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Armstrod comments

Posted in: Whalers blast activists with water cannons in Antarctic Ocean See in context

Pursuing Japan legally is valid, they've breached international law on several fronts. They haven't conducted environmental impact assessments on their activities in a protected zone and their vessels aren't certified to the correct class to operate that far south. That much of the activity is known to be illegal. The bit that has a question mark over its head is the validity of the hunt itself.

Last season the Australian government paid for a customs vessel to tail Japanese whalers for the entire season and document their activities, unlike the sea shepard ship that was only there part of the time. The photographic evidence taken of the whaling has been submitted to independant scientists and they have evaluated the Japanese arguement was pretty weak scientifically. Whether thats correct or not is the question mark that would need to be decided by point of law.

It's looking like a moot point now anyways. The push for localising whaling to Japan will reduce their activities ten fold and get them out of the sanctuaries whilst allowing them to save face about their grand traditions. Funnily enough, the organisations providing the biggest threat to localising the whaling are the hard-line environmentalist groups. Matter of time to see whether or not they'll shoot themselves in the foot over this, but if they manage to ruin a deal that would reduce the whaling ten-fold because they refuse to budge on a zero whaling policy, Greenpeace can kiss my membership goodbye.

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Posted in: Whalers 'on the run' again, say activists See in context

Hey dont get me wrong, I'm not pro-whaling, but I dont believe taking a hard-line approach will be successful or is the right thing to do.

Who here lived in Japan during the rebuilding? Who actually understands the origins of eating whale meat? I don't. I'm an Australian and that means a whale to me is something that you get on a boat to go and see swimming and splashing around with its calves and singing to each other. Naturally I'm not to wild about blowing them into chunks or people that do.

I understand vegemite and cheese scrolls though, I wouldn't react well if Japan started telling me I shouldn't eat them. We don't care that the rest of the world thinks vegemite is foul, its part of who we are. And I suspect American's understand MacDonalds. A company that's pretty notorious for pretty foul business practices, Americans know Macca's has a bad side, but it doesn't change the fact it's an institution. Now if Japan was to use international law to try and ban hamburgers I dont think Americans would react well to it. To them it may well be a food thats associated with family car trips or hanging out with their friends in their teenage years. It's the "Golden Arches" and a symbol of America. Yet Japan would have every right to protest, Macdonalds is well documented for unsustainable farming practices in South America. Brazil, which has close ties with Japan, is being deforrested at an alarming rate to keep the meat grinders turning.

I'm not trying to hide an arguement in schmaltzy sentimentalism about "Mum's hot apple pie", I'm trying to illustrate the base that everyone as human being works from. We get attached to things, food being among them. We all by default have some kinda "Mum" and everyones mum made some kinda apple, whalemeat, vegemite and "beef flavoured cardboard with pickles" pie. Coming into another society as an outsider and taking a "hard-line" approach isn't acceptable. However a compromise that stops a societies impact on internationally shared resources while placing it in charge of it's own resources where it's people will see the impact they make first hand seems to me, a compromise where everyone moves forward together, even if its just half a step.

Look at the "war on terror". Hard line approaches get hard line reactions. It's going to take generations for the affects of that little fiasco to stop. It's a heck of a lot harder to try and understand why people feel and act the way they do when we dont share the same experiences, but if we dont bother to try, then decide to go "Hard Line" in our ignorance, we're just going to put a lot of noses out of joint and make things worse.

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Posted in: Whalers 'on the run' again, say activists See in context

On the more serious subject matter though, in Australia the news is focusing on the discussions between Australia and Japan at the moment. Australia is considering reducing the pressure if Japan agree's to limit its whaling to its own waters. Naturally Sea Shepard aren't impressed however the long term ramifications are to be considered, can Japan maintain a sustainable fishing stock when limited to their own waters, and would the whales change their migratory patterns if the whalers could no longer hunt them over thousands of miles?

It's an interesting development IMO, I think trying to force Japan to go cold turkey on this issue would do more harm than good as it would turn it into an issue of interfering with national rights rather than conservationism, this would instead allow a compromise that would allow increased protection to antarctic waters while forcing Japan to take responsibility to sustain their own whale populations.

It's not ideal, but it's a compromise that would keep a much larger area of the oceans safe from environmental damage, as well as bringing the issue to the Japanese public themselves in their own backyard.

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