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Australia to 'vehemently' oppose Japan push to ease whaling ban

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Good to hear! All whaled species are in healthy numbers now so there should be no objections whatsoever, unless the objections are only for emotional and irrational reasons, in which case they can be dismissed out of hand

3 ( +31 / -28 )

Bravo, Oz!

-10 ( +24 / -34 )

And Japan wonders why all "its" seafood is disappearing. I love watching the faces of old men turn red and scowl when you point out that the reason they can't have more unagi at cheaper prices is because they've overfished it to near extinction. They would gladly shrug their shoulders, watch 'helplessly', and blame everyone else when whale disappeared, as they do the tuna and other species of fish (whales aren't fish, I know, but you get my meaning).

Good on Australia. Japan will call their move to stop Japan claiming the entire ocean as its soveriegn territory on "imperialism" and pout, and cry foul, but Australia is the only party of the two who is interested in its beauty, integrity, and in conservation.

-4 ( +32 / -36 )

That looks like a female whale in the photo there. How dare they.

I get Bishop's point of view, but what does she think the W in IWC stands for?

I think if people get back to the origins of what the IWC is supposed to be, then if people are honest, the IWC would just admit a sustainable level of whaling. No big deal. It's 2018 already. This moratorium thingy was cool back in the day, but it's just old now. More noise than value.

21 ( +33 / -12 )

@Hallowed - Good to hear! All whaled species are in healthy numbers now so there should be no objections whatsoever, unless the objections are only for emotional and irrational reasons, in which case they can be dismissed out of hand

Hmm, "all whaled species"? You could not be more wrong if you tried! Did you not see the report two weeks ago that Iceland has abandoned their whale hunting due to insufficient whale stocks? That puts your theory in the toilet, doesn't it? The whale populations in the southern oceans have recovered to around 40-50% of what they were at the turn of last century. This does not mean there are adequate stocks to resume commercial hunting.

All logical arguments aside, the biggest problem is money. Japan has been 'researching' whale numbers for decades to prove there are sufficient whale stocks to return to commercial whaling at huge cost to Japanese tax payers (like me). However, they have not been able to sell the meat of the few hundred whales they catch each year due to an insufficient market for the meat. How can they make commercial whaling a viable enterprise if they cannot sell the meat? Even in previous years when whale hunting was popular in Japan a lot of the meat from the whales was used as pet food and fertiliser.

There are many reasons to condemn Japan's whaling, but very few reasons to support it.

-5 ( +26 / -31 )

Good on Australia... this is 2018, so why are we still slaughtering whales? It's obscene.

Yes, this is an emotional response - why not? I simply don't understand why, while we learn more about whale and dolphin intelligence and social structures one or two countries see them as 'product'... Do Japanese scientists not believe in whales' superior intelligence? Or if they do does the DIET simply not care?

Whales are not simply something to munch on... they deserve the same respect as elephants and great apes. They aren't just big fish for god's sake.

One of the few aspects of Japanese culture that make me furious.

-13 ( +20 / -33 )

the fact that most, if not all,  of the hunted whale species are not endangered just goes to show that it's an emotional debate and not a logical one. as someone once said, "let them eat (whale)."

6 ( +29 / -23 )

"The science is clear, you do not need to kill whales in order to study them," she said.

And there it is. The pro-whaling folks just need to be a bit more honest and upfront about their aims.

-7 ( +20 / -27 )

And yes, if it were America making a fuss about whales I bet Japan would be saying "hai".

-8 ( +15 / -23 )

Yet again, Japan wants it's cake and eat it.

Japan wants to be accepted in the internationl community, yet is still truculent in it's own self interest.

What people eat is their business, but when a government is subsidising the whaling industry, it makes it look like State sponsored.

-7 ( +19 / -26 )

Would be nice to rectify this thorn in the side of the Japan-Aus relationship one day. Its the only issue of any significance between us. Japan has a scientific whaling program that catches whales in sufficient numbers to satisfy the tiny domestic demand. Is the resolution to make that program legit?

9 ( +16 / -7 )

Totally understand the traditional significance. I find it hard to believe a compromise cannot be reached. This issue has been plaguing the relationship for too long already. Australia should focus and worry about its own whale sanctuaries and territorial waters. Japanese recognition of the sanctuaries would be a step to compromise I guess. Of course Australia's territorial waters are some of the largest on the planet being an island continent which makes monitoring and policing difficult. New triton drones and no doubt more drones in the pipeline and other forms of surveillance will help.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

This Japanese Scientific Whaling Program does not strike me as being very transparent, what exactly is it's purpose, and what are the findings?

-2 ( +14 / -16 )

"We strongly support the 30-year global moratorium on commercial whaling and will vehemently oppose any attempts to undermine the processes that support it," she said.

If she truly strongly supports the moratorium then shouldn't she support the part of the moratorium that REQUIRES periodic review of whale stocks and removal from the moratorium of any species found to be at safe levels?

"The science is clear, you do not need to kill whales in order to study them," she said.

Depends on what data you want. The IWC's own Scientific Committee has stated that much of the data collected can only be obtained by lethal sampling.

Japan makes no secret of the fact that meat from the expeditions ends up on dinner tables

And the ICRW makes no secret of the fact that it requires processing of whales caught for research.

7 ( +17 / -10 )

Australia has the right to voice it's opposition.

At the same time, the Japanese have the right to eat what they please.

However, if Japan chooses to ignore or subvert the rules of the International Whaling Commission, then they should leave the IWC and stop wasting everyone's time.

Japan has a choice to make on this issue. Either it chooses to be viewed as a rightful member of the international community, or it chooses to be viewed as an isolated island nation. You can't have it both ways.

-3 ( +15 / -18 )

Hunting is NOT barbaric. Our crazy unsustainable lifestyles now are!

5 ( +14 / -9 )

Today whales are not in danger of extinction. Those who want to hunt will hunt. Those who do not want to hunt will not hunt. Everybody is happy --- except ones who want to make a fuss about what to be or not to be on neighbor's dinner table.

5 ( +18 / -13 )

First World Problems.

Hilarious to read people’s opinions sometimes.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

After carefully considering all the arguments presented here, I have concluded that those in favour of the people wanting to catch whales in sustainable numbers, are in the right.

Class dismissed.

3 ( +17 / -14 )

I have concluded that those in favour of the people wanting to catch whales in sustainable numbers, are in the right. and yet history has shown that commerical whaling has never been sustainable ever, tried it 100 yrs ago when the population of the world was under 2 billion people, now its 7.6 billion

-7 ( +10 / -17 )

If they're not endangered species, they're killed humanely (immediately with no pain or distress) and the meat is safe for humans to eat then I have no problem with limited whaling.

But...

Many species are still endangered They're not always (are they ever?) killed immediately with no pain / distress The safety of whale meat is in question and I certainly don't trust Japanese food safety reports.

Lastly it irks me up the wrong way when people say "Eating whale is our tradition" or "Eating sashimi is our tradition". Kappa-sushi for 100yen/plate is not traditional. Nor is taking factory ships all the way to Antarctica (because you've killed all the whales close to home).

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why does anyone even listen to Australia in the first place?

4 ( +19 / -15 )

they choose to ignore the sanctuary

I assume you mean the sanctuary that was established in violation of the IWC's own rules.

by over 150 countries

What 150 countries are you talking about? There have never been 150 countries that participated in whaling or have been members of the IWC.

a ban on commercial whaling

There is no ban on commercial whaling.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Dom PalmerToday  08:46 pm JST

Well then, why the big worry about a commercial quota? If it isn't viable then no commercial companies will resume whaling.

Yes they will, because while it may not be viable (the term "dead in the water" has been used) it is heavily subsidized, to the tune of Y2.28 billion in 2011. Entirely consistent with the LDP's MO of propping up zombie industries in politically important rural areas.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Simon Foston,

Yes they will, because while it may not be viable (the term "dead in the water" has been used) it is heavily subsidized, to the tune of Y2.28 billion in 2011. Entirely consistent with the LDP's MO of propping up zombie industries in politically important rural areas.

So then nothing would change if a commercial quota was issued. So, I am back to the question why the big worry about a commercial quota?

It is research whaling that is subsidized, with a goal of getting the moratorium for some species lifted. If the research works and the moratorium on some species is lifted then there is no longer a reason for the government to subsidize the whaling. Not saying that the wouldn't continue to subsidize the new commercial whaling, but there would be less of a reason and their political opponents would have a better chance of fighting the subsidies.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Putting one's value over others, that is Australia's privilege and Japan's exclusive right.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Instead of protesting, Australia should take actions against Japan until Japan abandons whaling.

Suspend FTA with Japan.

Penalize Japanese businesses in Australia

Go after Japanese whaling ships and prosecute its crews under Australian law.
-10 ( +6 / -16 )

Suspend FTA with Japan.

Penalize Japanese businesses in Australia

Go after Japanese whaling ships and prosecute its crews under Australian law.

So Australia should hurt their own economy and violate international law because Japan is legally doing something they don't like. Yeah, that makes sense.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

"Instead of protesting, Australia should take actions against Japan until Japan abandons whaling.

Suspend FTA with Japan.

Penalize Japanese businesses in Australia"

Australia is an economic midget; you're trying to pitch a 1,205 trillions versus a 4,872 trillions GDP.

All data refers to 2017. Or to you believe on the "they need us more, than we do them", a la Brexit?!

Reminds me of Brexit advocates who managed to convince loads of economic illiterates that Britain's 2.5 trillion is stronger than the EU's 15 + trillions.

"Go after Japanese whaling ships and prosecute its crews under Australian law"

Is Australia the world's police? What jurisdiction do they have outside Australian territory?

None whatsoever.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Japanese officials said the high rate of pregnant whales showed the strength of the minke population.

Well, no, you killed the damn things!

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

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