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Japanese whalers discuss plan to resume commercial hunt July 1

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Gotta get that government money to feed a dead custom (pun intended) under the guise if science.

-10 ( +14 / -24 )

Only after the last whale has been killed will Japan realize they can’t eat money.

-8 ( +17 / -25 )

@Chip Star

Gotta get that government money to feed a dead custom (pun intended) under the guise if science.

Commercial whalers don't get science money. They get fishing subsidy instead.

@Lindsay

Only after the last whale has been killed will Japan realize they can’t eat money.

I am pretty sure Japan will then return to the North Pacific and the Antarctica.

-13 ( +9 / -22 )

I am ever hopeful that there comes a day where I won't read stories like this because the number of people who actually eat whale disappear!

-6 ( +16 / -22 )

Japan has hunted whales for centuries, but its Antarctic expedition began after the U.S. postwar occupation in 1946 approved it to get protein from whale meat as cheaper alternative to other meat. Records of parliamentary debate from that time show no reference to Japanese culture being linked to whaling.

well there you go. That settles the BS argument about culture.

Fisheries officials say Japan today annually consumes about 5,000 tons of whale meat from the research hunts, mainly by older Japanese seeking a nostalgic meal. It's a fraction of the country's whale meat supply of about 200,000 tons before the IWC moratorium.

so now the fisheries officials admit that the supply far exceeds the demand.

That pretty much kills any argument to continue this stupidity.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

Man, this is a backward practice. Why does Japan not find something else to fish?

-10 ( +12 / -22 )

As a result, almost 9 million tons of the material are spilling into our oceans every year, and by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish.

That will come sooner than 2050, with the reduction in numbers of Whales, Dolphins, Tuna etc, through over fishing.

-12 ( +7 / -19 )

Ok... they'll stop hunting in International waters and change the location to Northeastern Japan. As long as the whale population in that area is not decimated and the hunt is properly counted, I'm OK with that. These are Japanese waters... got no problem with that.

16 ( +24 / -8 )

Japan has hunted whales for centuries, but its Antarctic expedition began after the U.S. postwar occupation in 1946 approved it to get protein from whale meat as cheaper alternative to other meat. Records of parliamentary debate from that time show no reference to Japanese culture being linked to whaling.

Lol, what is this? 

In 1946, the western nations were happily chunking into whale populations themselves and they got together to form the IWC, in order to catch whales! Japan joined the whaler's club.

So, what is newsworthy of "records of parliamentary debate from" 1946 showing "no reference to Japanese culture being linked to whaling"? There is no reason to think they would have wasted time debating such a thing.

Critics say they doubt commercial whaling can be a sustainable industry because younger Japanese may not view the animals as food.

Fingers crossed eh, anti-whalers.

12 ( +20 / -8 )

@saikophysco

Thats the spirit, anything that's been designated as your area you are free to do ; be it fauna, flora, minerals, clean air, its not as if its a whole planet, just separate countries, Brazil could chop down the whole rain forest, wouldn't affect you.

-8 ( +11 / -19 )

Good to hear, best of luck to the whalers and good hunting!

10 ( +19 / -9 )

@Will - Yes they are Japan's waters and as long as they do not decimate the whale population I'm good. What else do you want?

16 ( +21 / -5 )

so now the fisheries officials admit that the supply far exceeds the demand.

The article said that there is 1/40th of the amount of whale consumed in recent years, as compared to how much whale was available at some point prior to the moratorium, and from this you somehow see an admission by government officials about something to do with supply exceeding demand?

That has nothing to do with demand, only supply. There is no supply / demand chart that anyone can look at to know exactly how much "demand" there is. It will all depend on supply and price, which in turn will depend on things like the constraints the whalers must operate under.

I imagine that any catch will be absorbed easily. Even the Icelanders have been sending their whale to Japan, presumably because they have found that it sells (despite what western news agencies report).

You know, around New Year's I went to a shrine for Hatsumode, and they were selling whale meat there. This is in Tokyo, not some local regional place in Hokkaido where it's more a New Year's staple. 

I was surprised recently to even see whale meat processed into tsumami in the alcohol section of a famous supermarket that everyone has heard of. 

Evidently there is demand for whale products in Japan, or else, people wouldn't be selling it.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

So, my parents came to Japan in the mid 1950s and lived here until they retired in the early 1990s.

I was speaking to my mother the other day and, in the course of the conversation, she recounted being introduced to whale meat in the late '50s when they lived in Tohoku. She remarked how much she loved it, but that my dad, not so much.

She said that in the post-war era, whale meat was a vital source of protein and, in fact, was a staple for so many.

I relate this story as a way to highlight how things change and how people view this.

In the 1800s, the buffalo were virtually wiped out in the U.S., needlessly slaughtered in many cases, until protections were put in place. Now, bison meat is available in the U.S., from managed herds of bison.

In reading the article, assuming that whaling is done in Japan's territorial waters / proximity and it is done on a purely commercial basis, based on demand, then one can see a possible scenario that allows for commercial whaling without depleting stocks, as the current demand for whale meat in Japan is relatively low.

The only issue, of course, is that if demand were to skyrocket, the same issues involving over-fishing of tuna could unfold.

That is apart from one's view of whether whales should be hunted at all.

16 ( +22 / -6 )

@zonestosurf

Nitpicking I know, but fish within an area of water, possibly on a migration route, is significantly different to animals like bison contained within an area of land, from the point of view of stock depletion.

That is apart from one's view of whether whales should be hunted at all.

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

Its hard to explain to you, that you are not sustainable, that at 120,000,000 you are not sustainable, that at 8,300,000,000 the Planet is not sustainable, how ever big the fishing fleet, how ever big the fish markets, stocks, that is wildlife is being depleted, heated &depleted, so don't worry about your population dropping, it will need to, not just to save the Whales but Us all.

That is apart from one's view of whether whales should be hunted at all.

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

"Evidently there is demand for whale products in Japan, or else, people wouldn't be selling it."

Pet food. Subsidizing whaling is a colossal waste of tax money.

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

@expat

"Evidently there is demand for whale products in Japan, or else, people wouldn't be selling"

Economic Justification by J Heller, about Capt J Yossarian, came to be known as CATCH-22.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Lol, pet food, nice one.

Subsidizing whaling is a colossal waste of tax money.

Well subsidizing anything is a colossal waste of money, in my view.

But with respect to this issue, Japan's government failed its people on whaling for many years. Decades. Finally this year they have told the IWC to go stick it, and let their people catch some whales again "commercially" (like virtually everything else humans do), and on a sustainable basis in voluntary accordance with IWC rules for quota setting. Finally!

Once the government has allowed its people to adjust for its past mistakes, I also hope that any subsidies that exist will be abolished. 

But generally, Japan subsidizes a lot of stuff related to agriculture, so unless there is a broad change in general attitudes toward government involvement in the private sector, some degree of subsidies may remain.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

In reading the article, assuming that whaling is done in Japan's territorial waters / proximity and it is done on a purely commercial basis, based on demand, then one can see a possible scenario that allows for commercial whaling without depleting stocks, as the current demand for whale meat in Japan is relatively low.

I agree, my main beef has always been Japan hunting in the southern sanctuary ....if they do it in their own waters, based on market demand ( which would definitely make them take far fewer ) and without taxpayer funds being wasted on it ... thats much more acceptable solution .

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Fallacy of overgeneralization. Fallacy of false analogy. Fallacy of the excluded middle. Shall I continue?

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Japan will stop its much-criticized hunts in the Antarctic, where it had conducted what it called research hunts since the IWC imposed moratorium in the 1980s.

See ya! Don't bother coming back anytime soon.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

my main beef has always been Japan hunting in the southern sanctuary

It's interesting, because those waters are high seas waters, and this "sanctuary" was only declared within the Whaling commision membership, and Japan exercised its right to object to it, and was thus not bound by it.

And why wouldn't one care that the whaling in other parts of the world is sustainable too?

Everyone's entitled to their feelings and opinions of course.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

It's interesting, because those waters are high seas waters, and this "sanctuary" was only declared within the Whaling commision membership, and Japan exercised its right to object to it, and was thus not bound by it.

Irrelevant when and why it was created. It exists. Sure, Japan objected to it, and rather than aligning themselves with most of the world - took the ball and ran away with it like children when they couldn't get their own way.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

You what is really interesting? You always read comments such as: Japan kills whales etc. Yet no one- no one- is mentioning Norway or Iceland. which both hunt whales. It seems to be it is ok for white people to kill whales but not Japanese. A double standard? You bet!

5 ( +10 / -5 )

You always read comments such as: Japan kills whales etc. Yet no one- no one- is mentioning Norway or Iceland.

Then you don't read many of the comments, clearly.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

An overwhelming diplomatic victory for Japan in restarting commercial whaling.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

...Taiji, which is known for dolphin hunts,...

It's not a hunt... it's a trap!

Ok... they'll stop hunting in International waters and change the location to Northeastern Japan. As long as the whale population in that area is not decimated and the hunt is properly counted, I'm OK with that. These are Japanese waters... got no problem with that.

So no empathy for whales and dolphins generally then? Just as long as they aren't killed in your back yard?

You what is really interesting? You always read comments such as: Japan kills whales etc. Yet no one- no one- is mentioning Norway or Iceland. which both hunt whales. It seems to be it is ok for white people to kill whales but not Japanese. A double standard? You bet!

Nope... I support a dolphin and whale charity that lobbies Norway and Iceland as well as Japan. It's not okay for ANYONE to kill whales and dolphins... and the Faro Islands slaughter dolphins and pilot whales the same as Taiji... just as brutal, just as savage.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

alwaysspeaking...something,

I'm sure people commenting on Norwegian and Icelandic forums say similar things about Japan.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Critics say they doubt commercial whaling can be a sustainable industry because younger Japanese may not view the animals as food.

There may be a species out there in the cosmos that thrives on huge amounts of mercury in their diet, but it isn't humans. Japan continues to poison its own citizens for political purposes.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

I hope these whalers understand that "commercial" means no public subsidy whatsoever. Still, I'm sure they will soon be whining about not being able to make any money and the newly-increased consumption tax will be frittered away supporting them.

Also, the whales around Japan have mercury levels that are too high for human consumption. I look forward to watching the food safety laws be routinely ignored for these whales, whilst people mutter about "dangerous" foreign food.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Not that I ever agree with this, but , I think Japan wants to keep fishing the whales and making the citizens palate remember the taste because in case of a war, the whale is the only food protein source that will be abundantly available within easy reach and could be made available to all.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Commercial whalers don't get science money. They get fishing subsidy instead.

From the government.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

in case of a war, the whale is the only food protein source that will be abundantly available within easy reach and could be made available to all.

Easy reach...except that if it really came to a war, the waters around Japan might not be the safest of hunting grounds.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Gotta get that government money to feed a dead custom (pun intended) under the guise if science.

Catch up with current news. It is now commercial whaling, not research and not government funded.

so now the fisheries officials admit that the supply far exceeds the demand.

The quote you give says no such thing. The second number clearly says 'before the IWC moratorium'. What the numbers show is that Japan has about 1/40 as much whale meat per year now as it did before the moratorium. It says nothing about the demand.

and this "sanctuary" was only declared within the Whaling commision membership

Also it is interesting that its establishment didn't meet the IWC's own regulations. Even a report commissioned by the IWC's own Scientific Committee found that the sanctuary was improperly established and did not do anything to protect whales.

Irrelevant when and why it was created. It exists.

Highly relevant. And legally it doesn't exist.

and rather than aligning themselves with most of the world

Most of the world worries so little about whales that they aren't even members of the IWC.

I hope these whalers understand that "commercial" means no public subsidy whatsoever.

It means no such thing. Governments all over the planet subsidize all sorts of "commercial" enterprises.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

You always read comments such as: Japan kills whales etc. Yet no one- no one- is mentioning Norway or Iceland. which both hunt whales. It seems to be it is ok for white people to kill whales but not Japanese. A double standard?

Might be due to the fact this site is JAPAN Today where we comment on all things related to , guessed it Japan...

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Cogito Ergo SumToday 05:45 pm JST

Not that I ever agree with this, but , I think Japan wants to keep fishing the whales and making the citizens palate remember the taste because in case of a war, the whale is the only food protein source that will be abundantly available within easy reach and could be made available to all.

Er .... I think concerning the "only food protein source" you are not acknowledging the often called "out of control" stocks of wild boar and deer roaming the countryside, devastating farmers crops and livelihoods and even killing people.

They represent the most easily sourced, abundantly available, within easy reach, protein hands down. No argument.

It's just fallacy to say otherwise. Whales do not need to be part of an important protein source to save future generations.

Other arguments exist for them to be hunted, but not this one.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Silver lining being that their shills still get work, I guess.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Let Japan be Japan !!.. let's go, have a good hunting !!..

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

"so no empathy for the whales and dolphins". No, no empathy, as long as they're not killed into extinction I'm fine with it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You what is really interesting? You always read comments such as: Japan kills whales etc. Yet no one- no one- is mentioning Norway or Iceland. which both hunt whales. It seems to be it is ok for white people to kill whales but not Japanese. A double standard? You bet!

Indeed. The New York Times, the LA Times, The Guardian, etc. had editorials condemning Japanese whaling. Not one of these editorials mentioned Iceland or Norway which combined take more whales than Japan has.

The Japanese whaling lobby has for years been saying that opposition to Japanese whaling has a racist component. Those editorials were written as though they were explicitly intended to show that opposition to Japanese whaling is indeed racist.

For the record: I personally do not support whaling.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Catch up with current news. It is now commercial whaling, not research and not government funded.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.economist.com/the-economist-explains/2018/10/05/will-japan-return-to-commercial-whaling#ampf=undefined

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The New York Times, the LA Times, The Guardian, etc. had editorials condemning Japanese whaling. Not one of these editorials mentioned Iceland or Norway which combined take more whales than Japan has.

From the Guardian;

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/18/iceland-sets-target-of-191-kills-as-country-resumes-whaling

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/07/norway-boosts-whaling-quota-international-opposition

.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

They should not get a fishing subsidy - it isn't fishing; whales are not fish.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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