world

Norway kicks off minke whale hunt, raising quota to 999 whales

23 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Sort by
  • Oldest
  • Latest
  • Popular

23 Comments
Login to comment

So...where's Sea Shepherd?

1 ( +8 / -7 )

According to the National Geographic, Norwegians consume 'about half a pound of meat per person per year', or roughly 226g - about 7 times the Japanese per capita consumption. Norweigians are eating less whale meat than in the past, and some of the 'surplus' is now being used to feed animals on the country's equally abhorrent fur (fox and mink) farms.

So why doesn't Norway get as much flack as Japan?

Well, it doesn't claim to be killing the whales for 'research'. When the moratorium went into effect in 1986, it registered an official objection that releases it from its obligation to abide by Article 8. It's honest in that it takes them for the meat. Norwegians do eat some whalemeat, and their claim that it's a 'tradition' holds a lot more water than Japan's 'we had it in our school lunches after the war' nostalgia-driven oyajis.

Not that I support Norway in this filthy enterprise one tiny bit. I hope the whalers experience abominable weather and a very, very poor catch. The EU should be ashamed of itself for both importing fur products and thus supporting the whaling industry.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/03/160331-norway-minke-whaling-fur-farms/

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Whatever you think about whaling in general, there are actually significant differences between Japan's whaling program and Norway's. The differences in terms of geography, environmental risk, political damage and taxpayer subsidies do set Japan apart as being objectively worse in my opinion, even if just slightly.

Firstly, Norway does its whaling largely within its own Exclusive Economic Zone. Japan's Antarctic whaling is done in international waters far from Japanese territory. This is why Sea Shepard is free to chase Japan but would risk arrest by the Norwegian coastguard if they attempted the same thing in Norway. While there is nothing illegal about fishing or whaling in international waters, it raises questions about sustainability and free riding. There are now serious calls to ban or tightly regulate it.

Second, the areas where Norway hunts are not considered to be the last pristine and untouched environment on the globe. In Japan's case, the distance to the whaling grounds means that they need to bring a refueling tanker with them. The risk of an environmental disaster if they spring a leak or run aground in a storm is not insignificant.

Third, there are no diplomatic incidents and no ambassadors get summoned when Norway goes whaling because they stay out of politically sensitive areas that are in dispute. In Japan's case, Australia claims rights over an exclusive economic zone based on their Antarctic territory. Rather than sit down and resolve the dispute, Japan simply pretends that there is nothing to discuss (much like China in the South China sea). It's not how a mature and responsible member of the international community should behave.

Fourth, the subsidies are much smaller in Norway than Japan. The true figures are impossible to get but the estimates are about $2 million in Norway vs over $20 million in Japan. Part of the reason is because the Norwegian whaling fleet is just the ordinary fishing fleet which operates year round. Unlike in Japan, there are no dedicated whaling ships that sit idle during the off season.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

So why doesn't Norway get as much flack as Japan? Because they are fishing in their own waters, They have a 10% quota which they don,t fill. Norway was on the Allies side during the II war. Have a decent refugee program compare the non-existence Japanese one. There is a couple of important issue why. My partner is Japanese and often get depress about Japan society or the controllers. I wonder how many Japanese females feel disenfranchised like my Partner.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

So why doesn't Norway get as much flack as Japan? Well, it doesn't claim to be killing the whales for 'research'. When >the moratorium went into effect in 1986, it registered an official objection that releases it from its obligation to abide by >Article 8. It's honest in that it takes them for the meat.

So Norway is OK because it chose to not respect the IWC Moratorium and takes three times the number of whales as Japan which recognizes the moratorium and conducts research whaling under IWC Article VIII? Don't see the logic there at all.

Norwegians do eat some whalemeat, and their claim that it's a 'tradition' holds a lot more water than Japan's 'we had it >in our school lunches after the war' nostalgia-driven oyajis.

Sorry but can't help but think you are deliberately denying parts of Japanese history, something with which you are extremely familiar, for the sake of argument. "A German medical doctor Philipp Franz von Siebold paid attention to the Japanese's love for whale dishes. He came to Japan in 1823 as a medical doctor for a Dutch business house". Tradition of eating whale meat in Japan: http://luna.pos.to/whale/jwa_trad.html

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Sorry but can't help but think you are deliberately denying parts of Japanese history, something with

Many countries have a long history of whaling including America and Britain too. Japan has a long history of whaling but only in its own waters or near to its own country. Japanese whaling in the Antarctic did start until it had a whaling factory ship from about the 1930's. Personally with the Antarctic I support the idea that all activity except science should stop.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@John-San

Norway was on the Allies side during the II war. Have a decent refugee program compare the non-existence Japanese one

What that have to do with the problem of whale hunting?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Australia native on the far south coast hunted whales for 1,000,s of years, They even had killer whales on their side of the hunt, I mean humans working with free mammals so they can both get a feed. Like Man and dog. This one killer whale would cruised water near the a headland bellowing a warning to the natives that there are whales the bay so the hunt is on. I native would man the boats and head out following the killer whales, The head killer whale was given a name by the Natives. The killer whales once he reach the pod of whale would start atacking the pod by torpedoing into the pod smashing into the ribs inflicking sevre damage, The native would then attack with spears and kill the target whale, While the killing was infected by the native the pod of killer whale would lay off and wait for the native to cut out the tongue of the killed whale to give the pod of killer whale and they feast on their favourite food, This die out before the whaling ban, due to the White,s baring them form hunting in the bay. This is amazing truth.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

zichiApr. 02, 2017 - 11:33AM JST Many countries have a long history of whaling including America and Britain too. Japan has a long history of whaling >but only in its own waters or near to its own country. Japanese whaling in the Antarctic did start until it had a whaling >factory ship from about the 1930's. Personally with the Antarctic I support the idea that all activity except science >should stop.

Please read the conversation carefully. My response was to show that the practice of eating whale meat in Japan did not begin with the end of WWII as implied by cleo, but that there is a long tradition. Your personal view doesn't say anything without your supporting that view. If you are saying that Japan should not carry out whaling in international waters, the same waters that the European nations whaled and built whaling stations in the early 20th century, please explain why.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Asakaze: People, Country hold grudges. Japan are only hunting whale for this reason only. They will hide behind custom and diet and which die out with the Northern whales population way before WW2. They took up whaling again after the ban was impose. They did hunt whale in the Antarctic for a few season 1930/1931. but stop it due to the war. Scnicetific studies is their two finger salute to the winners WW2 .

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@John-San

People, Country hold grudges

I see it very clearly. When it comes to Japanese whaling, the chorus is "cruel and greedy Japanese kill these intelligent and magnificent animals". When it comes to Norwegian whaling, no words about how intelligent the killed whales are, and the crowning arguments - Norway was on the winning side in WWII and it has a good refugee program.

I repeat my question: what is the connection between refugees, political history of WWII and the present day whaling?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I repeat my question: what is the connection between refugees, political history of WWII and the present day whaling?

I agree but I knew those were their honest reasons for them to bash Japan's whaling. They are giving millions of reasons why Japan shouldn't hunt whales citing their mercury level or intelligence or whatever because those are not real reasons.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I'm against whaling, but here some facts to consider for both sides of the argument:

  • Both non-endangered and endangered species of whales are hunted by Iceland, Japan, and Norway.
  • Minke whales, however, are not an endangered species.
  • If Japan were to stop whaling, it would mean loss of jobs in the bureaucracy overseeing it.
  • Consumption of whale meat in Japan is declining, now at 1% of what it was in the 1960s.
  • In Japan the whale meat market is quite small (see below).

My guess is that by end of the century there will not be any consumption of whale meat in Japan.

Graph showing amount and price of whale meat sold in Japan (it is quite small): http://sc.cnbcfm.com/applications/cnbc.com/resources/files/2015/12/07/WHALEMEATCHART1-01_1.png

Graphs showing JPY/USD value of a whale: http://sc.cnbcfm.com/applications/cnbc.com/resources/files/2015/12/07/WHALEMeatCHART2-01_0.png

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"citing their mercury level or intelligence or whatever because those are not real reasons."

High mercury levels and subjecting a self-aware, highly intelligent creature to a long, agonizing death are not real reasons?

Based on these ideas alone, I'd say whaling is a bad idea. Doesn't matter who does it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

High mercury levels and subjecting a self-aware, highly intelligent creature to a long, agonizing death are not real reasons?

The mercury levels are not particularly high compared with other large sea foods. What animals are not agonizing when being killed for food?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"The mercury levels are not particularly high compared with other large sea foods"

I'd say eating anything with high mercury levels isn't a particularly good idea. Wouldn't you?

"What animals are not agonizing when being killed for food?"

Would you be happy with people shooting explosive harpoons at cows and dragging them round the slaughterhouse until they bled to death? Would you excuse it if they claimed it was traditional?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Dunno which country will go whale-hunting next but if they share the same language code as Norway (999) and Japan (333) they should kill exactly 666 whales.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

If whaling is stopped, eventually the food they consume to survive will be depleted and we will have to cull the pods just like dear, inoshishi, and other animals.

Continue whaling. Humans are animals too and are part of the balance of nature of predator and those consumed. By the way, there are no fat whales, so please do not body shame them.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@goldorak

Iceland

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I'm from Norway and i think it's kinda weird that some people on this comment section associate our WW2 history with whaling... what does that have to do with this issue? Personally i have never eaten whale meat or even seen it as being all that popular for that matter. I'm guessing it's used for specific luxurious restaurants and/or industrial purposes.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

JimizoApr. 02, 2017 - 03:28PM JST "citing their mercury level or intelligence or whatever because those are not real reasons." High mercury levels and subjecting a self-aware, highly intelligent creature to a long, agonizing death are not real >reasons? Based on these ideas alone, I'd say whaling is a bad idea. Doesn't matter who does it.

Humans eat a lot of self-aware highly intelligent creatures. And they all suffer an agonizing death in one form or another. No reason why Whales should be treated any differently.The unfounded idolization and worship of whales is not an argument and prioritizes emotion over logic. "Appeal to emotion or argumentum ad passiones is a logical fallacy characterized by the manipulation of the recipient's emotions in order to win an argument, especially in the absence of factual evidence.[1] This kind of appeal to emotion is a type of red herring and encompasses several logical fallacies" -wiki

1 ( +4 / -3 )

So Norway is OK because it chose to not respect the IWC Moratorium and takes three times the number of whales as Japan which recognizes the moratorium and conducts research whaling under IWC Article VIII? Don't see the logic there at all.

No, it is not 'OK'. A poster (now deleted, probably for complaining that people were not posting in the early hours of Sunday morning) asked why Japan gets more flack and I was trying explain why it might be that two equally disgusting practices are viewed differently by some people.

If I were living in Norway and subsidising the Norwegian whaling and fur industries with my taxes, I would be much more vociferous about it. Living in Japan, I can choose not to support them, by not buying whale meat or fur products. As it is, I'll continue to object to Japan taking my taxes to subsidise a bloody and disgusting boondoggle that benefits few and drags Japan's name through the mud for its duplicity and outright mendacity. Not to mention the hundreds of whales needlessly and barbarically killed each year.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If there is no lasting risk to whale numbers and the species being hunted isn't endangered, then I don't see too many issues with Japan's hugely reduced whaling program now. The Norwegians estimate that the North Atlantic species is completely sustainable, yet the Atlantic species numbers many more times than the North Atlantic species so there's no risk whatsoever

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration