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Japan seeks upgraded whaling ship in sign hunts will continue

106 Comments
By Glenn Lockitch

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Got to keep all those widely cited scientific papers rolling.

The world would respect Japan more if it didn't attempt to hide behind the scientific excuse.

13 ( +24 / -11 )

Science!!!!

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Why do we have to foot the bill for this monstrosity?

16 ( +24 / -8 )

It will be a glorious day when the Nisshin Maru is turned into coffee cans.

18 ( +25 / -7 )

If thousands of whales have to be killed in order to satisfy research demands then this is obviously a major waste waste of taxpayer money!

All the scientists doing research must be completely inept too....

14 ( +23 / -9 )

"That study will include discussions on what to do with the Nisshin Maru -- if its life should be extended (by repairs), or should be replaced with a used ship or a new ship, among other ideas," according to the agency's Takato Maki.

Sink it, and let it become the foundation of a new reef, where it can be of some positive use to the environment.

Oh and "waste” the money somewhere else please!

9 ( +18 / -9 )

kurisupisu - If thousands of whales have to be killed in order to satisfy research demands then this is obviously a major waste waste of taxpayer money!

This is not really so. The main point of their research is to prove there are sufficient whale populations for Japan to return to commercial whaling. They will turn around and state, “We have killed nearly 20,000 whales in 20 years, so we can kill more.” This is despite the fact there is no market for the meat in Japan.

10 ( +19 / -9 )

Throwing bad money after bad. Keep your whaling hands off my taxes.

14 ( +22 / -8 )

Australia and New Zealand should threaten to pull out of the TPP if this continues. It would be a real embarassment for the LDP. But as long as OZ and NZ don't put their money where their mouth is, this stupid barbaric practice will continue. The main opponents of whaling, OZ and NW, cannot actively campaign against whaling, then turn around and sign FTA with a major whaling nation. Doesn't work.

7 ( +19 / -12 )

Aly RustomToday 07:57 am JST

Australia and New Zealand should threaten to pull out of the TPP if this continues

Not gonna happen. The economy is far more important than whaling issues.

8 ( +18 / -10 )

1 million bucks for a" study and discussions on what to do with the Nisshin Maru " ie....a bunch of oyajis to get together a few times , gobble down some nice lunch / dinner menu , get pissed and predictably decide to put their hands out for more taxpayer funded pork money for this Showa era chestbeating activity that Japan alternatively calls science or tradition depending on which way the wind blows. Bend over once again J-taxpayer , we are not done with you yet. Kampai!

Freaking farce....

8 ( +14 / -6 )

We do need a new framework of commercial whaling. And then should demand Japan to shift from "scientific research" to it. Otherwise pretty unfair.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

"Scientific research", eh? Well, then there must be papers available describing this "scientific research," describing purpose, methodology, results and implications.

Wait - there aren't? Zero?

It's true. Google it.

11 ( +19 / -8 )

The Fisheries Agency has requested 100 million yen in the national budget

They are going to spend the taxpayers' money, my money to kill whales??? Whales are already on the edge of extinction because we polluted the oceans with our garbage and poisoned their natural habitat. This is terrible, simply beyond imagination.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Not gonna happen. The economy is far more important than whaling issues.

Could say the same thing about Japan

0 ( +9 / -9 )

The ship is 30 years old. It's time to upgrade. It's just as simple as that.

-10 ( +9 / -19 )

Australia and New Zealand should threaten to pull out of the TPP if this continues. It would be a real embarassment for the LDP.

Yeah, unfortunately the current Australian ruling party is very conservative and quite morally corrupt. So it won't happen. Like Japan, they put big business and money before the average Joe, let alone the environment or our children's futures...

7 ( +11 / -4 )

The world would respect Japan more if it didn't attempt to hide behind the scientific excuse.

Will someone make a list of countries that hate Japan because of their whaling? Because I guess a few countries define the entire planet.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Such contempt for the taxpayer.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Wait - there aren't? Zero?

> It's true. Google it.

Your Google must be broken. Mine shows links that lead me to papers, list of papers and sources (like the ICW and ICJ) stated that papers exists.

Whales are already on the edge of extinction

No, they aren't.

because foreign residents of Japan are denied the right to vote.

Don't most countries prevent non-citizens from voting, even those legally working there and paying taxes?

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

100 million yen, and that's just for a study about whether to buy a new ship!

How much for the free ship?

How much every year in operating funds?

How much in paying off other countries for pro-whaling votes?

Whaling must employ under 500 people. I don't know what these people have done but they have the taxpayer completely over the barrel. Given the huge loss of soft power for Japan through whaling, it would be cheaper for the taxpayer to just set the same people up as an F1 team or three.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

How much is this going to cost? Really? Why bother. If the "science" can't pay for it's own ships maybe it's not worth the effort. I don't see where the research, no matter how often cited, is worth the money.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Good to hear! The safety of those fishermen is paramount so nice upgrades to these vessels is rational and long overdue, and will improve capacity and efficiency. Whales aren't remotely extinct so new efforts to improve the catch are now required

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

The safety of those fishermen is paramount 

so they should stay at home and get proper jobs.

new efforts to improve the catch

The optimum catch is 0, zero, zilch, nought. The best effort would be to scrap the whole fleet of killer ships. Sinking them and turning them into reefs would be one way of giving back to the ocean a very small percentage of what those ships have plundered from it.

No more taxpayer money should be spent on this ridiculous 'research' farce.

7 ( +16 / -9 )

The safety of those fishermen is paramount 

so they should stay at home and get proper jobs.

LOL! Nice one Cleo!!

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

I thought the government/fishing agency did not own any whaling ships which are privately owned and then chartered and also the crew is then hired including some foreign nationals? The Nisshin Maru was updated, new engines, a couple of years ago with money earmarked for the reconstruction of Tohoku. That was suppose to be a loan to the company.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

The 8,145-ton vessel MV Nisshin Maru is the primary vessel of the Japanese whaling fleet and is the world's only whaler factory ship. It is also the largest member, and flagship of the five-member whaling fleet, headed by research leader Shigetoshi Nishiwaki. The ship is based in Japan in Shimonoseki harbor, and is owned by Tokyo-based company Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd which is a subsidiary of the Institute of Cetacean Research.

Kyodo Senpaku (共同船舶 Kyōdō Senpaku) 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, in accordance with IWC Article VIII which specifically requires the byproducts to be sold.

The whaling industry only survives because of government subsidies.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Yet another disgusting example of how a vested interest has the J-taxpayer over a barrel to help prolong a dead or dying industry.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Tastes good... nuff said!

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Kyodo Senpaku website (Japanese only)

http://www.kyodo-senpaku.co.jp/index.html

4 ( +8 / -4 )

No return to commercial whaling should be considered. The consumption of available whale meat caught for "scientific purposes" and then processed for human consumption, is falling year after year in Japan. This continuing trend of declining consumption should alert the industry that a return to Commercial scale whaling would be uneconomical and completely pointless.

My question is, Is Japan smart or stupid?

Spending money in an area that is currently making a loss, and increasing spending in the hopes of a return to Commercial levels where the money would just bleed out faster makes no financial sense. If the goal is not to make money then what would be the purpose of the exercise? How to lose good money for zero return?

4 ( +10 / -6 )

I just had a look at the research results listed on the icrwhale.org home page. In peer reviewed journals they published 3 papers in 2015, 7 in 2016 and 5 in 2017, a total of 15 papers.

For comparison, I published 9, 4 and 6 papers in peer reviewed journals in the same three years, so my research output alone is bigger than that of the entire Japanese whaling "research" industry. Also, most of my funding comes from companies, not taxpayers. On a Yen per paper basis it would be much more sensible for the Japanese government to give me the Y100 million, instead of wasting it on a useless study, the outcome of which is predetermined (they will, of course, build another ship).

Incidentally, one of the "whaling" papers is about penguins and another one is about adding whale oil to the diet of mice, neither of which have anything to do with the stated aims of the Japanese "research" program.

In conclusion: the whaling "research" program is expensive and provides poor value for money. The funds could be used far more productively elsewhere. If Abe is serious about raising productivity he should cull the "research" whaling program, instead of the whales.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Aly RustomToday 09:31 am JST

Not gonna happen. The economy is far more important than whaling issues.

Could say the same thing about Japan

Of course. Economic issues are far more important than whale issues for all countries.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Australia lacks the motivation for stopping the Japanese Whaling ships... they will issue warnings, but won't back those up with action. Perhaps were they to sink one of these Whaling ships that refused to comply to orders, that may make Japan think again.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Stop wasting my bloody taxes on this nonsense.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Of course. Economic issues are far more important than whale issues for all countries.

Unless the citizenry begins to demand they do something about it

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The whaling industry only survives because of government subsidies.

Exactly! right you are zichi!

2 ( +9 / -7 )

The Japanese whaling industry employs a very small number of workers compare with the high level of government subsidies.

Kyodo Senpaku employs 28 onshore / offshore 170.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

that a return to Commercial scale whaling would be uneconomical and completely pointless.

So have the IWC live up to the requirements of the moratorium and review the Minke whales. Remove them from the moratorium and Japan has no reason to continue funding research. Then the industry will collapse and Japan will hunt zero whales. Sounds like the anti-whalers actions in the IWC is possibly leading to more whales being killed than if the stopped preventing the review of the moratorium.

Perhaps were they to sink one of these Whaling ships that refused to comply to orders, that may make Japan think again.

Would Japan thinking again be before or after Australia gets taken through the ringer for their blatant illegal action?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

we get to pay more taxes for government subsidized lies and a product no one wants only in Japan!

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

This is not about whaling. That's secondary.

Primarily it's about Japan / Abe Inc not being told what to do by foreigners.

The barks of a shortfall in protein, it's our tradition et al are simply a guise to project a "We are strong in the face of adversity" image to the world.

All countries do it to an extent, esp whern trying to appeal to the more nationalistic elements of their societies.

In this case, a piddling industry is put at the forefront of "our rights" agenda, and actually diverts resources - financial & otherwise - from needy causes and developing other long term sustainable industries.

If all of this went into for arguments sake, re-building and reinvigorating the devasted fishing towns and the localised seafood industries in Tohoku, creating a more permanent viability for 1,000s, then I'd say money well spent.

But this is a game and most know it.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Then the industry will collapse and Japan will hunt zero whales.

Except it won't, because just to keep their ego's afloat, it will forced into kids mouths at lunch times and dressed up 'tradition'.

Primarily it's about Japan / Abe Inc not being told what to do by foreigners.

Exactly. The whole Japanese whaling industry runs on ego. Nothing more.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

It sickens me beyond sick. That I coming from the state of Massachusetts in a state that worships whales and all their beauty and power. To look and observe a whale can lift the human spirit. Tax dollars/yen to fund whaling and that whales are being hunted down and speared with money I paid in taxes. Revolting and disgusting! It is beyond cruel and inhumane. You learn just as much from the dead carcass of whale that washes ashore. You learn about whales under the water swimming with them. Whales are peaceful majestic mammals under the water in their habitat not leaving any kind bad foot print on this planet. Tax dollars for whaling Japan. You go to far.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

100mil yen or almost 1million USD if we exchange at par, is enough to provide tens of dozens of farms with enough equipment and supplies to operate for several years.

If we go by recent USDA numbers, one farm can feed up to 155 people per year. If we figure the cost of a small farm at $2400 a year (minus equipment) that is 416 farms or food for as many as 65,000 people.

So in theory food production for up to 65,000 people is being wasted on a study on the efficacy of whaling, which is already known to be inefficient and unsustainable by every rational nation on the planet. And that is just the money being wasted on the study, not to mention the money being wasted on the actual whaling practice and its associated costs, or the legal damages incurred by continuing to do this in the face of international condemnation.

Why doesn't Japan try to take steps towards food independence by shifting this money to truly productive farming techniques with absolutely no moral stigma attached? Mindboggling - on the other hand, it's predictable from this government, but still ridiculous.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Anti-whale hunting Country「science(Ecosystem)」

Japan「science(Food resources)」

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Hideki - that may be true but the problem in Japan is not that there is not enough food (world # 1 for throwing food away), but a grossly out of kilter protein sourcing program that is extremely wasteful of all resources involved - money, manpower, machinery, time and wisdom.

If this whaling program was a new Venture Enterprise seeking financial help, it wouldn't make it past the first meeting. The sums just don't add up. Simple.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Whales are peaceful majestic mammals under the water in their habitat not leaving any kind bad foot print on this planet.

Whales eat too much fish: 0.5Billion ton a year, six times the world fishery catch including cultured fish.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Whales eat too much fish: 0.5Billion ton a year, six times the world fishery catch including cultured fish.

But not as much as we humans. I knew all the research was for something?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

But not as much as we humans.

We humans eat the fish we catch, which is 1/6 fish whales eat.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Whales eat too much fish: 0.5Billion ton a year, six times the world fishery catch including cultured fish.

What’s your stance on hunting whales that don’t eat fish?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The Japanese whaling fleet in the Antarctic are hunting Minke whales which don't eat fish. They have no teeth. They have over 350 baleen plates on each side of its mouth with baleen bristles attached for filtering their prey from the water.

The minke whale has a carnivorous diet, as the minke whales filters to water in the oceans to extract nutrients from it. Amongst the most common minke whale meals are krill and plankton, but minke whales will often eat small fish and crabs.

So Minke whales are not reducing the fish stocks eaten by humans.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

A whale on deck looks like "Mana ita no koi", but Let's say "Mana ita no kujira".

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I have intel a top source these whales are all volunteers

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Why must Japan always put its reputation for brutality in front of the world ?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The Japanese whaling fleet in the Antarctic are hunting Minke whales which don't eat fish. They have no teeth. They have over 350 baleen plates on each side of its mouth with baleen bristles attached for filtering their prey from the water.

The minke whale has a carnivorous diet, as the minke whales filters to water in the oceans to extract nutrients from it. Amongst the most common minke whale meals are krill and plankton, but minke whales will often eat small fish and crabs.

So Minke whales are not reducing the fish stocks eaten by humans.

Cheers, Zichi. As usual, bang on the money.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

This is Japan, and a Japanese run English Web site... of course the Support here will be biased towards Killing off the Whales, just as has been pretty much done for most of the Tuna - yet very few eat the former, as it really tastes quite terrible in Comparison. Our comments will make no difference..

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

If you're not a permanent resident or citizen of Japan; if you're just here on a humanities or other work visa, your taxes don't entitle you to a complaint that Japan spends money on its whaling industry. Your taxes are the price you pay to live and work in the country and nothing else. It's also proof to the authorities that you're working and not being a weight on society. That's it. Whaling has a cultural aspect to the Japanese. Just like some Scandinavian countries. Humans eat whale plain and simple. If you don't like it, don't buy it and don't eat it.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

What’s your stance on hunting whales that don’t eat fish?

I thought that was a perfectly reasonable question. Why would someone thumb it down?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

It's just the old "we Japanese don't need a lecture about our culture".

1 ( +4 / -3 )

If you're not a permanent resident or citizen of Japan; if you're just here on a humanities or other work visa, your taxes don't entitle you to a complaint that Japan spends money on its whaling industry.....

previously you have posted comments against whaling and the need for it and force feeding school children with it for lunch?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Minke whales which don't eat fish.

They do.  They eat huge volume of Okiami, similar to Sakura Ebi,  pinkish small shrimp.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

It's just the old "we Japanese don't need a lecture about our culture".

Americans need a lecture about their culture?

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

You learn just as much from the dead carcass of whale that washes ashore.

No, you don't.

Minke whales which don't eat fish.

but minke whales will often eat small fish

So which is it. Do they eat fish or don't they? You can't claim it both ways.

So Minke whales are not reducing the fish stocks eaten by humans.

But they do eat plankton and krill, both of which are in the food chain of the fish humans eat. So they compete with the fish that humans eat and therefore could reduce the fish stocks eaten by humans.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

But they do eat plankton and krill, both of which are in the food chain of the fish humans eat. So they compete with the fish that humans eat and therefore could reduce the fish stocks eaten by humans.

Fascinating logic. I’d love to hear this taken to its logical conclusion for all species.

Sounds like we are in a struggle with those pesky other creatures we have to share the planet with.

Not really the way to look at it.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Antarctic minke whales feed in the seas of the Antarctic. Then they migrate to the seas around Australia and New Zealand for breeding. So all the food the minke consume is in the Antarctic which isn't an area for Japanese fishing.

https://www.wildaboutwhales.com.au/whale-facts/about-whales/whale-migration

Minke eat very small fish which are not usually consumed by humans. Hunting for minke whales in the Antarctic does not increase the fish stocks consumed by humans.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

It's just the old "we Japanese don't need a lecture about our culture".

Or is it the old " we westerners know what's best for the orientals"?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

All fishing activity in the ocean around the Antarctic Continent is strictly regulated by the Convention on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).

There is an estimated 379,000,000 tonnes of Antarctic krill in the Southern Ocean.. Over half of this krill is eaten each year by the wildlife of the region, such as whales, seals, penguins, squid, and fish. 

In 2014, approximately twelve vessels fished for Antarctic krill. Norway, Korea, China, and Chile are the biggest krill fishing nations.

http://www.antarcticfund.org/fisheries/

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Places a paper bag over my head, Japan is my country and Abe works so so hard at offending other nations.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Japan's mass-circulation Yomiuri daily said last week the fisheries agency was planning to buy a new ship or refit one in part to help its whalers evade anti-whaling activists at sea.

Didn't they get the memo that Sea Shepherd have given up their Antarctic campaign.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

To make whaling more profitable and safer for the crews and scientists why not convert the Izumo into a super whaling ship?

It could accommodate all the whales of the world and do the canning on board simultaneously with the, ahem, scientific eating... err... whale research!

Moreover , no Greenpeace ships would dare ram it!

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

It is time to go back to the peacefull community et stop hunting the incarnation of world peace.

Japan is unwise in some of its battles. This choice show that it has not grown up to be part of the world community.

The future is not about the past mistakes but about an environmental future Japan should be already ready for, but the country have again lost itself in past war passtime. These past dream were the dream of insane men thinking that they could be better than other men and forcing their military way on other people by stealing their freedom. This kind of european thinking made Japan an outcast in the world of today and of tomorrow too. Japan lost part of its freedom because of it. Hunting whale won't help with the nuclear weapon problem.

Men made mistakes. History is there not to repeat them. The whale is a peacefull guardian. There is no science worth its end and killing. That is all people will remember. Japan kill peacefull mamals for no reason but pride and revenge. It is not a fish and we all feel there is a soul somewhere in those bigs animals.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Sounds like we are in a struggle with those pesky other creatures we have to share the planet with.

> Not really the way to look at it.

Every species is in a struggle with every other species, and even within their own species. That is the way nature always has and always will work.

So all the food the minke consume is in the Antarctic which isn't an area for Japanese fishing.

But other creatures than whales also migrate. There is a huge web of relationships between species. Simply because Minkes eat in the Antarctic doesn't mean they don't affect the food web throughout the Pacific.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Minke eat very small fish which are not usually consumed by humans.

Krill, or Okiami is available at every supermarket for human consumption.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

They do. They eat huge volume of Okiami, similar to Sakura Ebi, pinkish small shrimp.

And so what if they do? It's kind of like sharks complaining that we eat to many cows. The logic that you nationalists espouse is... 'interesting'. Your logic never holds up. So, just... stop!

In short, let's try some empathy for other people, the environment, the future, and these beautiful sentient/intelligent beings. Sometimes that is referred to, in part, as 'humanity'.

Let's try! :)

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Mike O - ah the Wonderful Web of Life. So true.

Yet it has almost nought to do with the idea of billions of yen being thrown at an industry which is obviously not commmercially viable.

yes - I know the arguments - let them try and fail, let the market decide, etc etc etc.

But sentience & cuteness aside, the fact is the factory whaling industry, esp in faraway southern waters is finished. It's use of resources is not justified and without the huge govt gifts every year it would have died long ago.

As I have stated before and reiterate - it's about pride. Hard headed pride built on the ruling class premise of "Don't tell us what to do". The govt uses the same tactics in all of it's practices esp those impacting on it's own citizens.

In the case of whaling in the Antatartica it's scope has moved to embrace an international field, which can be more challenging than telling the locals here to shut-up when talking about health, pensions, defense etc.

So international attention won't be so easily bullied / suppressed like local issues are.

And I know that the people who work in the industry see it differently (like you), because you all have a vested interest - your jobs, your livelihood, your future. No one wants to lose that - esp if there's a fat retirement plan looming - but that is the way of the capitalist world.

Some businesses time is up and they disappear.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

And I know that the people who work in the industry see it differently (like you),

LOL. I don't work in the whaling industry. It doesn't affect my job in the least, or my livelihood or my future.

Maybe you should stick to things you actually know rather that make wild claims based on invalid assumptions.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Although it has been argued that whales might be responsible for the depletion of fish stocks through predation, scientists have shown that their defecation in fact provides nutrients for other prey fish. 

https://www.asianscientist.com/2014/06/in-the-lab/whale-poo-sustains-fish-stocks-2014/

One-in-ten fish caught globally are consumed in Japan.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

One-in-ten fish caught globally are consumed in Japan.

The word 'selfish' is one that comes to mind...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

tinawatanabe: "Krill, or Okiami is available at every supermarket for human consumption."

For a "soy sauce vs. mayonnaise" scientific paper?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Mike O - apologies.

I understood from these pages ( I think) a long time ago, that you were the MIke that worked for the Cetacean Research org. I don't like to make mistakes with factual info in my posts ( in this case not factual. My miss.

Please re-read my post with the (like you) taken as having been flung into the garbage.

Everything else I standby.

Cheers.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

tinawatanabe: "Krill, or Okiami is available at every supermarket for human consumption."

That krill is harvested from the North Pacific and not the Antarctic.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Zichi san has nailed every arguement against whaling. I would like to add that whales are a huge part of the ocean balance of nature. Even their whale excreta is a source of nourishment for the seas. Killing them is literally wiping out the supermarket for other species. Leave the whales alone!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

That krill is harvested from the North Pacific and not the Antarctic.

You said Krill was not consumed by human, and now you admit it is consumed by human and talk about where the krill at Japan's supermarkets are originated from and ignore the krill at the rest of the world.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I never said humans didn't eat Krill, check my comments. Japan kills Antartic minke whales and harvests for its Krill in the North Pacific. Much of harvested Krill actually ends up as animal feed. I eat the Krill and other shell foods too.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Why do we have to foot the bill for this monstrosity? because when it come to recalcitrant pride, no amount of wasted taxpayer money is too much if it has the illusion of saving face. LMFAO

1 ( +4 / -3 )

“We Japanese”. I hate it when they say that.

Fingers crossed nothing comes of this study

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Truly disgusting. Let's be honest. These hunts are not for "research". If they were, we would have some tangible information on this topic by now. Hmm... Never knew whale meat was so popular with the entire Japanese poplulation :-(.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

These hunts are not for "research". If they were, we would have some tangible information on this topic by now.

There is tangible information, and all of their research is submitted to the whaling commission.

So please tell us how you came to your evaluation above - have you actually looked at the submitted research? Did you even know it existed?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Okiami is available at every supermarket for human consumption.

So it seems the whales are not eating all the krill that humans want to eat?

Claiming that residents of the sea are eating so much of whatever that they are taking away from the human dinner table and so it's OK to kill them, is a totally false argument.

Before humans started roaming the sea in huge boats killing and eating (or not) anything and everything, there were way more whales than there are now and also way more of everything else. The oceans were teeming with life. It isn't 'too many whales eating too much stuff' that the problem, it's humans destroying the balance of the oceans.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

 Japan kills Antartic minke whales and harvests for its Krill in the North Pacific.

The food chain is connected around the globe. Even humans are moving across the borders.

Claiming that residents of the sea are eating so much of whatever that they are taking away from the human dinner table and so it's OK to kill them, is a totally false argument.

Why? It is a totally false argument to exclude a certain animal as a food for no practical reasons. It will affect the food chain.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

tinawatanbe

I remain opposed to all commercial activity in the fragile Antarctic whether it's whaling or fishing and even the large cruise ships visiting. The area is unique and needs protecting.

The minke whales hunted by Japan remain in the Antarctic area migrating only as far as Australian and New Zealand waters for breeding. All the fish of the Antarctic do not migrate. The Krill also remains there.

Whales and other sea creatures diets are limited to what they have in the sea. We humans have developed and therefore have a very wide range of foods available on land and from the sea. Unlike us whales don't really have a choose of what to eat. We can survive very well without eating Krill.

The Atlandic Blue Tuna has been hunted to almost extinction. The only parts eaten from whales are the belly and tails, the rest is dumped back into the ocean.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

If they were, we would have some tangible information on this topic by now.

We do have tangible information. But since they are studying the changes over time in the population data has to be collected year after year so trends can be detected.

The only parts eaten from whales are the belly and tails, the rest is dumped back into the ocean.

Yet if you compare the number of whales taken to the amount of meat brought back they must be catching whales that are mostly belly and tail.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Already wins the 2018 award for "Most Tone Deaf Decision of the Year". Damnation, leave the whales of the ocean alone! They are important to maintaining the already completely distressed ocean bio-ecology. Shame on Japan!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

No need to hunt whales. Japan's freezers are overflowing with whale meat that no one wants. But stockpiles of frozen whale meat do not get votes. Subsidies do. Whales are dying not for "research" or even consumption but for the LDP.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

As my older Japanese students have told me many times--eating whale is an important part of Japanese culture. I believe that whale should remain a staple part of the Japanese diet for those who enjoy eating whale meat.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

As my older Japanese students have told me many times--eating whale is an important part of Japanese culture.

So why then do 95% of the Japanese never or rarely eat whale anymore?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Obviously the international community has banned all commercial whaling so conducting research to prove its viable is going to have to prove that there are sustainable numbers in addition to the viability of the suitability of the meat for human consumption. Recent tests of whale flesh show high levels of mercury, cadmium and other heavy metals with long term medical consequences. Many are against whaling due to the perceived fact that numbers of species have dwindled and some have been hunted to extinction. We wish this plan too upgrade would be reconsidered and that Japan seek alternative means of satisfying its desire for ocean meals.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

As my older Japanese students have told me many times--eating whale is an important part of Japanese culture. I believe that whale should remain a staple part of the Japanese diet for those who enjoy eating whale meat.

Complete BS! I've never seen anyone eating whale here. I've only heard of a few prefectures that force-feed it to kids - the same as back in the post-war days when kids were widely force-fed the stuff in schools because of the food shortages. It's not more 'culture' than it has been for the many other countries that STOPPED doing it. Culture? My leftie...

Even if it were culture, so was cutting prisoners up to test swords, forced marriage, killing of Christians, ear-tombs and a whole load of other things that we (mostly) left in the dark ages where it belongs.

It's not about culture at all. It's about ego!

Japan is going to be so embarrassed and shamed about this some day in the future. That day will come when even their collective ego and money cannot stop the international community.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Obviously the international community has banned all commercial whaling

No, they haven't. A voluntary organization did and the vote on the moratorium (it isn't a ban) was 25 to 7. Thus 32 countries out of close to 200 were involved, less than 1/6th of the international community.

some have been hunted to extinction

No whale species have been hunted to extinction

I've never seen anyone eating whale here. I've only heard of a few prefectures that force-feed it to kids

There are whale meat restaurants and whale meat is sold in supermarkets. I am sure that these can be ignored but try to claim that the only people eating it are children who have it force-fed to them is disingenuous.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

According to Dr. Peter Wynn Kirby, an anthropologist at the University of Oxford and a specialist in nuclear and environmental risk in Japan. 

 "Lurking out of the public eye are two problematic stockpiles — of plutonium and whale meat — whose mountainous bulk not only looms over Japanese environmental policy and international relations but speaks to the problems that led to the 3/11 disasters."

" Also troubling is the eerie stockpile of frozen whale meat in Japan, held in a peculiar limbo by skewed policy and declining appetite for whale. Vested Japanese interests defend whaling as a core element of Japanese tradition and the nation’s controversial annual “scientific” whale hunt brings back whale meat that can be sold commercially. But in a case of costly political overreach, the gap between high-flown rhetoric and concrete demand for whale meat has led to an expensive storage problem: about 5,000 tons of frozen whale products that must be kept below minus 18 degrees Celsius for long periods in industrial warehouses."

 http://www.uhpress.hawaii.edu/p-9780824834289.aspx

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What a sick joke.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japan is considering upgrading its aging lead whaling ship, a fisheries official confirmed Wednesday, in a sign that the country's controversial Antarctic hunts will continue despite international protests.

What international protests? There are a few, very vocal animal-rights activists who spend their lives attacking Japan, the Japanese, and Japanese whalers. It's obvious that the protestors simply do not have the numbers to force the Japanese to do their bidding.

The Nisshin Maru needs upgrading. Upgrade it or build a new model. Either way, it will be safer, and more comfortable, for the it's crew. Don't forget to add more water cannons.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The Nisshin Maru needs upgrading.

The Nissan Maru need scrapping.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Scraping? Followed by a new coat of paint?

Or scrapped, and replaced by a new boat?

He said Japan has no plans to change its policy of staging an annual "research" hunt to prepare for a eventual return to commercial whaling.

I doesn't appear that anyone of importance, or the voters, are listening to complaints of a few noisy protestors traveling across the internet.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

There are whale meat restaurants and whale meat is sold in supermarkets. I am sure that these can be ignored but try to claim that the only people eating it are children who have it force-fed to them is disingenuous.

On the contrary. I have never seen a whale meat restaurant anywhere near where I live, nor have I seen in on supermarket shelves. Why? Because it's not even sought after. The only way to get rid of en masse is to shove it down kids' throats at lunchtime, and even that is only some select parts of Japan.

The picture you attempt to paint is disingenuous. And even if it is true; isn't Japanese whaling supposed to be for 'scientific reasons'? Drifting off your narrative a little? Or do you agree that it is a lie.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The picture you attempt to paint is disingenuous. And even if it is true

No, you are the one being disingenuous. You know full well that there are whale meat restaurants, that whale meat is sold in supermarkets and not just force-fed to school children. Just because the area you are in doesn't have them doesn't prove anything. There are no places that sell crocodile in my area, but that doesn't mean it isn't sold in other areas.

isn't Japanese whaling supposed to be for 'scientific reasons'? Drifting off your narrative a little? Or do you agree that it is a lie.

It is for research. And as required by the regulations on research permits, the meat is offered for sale. No drifting, just responding to your disingenuous comment.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

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