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Pro- and anti-whaling nations clash at IWC meeting

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Must have been a pretty one sided "protest"....not too many "for" whaling.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Surprised I haven't seen burning of Japanese flags and virulent anti Japanese rhetoric.

I suppose Greenpeace will take care of that soon enough.

-19 ( +7 / -26 )

"No funding for you".

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The other, “like Japan, is supporting sustainable utilisation of marine living resources including whales.

Quite apart from the issue of killing giant creatures humanely with a device that blows a big hole out of them, part of the problem is that we have seen Japan's "sustainable utilisation" in the past, and look at the situation now with blue fin tuna and eels. God only knows what other "marine living resources" are being decimated by fishermen from these shores.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

@Yubaru: Remember all that money Japan gives to African nations? They also buy votes at these.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

I guess we know what that meeting with Norway was about.

In 2014, the IWC ruled that Japan abused the scientific exemption.

Does that answer your question from the previous article OssanAmerica?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

For as long as their 'research' has been going on, they still researching??

7 ( +10 / -3 )

As long as I have seen Japan defend their stance as "research" I still don't understand one major thing - what exactly are they attempting to research? Whale life expectancy?

As stated above, there are many other ways to research without violently killing the animals. I know that most of it ends up on menus and forcefully in school lunches. But still, who is Japan trying to fool?

6 ( +11 / -5 )

cobaltblue

The research is a mandate requirement to LIFT the moratorium stating we have not enough scientific data to prove that commercial whaling can be approved.

Basically IWC created this requirement as a term to initiate the moratorium.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

what exactly are they attempting to research? Whale life expectancy?

My guess is that they're trying to research the taste of whalemeat. I wonder what the aftertaste of mercury is like? I hope Japanese children aren't the guinea pigs.

These included the southern hemisphere minke whale, Japan’s IWC commissioner Joji Morishita told journalists on the conference sidelines.

I thought Japan was in the northern hemisphere.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Japan is trying to fool the "I Love Japan so much"

3 ( +6 / -3 )

IWC has a double-standard. People from Norway and Iceland get to eat delicious whale meat while other countries are not allowed to do the same. It is people's right to eat whale meat. It's time for Japan to disregard any new measures and resume commercial whaling as soon as possible. I want to eat fresh whale meat at a reasonable price when I am in Japan.

-12 ( +7 / -19 )

The meat ends up on supermarket shelves and in restaurants, in line with an IWC stipulation that whales taken for science must be eaten. “It is a loophole that the IWC never anticipated being routinely exploited by a country in order to kill whales for profit,” said Kitty Block of conservation group Humane Society International.

So you make a rule that whales "must" be eaten, and act surprised when a company that has been eating them for thousands of years continues to do so?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

*country, not company obviously.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Thomas Ryu - IWC has a double-standard. People from Norway and Iceland get to eat delicious whale meat while other countries are not allowed to do the same. It is people's right to eat whale meat. It's time for Japan to disregard any new measures and resume commercial whaling as soon as possible. I want to eat fresh whale meat at a reasonable price when I am in Japan.

You are totally wrong! There is enough whale meat in freezers around Japan to supply the measly market with "delicious whale meat" for another ten years. Iceland and Norway have very small populations compared to Japan and there killing of whales is based on subsistence and culture. Japan's is based on greed and profit. Two very different scenarios, wouldn't you agree?

5 ( +11 / -6 )

Pukey2 - You are more likely to get mercury from cans of albacore tuna than whale meat from Antarctica.

The Environmental Investigation Agency sampled this meat for their "Mercury Rising" report and found the vast majority of the samples were below 0.1 ppm and the maximum levels issued by the WHO/FAO, United States, Australia and Japan is 0.5 ppm. None of the samples from Antarctica surpassed 0.277 ppm, which would even comply with the U.k's 0.3 ppm maximum.

Selenium has also been found to counteract mercury's effects on humans and this element occurs naturally in fish, seafood and marine mammal meat (including whale). (doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2010.06.004)

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Why do people always come up with this mercury thing? The whales from the southern oceans do not contain mercury or any other impurities for that matter. The southern oceans are still very clean, unlike the northern oceans with their vast tracks of plastic laden water. However, dolphin meat and toothed whale meat is heavily laden with nurture, other heavy metals and pesticides. The WHO has deemed toothed whale meat unfit for human consumption, which the Japanese fishermen choose to ignore. The really scary thing is, in many cases valine whale and toothed whale meat is not diffferentiated in Japanese restaurants and supermarkets. Only a few label the meat from its specific species. Therefore, when you order whale bacon at your local izakaya, it may very well be mercury tainted dolphin meat. Yum yum!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

SilvafanOct. 25, 2016 - 08:48AM JST I guess we know what that meeting with Norway was about.

In 2014, the IWC ruled that Japan abused the scientific exemption. Does that answer your question from the previous article OssanAmerica?

Not at all. The IWC didn't rule on anything. The 2014 ICJ ruling shut down the Jarpa II program. No country has taken Japan to court for the current program.

YubaruOct. 25, 2016 - 06:55AM JST Must have been a pretty one sided "protest"....not too many "for" whaling.

This suggests otherwise: "Countries are to vote on the sanctuary, which has been on the IWC’s agenda for 15 years but voted down every time, on Tuesday morning.It requires 75% of the vote to pass."

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Japan catches less whales than Norway even though its population is 25 times larger. The protestations against Japan's scientific whaling program are beginning to look silly and unjustified. Also, once whales are banned the Greens will next look to ban Tuna and then beef, so be careful what you wish for

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Whales are near extinction and need to be protected to reach high population. Scientific study should also require nations involved to embark on IVF breeding rather than just wait for nature that is too long to wait. But the last moby dick movie might encourage hunting games giving image of whale as monster.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

No country has taken Japan to court for the current program.

Because Japan unilaterally declared that it would not be bound by ICJ jurisdiction regarding research on, or conservation, management or exploitation of, living resources of the sea.

an IWC stipulation that whales taken for science must be eaten

There is no stipulation that the whales must be eaten. The wording of Article VIII says that the whales must be processed as far as is practicable. Not the same thing at all. The whales are not processed in any meaningful sense of the word. Most of the whale is chucked overboard.

Japan catches less whales than Norway even though its population is 25 times larger.

You mean Japan catches fewer whales?

Norwegians eat so little whale meat (estimated at less than half a lb per person in 2000, and falling) that the country has a huge glut of the stuff. They try to export some of it (though Japan has refused imports of whale meat from Norway because of high levels of toxic pesticides) and the rest is used to feed animals on fur farms. One abomination stoking another.

Remember, if you buy fur you're probably killing whales.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

No one seems to mention in this meeting how whales help stop climate change....... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M18HxXve3CM

For me this is more than an reason to stop killing whales. Any discussions should include this point.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

There seams to be a loop hole in the in-law, saying you can catch whales for research, well, can't they put a cap on how many they can catch, (50-100) rather than it being completely open? and can't the IOC stipulate which whales are only to be caught? and IF Japan if found to have a endangered or a whale on there ship that they should not have, well they they could be open for prosecution? this may help stop whalers just killing everything in there path.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Freddie KrugOCT. 25, 2016 - 11:53AM JST

Whales are near extinction and need to be protected to reach high population.

The whale species in question is not endangered. Minke Whale is rated "Least Concern" by IUCN. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minke_whale

Given the fact that the whales are not endangered, I think anti-whaling least persuasive.

Scientific study should also require nations involved to embark on IVF breeding rather than just wait for nature that is too long to wait.

You do not need IVF. Scientific study shows 90.2% of the adult female Minke Whales are pregnant.

http://www.icrwhale.org/160324ReleaseJp.html

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Remember all that money Japan gives to African nations? They also buy votes at these.

You might want to look at the history of the IWC in the early 80's. Environmentalists paid for countries to join and even provided their own people as 'representatives' of those countries, just to get enough votes to pass the moratorium.

Brazil's IWC commissioner is either ignorant of the IWC's regulations or is intentionally lying in a sad case of political pandering. Article VIII exempts scientific whaling from ALL other IWC regulations. So a sanctuary would provide no protection from scientific whaling. And since the only species being hunted in the Southern Ocean is the Minke, with a population of over 500,000, there is really no potential for depletion.

For as long as their 'research' has been going on, they still researching??

Obviously the answer is yes. But considering some of the goals involve tracking changes over time, they kind of have to keep collecting data year after year.

Whales are near extinction and need to be protected to reach high population.

'Whales' constitute a large number of species. None are close to extinction. Almost all have increasing populations. Some have large and stable populations.

can't they put a cap on how many they can catch

No they can't. Article VIII which allows scientific whaling specifically says it is exempt from all other IWC regulations.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Scientific study shows 90.2% of the adult female Minke Whales are pregnant

So, 'Kill one, get one free'? Handy. Or sick, depending on your stance regarding the killing of unborn babies.

Article VIII which allows scientific whaling specifically says it is exempt from all other IWC regulations.

Article VIII which allows scientific whaling states that any Contracting Government may grant to any of its nationals a special permit authorizing that national to kill, take and treat whales for purposes of scientific research subject to such restrictions as to number and subject to such other conditions as the Contracting Government thinks fit: in other words, the government concerned (in this case Japan) will put a cap on the number to be taken. When the Convention was written, clearly no one imagined that it would be the government (supposed to be setting restrictions and keeping scientific research under control) that would be riding roughshod over the spirit of the Convention and giving itself free license. Can you spell L-O-O-P-H-O-L-E?

considering some of the goals involve tracking changes over time, they kind of have to keep collecting data year after year.

You mean, considering some of the major goals involve keeping the freezers well-stocked and more importantly, keeping certain palms well-oiled and certain pockets well-stuffed, they kind of have to keep collecting meat year after year.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I want to eat fresh whale meat at a reasonable price when I am in Japan.

No accounting for taste.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Morishita highlighted the intractability of the divide.

“One side… is supporting the total protection of whales under any circumstances, no kill, no one whale should be killed,” he said.

Hear hear!! Totally agree with that. No whales should be killed.

The other, “like Japan, is supporting sustainable utilisation of marine living resources including whales.

There you are, Japan's attitude towards whales in a nutshell - just a resource. No empathy at all.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

cleoOCT. 25, 2016 - 02:28PM JST

Or sick, depending on your stance regarding the killing of unborn babies.

That is due to insistence of anti-whaling groups that pregnancy ratios of female whales must be estimated and tracked with statistically large enough samples before the commercial whaling moratorium is lifted.

Can you spell L-O-O-P-H-O-L-E?

When the moratorium was agreed, all the countries in the negotiation understood that research whaling was needed to estimate the sustainable whaling limit to restart the commercial whaling. Remember IWC agreed on "moratorium", not a ban.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

That is due to insistence of anti-whaling groups that pregnancy ratios of female whales must be estimated and tracked with statistically large enough samples before the commercial whaling moratorium is lifted.

Links? Or do you just make this stuff up on the fly? I've never heard of any anti-whaling groups demanding more whales (pregnant or otherwise) be killed. Or any anti-whaling groups working towards lifting the moratorium. I think any group demanding either of those things would, by definition, NOT be an anti-whaling group.

When the moratorium was agreed, all the countries in the negotiation....

...believed that governments would act in good faith. Japan is not acting in good faith and is not acting in accordance with the spirit of Article VIII.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

When the Convention was written, clearly no one imagined that it would be the government (supposed to be setting restrictions and keeping scientific research under control) that would be riding roughshod over the spirit of the Convention and giving itself free license.

On what basis is the claim that 'clearly no on imagined'?

And aren't most of the IWC members riding roughshod over the spirit of the convention which clearly states "Recognizing that the whale stocks are susceptible of natural increases if whaling is properly regulated, and that increases in the size of whale stocks will permit increases in the number of whales which may be captured without endangering these natural resources;"

You mean, considering some of the major goals involve keeping the freezers well-stocked

No I mean considering some of the goals involve tracking changes over time.

Hear hear!! Totally agree with that. No whales should be killed.

Too bad the ICRW says otherwise.

believed that governments would act in good faith

Like actually doing the reviews that were due in 1990 and have yet to be done?

the spirit of Article VIII

And just where is documentation of this 'spirit'?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I have no objection to the Inuit people taking their quota of whales, nor any other poor country that has insufficient ready access to protein, but there is absolutely no such pretext for Japan, Norway, or even Iceland, to do this as they are developed countries.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

When the Convention was written, clearly no one imagined that it would be the government (supposed to be setting restrictions and keeping scientific research under control) that would be riding roughshod over the spirit of the Convention and giving itself free license

When the Convention was made, the idea was surely to CONTROL whaling, not STOP whaling. But most Westerners (and to be fair, Japanese) aren't all that interested in eating whales. Unfamiliartiy breeds contempt and so they allow "ick" to substitute for the usual rules of concrete necessity and proportionality in issuing judgmens.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What exactly is a 'pro-whaling' view? Sounds like it should be something like 'we all better catch whales (for some reason), or else...'

But what is one if one is not 'anti-whaling' but not 'pro-whaling' either? Say you just don't give a hoot either way and think it's a big fuss over nothing?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The IWC exists to regulate the "Whaling Industry". All the conservation measures from Moratoriums to Sanctuaries under the IWC are for the purpose of managing the whale population FOR THE BENEFIT of the Whaling Industry,

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

But what is one if one is not 'anti-whaling' but not 'pro-whaling' either? Say you just don't give a hoot either way and think it's a big fuss over nothing?

The you're apathetic. Hardly a big fuss over nothing though. To me it's the same as are you in favour of killing elephants or great apes. or do you accept their mass slaughter for no purpose other than greed?

When the Convention was made, the idea was surely to CONTROL whaling, not STOP whaling. But most Westerners (and to be fair, Japanese) aren't all that interested in eating whales. Unfamiliartiy breeds contempt and so they allow "ick" to substitute for the usual rules of concrete necessity and proportionality in issuing judgmens.

Piffle! People have come to accept whales as more than something to munch on or feed to the pooch. However, I don't expect pro-whaling people to have any empathy towards the whales and dolphins... to me they're no better than those who support trophy hunting, or ivory poaching.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The you're apathetic.

I'm not pro whaling nor anti whaling neither am I apathetic. I just don't see anything wrong in eating an animal that has been allowed to live free, when we cage other animals for their entire lives, slaughtering them in massive numbers.

If the stocks aren't there, then I don't think whales should be eaten. But it's the fault of the anti-whalers that we don't know what the stocks are, since they have been preventing the research into the numbers that was required in the moratorium when it was declared. If they'd just let the research be performed as it was designated to be, we'd know if and how much the Japanese were hurting the stocks.

To me it's the same as are you in favour of killing elephants or great apes. or do you accept their mass slaughter for no purpose other than greed?

No, but I would accept their slaughter if it were for food, and their existence on this planet were not endangered by it. I think both elephants and great apes are of limited numbers though, so they shouldn't be hunted.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The you're apathetic.

I wouldn't say I'm exactly apathetic either.

Hardly a big fuss over nothing though. To me it's the same as are you in favour of killing elephants or great apes.

True, in principle I don't have a problem with Africans using their animals as they see fit either. Each people to its own. The only thing I think all humans ought adhere to is sustainability, so that future generations have the opportunity to enjoy the same benefits as today's people do.

I thought that should be the point of this IWC organization as far as whales go, but amazingly it's spent 30 years not allowing much of that which it was supposed to oversee. A total ban on use is one way to go, but its completely unbalanced to one extreme, and doesn't seem to be justified at all, if sustainability is the issue. Indeed it leads me to think that sustainability has nothing to do with whats going on. I don't think such an organization is useful at all, it seems like a massive waste of money, for 30 years.

or do you accept their mass slaughter for no purpose other than greed?

Mass slaughter would be the opposite extreme. I accept sustainable "slaughter".

Surely the best way to go is to find a balance in the middle like this.

I'm not pro whaling nor anti whaling neither am I apathetic. I just don't see anything wrong in eating an animal that has been allowed to live free, when we cage other animals for their entire lives, slaughtering them in massive numbers.

Well put, I'm in this camp too. You know, I think most people would be.

If the stocks aren't there, then I don't think whales should be eaten. But it's the fault of the anti-whalers that we don't know what the stocks are, since they have been preventing the research into the numbers that was required in the moratorium when it was declared. If they'd just let the research be performed as it was designated to be, we'd know if and how much the Japanese were hurting the stocks.

To me it's the same as are you in favour of killing elephants or great apes. or do you accept their mass slaughter for no purpose other than greed?

No, but I would accept their slaughter if it were for food, and their existence on this planet were not endangered by it. I think both elephants and great apes are of limited numbers though, so they shouldn't be hunted.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“Global stocks have nowhere near recovered to where they were before the whaling period.”

So where's the actual data to support this position? Or Japan's for that matter?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I still don't understand one major thing - what exactly are they attempting to research? there researching how quickly they can kill and butcher a whale before SS shows up. although this year with SS having the fastest boat in the fleet their research may have to be considerably faster than they have been doing it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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