? I don't like the method of slaughtering dolphins in Taiji and think the locals could find more humane ways to end the life of the prey they depend on, but I do understand that this is their tradition and it is their livelihood so I tend to bite my lip on the matter.

But forcing it into school lunches and onto supermarket shelves is another matter and my contention is the industry under the protective arm of the government is turning a blind eye to the dangers that this entails. The government has a responsibility, a duty to protect it's citizens as well as warn us to dangers, not to protect a select few who are the ones posing the danger. As long as we pay taxes we have a right to know and scrutinize how it is spent and we damn sure ought to have the government answering to us, not to special interests.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Mr. Perfect, If the toxins are high, the govts don't serve them at school. And the demand may not very high, but is there. There are many foods that are not high deman but still in supply in Japan. Do you demand all stopped?

Anti-whale people always give many reasons like you, but nothing is convincing. I wonder if there is any nation besides Japan that are constantly being told not to eat something by foreigners. It is insulting. Why do you ignore Japanese people's will to continue this practice?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

tinawatanabe Nov. 21, 2014 - 12:03AM JST

Mr. Perfect, If the toxins are high, the govts don't serve them at school. And the demand may not very high, but is there. There are many foods that are not high deman but still in supply in Japan. Do you demand all stopped?

Where to start? It's clear by your comment that you place the utmost trust in the Japanese government to protect us from foods, materials and anything else that can pose a health risk and that is your prerogative. However, the J-gov has a long history of siding with and protecting industries and when it comes to health risks, the public is left in the dark and to fend for itself when health problems arise. You have the choice to eat as well as feed anything you like to your kids as long as it is within the law. I do NOT demand that anything be stopped but I do DEMAND the truth as to the health risks involved and I would think that would be a point we ALL can agree on!

Anti-whale people always give many reasons like you, but nothing is convincing. I wonder if there is any nation besides Japan that are constantly being told not to eat something by foreigners. It is insulting. Why do you ignore Japanese people's will to continue this practice?

I am not against whale hunting by tribes or communities who have a tradition of hunting whales for their livelihoods, coastal whaling communities like Taiji, Wakayama, indigenous Alaskan communities and the like but that's not what we are talking about in regards to Tokyo-based company Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd and their Antarctic whale hunt. The Antarctic is not Japanese territory and that makes it everyone's business. I support the idea of coastal whaling in countries own territorial waters and I think that is the path Japan should pursue if, like you, Japanese want to continue eating whale and dolphin meat.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Mr. PerfectNov. 20, 2014 - 01:14PM JST

You provide a link to a narrowly focused study on hepatic Hg and not total mercury (THg) liver/muscle ratio. The study you linked does NOT conduct ANY tests on whale muscle tissue which is what the Japanese consumers ingest, not the whale's liver which is why a total mercury (THg) or concentrations of mercury in muscle and liver tissue would be of use to the general public and there is a difference in HG and THg testing and testing methods nor are tests performed on other whale species taken in the Antarctic hunt.

The mercury concentration in the liver is the highest of the various body parts of a whale. I think it makes a lot of sense to study the liver to know the mercury contamination level of a whale. In addition, if the mercury contamination of the liver of a whale is at certain level, we can safely conclude the contamination in the muscle is below that level.

In any case, the study is scientific research of whales, and is not a food contamination test.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The mercury concentration in the liver is the highest of the various body parts of a whale. I think it makes a lot of sense to study the liver to know the mercury contamination level of a whale

You are disseminating - that info is already known, thus whales can be researched by non-lethal means

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Christopher GlenNov. 21, 2014 - 01:24PM JST

You are disseminating - that info is already known, thus whales can be researched by non-lethal means.

How can you take a liver out of a whale by non-lethal means?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It's a known fact that whales are high in mercury - thus no need for lethal research to tell us what we already know

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

There is plenty of scientific evidence and published data that does prove that both dolphin and whale meat are not fit for human consumption

So with all this other evidence and published data, just why do you want the ICR to waste money researching something that is well known? And again, the ICR is researching whales not humans.

as you my friend are well aware, but you refuse to believe any answer

Yes I am aware and no I don't refuse to believe it.

by pointing out that mercury poisoning illnesses weren't reported

Really? And just where did I point that out? I would love for Mr. Perfect to quote where I ever made such a comment.

Let's take you reasoning & logic

Except it is not my reasoning & logic. It is your strawman.

Whales and dolphins are at the top of this chain

No, Odontoceti are at the top of the food chain. Mysticeti feed fairly low on the food chain.

and as Minke whales

And as Antarctic Minke whales primarily feed (surprisingly) in the Antarctic far away from most human sources of mercury and other toxins, they tend to have low levels of toxins when compared to sea creatures caught in the North Pacific.

But forcing it ... onto supermarket shelves is another matter

And just how are this being done? Are they also forcing people to buy it off of said supermarket shelves?

I am not against whale hunting by tribes or communities who have a tradition of hunting whales for their livelihoods

I support the idea of coastal whaling in countries own territorial waters

So by your reasoning & logic, poisoning tribes and communities who have a tradition of hunting whales is OK, just keep it from everybody else.

It's a known fact that whales are high in mercury - thus no need for lethal research to tell us what we already know

Except things change. A lot of the mercury in the oceans comes from coal burning. Many coal plants have had equipment added to reduce/remove the mercury from their exhausts and many other coal plants have been shut down. Without continued research how will it be known if this is effecting the levels in whales?

Thus the continued need for lethal research to monitor a changing world.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

So by that reasoning, water samples from the Ocean would suffice. That would of course tell us what we already know - that the ocean is polluted and full of chemicals. Sorry but Japan will never convince first world nations their intentions re.whales are genuine. It's be better if they abandon the Antarctic program - which would demonstrate good faith - and focus on resumption of coastal whaling on a limited scale. That is if national pride about "culture" has to be assuaged

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It's be better if they abandon the Antarctic program

It would be better if they abandoned the IWC and let the market conditions dictate where and how much whaling occurs.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Probably cripplingly expensive - and unnecessary in any case

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There is no legal force in the judgment. 1: Since a whaling ban provision does not exist in international law, it is only judgment as a personal opinion of a court. 2: Japan is declaring the International Court of Justice acceptance.   However, since the United States, Russia, France, China, etc. have not carried out it, those countries do not have legal force.   Furthermore, since this matter is not argument between states, there is also no country which can force Japan into judgment.   The private enterprise only filed a suit to the International Court of Justice this time.

That is, judgment of the International Court of Justice does not have any power. Judgment was only issued about the case besides their category.

Incidentally, from IWC, Japan gets permission of research whaling and is doing research whaling lawfully. That is, the country which has joined in IWC has given Japan permission of research whaling.

There are many people who do not know such fundamental things at all. Why doesn't Japan leave IWC? It is very strange. Is it because IWC will be emasculated if a whaling nation secedes? The problem of operational expenses?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The private enterprise only filed a suit to the International Court of Justice this time.

No the suit was filed by the country of Australia against the country of Japan.

judgment of the International Court of Justice does not have any power

It has as much power as any other court. Japan signed a treaty vowing to accept the judgements of the ICJ.

Incidentally, from IWC, Japan gets permission of research whaling

Incidentally, no they don't. Japan issues their own permits and gives themselves permission under Article VIII of the IWC charter. The rest of the IWC has no power or authority to affect Japan's choice in issuing the permits.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nonetheless, the fact remains: if Japan can't or won't stick to whaling in coastal waters,(like Greenland, Norway and Iceland do) then it should stay out of Antarctica. It could gain far more international prestige by bending with the times.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Nonetheless, the fact remains: if Japan can't or won't stick to whaling in coastal waters,(like Greenland, Norway and Iceland do) then it should stay out of Antarctica.

Sorry but you have stated an opinion, not a fact.

Under international treaties Japan has a right to hunt whales in Antarctica and it is up to them to decided if the benefits of doing so outweigh the costs. And obviously they have decided that the benefits do outweigh the costs.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

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

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites