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Japan's whale catch falls short as fleet heads home

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And yet they'll probably still have to throw the science in the freezers due to lack of demand, then force-feed it to elementary school children. Good job SS on another successful season of preventing Japan from further eco-terrorism.

21 ( +29 / -9 )

"Japan claims the annual hunt is necessary to substantiate its view that there is a robust whale population in the world."

I still absolutely love this! They need to kill a bunch to prove that a bunch exist. What age is Japan living in? and how on earth do they call this science?

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Oh for the love of science and betterment of mankind! What will become of us with only 267 whales killed? It's a travesty! How can we count them if they aren't up on deck with a harpoon through their skull?! How can we accurately measure population numbers if we can't shoot them?......

6 ( +13 / -7 )

And by that logic, if and when there are none left to kill, are they going to 'prove' there are none left by not catching any?

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Good news for whoever has to oversee the frozen surpluses of whale meat.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Another win for SS and the whales! It seems using earthquake relief funds on increased security was a complete failure as well. Keep up the good work SS! You'll get another twenty bucks from me next season.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

less than a third of the intended haul

Two-thirds success. Yay! Not as good as last year, but still there are an extra 634 whales alive and swimming free that the wailers wanted to put in deep freeze.

Who was it saying that Watson was lying when he claimed SS had cut the take to no more than a third of the quota? Won't hold my breath waiting for him to post that he wuz wrong and that Watson did know what he was talking about.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Hoping this will lead to an end to the stalemate and that the whaling will stop so we won't have any more of this whaling vs. anti-whaling nonsense spamming out the news.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

yeah boy! go get 'em!

2 ( +5 / -3 )

A victory for the wild animals. I'm certain the pro-whalers will put their own spin on this and claim their hunt...err, vital research, was a massive success - but numbers don't lie. What a sickening waste of taxpayers money.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Hmm the pro whaling crowd are being very quite on this, l guess they are all busy at work (at the JWA and ICR) trying to work out how to possibly put a positive spin on the fact that they yet again failed in their ambition to kill 900 whales and how they managed to waste tens of millions of dollars sorely needed in Japan on extra security and still got chased away by protestors. Ah its a great day!!! BYE BYE Japanese whalers

10 ( +13 / -3 )

It is really sickening to consider how much money is wasted on this annual "uhum" research and look at the swaths of land that lay baron in north/east Japan and the two million or so people that have been displaced. Yet, they can use the reconstruction funds, mostly donated by people who don't eat whale, to go on this farcical voyage. Just disgusting! Really disgusting!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Same I just want to show support for Sea Shepherd and crew also. Good to see a lot of suport for them here. Japanese are loosing face but don't have the sence to stop the wrongs because of their pride? It doesn't make sence as they are an intelligent race surely they can see the world except for them has stopped killing to replenish the stocks. Quite simple really. So what gives them the right to keep killing?

4 ( +10 / -6 )

I did say it's a fair guess the whalers wont be catching many more, proven right. Arrestpaul, hows that for a fact? 1-0 to me I think.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Cleo,

Oops you are correct. Sorry mods can understand why you removed it now. It should have read as Cleo kindly pointed out "disgusting whalers". Sorry no offense intended.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The whalers caught 95 more whales this year than last year, roughly a 50% improvement. There were only 12 confrontations with fat boy. Something about the story doesn't sound right. If the whalers didn't hit their so-called target of 900 "rat" whales, it is probably due to the small whaling fleet just not finding all the whales they were fishing for. That is how fishing goes. But it generates a lot more outrage and sympathy if you can point the finger at some fat American fool as the cause of your failure. Was it a failure? Let's see if this "poor" catch results in some extra orders for whale meat from Iceland to fill the shortage of supply. Good luck next year, whalers.

-9 ( +4 / -12 )

Many laws over time need to be eliminated or enhanced due to current conditions or change in relevant conditions, as was the basis for stopping whaling in the first place, it was due to over harvesting the population of “some” whales, It was the right thing to do too protect the species from over harvesting then. NOT because they were pretty…

Now the real challenge to the law should be if the populations can be sustained if (we - I’m American) can harvest some for their resources?? Not because they are pretty, many foods we eat are pretty. I personally like to eat “whale” and many other pretty foods because they are good…

The SS would do better to prove that ALL whales are “still” endangered, which I think is the real problem for SS because they can’t base facts… so the prey on weak people’s feelings that whales are “pretty” and they classify all the species as just whales.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Whale meat again? Don't know where, don't know when... this travesty will be stopped.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Win!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

If Japan stops research whaling as it should, who will SS go after?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

If the Japanese Government and people are so passionate about whale eating ( cultural tradition and all ), then they should promote whale cuisine Japanese style to the world, like at trade shows etc ..............

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Psmash

“Research has absolutely proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that whaling in the Antarctic is not sustainable”

Surely you can’t be naive enough to believe "some" of the species of whales can’t be taken, you must be reading research printed by the SS. I think the shadow is now clouding good reasoning.

If the “real” research numbers are out there, then they would also include the species numbers required before some “NO ALL” can can be harvested and how many that is!!! What are those numbers.

Also you quote research without understanding it doesn’t come free.. Sometimes side benefits though “like whale meat to eat” HaHa

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Hope that extra $30 million US that could have been used to help people who are still suffering one year after the devastating effects of March 11th was well spent, and hope the people who agreed with it being a good use of money earmarked for reconstruction are satisfied. Clearly the Japanese "coast guard" being on the ships did a lot of good.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Could it be that there aren't many whales left to catch? But they'll keep making school children eat from the huge pile of mercury-laden cetacean meat before letting them start on their caesium ice cream.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Great news for the preservation of these endangered species.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

If Japan stops research whaling as it should, who will SS go after?

The Chinese are their shark killing?

What a waste of tax money. Japan needs to stop with this. No one but the old guys eat this crap - and as others said, it will end up being school lunch for some poor kids.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Great news, I'm going to get some sushi to celebrate

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Great news, I'm going to get some sushi to celebrate

Good idea, I'll go help myself to an extra serving of yellow fin. My nephew wanted to go see an octopus at the aquarium so I told them there's plenty of them at his favorite kaiten zushi. haha

Have you ever been whale watching? they are such magnificent creatures

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The moral of the story is: don't go hunting animals for food if another culture finds that animal sacred and militantly oppose you.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Haa ha!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Come on Japan... it's time for this insanity to end.

Maybe many posters here have noticed... whenever you speak to Japanese people about whaling, they always bring up their food culture.

Apparently, Japan has an oh-so-very important food culture... so important in fact that they demand to grab beautiful mammals from the furthest reaches of the globe to satisfy this culture.

What I want to know is... Since when did Japan's culture extend to include the Antarctic?!

Is that culture or is it, dare we say, just greed and arrogance?

Next time you hold a globe in your hands, have a look at the Antarctic... find the countries nearest to this beuatiful and pristine wilderness. Those countries would feel a natural affinity for this region... they are after all the nearest countries.

You might be interested to know that every single one of those countries opposes whaling. Go ahead, count them... Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Oz, NZ... every single one of them opposed to Japan's whaling down there.

And does Japan care about their opinions? You'd think this year, so soon after many countries have tried to help Japan in her hour of need that Japan might want to think more about good relations with other countries...

But oh no... those countries can go to hell as far as Japan is concerned.

Japan wants to burn thousands and thousands of liters of gasoline and release tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (so environmentally friendly!) to grab those whales so Japan will do just as it pleases.

We can try to imagine some kind of situation in reverse. How about of the Aussies put together a huge fleet of ships each year and sent it up to the Arctic to grab, let's say, polar bears for their "barbecue culture". And further imagine if every country nearest to the Arctic opposed their fleet...

Could you imagine it? It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?

There... there you have Japan's Antarctic whaling...

Many people won't have heard of the Madrid protocol. Under this agreement countries have decided to preserve the Antarctic for peaceful scientific research. It even manages to ban mining down there. What a beautiful thing that countries could agree to something like that.

So what does Japan bring to the table? We all know what it brings... a huge Victorian era style armada of killing ships, intent on greedily grabbing whales... and for what? For a few oyajis in izakayas to smack their lips over a plate of whale bacon.

It's a joke. The market for whale in Japan is a tiny tiny niche market. For most Japanese it is weird food, you know, strange stuff, "Let's try a little bit of this weird whale food... oh it doesn't taste too bad but there's no way I'm eating this on regular basis"... that's how most Japanese people view whale meat.

So Japan, it's time to think about giving up this crazy endeavour. If you need whales for the very very important Japanese food culture, how about taking them closer to home. According to your own government's data there are plentiful whales in the seas around Japan. More than enough for this tiny niche market.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@Patrick Smith, Good point on economics as why it cost so much, I agree it shouldn't.

The rest on "foul" and nobody wants it was purely personal taste... I'm guessing most won't try it because many are only afraid others would consider them "evil" for doing so because they are to pretty. I also agree whales are one of the masterful creatures and besides they taste good, but that's my own personal taste.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Japan’s Antarctic whaling fleet has killed less than a third of the animals it planned to because of sabotage by activists, Tokyo said Friday as it announced the end of the season’s hunt.

good.....

research your way to the next endangered species......

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I support whaling.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

I support whaling.

I don't.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

On a serious note, I think that a lot of the hate against SS is misplaced. These guys know they must act because various species of whales are endangered. But a lot of the rants of their supporters is well short of..informed?

"They are beautiful creatures" "They are our whales, go whale in Japanese waters" "Eating whales is disgusting (hidden fact, they never tried it)" "Japanese imperialism at work"

it's grossly unfair for SS to be judged by the calibre of these people. The SS ARE NOT out there on high seas to put up entertainment for the ignorant. If you want to be a SS supporter, get behind the ecological facts.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hypocrites, why don't they go after the Scandinavian whale hunters????

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

NeoJamal: "Eating whales is disgusting (hidden fact, they never tried it)"

When you cannot even interpret a remark correctly, why bother commenting on it? The subject here in the sentence is a gerund, "Eating", ie. "The eating of whales" as in, "The practice of eating whales" is what is being called 'disgusting'. They aren't saying the flavour is gross or else it would just be, "Whale meat is disgusting". I don't have to actually do something I find disgusting in practice to say I think it's disgusting.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

And, it is not because of the decline of the stock?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It's unfortunate that we'll have to miss out on some great publications featuring mindblowing science now that the ICR is short on their quota. A great loss for the scientific community .. .. ..

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Cletus, we agree on something :) well it is a start. Yes as the whalers who spent so much on security head back to Japan defeated, Sea Sheppard waves "bye bye" and holds up victory sign on fingers. Run up the bravo zulu flags guys, you deserve it!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

So does that mean the scientific research will be inconclusive this time? I am eagerly looking forward to the report published by these sea-faring, harpoon-wielding scientists.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If Japan stops research whaling as it should, who will SS go after?

If you look on the SS website, you'll see they already have campaigns under way to stop seal culls, shark finning, poaching in the Galapagos and over-fishing of bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean, in addition to the killing of dolphins in the Solomon Islands and pilot whales in the Faeroe Islands.

why don't they go after the Scandinavian whale hunters????

Once they shut down the Japanese whalers, maybe they'll be able to redirect resources to shutting down Scandinavian whaling, too. Let's hope so. They already campaign against the Danish Faeroe Islands 'grind', and prevented the killing of any pilot whales during July and August of last year, usually the whale killers' busiest season. (Pilot whales have been declared unfit for human consumption by the chief medical officers of the Faeroe Islands because of the high mercury, PCB and DDT content; the totally unnecessary grind continues because it is 'tradition'.)

1 ( +4 / -3 )

This is related and I hope the moderator doesn't pull it like he/she did my comment about the spending of Tohoku funds "uhum" research.

Tonight one of my female students (early 50's) told me her mother (70's) gave her half a kilo of whale meat last week. She then went on to tell me how she threw it away today because she didn't know how to cook or eat it. Now, I am sure this is not an isolated scenario. People do not want to eat it, but a large chunk of their donations for the tsunami victims was used to fill more garbage bins around Japan. It makes me very happy to know the whalers quota was cut short again this year, but it also makes me very sad to see images like the one on today's JT 'Pic of the day' showing people on bicycles riding through a virtual dessert of rubble. It seriously is beyond any comprehensive logic I can apply!  

ぜん ぜん わかりまっせん!!!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Hooray!Though not a fan of the Sea Shepherd and co...I am very glad that this senseless cull was reduced to this!! Next year let's hope they call the whole thing off!!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Some one asked "What will the SS do if Japan stops whaling?" Captain Watson has been quoted and recorded saying that he would like to be put out of work. I'd like to write about another 1,000 words, but I'll end by saying Great Job Sea Shepherds and keep up the great work!!!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The reason why Japan’s Antarctic whaling fleet is targeted by activists - (note: they don't say conservationists) because the activists have an odd political agenda. The first commercial whaling moratorium was introduced by the IWC (International Whaling Commission) in 1982

By reducing Japan's whaling activities they help increase the IWC's quota for other countries. Here are the list of countries that still allow whaling: Canada, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Indonesia, Japan, Norway, Russia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and yes even United States.

For example just for Norway alone. In 2011, they have an annual quota of 1286 whales. If you count only Greenland's native Inuit people, they alone hunt 175 whales per year. The rest of Greenland typically hunt 165 whales per year. That totals 340 whales per year. The Faroe Islands hunt 950 whales per year and that doesn't count porpoises.

So when I read about so called whale activists attacking Japan's whaling industry, I understand why. But I don't understand why they ONLY target Japan and not even mentioning the horrific whale slaughter by the other 11 countries.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@gregoryharuko

how can you have whale eating nations when they don't catch enough whales to feed anyone?

"there is no reason why not to eat that specific species of whale"

Why doesn't Japan or Norway whale in their own waters?...because there are none left. I think that's a good reason not to let the same thing happen in the southern oceans, especially in the Southern Whale Sauntury...it is so terribly disrespectful to the countries that live in that region.

New Zealanders love whales and dolphins as a traditional natural symbol, and Japan and Norway simply look evil and greedy hunting amd killing them.

You need to assume less and learn more.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@gregoryharuko

What you view as just food, the majority of the rest of the world view as a symbol of beauty, grace and peace.

And you want to kill and eat them...how do you think that looks?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

It's unfortunate the abbreviaton of Sea Shepherd is SS... reminds me of the Nazis.

I'm anti-whaling, but Paul Watson is a thug, is this not the same individual who implied the tsunami was karmic retribution for Japan killing whales? Disgusting.

'SS' (oh dear, still can't get the connotations out of my head) are better off learning Japanese, going into Japan and trying to educate the population about a whaling program said population is largely ignorant of and contributing to the grassroots movement. What they've done is good, they managed to stop Japan from killing hundreds of whales this year and the last. But Japan will come back again, and again, every year and still kill whales, many of the whales slaughtered next year will be those who escaped this year. This is short term rescue, in the long term, the slaughtering will continue.

And this is what's truly depressing.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Activists have to target all the countries, not just Japan. Again let me state, the reason why Japan’s Antarctic whaling fleet is targeted by activists - (note: they don't say conservationists) because the activists have an odd political agenda.

Here are the list of countries that still allow whaling: Canada, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Indonesia, Japan, Norway, Russia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and yes even United States.

For example just for Norway alone. In 2011, they have an annual quota of 1286 whales. If you count only Greenland's native Inuit people, they alone hunt 175 whales per year. The rest of Greenland typically hunt 165 whales per year. That totals 340 whales per year. The Faroe Islands hunt 950 whales per year and that doesn't count porpoises.

So when I read about so called whale activists attacking Japan's whaling industry, I understand why. But I don't understand why they ONLY target Japan and not even mentioning the horrific whale slaughter by the other countries.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I don't understand why they ONLY target Japan and not even mentioning the horrific whale slaughter by the other countries.

Maybe the reason you don't understand why is that your premise is a false one. People (including SS) DO protest about whaling by other nations, and SS successfully stopped any pilot whales being killed in the Faeroe Islands last year during what is normally the busiest time for the killers.

Norway (which is not affected by the IWC and therefore sets its own quotas - which it hasn't met for several years) does receive a lot of flack - but not for killing whales in a designated Whale Sanctuary.

The reason the focus here is on Japan is that this is Japan Today, and the mod tends to remove posts that stray from the topic.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Japan is demanding to grab whales in a beautiful and pristine area at the furthest reaches of the globe.. to satisfy its oh-so-important "food culture".

Its this greed and arrogrance... claiming a food culture that stretches all the way round the globe to include the Antarctic ... that's what leads to protests.

Sometimes the Japanese try to claim that the West is imposing its culture and values on Japan in regards to whaling. Well, the simple fact is that Japan is arrogantly imposing its culture and values on the Antarctic.

Japan, take whales for this tiny tiny niche market closer to home... according to your own data there are enough whales there.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

the japanese cultural mindset of the reasoning for this diabolical system for dining is wrong..... go fix a few reactors....

1 ( +3 / -2 )

A good effort by Sea Shepherd. Let's hope the Japanese government see sense and cut the whaling budget to zero next year. When more than half the tax revenue goes on debt repayments sending a bunch of half-wit whalers half way around the world is a luxury Japan can no longer afford.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

YuriOtani: "Yes as the whalers who spent so much on security head back to Japan defeated,"

The whalers didn't spend ANYTHING on security, YOU did. Well, you and everyone else that donated money to Tohoku, because it was money earmarked for reconstruction that the government used for security for the whaling.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Let them eat" fish cakes. When Japan can really prove to the world that there are absolutely too many whales because of an unlimited supply or surplus of animals, then let the whales live.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No my premise is totally valid. If you want to stop whaling, then it must be stopped for all countries not just Japan. The Sea Shepard is totally ineffective at stopping other countries from whaling, in fact they are helping them increase their whale quota because of the decrease of Japan's whaling industry.

Again here are the FACTS: Here are the list of countries that still allow whaling: Canada, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Indonesia, Japan, Norway, Russia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and yes even United States.

For example just for Norway alone. In 2011, they have an annual quota of 1286 whales. If you count only Greenland's native Inuit people, they alone hunt 175 whales per year. The rest of Greenland typically hunt 165 whales per year. That totals 340 whales per year. The Faroe Islands hunt 950 whales per year and that doesn't count porpoises.

Japan is allotted an annual quota of 1000 whales. Norway 1286 whales. The Faroe count for 2011 was 950! So to tout the effectiveness of the Sea Shepard is ridiculous. They should be going after European whalers.

Remember whales wouldn't even be endangered if it wasn't for the European and American whaling industry which decimated the population of ALL whales until 1851 when the industry collapsed because of almost near extinction. They were burning the oil for fuel as an alternative to using kerosene and feed the scraps as dog food.

So when I read about so called whale activists attacking Japan's whaling industry, I totally understand why. But I don't understand why they ONLY target Japan and not even mentioning the horrific whale slaughter by the other countries.

The Sea Shepherd should target countries like Norway first and stop their whaling industry. They kill 20% more whales than the Japanese PER YEAR.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Peanut666, did you not read what Cleo said?...It is NOT only Japan that is being targeted to defend whales...Wake up.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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