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Japan's whaling is not science, expert witness tells int'l court

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glad that "science" experts and majority of JT-posters are of same opinion :)

7 ( +16 / -9 )

I always thought that science was a process of logic. Where's the logic in killing to establish if they recover from the previous year's slaughter? I'm interested to see the data of their scientific 'research', especially since it has been going on extensively for years. Next, we'll be seeing bluefin tuna on the 'scientific research' list.

11 ( +18 / -7 )

I support whaling (or more like I hate anything SS does) but this scientific research excuse is just stupid. Japan should leave IWC and say it's for commercial whaling. We should at least be honest.

3 ( +16 / -13 )

Japan says the 815-or-so whales it kills each year contribute to research designed to establish if whale stocks are recovering from previous over-hunting.

Totally absurd...

The meat is eaten by the many Japanese consumers who consider it a delicacy.

Well, I eat whale meat about twice a year. None of the Japanese folks I know are eating whale products. None. Only old people I know used to eat when they were young but not now. With several thousands tons of meat frozen and a not enconomically viable whaling industry, Japan should quit and stop wasting our tax money in it.

10 ( +17 / -7 )

“Lethal take can only make sense if we have a question that needs to be answered ... a meaningful question,”

says it all, really!

The Japan Whaling Association needs to inform The Institute of Cetacean Research (I.C.R), that according to the association there are more than 750,00 Minke whales in the Southern Hemisphere, so how much more do they need to know? http://www.whaling.jp/english/qa.html

14 ( +19 / -6 )

I can not see that Australia has a case here. Despite all the negativity, the simple fact is that Japan is not breaking any laws or stepping outside of any boundaries. Everything Japan has done has complied with the rules set forth by the IWC. The "research" that everyone speaks of is about the population of whales that can be hunted from year to year.

Yes, I totally agree with everyone that number of whales slaughtered is way excessive to capture that data. When in reality, probably a simple capture, data tag, and release is more than sufficient to record that data. But in reality, Japan is perfectly within its rights to conduct "lethal research" and then sell the meat in the commercial market.

The irony of everything is that if the IWC had never forth the moratorium for "research purposes" the whole whaling industry would have stayed as a commercial entity and would have probably died years ago. But because of "research purposes" it has allowed the Japanese government get involved and subsidize an otherwise dying practice.

-7 ( +10 / -16 )

The treaty does not address what counts as science. But lawyers for Australia said the collection of raw data without having in mind a specific question did not count.

Australia is going to have to do better than this.

Because the research has been accepted (even accepted with reservation) by member states of the IWC and the IWC scientific review committee their argument here is that the charter of the IWC is flawed, along with the review process and the criteria of the scientific committee. From a strictly legal standpoint, that's got nothing to do with the case at hand. The IWC isn't on trial.

-3 ( +5 / -7 )

Are they not opposed to eating horse meat too? The other day I found horse meat cans sold at a super market. It was cheap and tasted like whale meat but canned whale meat is a lot better. Nothing is like whale meat. I miss it. My American friend hated eating horse meat saying they are animals to work and not to eat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are countless "scientists" who are against killing any whales for any reason. But their views aren't relevant to this case. Let's see when the biologists from the IWC Scientific Committee are called as witnesses.

-5 ( +7 / -13 )

Personally, I'm against all activity happening in the Antarctic below 60 degrees South, whether its the Japanese "research whaling" or the giant cruise ship whose numbers have dropped since the new laws on the type of heavy fuel oil ships are allowed to use.

The whalers and the cruise ships must now use more expensive oil types which has increased the price of a two week cruise from $3,000 to $6,000. Just look at all the recent major events involving those giant cruise ships.

The Japanese whaling fleet needs to use a chartered South Korean tanker for refuelling the whalers which is suppose to happen above the 60 degrees South but the SS have spotted the tanker several times inside the limit. The world is rapidly losing the Arctic so we really need to protect the Antarctic and only the research scientists on the ice pack.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Remember why Admiral Perry forced Japan to open trade with the US? In part so US whaling vessels could re-coal there.

4 ( +8 / -5 )

Japan is whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and is violating the rules of IWC and the desires of the people who live in the Southern Hemisphere. The reason they claim "research" is so they can hunt in protected areas. I know that they dispute the legality of this but can we at least agree that Japan is imposing their views on the people of the Southern Hemisphere? If you are not moved by the moral argument perhaps you can agree that if they want to do their whaling they should do it in their own waters.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

glad that "science" experts and majority of JT-posters are of same opinion :)

One expert agrees with you. Wow. Congratulations.

“Lethal take can only make sense if we have a question that needs to be answered ... a meaningful question,”

One dude's opinion. I'm sure there is at least one other dude who thinks differently.

-14 ( +6 / -21 )

Maybe it's a social science experiment...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

“Lethal take can only make sense if we have a question that needs to be answered ... a meaningful question,”

"says it all, really"

zichi: I agree and a question Japan has never answered in a scientific method.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I wish Japan would simply drop its laughably false claim that its whaling is done for research. The nation would gain much more respect on the world stage -- among those for and against whaling -- if the government were to join the ranks of Iceland and Norway by taking a more honest and sincere approach.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Probie

One dude's opinion. I'm sure there is at least one other dude who thinks differently.

Not a "dude" but certainly a "mathematical biologist" from the University of California Santa Cruz. Do you out qualify him on that?

12 ( +17 / -5 )

This guy is in serious danger of facing denials, calls of bashing, cries of 'attacking Japanese traditions and culture', and being asked to leave if he doesn't like it (despite not being here!).

1 ( +7 / -6 )

That view was supported by Marc Mangel, a mathematical biologist from the University of California Santa Cruz, who told the International Court of Justice that "lethal take" - catching and killing specimens - needed to answer specific scientific questions if it was to count as science.

OK. He made a "new" international law, which no country in the world has ratified. Why is it limited to "lethal take", by the way?

Let's look at the real international law.

Under a 1946 treaty on whaling, to which Japan is a signatory, countries can catch unlimited numbers of whales if they are needed for scientific purposes, regardless of the moratorium agreed in the 1980s. The treaty does not address what counts as science.

If the court follows the law, Japan will inevitably win.

-4 ( +6 / -11 )

Wow, has the ability to vote Good or Bad become as frozen as the tons of whale meat in a locker?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I am certain Japan will win.

Australia cannot prove that Marc Mangel's opinion only is "correct" view of "science".

Even IWC scientific panel uses data collected by Japan. ICJ will never rule IWC scientific panel is not doing science, in favour of opinion of single scientist.

-15 ( +5 / -21 )

The whole truth of the matter is that Japan uses tax payers money to prop up an unviable industry, which only provides employment for a few. The only reason Japan keeps on with this is to save face. The Japanese Govt cannot abide anyone telling them that what they are doing is just plain stupid. If the rest of the world just shut up and left the whalers alone, it would only take a short time before the Govt stopped pumping bucket loads of money into subsidising this farce.

-2 ( +6 / -7 )

Australia cannot prove that Marc Mangel's opinion only is "correct" view of "science".

Can't wait to see how Japan is going to prove that what they are doing is science !!!

6 ( +11 / -4 )

@sfjp330 You might not like this, but being Southern Hemisphere does not mean anything in international law. If they operate in High Seas, you have no authority over them.

And to those who think Japan should just flaunt the NWC, do remember from Japan's perspective it is more than half a diktat imposed by the US.

As for the morality of hunting whales, it is no more reprehensible than other forms of fishing. The only possible justification is to claim ecosystem damage from the loss of species. If anything, it should be countries like Australia, who enjoy so much in interfering with other countries' affairs, to prove each and every year that it is necessary for the sake of the ecosystem to ban whaling, and for the restrictions to end as soon as they can't.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Japan will produce their own "expert" to refute this. Given they catch more whales than most they will likely think their "expert" is better than the other side's "expert". Japan should just admit this is done because kujira is oishii and get done with this farce.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The Court docket

http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/148/17380.pdf

"We strongly advise members of the public to watch the hearings on the Court’s website, where they will be broadcast live and in full (www.icj-cij.org, under the heading “Multimedia”), or on the online television channel “UN Web TV"

http://www.icj-cij.org/presscom/multimedia.php?p1=6 http://webtv.un.org/search/part-22-icj-hears-australia-v.-japan-case/2511369296001?term=japan The hearings will subsequently also be available as a recorded webcast (VOD) on the United Nations Web TV website

8 ( +10 / -2 )

If JWA by it's own admission, states there are 761,000 fast breeding minke whales in the Southern Ocean (as Zichi pointed out above), what more "essential" data is required?

Why is the continuing practice of a 1,000 / year take (recently thwarted) is so doggedly adhered to?

When will there be enough research to show that the numbers are healthy for the re- commencement of commercial whaling?

Why doesn't the JWA have the gumption to say we've now established that a population exists for viable hunting, quit the IWC and begin it's practice? I mean we are talking not hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands or even one hundred thousand whales - we are talking 761,000 !!!!

When is enough, enough?

One can only assume they are afraid of the percieved consequences(outing, loss of face, verbal attacks....etc), so continue to back the 1,000-kill-a-year- legal-research.

Pride and obstinancy and a lack of guts.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

And there it is. Somebody saying in court that Japan's entire arguement is bunk (which it is). The dumbest part of Japan's arguement was brought home to me by my Japanese wife who was watching the news last night and said, "Why do they spend all this time and money on hunting whales? I had them for lunch in school, and they don't taste very good." So much for food culture...

8 ( +10 / -3 )

@CH3CHO

OK. He made a "new" international law, which no country in the world has ratified. Why is it limited to "lethal take", by the way?

where the heck does it mention anything about new laws?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"Why do they spend all this time and money on hunting whales?"

There's always been some pretty simple answers: It's only about jobs and sustaining an industry that can't survive on it's own. And yes, also throw a little nationalism into the mix.

9 ( +9 / -1 )

Citizen2012,

Can't wait to see how Japan is going to prove that what they are doing is science !!!

Me too! How can anti-whalers continue to ignore, when ICJ is shown much evidence?

browny1,

If JWA by it's own admission, states there are 761,000 fast breeding minke whales in the Southern Ocean (as Zichi pointed out above), what more "essential" data is required?

To decide the sustainable number, we need to know about natural change in size of population of whales. If number is growing fast, we can take extra. But if number is declining, like population of Japanese people, then we should take lower number.

When will there be enough research to show that the numbers are healthy for the re- commencement of commercial whaling?

Already, we know there can be sustainable whaling. Question is, what is best number to catch? This number will change, as time goes by. So the ongoing research is required for it.

Why doesn't the JWA have the gumption to say we've now established that a population exists for viable hunting, quit the IWC and begin it's practice?

I think so too, but Japan is very weak country, diplomatically.

Pride and obstinancy and a lack of guts.

I agree only for "lack of guts", sad to say.

zichi, thank you for ICJ link. Maybe I try to watch on weekend.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

sfjp330Jun. 28, 2013 - 08:57AM JST Japan is whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary

IWC Article VIII exempts Research whaling under scientific permit from recognizing sanctuaries.

and is violating the rules of IWC

No it is abiding by the rules of the IWC.

I know that they dispute the legality of this but can we at least agree that Japan is imposing their views on the people >of the Southern Hemisphere?

If Australia and/or New Zealand owned or otherwise had any jurisdiction over the waters where the research whaling is taking place then you would be right. But they are whaling in International Waters so your statement makes no sense. If anything it is those countries imposing their views on Japan.

If you are not moved by the moral argument perhaps you can agree that if they want to >do their whaling they should >do it in their own waters.

There is no moral argument concerning sustainable use of a natural resource. And that the research whaling is acceptable to if hey did it in "their own waters" exposes the true nature of Australia's ICJ action, to reinforce their claim on those waters. A claim recognized by only four countries on the plane, and not even by the United States.

-8 ( +4 / -11 )

Has anyone considered the Krill in all this, If there are more Whales will this mean less krill, and what are the effects on the increase, is Japan considering this as a line of defence. Rhetorically speaking.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The whole truth of the matter is that Japan uses tax payers money to prop up an unviable industry, which only provides employment for a few.

I wouldn't be surprised if those few people turned out to be reliable and over-represented voters who consistently support their local LDP old boys.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Probie

One dude's opinion. I'm sure there is at least one other dude who thinks differently.

Not a "dude" but certainly a "mathematical biologist" from the University of California Santa Cruz. Do you out qualify him on that?

No, but it's still one dude's opinion. I'm sure the Japanese side also has some dude's opinion ready to counter this guy. That is how court cases work. You do know that, don't you?

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

ihope2eatwhales : ICJ is shown much evidence?

Well if those evidences are that the same kind like your nickname, I predict some difficulties ahead for Japan in that trial....

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@Graham DeShazo

I had them for lunch in school, and they don't taste very good." So much for food culture...

I had to laugh at your comment because it reminded me of a remark made one day by my Japanese wife's father. Apparently, as a child during the war the schools served whale as a source of cheap protein given the food shortages. He had to eat it, and to this day remembers how much he hated it.

Ironically, hunting whale was much more a part of US and European culture than it is Japanese culture, and was once the major industry. Ever hear of a Boston whaler? It is hard to imagine the US government (American Indians aside) asserting that America should be allowed to harvest whales because it is part of the nation's 'culture.' That certainly wouldn't go over well with many US citizens.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Kazuaki Shimazaki - As for the morality of hunting whales, it is no more reprehensible than other forms of fishing.

Yeah, except that whales are mammals, not fish and they are killed by having an exploding grenade fired at them by some barbarian on a ship, of course.

Japan will have difficulty refuting Australia's point and justifying a kill quota of a thousand whales a year. The Japanese have previously stated they are researching the viability of commercial whaling. If they use this and culture to support their case it will be over very quickly for them. I am very interested to see how the Japanese intend to defend their 'science' claim and justify such a large kill quota.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

browny1

If JWA by it's own admission, states there are 761,000 fast breeding minke whales in the Southern Ocean (as Zichi pointed out above), what more "essential" data is required?

Just read the IWC agreement on whaling moratorium. http://iwc.int/cache/downloads/1lv6fvjz06f48wc44w4s4w8gs/Schedule-February-2013.pdf

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

It was anti-whalers that said that the number of whales must be constantly monitored for there could be sudden drop in the number of the stock. That is why Japan is made to do the research whaling every year. If the anti-whalers accept the current size of the whale stock and agree on the new commercial whaling quota, as promised in the moratorium document, Japan will stop researching and start commercial whaling.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Japan is made to do the research whaling every year.

Oh come on. Japan isn't made to do anything. You make it sound like they have no choice. They could choose to stay at home and save a lot of taxpayers' money.

7 ( +11 / -5 )

Nice!

Philippe Sands, QC, told the court that French thinker Jules Henri Poincare said science was built upon facts, as a house was built of stones. But a simple accumulation of facts was no more science than a heap of stones was a house, Poincare had said.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

There is a difference between the "letter of the law" and the "spirit of the law". Naturally some sociopaths might disregard the latter, but naturally, there was intent behind the international agreement. If the Japanese government "wins" the current lawsuit because it has followed the "letter of the law", it really wouldn't have won anything but a further tarnished image within the international community.

If someone murders another by exploiting some loophole in the law, is it still wrong? Most people have heard the same familiar maternal advice: "what would happen if everybody did that? If other nations exploited the same loophole in international law, it is unlikely that the current estimates of 300,000 to 700,000 minke whales would exist at all (not to mention the threatened fin and sperm whales that government whaling continues to take). Is their much point to an international agreement in the first place?

Of course, Japan would be far better off to resume more "honest" commercial whaling. People once ate whale meat in their school lunches, and it was often the most dreaded item on the menu. Today, people fight against whale meat in school lunches, not because they don't like it, but because it is unsafe. Given that 95 percent of the population has never eaten whale meat or has only tried it, and given that many people are acutely aware that they can consume over 900 times the safe limit of mercury in a single serving, it is unlikely that whaling in Japan would survive anyway without government subsidies, and the population is probably unwilling to support the subsidies unless the industry continues to call it "research".

0 ( +6 / -6 )

cleo, you need to know how pecky the Scientific Committee of the IWC is. Just read their documents on their web. Their interest exists in delaying the process by nay saying every small aspects of the research. If there is 1 year interval in the research whaling, they will surely say the whole research is compromised. I am actually concerned about the low catch this year for they will surely attack the small sample size. In that case, Japan is obliged to increase the sample size.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

the problem with the anti-whaling people on this site is that they are arguing from passion and not from reason. whether japan is exploiting a "loophole" or not, they are not breaking any international agreements or laws.

some people are arguing that japan is wasting taxpayer money or no one is eating whale, but those points are not germane to the central issue. if you want japan to be "honest" about their whaling policy, you should be eqaually honest as to why you don't want them to hunt whales.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Why does Japan uses the "scientific whaling" clause, while Iceland does not? It is worthwhile examining a little history.

Actually, Iceland used the scientific clause after the ban from 1986 to 1989, and then from 2003 to 2007 (after rejoining the IWC in 2002). [http://iwc.int/table_permit.htm] This information is from the IWC, under their "scientific whaling permit" page. ( Note there are a number of years where Norway also used scientific whaling permits to catch whales. ) Then starting in 2006 (overlapping scientific whaling) they began to issue commercial permits. This is possible within IWC rules because of "a reservation to the moratorium" made by Iceland [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whaling_in_Iceland].

Japan on the other hand, made an objection to the Whaling Ban as a member of the IWC as soon as the ban took place. However, it dropped the objection in a deal cut with the US Reagan administration: Japan would drop its objection in 1986 and cease whaling in 1988, in exchange for continuing ability to fish in US waters, particularly off the coast of Alaska. And so Japan dropped its objection in 1986. However, due to a new movement in the US, all foreign fishers including Japan were banned from many US waters, including Alaska. After that, the Japanese side did not stop whaling in 1998, but continued using the scientific clause. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6659401.stm]

It is my personal opinion that the Japanese did not quit the IWC at that point because they did not want to make the US negotiators with whom they closed the deal lose face. In fact it was not those US negotiators who demanded that Japanese stop fishing in Alaskan US waters.

In conclusion, I cannot see any difference in the attitudes between Iceland and Japan (or Norway) regarding the legitimacy of "scientific whaling". Japan, Iceland, and Norway have all done it when they considered it necessary. The fact that Japan is using "scientific whaling" now and not Iceland is simply an accident of history resulting from inconsistencies in US foreign policy which resulted in the US effectively "ripping off" Japan diplomatically, that is promising something for an action and then not following up on the promise. Although of course it was an accident, and not deliberate.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

ch3cho - now that logic would surely do Yossarian (of catch 22) proud.

We must kill 1,000 whales a year to justify our research whaling in order to re-commence commercial whaling.

If we kill less, then we wouldn't be able to justify it as research whaling (too small a sample) so we would never be able to get the data required to justify re-commencing commercial whaling, so we must continue taking 1,000 whales / year.

Love it!!!

However, Some would argue that the taking of tens of thousands of tons of whales / year looks suspiciously like a commercial quantity.

But then they'd be wrong, wouldn't they, as indicated by the above yossarian-esque analogy.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Enough of this very sad joke that Japan is hunting whales for so-called "scientific" research. Almost everyone knows this is not true, so Japan is only succeeding in making itself look bad in most people's eyes. So why is this something to fight for, something that makes your country look bad?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

End lethal take...period!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

We must kill 1,000 whales a year to justify our research whaling

They haven't taken 1,000 whales a year for many years now, thanks to the efforts of Sea Shepherd; which means that JARPA2 is totally compromised due to insufficient data samples and cannot produce any reliable data relating to population size, trends or anything else. Japan cannot credibly argue that its 'research' in the Antarctic serves any scientific purpose, since by its own admission it cannot obtain the minimum necessary data.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

“Lethal take can only make sense if we have a question that needs to be answered ... a meaningful question,” said Mangel

He basically waivered his right as an expert witness by questioning the objectivity of the science research and not the validity of the science. What are a farce.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

"rickyveeJun. 28, 2013 - 11:49AM JST

the problem with the anti-whaling people on this site is that they are arguing from passion and not from reason. whether japan is exploiting a "loophole" or not, they are not breaking any international agreements or laws.

some people are arguing that japan is wasting taxpayer money or no one is eating whale, but those points are not germane to the central issue. if you want japan to be "honest" about their whaling policy, you should be eqaually honest as to why you don't want them to hunt whales."

That reasoning could exempt any country from any international agreement they ever sign. Look for a clause and point at it- its my exemption (the exemption is nonsensical- I redefine something to fit the exemption) so basically Japan exempted itself.

There is a science part to argument again whaling. One its very difficult to humanely kill a whale or any big sea animal- they are difficult to spot, slippery, fast, maneuvorable so any shot at the brain or vital organ is going to miss and leave big gaping wounds. Counting any sea animal (or even land animals on rough terrain or forest) is difficult- the oceans are big so big and you need to be sure you are counting unique individuals. Without a clear population number, how do you even start to know if fishing is a sustainable practice. And we know not a lot about wild whales breeding except they have long pregnancies so its a long time between babies and their response to reduction in numbers is poor. Japan has added nothing to the science of whales- no papers.

At least a great many fish species congregate so you have a bigger number to count at once and being small they are easier to study in large tanks so they act close to wild. Being small fish are easier to kill humanely. You can catch them alive and kill quickly.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Disillusioned,

Japan will have difficulty refuting Australia's point and justifying a kill quota of a thousand whales a year.

It is easy. They explain the important research aim, for benefit of the sustainable whaling. This is the purpose of ICRW. And show, even IWC scientific panel uses the data of Japan.

ICJ judge can not deny such fact, ICJ judge is not whale expert like IWC scientific panel. So, they can not say it is not the science, as Australia defines.

I do not think Australian case is really serious. Australia Prime Minister just decided it for election in Australia.

The Japanese have previously stated they are researching the viability of commercial whaling.

Right. It is the purpose of ICRW. ICJ judges will know it, they are legal experts.

If they use this and culture to support their case it will be over very quickly for them.

Culture is not point of ICJ case. I do not understand why you think it will be over quickly. Maybe it already over for Australia, though.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

ihope2eatwhales - Culture is not point of ICJ case. I do not understand why you think it will be over quickly.

Oh, I see. So, when the Japanese fisheries minister is defending the annual whale hunt by stating Japan has a tradition of hunting whales he doesn't really mean it. Is that right? I cannot see Australia gaining an outright ban on Japan's commercial whaling either, but I can foresee a major cut in their quota. Their only defense for killing such a large number of whales is to make the "uhum" 'research' commercially viable, which means it is not science, it is business, thus making it a commercial enterprise against the ban on commercial whaling. Case closed!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Nature will take care of the whale population. Once the whales have increased in number, unable to sustain themselves, they will die off, until a sustainable population is established.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Disillusioned

I can foresee a major cut in their quota.

ICJ does not have any power to set or reduce quota. It just interprets laws and delivers judgment. The question before the court is if Japan is in violation of IWC treaty. If it is in violation, Japan must stop the research whaling. If it is not, Japan can continue the research whaling. There is nothing in between.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Zooots at Jun. 28, 2013 - 11:20AM JST 'There is a difference between the "letter of the law" and the "spirit of the law". Naturally some sociopaths might disregard the latter, but naturally, there was intent behind the international agreement. If the Japanese government "wins" the current lawsuit because it has followed the "letter of the law", it really wouldn't have won anything but a further tarnished image within the international community. If someone murders another by exploiting some loophole in the law, is it still wrong?'

Agreed and that is the main problem I see. Everyone with any common sense or anyone who can see past their pride and nationalism or past their will to be purely argumentative just for the sake of it... Can see that it is Japan exploiting a loophole in the law. The reason for the loophole was America feeling that if some whaling was not allowed at all then the Japanese in this case would withdraw from the IWC and thus catch as many whales as they liked and so better to allow them to catch a few rather than what many.other countries at the time of the law making wanted - full compliance as in no catch at all.

Hard decision isn't it to allow a little and have some control or cut them loose and they will take unknown quantities. Hardly responsible by Japan but that's the way it is right?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Graham DeShazoJun. 28, 2013 - 09:48AM JST

And there it is. Somebody saying in court that Japan's entire arguement is bunk (which it is). The dumbest part of Japan's arguement was brought home to me by my Japanese wife who was watching the news last night and said, "Why do they spend all this time and money on hunting whales? I had them for lunch in school, and they don't taste very good." So much for food culture...

Is that so? Generalize much? And yet some people actually eat whale meat and like it! For me who also has a Japanese wife, I find the Japanese diet kind of heavy in seafood and I like some of it, but not all of it. Taste is very individual and subjective.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@ihope2eatwhales "I do not think Australian case is really serious. Australia Prime Minister just decided it for election in Australia."

If the Australian PM has decided it for the election in Australia, that means it's an issue that the Australian public has a lot of interest in. That sounds like a serious issue to me.

(BTW, why "I hope" to eat whales? You can eat them NOW if you want to!)

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If Japan wins the case it will continue with the so called research whaling. If Japan loses, they will probably just leave the IWC, and continue with commercial whaling. I don't think Japan would have agreed to this case, unless there was also a back door out.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Robert Roo, just read the IWC agreement on whaling moratorium. http://iwc.int/cache/downloads/1lv6fvjz06f48wc44w4s4w8gs/Schedule-February-2013.pdf

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

If Australia had had "common sense", it should have agreed to new catch limits decades ago.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

which means that JARPA2 is totally compromised due to insufficient data samples and cannot produce any reliable data relating to population size, trends or anything else

Interpolation is commonly used to fill out incomplete data sets, such as in meteorology when a whether station gives anomolous or no results. Having a couple of seasons with less data than usual does not totally compromise anything.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The idea of the Japanese eating whale has part of the culture isn't entirely accurate. Yes, it has hunted for whales for many centuries and they have also eaten the whale meat. But not all Japanese people and not all prefectures eat whale meat. Very little is consumed in Hokkaido and quite a few other prefectures. The most popular places are Tokyo with its restaurants and Sasebo and Nagasaki. Also Ishinomaki and other places in Miyagi and Iwate. So its not part of every Japanese culture.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

zichi

I don't think Japan would have agreed to this case, unless there was also a back door out.

Japan has recognized the compulsory jurisdiction of ICJ to all cases. Unlike the US, Japan does not cherry pick cases.

http://www.icj-cij.org/jurisdiction/index.php?p1=5&p2=1&p3=3

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The logic does seem fairly simple, though the argument will continue: an international law is a system of rules that particular countries recognize and agree to. If a signatory isn't going to support an agreement, in intent, then it probably shouldn't agree to it in the first place. The signatory doesn't have to support the agreement, in intent, but it isn't going garner much respect from other members of the international community.

In response to a previous post, I have to say my statement at least, is pretty dispassionate. I and others, have eaten whale meat before, but still make the argument for Japan, or any other nation, honoring an agreement that it has signed.

Whaling has been a "passionate" issue among Japan's ultra-nationalists for quite some time, even though Japan's current stance on whaling only does harm to its international standing. It seems counter-intuitive, but so are many actions coming from Japan's uyoku-dantai that seem designed to provoke members of the international community over anything else. Irregardless, once Japan's ultra-right wing groups latch onto an issue, the media, and politicians back down and don't want to touch it.

Non-profit groups have been trying to get the Japanese media to address the core issue for years (Japan has been taking as much as 1000 whales per year and calling it "science") but for the most part, most people in Japan still assume that Japan's "scientific whaling" amounts to taking a few individuals per year. Without the media ever addressing the core issue, whaling has been spun into an issue about food preferences: why can't foreigners respect the fact that 'we Japanese' like whale meat".

As a trade-based nation that relies almost entirely on the outside world for resources, Japan's image means a lot: some people already avoid Japanese products because of Japan's stance on whaling, and today it is just as easy to buy Korean instead. Sadly though, if this trend continues, most people in Japan will never know why.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

CH3CHO

except the case is about Japan being a member country of the IWC and carrying out research whaling but if it Japan loses the case and leaves the IWC then it won't be doing research whaling. It will continue with commercial which is not covered by the Antarctic Treaty.

Australia too have a back door because if it loses, the Sea Shepherd group will never give up while Japan hunts for whales, research or commercial in the Antarctic.

And what of the appeals process, is there one?

I don't think is case will be so cut and dry on either side?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If Australia had had "common sense", it should have agreed to new catch limits decades ago.

There shouldn't be ANY hunting, and so no limits needed.

As for having IWC boffins delivering scientific judgements on the whaling questions is a bit like asking the yakuza to police themselves - the IWC boffins will give the IWC members the answers that they want to hear.

Just ban whaling globally and let the natural selection take place. This is 2013 - we don't need to have modern Ahabs going after whales.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Yeah, the new catch limit is ZERO!!!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Science:

"Knowledge of general facts, laws and relationships that is obtained through systematic observation and experiment, especially as applied to the physical world and the phenomena associated with it."

Tough to argue catching whales for dissection isn't science, no matter how you slice it. Observation and experiment on them follows general scientific procedure. Sounds like this mathematical biologist is speaking from a layman's non-professional standpoint.

Furthermore, a meaningful question is one that has meaning to the person asking it. If whales are caught with the intention of examining their insides to discover what and how much they are eating, this intention serves the meaningfulness of the question.

That's basic, 100 percent science.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Come on it's just a cover for whaling for meat. They can fillet - sorry, 'dissect' - they whales and run a microscope over it and call it science but they're not fooling anything. The only benefit gained - other than a flimsy cover story - is probably knowing how many whales they can get away with slaughtering next year. Even the Japanese public aren't fooled. Their first reaction is "But eating whale is our culture". They rarely bring up the 'scientific' benefits.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Japan doesn't have to kill whales if there is non-lethal way of researching the age of whale. Emotional argument doesn't refute the legitimacy of scientific research.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Thunderbird2, Disillusioned seem to disagree to whaling no matter what. They would disagree to sustainable whaling, too. Maybe, the only reason they have is that they love whales.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

but the SS have spotted the tanker several times inside the limit.

And there is nothing illegal about the tanker being south of 60 degrees.

Japan is whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary

Yes they are.

and is violating the rules of IWC

No they aren't.

and the desires of the people who live in the Southern Hemisphere.

So what?

in their own waters.

The Southern Ocean is international waters and thus are open to eveyone.

what more "essential" data is required?

Well how healthy is the population? If there were 10 million but only 1% were fertile would the species be safe? No. And that is just one example.

there was intent behind the international agreement.

Yes there was. And if you read the IWC's charter you will see that the intent was to support and regulate the hunting of whales and not to protect whales from all harm.

If other nations exploited the same loophole in international law

And if the sun exploded today we would all die, but it isn't going to happen. Also no one has to use any loophole. Since most of the world is not part of the IWC they can already kill as many whales as they want.

They haven't taken 1,000 whales a year for many years now, thanks to the efforts of Sea Shepherd; which means that JARPA2 is totally compromised due to insufficient data samples and cannot produce any reliable data relating to population size, trends or anything else.

That's funny. They should stop whaling because the attacks of criminals compromise their data.

but I can foresee a major cut in their quota.

And how is the ICJ going to set that quota? Might they use the IWC's quota equation? Let's hope not because that would more than double Japan's quota. And is the ICJ going to issue a new quota for Japan every year? Or will they make the IWC issue the quota, like Japan has been asking for?

The reason for the loophole was America feeling that if some whaling was not allowed at all then the Japanese in this case would withdraw from the IWC

That is laughable. The so called 'loophole' is an original part of the IWC charter from 1946 before Japan every even joind the IWC and before there was any reason to believe there would ever be a moratorium.

the IWC boffins will give the IWC members the answers that they want to hear.

How laughable can you get. So the group that passed the moratorium and refuses to review species status as required by the moratorium is going to support the people who oppose the moratorium. Yeah sure.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

@Mike O'Brien

And there is nothing illegal about the tanker being south of 60 degrees.

Except the only reason for the tanker to be further than 60 degrees South would be to refuel the whalers, and that it illegal. It was also releasing heavy fuel oil into the ocean and too is illegal.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

So how much taxpayer money is spent for each whaler/ person in the industry? It would probably just be cheaper to send them a welfare check and just have them stay home!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

& the IWC, the regulatory board set quotas pre 1986, Japan REFUSED to abide by said quotas from the global regulatory board, so THEN a GLOBAL MORITORIUM was enacted,(to preserve whale stocks, the job of the IWC), Japan then failed to abide by it, NOW Aus is taking Japan to the IJC. Not so hard to understand, just as the claim by pro-whalers that the IWC should set quotas & Japan would abide by them, history has already proven those claims FALSE...

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Which law bans refueling? Can anyone quote the original sentence of that law?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

DJboothJun. 28, 2013 - 06:25PM JST GLOBAL MORITORIUM was enacted,(to preserve whale stocks, the job of the IWC), Japan then failed to abide by it

A Moratorium on COMMERCIAL whaling was implemented in 1986 and Japan has abided by it. Norway and Iceland raised objections and failed to abide by it, and continued commercial whaling. The Soviet Union did not abide by it either. Best get your facts straight.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

DJbooth

the IWC, the regulatory board set quotas pre 1986, Japan REFUSED to abide by said quotas from the global regulatory board

Just show me the proof that Japan refused.

a GLOBAL MORITORIUM was enacted,(to preserve whale stocks, the job of the IWC), Japan then failed to abide by it

Do I have to paste the moratorium agreement again? http://iwc.int/cache/downloads/1lv6fvjz06f48wc44w4s4w8gs/Schedule-February-2013.pdf

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

It was IWC itself that failed to abide by the moratorium agreement by failing to set new catch limit by 1990.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Except the only reason for the tanker to be further than 60 degrees South would be to refuel the whalers, and that it illegal. It was also releasing heavy fuel oil into the ocean and too is illegal.

Except there are many other possible reasons. They might be trying to avoid a storm. Or the shortest distance between where they are and where they are going (both above 60 degrees) may take them below 60 degrees, that's a funny thing about navigating on a sphere.

And the Sea Shepehrds CLAIM they were releasing heavy fuel oil. Sorry there word isn't enough to prove anything.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

@Mike O'Brien

Except there are many other possible reasons. They might be trying to avoid a storm. Or the shortest distance between where they are and where they are going (both above 60 degrees) may take them below 60 degrees, that's a funny thing about navigating on a sphere.

Storms are easy to check against weather maps. The South Korean tanker is not a listed ship of the whaling fleet, Refuelling of ships at sea, at the best of times is highly dangerous which I experienced many times during my time in the RN. Requires a calm sea and very high degree of skill by the captains of the ships involved. The likely hood of an accident happening is high. All refuelling of the whaling fleet is suppose to happen above the 60 degree South and a tanker carrying fuel oil should not even be in the zone. There's no passage below the 60 degree South. The Sea Shepherd collected samples of the oil leaked by the tanker which could be matched with the heavy oil cargo it was carrying. Was the tanker also using the required type of heavy fuel oil fr its own engines? The oil samples taken were given to Australia.

1 ( +5 / -3 )

Thunderbird2, Disillusioned seem to disagree to whaling no matter what. They would disagree to sustainable whaling, too. Maybe, the only reason they have is that they love whales.

And your point is...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Storms are easy to check against weather maps.

Sure they are and you can't always avoid them but you can try.

The South Korean tanker is not a listed ship of the whaling fleet,

So what? There are loads of ships in the Southern Ocean that aren't part of the whaling fleet.

Refuelling of ships at sea, at the best of times is highly dangerous

I wouldn't say 'highly' dangerous, but yes it is dangerous. That is why trying to interfere with it is criminal behavior.

Requires a calm sea

Well not really, but a calm sea does make it easier.

and very high degree of skill by the captains of the ships involved.

No not really, especially if you stop both vessels like the footage from Greenpeace shows is the normal method used by the whaling fleet.

The likely hood of an accident happening is high.

Not at all. Refuelling at sea happens daily and rarely is there any accident.

There's no passage below the 60 degree South.

Are you saying that if the tanker was at Lat -59.9 Long 163 and was meeting the fleet at Lat -59.9 Long 110 that their shortest course wouldn't take them below 60 degrees? Because the shortest course I calculate with my navigation training takes them as far south as Lat -62, well below 60 degrees.

a tanker carrying fuel oil should not even be in the zone.

That is your opinion.

The Sea Shepherd collected samples of the oil leaked by the tanker which could be matched with the heavy oil cargo it was carrying... The oil samples taken were given to Australia.

So they CLAIMED but nothing else has ever been heard. Analysis would have taken maybe a week. So why no announcement and no charges? Maybe they never really turned the samples over? Or maybe the results proved them wrong?

Was the tanker also using the required type of heavy fuel oil fr its own engines?

I don't know but I have no reason to expect they weren't.

Do the Sea Shepherds provide proof to the world every time their vessels go south of 60 degrees that they are using the right oil?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

@Mike O'Brien

I would conclude that you have never been abroad a ship during refueling at sea. Outside of military fleets, refueling at sea is a very rare event which would involve some kind of emergency.

If you think I'm wrong on that point, then provide evidence instead of your usual off the cuff comments. Even with the refueling of military ships at sea there are accidents.

The refueling of the Japanese whalers below the 60 degrees South is illegal according to treaties, I never called it criminal so don't try and twist my comment.

If there was a storm on day the South Korean tankers was below 60 degrees South, that could be checked against weather maps.

According to rules of the IWC on the Japanese research whaling it must provide a list of ships, each season, it will use for the trip. The South Korean tanker ship is never on the list.

On Feb 15 2007, the Nisshin Maru with 1,000 tons of heavy fuel oil, of the type now banned since new laws in 2011, had an explosion and fire which killed one crew member. The resulting damage caused the ship to be temporarily disabled. New Zealand Conservation Minister Chris Carter joined international citizens' groups in urgently requesting that the ship be towed away but it refused help from the Greenpeace ship MV Esperanza, which had been nearby and monitoring the situation since 17 February. On 28 February, the ICR released a statement on its decision to cut short its Antarctic whale hunt for 2006/2007 due to unrecoverable equipment, and the Nisshin Maru departed for Japan.

This year in April, A Chinese factory fishing ship caught fire and sank in the Antarctic. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10879240

In 2007, a Canadian cruise ship struck submerged ice off Antarctica and began sinking, but all 154 passengers and crew, Americans and Britons among them, took to lifeboats and were plucked to safety by a passing cruise ship. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/21935099/ns/world_news-americas/t/cruise-ship-goes-down-antarctica/#.Uc2BjD6SDWE

Other ships too have sunk in the Antarctic.

We should all be concerned about all the activity which happens in the Antarctic, and the best solution would be to ban all of it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I would conclude that you have never been abroad a ship during refueling at sea.

Well then you would conclude wrongly, not surprisingly. Done it many times including in a war zone.

If you think I'm wrong on that point, then provide evidence instead of your usual off the cuff comments

You made the initial claim, so YOU prove your right instead of your usual off the cuff comments.

The refueling of the Japanese whalers below the 60 degrees South is illegal according to treaties, I never called it criminal so don't try and twist my comment

You do realize that things that are illegal are by defintion criminal? No twisting involved.

If there was a storm on day the South Korean tankers was below 60 degrees South, that could be checked against weather maps.

Then check it and report back.

According to rules of the IWC on the Japanese research whaling it must provide a list of ships, each season, it will use for the trip.

Please provide a citation to this requirement.

Other ships too have sunk in the Antarctic.

Really? Hard to believe. Did you know that other ships have sunk outside the Antarctic too? Heck a cruise ship sank less than a mile from shore off Italy. I guess we should ban all ship traffic.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Mike O'Brien

Really? Hard to believe. Did you know that other ships have sunk outside the Antarctic too? Heck a cruise ship sank less than a mile from shore off Italy. I guess we should ban all ship traffic.

Pointless debating with someone who can't grasp the fragile nature of the Antarctic and the need to protect it.

2 ( +6 / -3 )

Japan's whaling is not science,

Whats new? Everyone including Japanese govt knows this....

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Disillusioned seem to disagree to whaling no matter what.

Well, strike a blow for common sense! If anyone can unequivocally convince me that killing whales for research or for food is necessary I may be swayed, but until that time comes I stand firm! Japan does not NEED to kill whales at all!

I grew up on the east coast of Oz and was a surf lifesaver and surfer for more than 30 years (I still surf in Japan). When I was a kid I never saw whales on the east coast of Australia, but they are a common sight on the east, west and south coasts of Australia now due to the ban on commercial whaling. Whale watching is a multi-million dollar business in Australia and in many other countries. This is due to the conservation and 'evolution' of developed countries in the southern hemisphere. Yeah, Australia 'was' a whaling nation and did so with the same exploitive mind-set as the rest of the whaling countries, but now, whaling is history and you can read about it in history books and go to whaling museums. In the last 30 years populations of many whale species have returned to between 20 and 50% of their populations 200 years ago. Some have faired much better. The whales off California are thriving! Yeah, at present, Japan only hunts Minki whales, which do not migrate very far from the Antarctic during winter, but there is no data available on what their population was 200 years ago. They state there are ample Minki whales now, but is that the original population size? Nobody knows! There is also the argument of the krill population. People do not hunt krill! Whales do! The krill populations exploded when whale populations were depleted. Whale and krill were balanced before commercial whaling wiped out whale populations throughout the world. Whales are needed to keep krill populations in check! For every 'one' pro-whaling point I have 'five' anti-whaling points to refute them. If Japan is serious about commercial whaling, they should manage the stocks of whales in the waters around Japan and stop exploiting the populations of whales that are only there because of conservation efforts of the southern hemisphere countries and call it 'research'!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Interpolation is commonly used to fill out incomplete data sets, such as in meteorology when a whether station gives anomolous or no results. Having a couple of seasons with less data than usual does not totally compromise anything.

With all due respect, Nessie, we are not talking about a couple of seasons with a few anomalous results. We are talking about failure to meet quotas by between 30 and 90 percent over a period of at least 6 years. If the quota Japan sets itself is the minimum needed for 'scientific' research (and why would they set quotas in excess of what is needed for 'science'?), it cannot claim any kind of credibility for the results it claims to have produced.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

People do not hunt krill!

Yes they do. Huge amounts of krill are harvested by humans.

The krill populations exploded when whale populations were depleted.

Really any proof of this claim?

Those and other effects of climate change have caused Antarctic krill populations to plummet 40 to 80 percent in the last three decades around the South Shetland Islands near the tip of the peninsula

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/science/tracking-antarctic-krill-as-more-is-harvested-for-omega-3-pills.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

hsssssss!!

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Japan's whale research is about researching the unknown unknown, that is to say they are trying to find out what they don't know they don't know.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

but there is no data available on what their population was 200 years ago. They state there are ample Minki whales now, but is that the original population size? Nobody knows!

Yes actually they do. First because Minke whales weren't hunted until recently, when scientists did know the population, we know that the population 200 years ago was about the same as it was before the recent start of whaling. Second scientists can estimate previous population levels through DNA sampling and a few years ago scientists from Stanford University determine historical population levels.

"Based on our genetic analysis, average Antarctic minke whale populations over the past 100,000 years have been around 670,000," said Stephen Palumbi, professor of biology, director of Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station and senior fellow at the university's Woods Institute for the Environment. "That number easily falls within the range of current population estimates for the whales, as determined in studies by the International Whaling Commission," he said. Palumbi is the senior author of a paper describing the work, published in the journal Molecular Ecology.

.

If the quota Japan sets itself is the minimum needed for 'scientific' research (and why would they set quotas in excess of what is needed for 'science'?), it cannot claim any kind of credibility for the results it claims to have produced.

So because criminals prevent them from collecting enough samples they should stop trying to do their research? Yeah that makes sense. And it isn't as simple as you seem to think. First having fewer samples doesn't invalidate the results it just increases the uncertainty. And second different research topics require different numbers of samples, so some research is just as valid. Try studying statistics.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

According to the Japan Whaling Association, there are 761,000 Minke whales in the Southern Hemisphere. http://www.whaling.jp/english/qa.html

And according to CITIES,

The total number of minke whales throughout the world is estimated to be around one million animals (IWC, 1999c), but this estimate by the IWC doesn’t cover all of minke whale stocks over the world thus the true number could possibly be much higher. The largest populations of minke whale are found in the Southern Hemisphere stocks. In addition, there are also population abundance estimates for the Okhotsk Sea – West Pacific stock, the Northeast Atlantic and North Atlantic Central stocks.

The scientific research in the Southern Hemisphere (JARPA: the Japanese research program under special permit in the Antarctic) has been conducted in the Antarctic Ocean since 1987/88. Currently, 400±10% whales are taken annually in order to study such items as stock structure, abundance and its trend, and feeding ecology. Each participating vessel is given a research license and the right to hunt a certain number of whales. The research is supervised by scientists from both the Government of Japan and the Scientific Committee of the IWC, and by an officially appointed inspector. The meat, blubber and other edible parts landed were certified by the health authorities before human consumption. http://www.cites.org/eng/cop/11/prop/16.pdf

Under President Reagan Japan gave up whaling, so not such a strong culture aspect, in return for fishing in American waters, but later when America poked Japan in the eye and withdrew the agreement, it returned to whaling. Then the research whaling started. http://files.isanet.org/ConferenceArchive/cc9cd0e9623a43b1b1c041d02368510c.pdf

1 ( +4 / -2 )

The real reason Japan is whaling, and why certain parties oppose said whaling, is something that cant be discussed publicly: basically, Japan is both monitoring the global ecosystem and storing biological samples, in anticipation of a major global catastrophe.

ales arent the only rapidly depleting resource that the Japanese have been buying up and storing. Other examples are Mediterranean fishing stock, which are being handled by Mitsubishi.

ales provide vast information about the status of the global ecosystem, and Japan is not at all obliged to share this information with the savages who know about the dangers and continue to violate OUR world.

Japan, as always, allows itself to be called a villain, to protect the pride/sanity of those ignorant of or denied Truth.

This court case is a farce designed to coerce Japan into revealing what they know about the (future, bad) situation. This, of course, will never happen; karma must be allowed to play out; and so we are left with a less well defined, but equally valid purpose.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Hi guys. before people considered that earth planet was flat. I am sure that everybody will consider whales as food in the end since it is really delicious! Caviar is extracted from a fish that is near the extinction and there is no one comments about it. Also too many whales in the Pacific Ocean will deplete food chains since they don't have any natural enemies.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Funny to see this excuse of " we were doing this wrong thing in the past" so it does justify "we are doing this wrong thing in the present", so let's get back even further in the past, think Dinosaurs got extincted because Japanese ate them all.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Disillusioned,

If anyone can unequivocally convince me that killing whales for research or for food is necessary I may be swayed

I am sure, it is impossible to convince you.

I grew up on the east coast of Oz and was a surf lifesaver and surfer for more than 30 years (I still surf in Japan). When I was a kid I never saw whales on the east coast of Australia, but they are a common sight on the east, west and south coasts of Australia now due to the ban on commercial whaling.

No, it is due to lack of unsustainable whaling. Not because of ban on sustainable commercial whaling.

They state there are ample Minki whales now, but is that the original population size? Nobody knows!

There are 500,000. It is enough to catch small number, such as 1%.

Whale and krill were balanced before commercial whaling wiped out whale populations throughout the world. Whales are needed to keep krill populations in check!

Maybe now, humans are needed to keep minke population in check. Also, minke whale taste nice as well.

For every 'one' pro-whaling point I have 'five' anti-whaling points to refute them.

You are free to be anti-whaling. However, it does not change law, or fact that whaling will continue.

If Japan is serious about commercial whaling, they should manage the stocks of whales in the waters around Japan and stop exploiting the populations of whales that are only there because of conservation efforts of the southern hemisphere countries and call it 'research'!

Australia does no conservation for whales, it just does not hunt them. It is just doing nothing.

-9 ( +1 / -9 )

It's not scientific research and it does not matter how high the letters you emblazon on your ships. Don't lie about it, be honest and you may garner some understanding but to take a stance from a lie only makes people determined to expose the hypocrisy.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It's not scientific research

Then how do you explain the hundreds of peer reviewed published research papers?

No matter how much people complain and lie, those scientific research papers still exist.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Please close this loophole already.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Thomas AndersonJun. 29, 2013 - 09:15PM JST Please close this loophole already.

Why hasn't Australia taken the IWC to court (somewhere) to do just that?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Why hasn't Australia taken the IWC to court (somewhere) to do just that?

Well first because there is no court to take the IWC to. Second because the IWC is a voluntary treaty organization so even if there was some court to take it too they couldn't be ordered to change their regulations. And lastly because if a court did exist and it could and did order them to close the loophole then any member that didn't want to participate could just quit and any member that quit could kill as many whales as they want.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

how do you explain the hundreds of peer reviewed published research papers?

Even the icr lists no more than 125 'papers published in peer-reviewed journals' from 1989 to the present day based on samples and data collected by JARPA and JARPA2. These include at least 19 papers that reference data relating to right whales, blue whales, sea birds etc., not requiring the killing of any whales; 10 papers involving the use of frozen whale sperm to fertilise cow, pig and sheep ova and to grow test-tube whales; a number of 'cruise reports' and studies of how to kill whales. This, remember, from the people trying to justify the yearly hunts in the name of 'science'. So, that is way less than 'hundreds'.

http://www.icrwhale.org/JARPA91paper.html

Can anyone tell us whether there is any difference between 'peer reviewed published research papers' and 'papers published in peer-reviewed journals'?

Members of the iwcsc claimed in 2005 that 'the programme’s publication record is very poor for an 18-year research endeavour of this size. Very few peer-reviewed papers have come from the Japanese programme, none has been published in the IWC’s management-focused Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, and only one (on stock structure) is relevant to the scientific parameters used for species management.'

http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1111&context=usdeptcommercepub&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fscholar.google.com%2Fscholar_url%3Fhl%3Den%26q%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fdigitalcommons.unl.edu%2Fcgi%2Fviewcontent.cgi%253Farticle%253D1111%2526context%253Dusdeptcommercepub%26sa%3DX%26scisig%3DAAGBfm2Z2yan2UIwlceOmG0SHktGk4gGXA%26oi%3Dscholarr#search=%22http%3A%2F%2Fdigitalcommons.unl.edu%2Fcgi%2Fviewcontent.cgi%3Farticle%3D1111%26context%3Dusdeptcommercepub%22

A very eloquent picking-apart of the 'science' of Japanese 'scientific research' whaling and a very edifying read - http://academia.edu/1887349/Japanese_whalihng_and_the_language_of_science

0 ( +2 / -2 )

You forgot JARPN now didn't you?

Australia's case is about whaling in the Southern Ocean, not about whaling in the North Pacific. (Though of course it would be nice if that could be stopped, too)

But if you want JARPN included too, the icr claims only 90 peer-reviewed publications since 1994, which include more attempts to create test-tube baby whales, as well as attempts to clone whales by injecting frozen whales sperm into mouse and pig ovary cells. Some papers deal with estimating anchovy and crustacean populations or sighting surveys; some 15 papers use only non-lethal data. No sign of these 'hundreds' of peer-reviewed papers you've convinced yourself exist.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So 125 + 90 = 215, that would be hundreds.

I like the new goal posts you decided to add. Where did I say all the research required lethal research? Al I have claimed is that the Japanese whaling trips have produced hundreds of peer reviewed papers.

And nice backhand dig at the fertility research that has already been explained to you. To bad you can't understand such simple concepts.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

The number of papers published by Japan under JARPA/JARPAII in peer-reviewed journals, between 1989-2012, is 107 papers. 29 of those papers were based on non lethal research.

Lethal research produced 80 papers 1989-2012.

A 2006 review of Japan’s Antarctic scientific whaling programme, conducted by the IWC’s Scientific Committee, found that the research had failed to achieve any of its stated objectives.

Subsidies average around ¥782 million (US$9.78 million) annually. Over the past 25 years, direct whaling subsidies from the Ministry of Agriculture alone have cost Japanese taxpayers more than ¥30 billion (almost US$400 million). The total amount spent on lethal research 1987-2012 is $235 million.

The number of whales killed between 1988/89-2004/05 were 7528, which was used to research and publish 63 papers during the same period. That is an average of 120 whales killed for every paper. It cost the Japanese taxpayer about ¥370 million per paper.

Last year, Kyodo Senpaku was given money from the Tohoku reconstruction fund. Kyodo Senpaku was given a loan of ¥1.5–2 billion (uS$19–25 million) to refit the Nisshin Maru and enable it to continue operations for a further 10 years. To facilitate Kyodo Senpaku’s repayment of that loan, the government of Japan would, at taxpayers’ expense, pay 50 to 90 percent of the company’s operating deficit for the following three years.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

found that the research had failed to achieve any of its stated objectives.

And here is an interesting fact about research. If you knew what you would find and where sure of answering your objectives, it wouldn't be called research.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

So 125 + 90 = 215, that would be hundreds.

No, take out the papers that have nothing to do with whales and/or did not require lethal data and the number is much less. If you bothered to read the link to the Denise Russell piece, (probably pretty hard going for someone who wants to kill whales regardless) you will see that she completely debunks most of the papers presented, and completely tears apart the idea of the need to kill whales in order to grow them in testtubes in order to increase their numbers - if, as they claim, there are enough minke to take for food, they don't need to be artificially raised; if they are so threatened that they need to be artificially reproduced, they should not be being hunted for their meat. She also points out the absurdity of the notion of capturing live mature female whales and subduing them long enough to carry out artificial insemination. She points out that other 'fertility' research used the semen from only one or two male minke and assumed that those individuals were representative of the whole species - very bad science.

Where did I say all the research required lethal research?

The argument is that the whales need to be killed to be 'researched'. I don't think anyone has any problems with the non-lethal surveys, and no research carried out using non-lethal data can possibly be used as evidence for the 'need' the kill whales in order to research them. You're either trying to be cute, or clutching at straws.

If you knew what you would find and where sure of answering your objectives, it wouldn't be called research.

Thank you. So when the Japanese say they are killing whales with the objective of proving that numbers are sufficient to sustain hunting, you agree that that cannot be called 'research'?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

People should probably pay attention to the cloning research. The motivations attributed to the Japanese are laughable. Noone ever said the stated research objectives were the only objectives. And Japan is not required to elucidate further.

The law has no 'spirit'. It was created as is, to allow exceptions for those willing to go far enough to abuse them. That's a basic understanding for all laws or obligations, religious and civil.

And I suspect the people arguing against Japan know this better than most. Whaling, like many many other things Japanese do, serves multiple purposes. And like many many other things Japanese do, there is no obligation to share more than the minimum.

Japan has fully complied with her obligations under the current regime. And everyone knows this.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Personally I enjoy gorging my pie hole on whale sashimi! What do whales do to help human life on a day to day basis?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

take out the papers that have nothing to do with whales and/or did not require lethal data

No. And why should I? The reserach was done based on data from JARPA and JARPN and Australia is asking the court to pull the plug on ALL of JARPA not just the lethal part. And others have completely debunked Russell's piece so there. Especial the part about

...kill whales in order to grow them in testtubes in order to increase their numbers...

Because as you have been told multiple times that is not what the referenced paper is about.

She points out that other 'fertility' research used the semen from only one or two male minke and assumed that those individuals were representative of the whole species - very bad science.

And it would be if that was what the research was about. But again you will ignore that fact just liek she did. the research was to develop a test for fertility as they weren't sure if whale semen would respond the way they hoped or what type ova would work the best.

The argument is that the whales need to be killed to be 'researched'.

That might be your argument, but it isn't mine.

So when the Japanese say they are killing whales with the objective of proving that numbers are sufficient to sustain hunting, you agree that that cannot be called 'research'?

Well simply yes, it can't be. But Australia and most of the rest of the IWC say the data Japan has collecetd doesn't show that their are enough Minke whales to sustain hunting. So although the Japanese knwo what they are going to find, YOUR experts from Australia and other anti-whaling countries say that no one is sure and more data is needed. So blame the anti-whalers.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Australia is asking the court to pull the plug on ALL of JARPA not just the lethal part.

You're mistaken. The Australian complaint is against Japan not meeting its 'good faith' obligation to halt the commercial killing of whales in the Southern Sanctuary. Australia is all in favour of non-lethal methods of research and has urged Japan to stick to non-lethal methods.

others have completely debunked Russell's piece so there

so there?? What are you, six years old? How about providing a few links to these debunkers' unbiased and learned papers?

as you have been told multiple times that is not what the referenced paper is about.

I've been told nothing. Japan claims the aim of the 'research' is to prove that a commercial hunt is sustainable. Cloning whales in test tubes and injecting whale sperm into cow eggs has nothing at all to do with that aim.

they weren't sure if whale semen would respond the way they hoped or what type ova would work the best

Hint - the best ova to use with whale semen is whale ova. Not cow, not pig, not mouse. Whale. It isn't rocket science.

The argument is that the whales need to be killed to be 'researched'.

That might be your argument, but it isn't mine.

It isn't my argument, it's the argument of the icr and the others who want to put the 'by-product' from the 'research' on plates.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The Australian complaint is against Japan not meeting its 'good faith' obligation to halt the commercial killing of whales in the Southern Sanctuary.

If there is such obligation under ICRW, Japan would quit, certainly.

To contrary, Australia has the 'good faith' obligation to seek development of whaling industry, which is purpose of whaling agreement. But they do not. They even say publicly, they oppose it.

I expect Japan will tell it to Hague judges from this week. Australia hypocrites must be exposed harshly.

Japan claims the aim of the 'research' is to prove that a commercial hunt is sustainable.

I think Japan gives detailed explanation to Hague judges this week. Of course, you will not like it, and complain anyway, as you are anti-whaler. But it does not matter, only law does. What Hague judges decide is only important thing.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

pro whalers seem unable to count the whale numbers and the research papers published?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

zichi, anit-whaling comment on Japan Today mean nothing. Watch ICJ case carefully. You will not agree what you hear from Japanese side, but ICJ judges will decide. Only it matters.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

ihope2eatwhales

zichi, anit-whaling comment on Japan Today mean nothing.

equally so pro whaler comments so why even belong to JT?

5 ( +6 / -2 )

How about providing a few links to these debunkers' unbiased and learned papers?

Why so you or another philosophy professor can claim my sources aren't valid? And why do my sources have to unbiased when your's definitely aren't?

I've been told nothing.

Then you must not read the responses to your comments because I have shown you at least twice. And we know you do read the responses, so that would make your statement a ...

Japan claims the aim of the 'research' is to prove that a commercial hunt is sustainable.

That is ONE aim of their research. What is so hard to undertsand about that? And actually research into whale fertility, which is what the paper you keep misrepresenting is about, directly affects determinations of sustainability of hunting.

Hint - the best ova to use with whale semen is whale ova. Not cow, not pig, not mouse. Whale. It isn't rocket science.

Hint- I know that and have told you so. I have also explained why collected whale ova is difficult and requires killing the whale. Or do you want them to kill MORE whales to collect ova?

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

zichi, my point is anti-whaler never accept anything pro-whaler may say. Anti-whaler always says many things, jumps from one thing to next thing, and finally back to first thing again.

But anti-whaler can not deny ICJ judges, who are not anti-whalers or whalers. I hope you will respect ICJ decision, even if it not be anti-whaling decision. Because, it is judgement of law. Judgement of law is how to resolve such dispute, I think. Do you agree?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

so you or another philosophy professor can claim my sources aren't valid? And why do my sources have to unbiased when your's definitely aren't?

Instead I'll just say you obviously have no sources, unbiased or otherwise. You'll note I referenced the icr, who are as far from being an anti-whaling organisation as it is possible to be.

I have shown you at least twice

No, you have shown me nothing. You have made some weird claim that the 'researchers' use ova from other animals to test the fertility of whale sperm because they can't get fresh whale ova, and the attempts of the whale sperm to fertilise the cow ova will determine the fertility of the sperm, which is ridiculous; I may as well try to go shopping in my local supermarket and offer to pay with autumn leaves because they're easier to come by than ichi-man yen notes; my eagerness to 'pay' will determine my wealth.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

you have shown me nothing.

I have shown you what the researchers say and suggested you go read it yourself, becuase posting the whole paper here would be silly. You just refuse to do even that basic effort. And now you claim a deep understand of evolutionary biology combined with an inane analogy.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

posting the whole paper here would be silly

You could post a link, if you had one. That wouldn't be silly.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japan offers dolphin and whale watching tours around the Ogasawara Islands. They should do their whaling there if they really need to. Although the whale watching business would disappear, at least it is their own backyard. But now that the Ogasawara Islands have recently gained World Heritage status, it isn't really an option now.

Japan certainly wasn't whaling in the far south of the world more than 100 years ago so the historical tradition claim doesn't really work. The tradition was catching whales in the waters around Japan. If Japan wants to destroy the beauty of nature around her own islands, so be it, but the funny thing is they don't want to do that. They'd rather catch them thousands and thousands of miles away!

Until the day whale farms can somehow be created (couldn't think of anything worse!), whaling should be banned.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Everyone knows that............saying it is science is suggesting, carry on up the khyber!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Whales are starting to look like family to a lot people . Giving them names and such. It wont be long before destroyers are assign to protect them from poachers .

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

so the historical tradition claim doesn't really work.

So then forget it. Just go with the research whaling in international waters anywhere on the planet is legal.

If Japan wants to destroy the beauty of nature around her own islands, so be it, but the funny thing is they don't want to do that.

No actually the truth is they do whale around their own islands. They do it every year, it is known as JARPN II.

Until the day whale farms can somehow be created (couldn't think of anything worse!), whaling should be banned.

Why?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

But anti-whaler can not deny ICJ judges, who are not anti-whalers or whalers.

At least you agree also that they are simply "whalers" and not "scientist" by looking at the choice of your own words... drop the "scientist" world for god sake and if you want to finance commercial whaling in Japan with your tax money because you have some personal interest doing it then do it and assume it, but please accept also that some people does not want our tax money to be waste on such of venture.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It's quite amusing that Cleo maintains the 'you've showed me nothing' claim. A quick trawl through JTs archives will show that she has been shown numerous claims that have been peer reviewed and accepted. Even published by international magazines...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A quick trawl through JTs archives will show that she has been shown numerous claims that have been peer reviewed

But nothing that justifies the killing of thousands of animals. Research labs on land need to fill out reams of paperwork to get permission to experiment on a cage-full of mice, yet the whalers blithely blow up and cut up as many whales as they can get through the SS net.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

cleo,

But nothing that justifies the killing of thousands of animals.

Fortunately, cleo's determination is no more than that. As you do not like animals to be killed, I do not understand why you enjoy to conduct the futile discussion about it.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

As only 15% of Japanese actually eat any whale meat and they can't even sell what the harvested last year, why is the taxpayer getting stuck with the bill to maintain a failing industry. Obvious it has not been an important custom of the Japanese in the last several decades. It is dying out and should be allowed to die out.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

cleo

But nothing that justifies the killing of thousands of animals.

Read this IWC Scientific Committee report. http://iwc.int/cache/downloads/9i9q6auzbxssogcg4gk4kcgoo/2011%20SC%20REP.pdf On page 22.

10.1.3 Continue development of the catch-at-age models

Population dynamics modelling provides a way to explore possible changes in abundance and carrying capacity within Areas IV and V. The data inputs are catch, length, age and sex data from the commercial harvests and both JARPA programmes, as well as abundance estimates from IDCR/SOWER and both JARPA programmes. Results of a further SCAA analysis developed for Antarctic minke whales were presented to the Committee this year (SC/63/IA1).

In addition, as recommended last year, the Committee agrees that the most recent catch-at-age data from JARPA II should be included in the SCAA; at least preliminary data from 2006 and perhaps 2007 are available; the Committee recommends that such data be provided under Data Availability Agreement Procedure B, as previously.

"Catch" means whaling and therefore killing. The IWC needs the catch at age data to develope the population dynamics model.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The IWC needs the catch at age data to develope the population dynamics model.

The IWC has also passed umpteen resolutions asking Japan to Stop It, already.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

they can't even sell what the harvested last year,

Except if you look at the actual data the stockpile increases when the fleet returns and then decreases through the year only to be replenished the next year.

The IWC has also passed umpteen resolutions asking Japan to Stop It, already.

And the IWC has passed ZERO resolutions saying the Japanese are violating any of the IWC's regulations. My homeowners association can pass umpteen resolution asking my neighbor to not grow azaleas because some of us are allergic to them, but if he still grows them he is not breaking any laws.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Stewie - The whole truth of the matter is that Japan uses tax payers money to prop up an unviable industry, which only provides employment for a few. The only reason Japan keeps on with this is to save face. The Japanese Govt cannot abide anyone telling them that what they are doing is just plain stupid. If the rest of the world just shut up and left the whalers alone, it would only take a short time before the Govt stopped pumping bucket loads of money into subsidising this farce.

Are you suggesting that Australia is suing Japan in an effort to protect the Japanese taxpayers? That makes no sense.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Are you suggesting that Australia is suing Japan in an effort to protect the Japanese taxpayers? That makes no sense.

Hey, they might as well :-) since the J-government seems hell bent on screwing the taxpayers here in any way possible while protecting the corrupt and inefficient members of the boys network.....be it the whalers or Olympus execs.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"Consumption of whale and dolphin meat, as is the practice in Japan, is a source of high levels of mercury poisoning. Tetsuya Endo, a professor at the Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, has tested whale meat purchased in the whaling town of Taiji and found mercury levels more than 20 times the acceptable Japanese standard" keep eating that tripe and you may start goind numb in your extremities.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Although Japan presented to ICJ evidence that shows scientific nature of whaling activities, western media has not reported it. Will western media also not report result of ICJ, if Australia's claim is rejected?

I am amazed how unprofessional western media is.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Disillusioned - Japan will have difficulty refuting Australia's point and justifying a kill quota of a thousand whales a year. The Japanese have previously stated they are researching the viability of commercial whaling. If they use this and culture to support their case it will be over very quickly for them. I am very interested to see how the Japanese intend to defend their 'science' claim and justify such a large kill quota.

Australia will first have to make it's case and a kill quota of X number of whales isn't it.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Tetsuya Endo, a professor at the Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, has tested whale meat purchased in the whaling town of Taiji and found mercury levels more than 20 times the acceptable Japanese standard

Well actually he tested meat from one species of dolphin. And one sample, the highest one, was at that level.

keep eating that tripe and you may start goind numb in your extremities

They have been eating 'that tripe' for decades and Professor Endo didn't report any evidence of any effect on the adults or children.

Japan will have difficulty refuting Australia's point and justifying a kill quota of a thousand whales a year.

Actually Japan has shown the maths and statistics that justify their quota, it is available to anyone who wants to read it. And Australia didn't refute or even try and refute the statistics involved

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

I saw this mentioned on NHK news for the first time this evening. The main thrust of the report was 'If the decision goes against Japan, the supply of whale meat will go down'.

Oh what a giveaway.

Of course it isn't commercial whaling. Of course putting meat on plates isn't the primary objective.

And if you'll believe that, you'll believe anything.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Mike O'BrienJUL. 05, 2013 - 08:36PM JST ''Tetsuya Endo, a professor at the Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, has tested whale meat purchased in the whaling town of Taiji and found mercury levels more than 20 times the acceptable Japanese standard

Well actually he tested meat from one species of dolphin. And one sample, the highest one, was at that level.''

Well Mike again your statement is not true is not true.............. Read the article before commenting please Here is the article

Last June, laboratory tests showed high levels of mercury in dolphin and pilot whale, a small whale that resembles a dolphin, that were caught and sold here. Schools stopped serving pilot whale meat for lunch, and some local markets removed it as well as dolphin from their shelves.

There is a real danger in whale and dolphin meat, but word is not getting out, said Tetsuya Endo, a professor at the Health Sciences University of Hokkaido and an expert on mercury in sea animals.

Despite the public awareness of mercury poisoning in Japan because of the Minamata disaster, the health and agriculture ministries have done little to inform people about mercury levels in whale and dolphin meat, Professor Endo and other biologists say. While the health ministry has conducted surveys of dolphins and pilot whales that show levels of 10 to 50 times the advisory level, the only warning it has issued is for pregnant women.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/21/world/asia/21dolphin.html?pagewanted=print&_r=0

wtfjapanJUL. 05, 2013 - 09:21AM JST "Consumption of whale and dolphin meat, as is the practice in Japan, is a source of high levels of mercury poisoning. Tetsuya Endo, a professor at the Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, has tested whale meat purchased in the whaling town of Taiji and found mercury levels more than 20 times the acceptable Japanese standard" keep eating that tripe and you may start goind numb in your extremities.

So again wtfjapanJUL. 05, 2013 - 09:21AM JST was correct and someone else by the name Mike was wrong. Again I will ask u were do u get your 'facts' from Mike cause they arnt facts./////////////////

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I get my facts directly from quotes of Dr Endo. Like in this article;

"“The tests showed that the average levels of mercury and methyl mercury in the pilot whale meat bought in Taiji were 9.6 ppm and 5.9 ppm, respectively. Given that Japan’s standards are 0.4 ppm and 0.3 ppm, respectively, these are extremely high levels,” Endo said."

While the article you reference isn't a quote but the words of the articles writer, a writer who calls pilot whales 'whales' when actually they are dolphins.

So the words of the actual researcher trumps the words of a journalist.

-6 ( +0 / -5 )

Endos tests revealed that one Taiji man in his 50s had a mercury level of 67.2 parts per million. The average mercury level of all 50 subjects was 21.6 ppm for the men and 11.9 ppm for the women.

The average level of mercury present in Japanese people as a whole is only 2.55 ppm for men and 1.43 ppm for women, which means Taiji residents had mercury levels about 10 times the national average.

Faroe islanders told to stop eating 'toxic' whales

12:36 28 November 2008 by Debora MacKenzie For similar stories, visit the Endangered Species Topic Guide Chief medical officers of the Faroe Islands have recommended that pilot whales no longer be considered fit for human consumption, because they are toxic - as revealed by research on the Faroes themselves.

So it is not just one pilot whale but all pilot whales and yes Mike they are a species of dolphin - related to the whale.

Dolphin and whale meat is high in mercury, and Endo, one of the worlds foremost authorities on mercury levels in dolphins and whales caught off Japans coastal waters, has discovered Taiji residents who eat the meat sold in local stores have extremely high concentrations in their bodies.

Between December 2007 and July 2008, myself and a team of scientists and researchers took hair samples from 30 male and 20 female residents of the Taiji area. In three cases, the levels of mercury present were more than 50 parts per million, high enough that it was possible nerve damage, like that seen in victims of Minamata disease, could occur, Endo told The Japan Times in an interview last week. Said by Endo in his words as reported I believe..........

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2009/09/23/national/mercury-danger-in-dolphin-meat/#.UeZhEtJmjPo

So yes they are 10 - 20 times over the limit and yes it can definately cause nerve damage In work not yet published, Endo's team has shown that rats suffered acute kidney poisoning after a single mouthful of the most highly contaminated liver. While levels were lower in muscle, Endo told New Scientist that on average it still contained 2.5 to 25 times the limit.

http://www.anglojapanese.com/mercury.html

Endos work there is on dolphins and pilot whales so it is relevant or not I am not sure but it is probably sold as whale as that is the common reference word used? wtfjapanJUL. 05, 2013 - 09:21AM JST was still correct wtfjapanJUL. 05, 2013 - 09:21AM JST "Consumption of whale and dolphin meat, as is the practice in Japan, is a source of high levels of mercury poisoning. Tetsuya Endo, a professor at the Health Sciences University of Hokkaido, has tested whale meat purchased in the whaling town of Taiji and found mercury levels more than 20 times the acceptable Japanese standard" keep eating that tripe and you may start goind numb in your extremities.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So yes they are 10 - 20 times over the limit and yes it can definately cause nerve damage

But you forget to mention that Dr Endo found no evidence of nerve damage.

So it is not just one pilot whale but all pilot whales

Who said it was one pilot whale? But even more important where did you get the 'fact' that it is all pilot whales?

keep eating that tripe and you may start goind numb in your extremities.

And as I answered to wftjapan at the time he made that comment, that tripe has been being eaten for decades and there is still no indication of any damage.

-5 ( +0 / -4 )

Mike O'BrienJUL. 17, 2013 - 08:43PM JST

no indication of any damage

In 2008, Faroe Islands Chief Medical Officer Høgni Debes Joensen and Pál Weihe of the Department of Public and Occupational Health recommended that pilot whales no longer be considered fit for human consumption due to the presence of DDT derivatives, PCBs and mercury in the meat.[31] Their recommendation was based on research suggesting a correlation between mercury intake and the high rate of Parkinson's disease on the islands.[32][33] As of 1 June 2011, the Faroese Food and Veterinary Authority has advised Faroe Islanders not to eat the kidney or liver of pilot whales, not to consume more than one serving per month, and, for women and girls, to refrain from eating blubber if they plan to have children and to refrain from whale meat entirely if they are breastfeeding, pregnant or planning to conceive in the next three months.[34][35] Toxicity[edit]

Tests have revealed that in whale meat sold in the Faroe Islands and Japan, high levels of mercury and other toxins are present. A research study was conducted by Tetsuya Endo, Koichi Haraguchi and Masakatsu Sakata at the University of Hokkaido found high levels of mercury in the organs of whales, particularly the liver. They stated that "Acute intoxication could result from a single ingestion" of liver. The study found that liver samples for sale in Japan contained, on average, 370 micrograms of mercury per gram of meat, 900 times the government's limit. Levels detected in kidneys and lungs were approximately 100 times higher than the limit.[36]

and thats from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whale_meat#Toxicity

3 ( +2 / -0 )

no indication of any damage

In 2008, Faroe Islands...

This article is about Japan and last I checked the Faeroe Islands are not part of Japan.

And the National Institute for Minamata Disease has found higher than average mercury levels in hair samples from Taiji residents, but not a single person tested was found to have any mercury-related health problems.

Researchers have found extremely high methyl mercury concentrations in the hair of some residents of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, where people have a tradition of eating whale and dolphin, but none have developed any related illnesses.

The researchers said Sunday that of 1,137 residents tested, the methyl mercury density in 43 exceeded the level recognized by the World Health Organization as capable of causing neurological damage. The tests covered roughly a third of the town’s residents.

Of that tiny portion of residents who had mercury levels above the WHO warning level, none were found to have mercury-related health programs.

-6 ( +0 / -5 )

Japan has stated if it loses the court case it will consider leaving the IWC.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan has stated if it loses the court case it will consider leaving the IWC.

I think they should leave even if they win the case.

-4 ( +0 / -3 )

Mike OB - some of us on here are still waiting for that link - you know - to give balance to the debate and all that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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