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Japanese whaling fleet returns from Antarctic hunt

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"...with plans to kill 333 minke whales.. "

So how many did they actually "slaughter"?? Shame on 'em for doing this ".....despite a worldwide moratorium"!

7 ( +15 / -8 )

The brave hunters return. Retire already.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

"But consumption has dramatically declined in recent decades, with significant proportions of the population saying they “never” or “rarely” eat whale meat."

Knowingly eat whale meat...

And even if you told people here, that 100 yen tuna roll you're eating is actually whale, they either wouldn't be outraged or feign outrage or say it's Japan's right to eat whale.

No one in Japan cares, dude. That's why it won't change.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Looks like the article has been edited after posters have posted.

after catching 333 minke whales

So, their new improved we're-not-going-to-kill-as-many-as-we-did-before 'research' programme has kicked off by killing more than in the old, legally-certified-not-for-the-purpose-of-research, please-desist-immediately 'research' programme (251 in the 2013-14 season, 103 in the 2012-13 season, 266 and 1 fin whale in the 2011-12 season).

Bloody mindless seafaring butchers.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

are the whales endangered? how many are there? is anyone researching their sustainability? would be nice to know if we can harvest them indefinitely. afterall they taste delicious.

-17 ( +5 / -22 )

Maybe this gives an answer (just scroll down to the bottom)

http://seaworld.org/en/animal-info/animal-bytes/mammals/endangered-whales/

But since the minke whale is not listed, maybe (but only maybe) it is not an endangered species.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Yay! More unneeded meat clearly not for science to rot in freezers before force-feeding it to children despite the high levels of mercury! Good thing you stuck it to them environmentalists, Japan! Well done! And only how much money that was earmarked for other things went into subsidizing said meat no one wants?

14 ( +21 / -7 )

Australia should put a pre-condition on buying $50billion in Japanese subs, stop hunting whates and its your deal. I wonder if Japanese pride would say no 50billion and yes to hunting whales hhhmmm?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The whale has no higher level of mercury than any other sea creature in relation to body weight.

-22 ( +4 / -26 )

I've seen another report which states that the 333 includes 200 pregnant females. Way to go Japan on your push for "conservation"...you are a real shining light.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

More meat for freezers and to give away to schools. This is the thing that really bugs me about this so-called 'research'. While their may very well be enough Minki whales to hunt them commercially, there is no market for the meat to make it commercially viable. If it was in high demand I could possibly sympathise with their plight, but there is no demand, so wh are they trying to prove they can kill them? I just don't get it!

14 ( +17 / -3 )

@smithinjapan

if you think that food rots in freezers, you might not be the person to comment on scientific merits...

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

@tina sorry science has proven you wrong!

Prof. Tetsuya Endo and his colleagues at the Health Sciences University of Hokkaido traveled around Japan between 2000 and 2002 and purchased fresh and frozen whale and dolphin meat from vendors and processors. They analyzed the total mercury content in samples of red meat, or muscle, which is the most popular whale product sold for human consumption in Japan. The researchers found that mercury levels in all 137 meat samples exceeded the guidelines of 0.4 part per million set by the Japanese government. In fact, samples of false killer whale and striped dolphin surpassed the regulations by 200 and 160 times, respectively. In total, the team identified nine different whale species and six types of dolphins and porpoises being sold as food, and determined that average mercury levels in meat from Northern cities were higher than those in samples bought in southern markets.

whales diets havent changes in the last 15yrs , if anything the worlds oceans have become moe polluted, so its very doubtful Prof Endo results have changed much, that whale meats sounds so delicious now doesnt it, mercury laden goodness yummmy

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Whales eat a lot of fish--so fewer whales more fish for humans.

-25 ( +1 / -26 )

Whales eat a lot of fish--so fewer whales more fish for humans. LOL thats like saying Japnese eat a lot of rice, fewer Japanese means more rice for the birds! Whales have more rights to the worlds fish than humans have!

19 ( +22 / -3 )

@seadog538

uh..whales don't compete with humans for fish. That is a fallacy. Ever seen a whale eat an adult bluefin tuna? didn't think so... https://www.whale.org/do-whales-compete-with-humans-for-fish/

10 ( +11 / -1 )

so why are they trying to prove they can kill them? I just don't get it! its called "PRIDE" makes people blind to the facts and void of common sense

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Toothed whales/Dolphins eat fish, Baleen Whales live if plankton, small shrimps, etc that is good for other fish species.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Toothed whales/Dolphins eat fish, Baleen Whales live if plankton, small shrimps, etc that is good for other fish species. it doesnt matter what whales eat mecury is in all of the oceans animals, its just whales dolphins etc live for a long time and eat huge amounts of food in those years, the mercury accumulates in there meat over the years, fish plankton etc only live for short periods of time, much of the fish Japanese eat is less than a few years old which is why the mercury levels are low. Prof Endo made 137 samples, 9 whale and 6 dolphin species all had high levels of mercury. no use trying to twist the facts the science doesnt lie.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Should have been Toothed whales/Dolphins eat fish, Baleen Whales live of plankton, small shrimps, etc that is food for other fish species.

The top of the food chain always accumulates stuff from food(ie lower food chain). No twisting of scientific Facts here.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The top of the food chain always accumulates stuff from food(ie lower food chain). No twisting of scientific Facts here. Ok so whats your point then, we need to cull the whales so theres more plankton/shrimps for the fish!? if theres any imbalance in the food chain its becuase of humans, whales where happily eating the oceans foods millions of years before humans were even apes

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

using a loophole in the International Whaling Commission’s 1986 ban on commercial whaling that allows for research

It is NOT a loophole. Article VIII of the ICRW was in place almost 40 years BEFORE the 1986 moratorium, which as the name shows is a moratorium NOT a ban.

However, it makes no secret of the fact that whale meat ends up on dinner tables and is served up in school lunches.

It also makes no secret of the fact that the ICRW regulations require the whales caught for research to be processed.

their new improved we're-not-going-to-kill-as-many-as-we-did-before 'research' programme

No, it was their new improved we're-going-to-reduce-our-quota-to-less-than-it-was-before 'research' programme.

But since the minke whale is not listed, maybe (but only maybe) it is not an endangered species.

Maybe this gives a better answer, like no they aren't endangered.

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/2480/0

there is no market for the meat to make it commercially viable

So then remove the Antarctic Minke from the moratorium and let the whalers sink or swim as a commercial enterprise without government support. If you are right then they won't commercially hunt the whales.

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

I never stated that I am pro-whaling that is your assumptions.

If Baleeñ whales are not top of the food-chain pls explain to me why their Mercury contents is that high, if their food is that short-lived. Nothing new that humans claimed the top of the food-chain as we are omnivores

You got all the scientific data.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Japan has hunted whales for centuries, and their meat was a key source of protein in the immediate post-World War II years when the country was desperately poor.

AFP should be a bit clearer on this point. It's a bit like saying that elephants have lived in Europe for centuries. While this may be literally correct, it's more misleading than it is accurate without a proper explanation.

It wasn't until well into the 20th century that Japan started to participate in offshore whaling. The cultural whaling Japan talks about has always been coastal and small scale (the type that's existed in almost every coastal community at some point in history). I don't think anyone has a problem with local people taking a few whales to feed themselves but what we're talking about here has definitley not been going on for centuries.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Wtfjapan.

Waiting for your explanation as do why Baleeñ whales have a high Mercury level.

Leaving for Europe tomorrow will have less time to read JT as I go on active duty.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

The containers are already overloaded with unwanted whale meat. What use is any more? Meanwhile, Japan is breaking international law. Japan needs sanctions.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Meanwhile, Japan is breaking international law.

What international law would they be breaking?

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

(1) I'd rather see my (increased) consumption tax (+) be used for something better...(2) Do parents really want their children to eat whale meat at a school lunch ?? I am surprised they don't protest this more. (3) I suspect most of this whale meat will go to waste in freezers.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

see you in court japan

1 ( +6 / -5 )

If Baleeñ whales are not top of the food-chain pls explain to me why their Mercury contents is that high, if their food is that short-lived. Nothing new that humans claimed the top of the food-chain as we are omnivores every fish shrimp animal in the ocean has some level of mercury in there meat, its just whales eat huge amounts of them, mercury has the ability to accumulate over the years. IF your questioning Prof Ando research maybe you should write to him, theres a reason why all the samples tested were high in mercury im sure he can give you the answers you desire. doesnt change the fact that whale meat is high in mercury compared to other meats eg pork, beef, chicken and most short lived fish.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

So when are they going to release their important scientific research data? It must be extremely fascinating and groundbreaking for them to slaughter so many.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

see you in court japan

Who is going to file a case and in what court?

doesnt change the fact that whale meat is high in mercury

Also doesn't change the fact that Antarctic baleen whale meat is low in mercury compared to northern hemisphere ocean creatures, including short lived fish.

Prof Endo reported levels in Northern Hemisphere baleen whales to be around 0.1 ppm average. Now this is above the Japanese limit of 0.03 but still less than reported levels in swordfish (average 0.995 ppm) and orange roughy (average 0.571 ppm).

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Prof Endo reported levels in Northern Hemisphere baleen whales to be around 0.1 ppm average. wheres that published never seen him state that, considering very little baleen whale meat is even sold in Japan for human consumption, the majority of whale/ dolphin meat being high in mercury. if your willing to gamble that the whale meat youve purchased is labeled correctly and is at safe levels .....bon appétit, I personally wont gamble with my families health and continue to purchase meats that are both healthier, safer and cheaper.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A lot of groups in the USA are very unhappy about this. If Japan wants to whale in its own territorial waters... that is their decision, but going against the ICJ ruling regarding hunting in international waters, that is criminal. Problem is, no one can really do much about it that would hurt Japan. Some people are starting to talk about other ways to punish Japan. Exports. I've seen people saying that a Bill should be presented to the U.S. Congress that would basically say... unless Japan complies with the Ruling, imports to the USA would be halted.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

wheres that published never seen him state that

It is stated in the research paper he published. You know the one where all the data is.

considering very little baleen whale meat is even sold in Japan for human consumption,

MOST of the whales they catch are baleen whales and ALL the whale meat they import is baleen.

I personally wont gamble with my families health and continue to purchase meats that are both healthier, safer and cheaper.

That is your choice. Just like others make the choice to buy whale meat. And many would say that buying ANY meat isn't safe or healthy and you should become a vegan.

but going against the ICJ ruling regarding hunting in international waters

The ICJ did NOT rule against hunting in international waters.

unless Japan complies with the Ruling

They ARE complying with the ruling.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

danalawton1 - A lot of groups in the USA are very unhappy about this.

No, they are not. Most people don't care about whales, whaling, or whalers. There are a few vocal animal rights groups who would like the world to believe that everyone everywhere is concerned about whales but it's just not true.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Good on the whalers that they out smarted Sea Shepard this year and were able to take their full quota unmolested! (I love it!) Can't wait to eat their catch! The Antarctic whales are low in mercury and other contaminants not to mention tasty and healthy for you! If its sustainable and the population of whales prove it, making a bid deal about taking 300 out of a population of over 1Million is ridiculous and simply cultural imperialism.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

@NihonRyu, I agreed and I can't see what all the fuss is about! Lol

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

MOST of the whales they catch are baleen whales and ALL the whale meat they import is baleen. It is stated in the research paper he published. You know the one where all the data is. LOL wheres the link in Japanese or english what paper are you refering too or are you just making crap up. Prof Endo has even told people that eat dolphin meat regualry not too, there mercury levels in there blood has found to be abnormally high.

there was just another fish mislabeling scandal today, if you whale eating people think your buying baleen whale meat and the meat is low in mercury your just fooling yourselves, the science has shown the majority of whale/dolphin meat sold is high in mercury. I dont care if you eat that tripe or not, just dont try and make BS excuses that something is safe when its clearly been proven not to be. And certainly not something that is safe for kids to eat. manipulating figures wont suddenly make something safe, eating any whale meat just increases your risk of exposure to mercury, just as eating produce from Fukushima increases your exposure to radiation

1 ( +3 / -2 )

CNN is reporting 90% of the females killed were pregnant. I don't understand the scientific necessity of any of this, but least alone that.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It is NOT a loophole. Article VIII of the ICRW was in place almost 40 years BEFORE the 1986 moratorium

Whether the article or the moratorium came first has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not there is a loophole. The fact that Article VIII allows governments to circumvent the moratorium is, absolutely, a loophole.

the ICRW regulations require the whales caught for research to be processed.

At least you've stopped claiming that Article VIII demands that the meat be eaten. It does of course make no such demand. The whales caught for 'research' by Japan are not processed so far as practical. They take the tastiest cuts of meat and chuck the rest of the carcass - most of the carcass - overboard. If that's OK and in the spirit of Article VIII, then by your logic if the US or the UK or any other anti-commercial whaling country decided there was a legitimate need to give some research organisation under its jurisdiction permission to take a couple of whales for genuine research purposes, since it it illegal to sell whale meat in those countries it would be perfectly OK for the whales taken to be simply dumped at sea once the research was done.

If Japan wants to hide under the skirts of Article VIII it needs to do much, much more to show that it is processing as much of the whale as possible, not just taking the choice cuts. I should be having to read with great care the labels on bags in my local gardening centre, to make sure I am not spreading whalebone meal and whale-based organic fertiliser on my veggies. I should be having to check that the soaps and cosmetics I buy don't contain oils from whale blubber. People who buy margarine because butter is so expensive these days should be expecting to find whale oil on the label.

Japan does not process the 'researched' whales in line with IWC regulations.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I would be more worried about why such a small industry attracts such large subsidies from the gov't. Either there is corruption, or is it just a matter of saving face. Either way it costs the taxpayer more than it should.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

trying to tell an eater of whale meat its bad for you is like telling a smoker smoking is bad for you, while both have been scientifically proven to be unsafe, they do it all the same. just of note only about 15% of smokers believe they will get cancer/sick/die from there habit, when the actual percentage is well over 50%. seems recalcitrant pride goes hand in hand with denial.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

At least you've stopped claiming that Article VIII demands that the meat be eaten.

I never claimed that.

The whales caught for 'research' by Japan are not processed so far as practical.

Sorry but the regulations don't say 'so far as cleo believes is practical'.

as much of the whale as possible

But as you already conceded the regulation does NOT say 'as much as possible', it says 'so far as practicable'. Those two statements are different.

Japan does not process the 'researched' whales in line with IWC regulations.

And that is your opinion, which you are perfectly free to have. But your opinion isn't the final decision.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I'm sorry but I think anyone that believes Japan is exercising their right to do as they please is a selfish, non-cooperative moron. Here is a case where 99% of the rest of the world is cooperating with the ban but Japan thinks it is their right. Look up the history of Whaling in the Antarctic.... it started in the early 1800's... and at is peak in the 1930's, the UK, USA, Argentina, Denmark, Japan, Norway, Netherlands, Russia and Germany were all hunting whale in the Antarctic. By the late 1930's, 50,000 whales were being killed annually. Sure Japan has a long whaling history, but not in the Antarctic. It did not start whaling on a commercial basis there until the 1930's. My point... Japan has no more of a culture of whaling there than anyone else..... but everyone else is refraining from going there. Lions, tigers and many other beautiful animals are on the endangered species list.... people that hunt them are criminals / poachers. Japan is no different from them. This is about cooperation until the moratorium can be lifted.... but because Japan continues to whale.... instead of that taking 50 years.... it could take 100 or more... why, because the Japanese are vilifying whaling itself. The stigma of killing whales for food will be perpetuated because no one wants to be anywhere near as bad as the Japanese.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

pelicanwoman - CNN is reporting 90% of the females killed were pregnant. I don't understand the scientific necessity of any of this, but least alone that.

Who verified CNN's reporting? Did CNN make up their data, quote a spokesperson from Japan’s Fisheries Agency, or are they just repeating some nonsense proposed by an animal-rights activist?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Who verified CNN's reporting? Did CNN make up their data, quote a spokesperson from Japan’s Fisheries Agency, or are they just repeating some nonsense proposed by an animal-rights activist?

I cannot believe you just walked right into that.

Would you consider a consultant for the Nihon Geirui Kenkyujo (part of the ICR) to be some kind of animal-rights activist? Here we have said consultant telling us in a learned paper some nonsense about how it's good that Japan kills so many pregnant females:

http://www.whaling.jp/news/image/pdf/hatanaka.pdf

To clarify things, for those who don't read Japanese and for those who do but whose brains have been addled and made paranoid by an excess of whale and mercury in the diet : It's the ICR, the people doing the killing, who report that some 90% of the females they kill are pregnant. And they rejoice in that grisly fact.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@cleo.... yeah... but they're still killing whales in International waters when the rest of the world is not.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

danalawton - not sure what your post is saying...did you mean and instead of but?

As in, The butchers rejoice in the fact that 90% of the females they kill are pregnant, and they're still killing whales in International waters?

arrestpaul, who is as pro-whaling as pro-whaling can be, apparently thinks the fact that 90% of the females killed are pregnant is 'some nonsense' put about by an animal-rights activist, presumably to put the whalers in an undeserving bad light. Hopefully that means he also considers the number and proportion of pregnant females killed is horrendous. Will he now condemn the ICR? I very much doubt it, and won't hold my breath.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I asked, "Who verified CNN's reporting? Did CNN make up their data, quote a spokesperson from Japan’s Fisheries Agency, or are they just repeating some nonsense proposed by an animal-rights activist?

You respond with personal attack.

cleo - To clarify things, for those who don't read Japanese and for those who do but whose brains have been addled and made paranoid by an excess of whale and mercury in the diet.......

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You respond with personal attack

Diddums. I didn't think you were so thin-skinned.

I responded with verification of CNN's reporting with the actual report direct from the horse's mouth; it's the ICR that is gleefully reporting that 90% of the females killed are pregnant.

Would you like to retract your 'some nonsense proposed by an animal-rights activist' jibe? Maybe comment on how wonderful it is that so many females are pregnant? Or, if the slaughter of so many pregnant females is the kind of dirty rumour nasty animal-rights activists would dream up just to put whaling in a bad light, how do you feel to learn that it is not 'some nonsense' but absolutely true, verified by the whalers themselves? Still think whaling is such a wonderful industry and that whalers can do no wrong?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Still think whaling is such a wonderful industry and that whalers can do no wrong?

How can whalers do any wrong when there is no possibility of making it endagered species

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

tina - The human race isn't an endangered species. Does that make it OK for anyone with the inclination to kill as many people as they can fit in a freezer? And to crow that most of the women they killed were pregnant?

Try to get your head around the idea that whether an species is endangered or not is not the only reason people might not want to see animals abused or treated with contempt.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

cleo - Diddums. I didn't think you were so thin-skinned.

Diddums? Diddums???

You constantly advocate for the violence of the eco-terrorist SS, but they only abuse human beings. Human beings that you don't approve of.

I think everyone, everyone in the whole wide world, would be overjoyed that whales are breeding. That indicates that whaling is sustainable.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

You constantly advocate for the violence of the eco-terrorist SS

I do not advocate for violence to or by anybody. Show me a single post of mine where I lauded violence by anyone, to anyone.

I do believe I once wished bad weather and sea-sickness on the whale-killers, but nothing worse.

I think everyone, everyone in the whole wide world, would be overjoyed that whales are breeding.

But, but, but....you said it was some nonsense proposed by an animal-rights activist.

Doesn't the spinning make you dizzy?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

cleo - I do not advocate for violence to or by anybody. Show me a single post of mine where I lauded violence by anyone, to anyone.

Great. Then you will no longer advocate for the violent actions committed by the eco-terrorist SS.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Then you will no longer advocate for the violent actions

It is impossible for me to 'no longer' do something I have never done in the past.

The way you are steadfastly ignoring how you sneered at the large proportion of pregnant females killed when you thought it was 'some nonsense proposed by an animal-rights activist', and applaud the exact same fact when you find it is something the ICR themselves reported, says a lot about you and your inability to be objective on this topic and to make your own mind up instead of blindly following your whale-killing masters.

Exploding harpoons goooood, bottles of rotten butter baaaaaaad

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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