Japan vows to continue whale hunt

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  • 5

    Iowan

    Damn right!

  • 17

    Tamarama

    Success for the Sea Sheperd yet again.

    How science must be suffering. How the noble pursuit of knowledge must be mourned. The great scientists have been thwarted in their attempt to advance the cause of all mankind by these ignorant 'Eco-terrorists'. Oh, the tragedy.

    I salute you, SS.

  • 11

    marcelito

    Well then, if they are going to continue the hunt .....continue obstructing them SS. Good luck to Bob Brown and the rest of the guys! Good job so far.

  • 17

    ChibaChick

    I think people could take Japans "tradition and culture" argument more seriously if they actually hunted in their traditional cultural way - i.e. not down in the Southern Pacific on bloody great ships.

    But I am curious - can anyone explain WHY they are doing this? I mean, it is well known that whale meat is not in demand. Surely it must cost them more to run the hunt than they actually make in profit from it. And they could easily save face by hunting locally, and shrugging when they find very little with a "shouganai". Why trawl all the way down there every year causing all this trouble for a product no one wants? Sorry if its a stupid question. Just trying to understand more.

  • -6

    Saulo Akazawa

    How about sending the excess whale meat to Taiji (where they kill all the dolphins to be sold as whale meat) and sell them for the right economically viable price, not the amount people would be willing to pay for it but the price that would make these hunts self sufficient, how about one man for 100gm and stop all the hunt until it is all consumed? It would not solve the problem but it would be a good fist step.

  • 8

    sillygirl

    It turns my stomach whenever I see the whale bacon commercials on TV. Do people really eat this stuff. I think they serve it for school lunches which is part of the school curriculum - therefore cannot be denied.

  • 8

    Matthew Simon

    @ ChibaChick, I am not sure but I think that the local whales here are of types that are critically endangered and therefore are not allowed to be hunted by anyone due to agreements that even Japan has signed. The whale type they are going after in the Southern Ocean is relatively plentiful when compared to humpbacks or Blue Whales. That being said in this day and age I don't really understand the need for anyone to be hunting whales save the Inuits from the far north where it is definitely part of their culture, and even they only take a few animals and make use of every part of it and they also hunt via traditional methods not aboard modern massive whaling vessels. I think Japan's cultural argument is a complete farce.

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    "The official also repeated Tokyo’s claim that the conservationists had rammed Japanese whaling ship the Nisshin Maru on Wednesday,"

    I suppose they also got you in radar-lock as well, but you won't show us the proof of either, right?

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    Saulo: "How about sending the excess whale meat to Taiji (where they kill all the dolphins to be sold as whale meat) and sell them for the right economically viable price,"

    The problem would be that the old codgers in Taiji would protest because the sales would go elsewhere and they would be left with meat most people don't want. They would demand a cut in the sales profits or not allow it in their area. It's never been about 'tradition' or 'culture' with people like that -- it's about profit. The government can't sell all the dolphin/whale meat that comes in from there as it is, the locals would neither buy nor eat it without some massive internal tariffs or bribes, and then it would just end up forced on kids in school lunches.

  • 5

    smithinjapan

    ChibaChick: "But I am curious - can anyone explain WHY they are doing this?"

    The whalers are doing it because they get a huge subsidy from the government. If the whalers were only paid for the meat they sold they would be out of business, and they know it -- hence the huge push for government backing and mislabelling the hunt as 'the pursuit of science' and then the inevitable fall back to 'culture and tradition being attacked', etc. The government cannot back down to save face, and also they are insured a lot of votes if they keep this kind of nationalistic pride going despite the enormous losses in tax revenue and waste in meat. Some claim the whalers actually DO engage in science missions, and their scientific knowledge goes something like this:

    1) "Wow... took a couple hours for this one to die. That's... let's see here... hand me my abacus... FIVE MINUTES LONGER THAN LAST TIME! That means it's different!"

    2) "The meat with mayonnaise has a different texture than with soy-sauce"

    3) "Let's see... we killed some, and there are still some left. That means it must be sustainable, so we can kill even more next time."

  • -2

    Heda_Madness

    "The official also repeated Tokyo’s claim that the conservationists had rammed Japanese whaling ship the Nisshin Maru on Wednesday,"

    I suppose they also got you in radar-lock as well, but you won't show us the proof of either, right?

    I love how the SS supporters always demand evidence from the whalers but accept everything that they get told from the SS. Even though the SS had to resort to throwing their navigation equipment overboard after the AG incident as it would incriminate then.

  • 3

    Andre Hut

    The Japanese officials call it a "whaling program", and a "whale hunt". They don'teven bother to call it "research" any more. I guess they finally figured out that no one, even the Japanese believe that lie anymore.

    Go home Japan. Japanese whaling dishonors your country.

  • -3

    Paul Richards

    Kyoko Hasegawa wrote : "Japanese fleet moves as “like a case of road rage” * " How shameful, there needs to be a National humiliation campaign raised over this behaviour. *“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci ~

  • 1

    Andre Hut

    Why, if you were captain of a vessel, would you even think of ramming another vessel (8) eight times larger than yours? The Japanese claim that the SS vessels rammed the Nissan Maru is completely false, and oh, yeah, they have it all on HD video. Idiots.

  • 0

    House Ten Bosh

    Why, if you were captain of a vessel, would you even think of ramming another vessel (8) eight times larger than yours? The Japanese claim that the SS vessels rammed the Nissan Maru is completely false, and oh, yeah, they have it all on HD video. Idiots.

    Love to see that, where is it I tried to find a link but can't find it. Now what I wonder, will Paul Watson (or Bob) also hinder Norwegian and Icelandic vessels in a similar way as they did with the Japanese vessels? If so, I have to warn him, both Norway and Iceland see these type of actions as an act of war.and will not react as the Japanese captains did.

  • 6

    Moonraker

    @Chibachick

    Once a budget is procured from the hapless taxpayer for something in Japan it is not easily relinquished. There are bureaucrats as well as whalers and assorted other bludgers who make a living from this. All they need is an excuse for said taxpayer to keep shelling out. "Our culture" and "safety" are generally the first ones that are looked to. And generally they are believed.

  • 0

    tmarie

    Has there ever been research reports written? Anything recently?! Surely a researcher needs to be doing something to continue getting subsidies.

    It's just petty. The only reason why I see Japan continuing is because they've backed themselves into a corner with it. Reminds me of a six year old who refuse to sit down and eat his dinner even though he's starving.

  • 2

    Heda_Madness

    From the Maritime NZ report:

    Ady Gil's master had earlier confirmed that two chart-plotters, referred to as 'Simrads', had been removed from the Ady Gil. MNZ [Maritime NZ] investigators had anticipated receiving the two Simrads from Bob Barker when she berthed in Hobart, but these could not be found and the crew were at a loss to explain their disappearance.

    "On 24 May 2010, MNZ investigators were advised that a member of the public had found a Simrad washed up on a beach in Tasmania. The Simrad was handed back to the manufacturing company which, using serial numbers, was able to identify the Simrad as being from the Ady Gil.

    "It is not considered that the Simrad could have remained afloat long enough for it to drift from Antarctic waters to Tasmania. One explanation is that it was thrown overboard before Bob Barker reached port in Hobart. SSCS [Sea Shepherd Conservation Society] acknowledged that this was most likely the case, and through its own inquiries attempted unsuccessfully to identify the crew member responsible.

    It's kind of crucial to read something before you comment on it.

  • 1

    Zen student

    The Japanese whalers remind me of that part in Moby Dick when Captain Ahab said....

    "I'll follow him around the Horn, and around the Norway maelstrom, and around perdition's flames before I give him up".

  • 0

    hokkaidoguy

    sillygirl: It turns my stomach whenever I see the whale bacon commercials on TV. Do people really eat this stuff.

    I've been here for well over a decade, and I can't say I've ever seen a whale bacon commercial on TV.

    And yes, people really do eat whale. Not fond of bacon myself, but I do pick up a steak occasionally. It's a little cheaper than beef steak. Great fried in butter with a bit of garlic and tarragon.

  • -4

    Saulo Akazawa

    @Smithjapan-san, that is exactly my point it would never bought and the hunt would never restart. The government would not have to tell all the crazies they can but pay and eat all that meat first and the hunt would end. That is a win win!!!

  • -6

    AriesKJJ

    It's a good day for humanity and a great day for whales!

  • 0

    gogogo

    “We are keeping our whaling program,” an official at Japan’s Fisheries Agency told AFP,

    So the Fisheries Agency made that comment, doesn't that 100% prove that there is no research going on and that they are "fishing" for food.

    Fishing is the activity of trying to catch fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fishing

  • 2

    UsagitoSaru

    sillygirl: It turns my stomach whenever I see the whale bacon commercials on TV. Do people really eat this stuff.

    Sillygirl where do you live? I have been in Japan for 3 years and I have never seen a whale bacon commercial or even whale bacon at the supermarkets around here.

    I live around Nagoya and in all my time living here I have seen whale meat one time at a grocery store. there were 10 packs of really small pieces like the maguro type you can buy and it went largerly ignored by the rest of the shoppers. Not sure if it was selling at all but I was shocked to see it there but never saw it again after that.

  • -3

    hokkaidoguy

    gogogo: So the Fisheries Agency made that comment, doesn't that 100% prove that there is no research going on and that they are "fishing" for food.

    Every country with a fishing fleet conducts scientific research catches. Why is there no outrage over the Australians conducting so-called ""scientific research"" when they do the exact same thing for scallops?

    Seriously, why didn't the Aussies find the Higgs Boson while allegedly conducting "scientific research" into scallop stocks?

    The Japanese aren't the ones responsible for the terms "Scientific Research Permit" or "Research Catch". Those terms were agreed upon long, long ago by a large group of international scientists who study the health, stability and economic viability of marine resources. They call it scientific research because that's what every government with a fisheries agency calls it. It doesn't mean they're trying to see if whales can split the atom.

    Deal with it.

  • -1

    Disillusioned

    If you read the article fully you will see none of the Japanese use the word, "research". I can see an ugly outcome to this. I am pretty sure the IC will rule against Japan, in which case, Japan surely will follow Norway and Iceland and continue to hunt whales in defiance of international pressure and the IWC ban on commercial whaling. This will create a whole new ball game. One can only hope Japan will scuttle their whaling ships and end this farce, but Japan is renowned for ignoring international pressure and doing whatever it likes. A couple of examples would be, the child abduction issue and the exclusion of international help during the 3/11 meltdown, their refusal to accept the claims of the 'comfort women' and their playing down of the massacre in southern China. Wake up Japan! You are not the center of the world. You are jus a little part of it and your economy is crashing rapidly. You will not survive if you alienate yourself from the rest of the world. You wil become a crippled and starving nation with a GDP equal to that of Ethiopia! Fools!

  • 4

    smithinjapan

    Bagheer: "Can anybody tell me how long this ancient tradition"

    They fall back on the tradition argument when they've been called up on the science argument. It goes something like this:

    Pro-whaler/whaler: We are carrying out scientific missions in accordance with IWC laws.

    99% of the world: You're using loopholes to whale solely for food.

    PW: We carry out valuable research!

    99%: It's not necessary to kill whales for your research.

    PW: It's an ancient Japanese tradition! You have no right to impose your beliefs on us!

    99%: You said it was for science. And anyway, it's not a tradition or custom to do this down in the Southern Ocean in diesel ships.

    PW: You're a Japan-basher!

    99%: Is that it?

    PW: If you don't like it, leave. You don't have to eat it. Stop imposing Imperialistic values!

    99%: So you admit it's not for science. How about the money that should go towards relief you use for whaling?

    PW: That -- ummm -- that helps build the spirit of people in traditional whaling communities like Ishinomaki!

    99%: Do they see any of that money?

    PW: No, but it BUILDS THE SPIRIT!

  • 4

    Yubaru

    In my opinion there are plenty of people here that are misinformed about just how much the Japanese people in general care about this issue, they don't.

    Also few locations at all serve whale meat in school lunches, the one's that do, from what I have been lead to believe, do so because of pressure from fishery department folks to assist in lowering the over-stocked with whale meat freezers and would actually prefer not to use the meat as the kids don't like it either.

    On a different point;

    Why do people constantly make the comments about a "loophole" in the international agreement regarding whaling activities.

    I read the agreement online once and it's not a loophole as I read it, it's in plain language allowing lethal research. Now while Japan seems to be taking advantage of that section of the agreement, it's not as I read it a loophole at all but a part of the agreement that all signatory countries agreed to when it was enacted.

    For it to be a loophole it would have to be something not covered under the agreement and yet what Japan is doing is covered by the agreement.

    Seems to me at least that the media is responsible for the misinformation and everyone takes it at face value.

    I don't agree with the whaling as it does seem counter productive as few if any people actually want to eat the processed meat, and that Japan could do a better job in it's research efforts.

  • -4

    brknarm

    Each country modernizes their own traditions (e.g. Thanksgiving for the US). If you're arguing Japan shouldn't use modern equipment to catch whales, then don't use an oven to cook the ham/turkey, or a car/airplane to visit the relatives, don't use electricity for that matter. Taiji uses the traditional method of beating dolphins. When any of you become PM, then change the tradition...until then, let Japan do what she will. (BTW: I'm indifferent on the matter. Couldn't care if whale hunting stopped or continued, so long as there's a good number out there.)

  • -6

    arrestpaul

    Sea Shepherd founder Watson is wanted by Interpol after skipping bail last July in Germany, where he was arrested on Costa Rican charges relating to a high-seas confrontation over shark finning in 2002.

    I wonder how long it will take for Watson to be arrested and shipped off to Costa Rica?

  • -3

    arrestpaul

    Watson’s whereabouts had been a mystery until December, when he confirmed that he was back on board a Sea Shepherd vessel....

    Has any legitmate organization confirmed that Watson is actually where he "claims" he is?

  • -6

    arrestpaul

    Japan vows to continue whale hunt

    Japan on Thursday vowed to continue its whale hunt in the Southern Ocean after clashes with the militant conservationist Sea Shepherd group, which claimed Tokyo had been forced to end the mission.

    Hahahaha. The eco-terrorist SS claim that the whalers have ended their season. I guess the lying eco-terrorist SS forgot to ask the whalers if they were going to end their season.

    It's also apparent that the eco-terrorist SS are NOT staying 500 yards away from the whalers as per the court order.

  • 4

    ka_chan

    Well, that's the problem there isn't a good number of them around. When the "research vessel" kill a mother, what happens to the calf? One of the biggest issues is that Japan is doing this in other peoples' waters and not their own. Japan calls the Sea Shepard, pirates. Too bad they aren't pirates. If they were, they would take the ships and send the crew a drift. Since Japan is breaking the spirit of the law or agreement, I have no sympathy of who murder in the name of research in the fine Japanese tradition of Unit 731.

  • -6

    CGB Spender

    Those Sea Terrorist Shepards are asking for it!

  • -1

    ChibaChick

    Matthew, Smith and Moonraker - thanks guys. I understand a little better now.

    What is happening in Norway and Iceland? Are the SS going after them too?

    Each country modernizes their own traditions (e.g. Thanksgiving for the US). If you're arguing Japan shouldn't use modern equipment to catch whales, then don't use an oven to cook the ham/turkey, or a car/airplane to visit the relatives, don't use electricity for that matter.

    I dont think anyone in those countries are arguing their right to continue doing those thigns based on tradition though, are they? Not really the same thing. Unless Turkeys suddenly become an endangered species.

  • 3

    Zen student

    Excellent post Yubaru. You are absolutely spot on.

  • -8

    arrestpaul

    smithinjapan - They fall back on the tradition argument when they've been called up on the science argument. It goes something like this:

    Pro-whaler/whaler: We are carrying out scientific missions in accordance with IWC laws.

    99% of the world: You're using loopholes to whale solely for food.

    The vast majority of the world doesn't care about whales or whaling. There is only a small vocal group of pro-violence advocates who are supporting the repeated acts of violence committed by the eco-terrorist SS. They believe that violence is the answer.

  • 5

    budgie

    And the 'scientific research' has concluded whale is tasty but declining in popularity. Why keep killing whales and stockpiling meat that nobody wants to buy? National[ist] pride, stubbornness and somewhere a bureaucrat or politician is getting kickbacks.

    The joke is since government money is being used to prop up the unprofitable whaling industry it's just getting funneled back to the officials responsible for such funding. It's worse than pork barrel politics - it's plain embezzlement. It's just theft. But in the name of 'culture' the media and people obey.

    Sea Shepherd reported they reduced the cull last year to a third of Japan's quota. With success rates like that why should they stop? Keep at it guys!

  • 3

    cleo

    When the "research vessel" kill a mother, what happens to the calf?

    The icr reports that in the 2006 season over 90% of the females they killed were pregnant. They say it as if it were a good thing.

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/whale-watch/killing-pregnant-whales-is-good-news-whalers/2007/07/25/1185339064854.html

    JARPA data for the period 1987-2004 states 3,151 females were killed, of which 2,064 were lactating (=2,064 calves were left to starve). 1,876 foetuses were taken, which allowing for twins and some immature females, means that roughly 100% of the females were either nursing or pregnant.

    http://www.icrwhale.org/pdf/JARPAdata.pdf

  • 4

    smithinjapan

    Yubaru: "In my opinion there are plenty of people here that are misinformed about just how much the Japanese people in general care about this issue, they don't."

    Yes and no. They don't care about the meat, no, but if they are told by pro-whaling lackeys and/or the government (pro-whaling lackeys) that foreigners are 'imposing their beliefs on Japanese' you get a bunch of citizens riled up against something they don't want to eat anyways. Hence, while very, VERY few eat and even fewer WANT to eat whale/dolphin, there is still a much larger number of people against anti-whalers because they belief it's an attack on their culture and tradition (that's where the science goes out the window).

    As for "it's not a loophole", it clearly is since the main purpose is not science at all, but whaling for food. Hence, they exploit the science part as a loophole for whaling for food.

    arrestpaul: "The vast majority of the world doesn't care about whales or whaling."

    The vast majority of people when asked are AGAINST whaling; the only ones who aren't are two or three European nations who whale in their own waters, Japan -- who whales 'traditionally' in the Southern Ocean because they've whaled out of existence the whales once in their waters, and the land-locked African nations Japan bribes with money, wining and dining, and hookers.

    "There is only a small vocal group of pro-violence advocates who are supporting the repeated acts of violence committed by the eco-terrorist SS. They believe that violence is the answer."

    You watch too much South Park. SS doesn't believe violence is the answer, and hence they do not resort to it. The whalers, on the other hand, have armed thugs on board using money from the taxpayer intended to disaster relief, fire acoustic weapons at vehicles in flight, fire high-powered watercannons, throw concussion grenades, ram ships, and commit other terrorist acts against both the anti-whalers and the environment -- far away from home and even in Australian waters. It is THEY who believe violence is the answer, clearly.

  • 3

    Yogi Zuna

    Give it up Japan, because you are eventually going to lose this "whale war" anyway. You are only prolonging the suffering.

  • 0

    Nessie

    Good points.

    Why do people constantly make the comments about a "loophole" in the international agreement regarding whaling activities. I read the agreement online once and it's not a loophole as I read it, it's in plain language allowing lethal research. Now while Japan seems to be taking advantage of that section of the agreement, it's not as I read it a loophole at all but a part of the agreement that all signatory countries agreed to when it was enacted.

    The "loophole", also known as IWC Charter Article VIII actually precedes Japan's membership in the IWC.

  • 5

    AriesKJJ

    IT's a loophole used to continue commercial whaling. It was an amendment to allow for actual scientific research not to kill thousands of whales, certainly not to kill and endangered or threatened species. Modern science has no no need for lethal research and is rejected by the scientific community including those commissioned by the IWC, who stated that lethal research had no value.

    Earlier this year in attempt to justify using Tsunami Relief Funds The head of the department of fisheries admitted Japanese Whaling was commercial and kept sever hundred people employed. The only ones left beating the research drums are in forums.

    If you have time watch the movie ,"The Whale" about the Orca who befriended a community here in British Columbia. Please educate yourself then decide if Killing cetaceans is a good or even justifiable position. This is not a racial or cultural thing (I mean Seriously, who doesn't love Japanese women?)

    Here's a video of a whale expressing elation and gratitude to divers who freed her from fishing nets. http://youtu.be/tcXU7G6zhjU

  • 8

    budgie

    It is a loophole if it is exploited for unintended purposes. Like tricky accounting practices, it is not something actually missing from the law but a skewed and advantageous interpretation of the rules. Japan is not 'researching' anything but a dwindling culinary preference.

  • 2

    Yubaru

    The joke is since government money is being used to prop up the unprofitable whaling industry it's just getting funneled back to the officials responsible for such funding. It's worse than pork barrel politics - it's plain embezzlement. It's just theft. But in the name of 'culture' the media and people obey.

    If this is a joke, (and I happen to agree) one also has to look at other areas of the economy (rice/farmers/etc etc) and call them a joke as well because here in Japan it is very common for the government to heavily subsidize industries that are no longer needed or out of date.

  • -7

    cabadaje

    @Andre Hut

    Why, if you were captain of a vessel, would you even think of ramming another vessel (8) eight times larger than yours?

    Harassment, mostly. It's a fairly common, and openly admitted, tactic of the Sea Shepherd. We do actually have pictures of it ramming the tanker, and even turning it away from the Nisshin Maru (which, for the non-sailors among us, is very bad, because it causes the two ships attempting to dock to go out of alignment and forces the approaching ship to veer away sharply to avoid colliding with the stern of the refueling craft).

    The Japanese claim that the SS vessels rammed the Nissan Maru is completely false, and oh, yeah, they have it all on HD video. Idiots.

    Ahh...no, they don't.

    They claim that the SS vessel rammed the Sun Laurel. Here's some pictures. Note the SS isn't denying this, nor do they feel any irony in taking pride in ramming a fuel tanker while at the same time accusing the Japanese of spilling fuel in the Southern Ocean:

    http://www.icrwhale.org/gpandsea-img410ENG.html

    http://www.icrwhale.org/gpandsea-img414ENG.html

  • -4

    cabadaje

    @tmarie

    Has there ever been research reports written? Anything recently?! Surely a researcher needs to be doing something to continue getting subsidies.

    Of course. Heck, the ICR event lists them regularly, so you don't have to go to search the scientific journals for them:

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

    It's just petty. The only reason why I see Japan continuing is because they've backed themselves into a corner with it. Reminds me of a six year old who refuse to sit down and eat his dinner even though he's starving.

    Perhaps the Japanese do not like being treated like six-year old being lectured by their momma?

    Particularly when they are adults, the police are saying that he is legally allowed to choose what he is going to eat, and momma is cheering on some vagrant wanted by the law who keeps throwing stink bombs at him and ramming his car every time he walks out of McDonalds?

    Not that throwing stink bombs, ramming his car, and spreading false rumors is a petty, grade school, sort of thing to do. I suppose it depends on your perspective.

  • 2

    cleo

    Heck, the ICR event lists them regularly

    The link you give lists a grand total of TWO papers from JARPA, one each in 2009 and 2010.

    All that money, all those deaths, all that agro, for yet another rehashed 'report' on feeding habits (we know what they eat) and 'possible migratory links' (you need to kill and eat them to find out where they're going??)

    The 2010 paper lists just one Japanese author. The Japanese government needs to subsidise 'research' that isn't being done in Japan by Japanese scientists because...why?

    Neither paper seems to refer to age distribution, the famous reason for which whales have to be killed and their ears gouged out.

  • -5

    cabadaje

    @ka_chan

    Well, that's the problem there isn't a good number of them around.

    According to whom?

    When the "research vessel" kill a mother, what happens to the calf?

    Really?

    It dies, of course, unless another mother adopts it for the 4-6 months it needs to breast-feed (which has been observed to happen before). This is why whaling season is scheduled for the winter season when the whales conceive, and ends well before the whales migrate back to the warmer, northern waters, to give birth.

    Which we learned, of course, thanks to the forensic study of the whales. Where a whale is in terms of gestation isn't something you can spot from a boat, and it is a rather vital piece of data when you are trying to determine whale population and sustainability.

    One of the biggest issues is that Japan is doing this in other peoples' waters and not their own.

    Except the part of this being other people's waters, and not international waters, as everyone else claims. Heck, the Australians don't even patrol the waters. They don't even go there when they claim there is illegal poaching going on.

    Japan calls the Sea Shepard, pirates. Too bad they aren't pirates. If they were, they would take the ships and send the crew a drift.

    Well, technically, they aren't pirates because they don't rob the Japanese vessels directly, which is the defining feature of pirates. They have attempted to set the boats adrift by fouling the propellers, they have also physically attacked the boats and the crew, along, of course, with harassment of other vessels (and this season, they even upgraded to attacking the other vessels as well). They have boarded the Japanese vessels, they held the second party vessel, the tanker, i.e., unlawful restraint (this was before the actual attack on the tanker)...hell, they fly a Jolly Roger. For people refusing to admit they are pirates, they sure are taking an awful lot of pride acting like ones.

    But, yeah, technically, they are not pirates, because they do not steal from the crew, rather, they try to destroy the source of income of the crew in the name of some political or faith-based belief regarding the environment.

    This makes them , correctly defined, eco-terrorists. Although that label may change now, considering that this season, they put the environment in far greater danger than the whalers ever did, and they have begun involving second-hand parties in their illegal activities (and yes, unlike the actions of the whalers, everyone in a law enforcement position agrees that the SS is acting illegally.)

    Since Japan is breaking the spirit of the law or agreement,

    The law and the agreement specifically allows this to happen. That's specifically, as in, not even a loophole. A loophole is an absence of directive by which one assumes permission. The agreement has an entire article outlining under which conditions whale hunting is allowed to occur, and the Japanese stick to it religiously, because they know full well that breaking it would give their opponents something beyond propaganda to attack them with.

    Why, exactly, do you think no government is attempting to arrest them?

    I have no sympathy of who murder in the name of research in the fine Japanese tradition of Unit 731.

    Wow...

    That's...wow, that's even worse than invoking Godwin's Law...

    I thought it was bad when someone else compared fishermen to pirates and drug runners, and here you are, comparing fishermen to people who used chemical and biological agents on other people.

    So much for this discussion. Nowhere left to go from here.

  • -2

    cabadaje

    @cleo

    The icr reports that in the 2006 season over 90% of the females they killed were pregnant. They say it as if it were a good thing.

    No, they don't.

    They do not claim that it is a good thing that they killed pregnant females. They claim that what these numbers indicate is that the population is indeed growing, and growing well, and that is a good thing.:

    *"Almost all of the whales are becoming pregnant each year. This is good news. This is great. It shows that the Antarctic minke population is increasing rapidly," *

    They certainly did not claim what the Humane Society accuses them of, that are targeting pregnant females.

    "It horrifies Australians to know that pregnant humpback whales breeding in the warm waters off Australia this winter will be targeted by the Japanese hunters in Antarctic waters this Christmas,"

    Really, think about it: How could they target them? You can't tell if a female is pregnant in the water. Heck, you can barely tell if it is a female. Particularly considering that this is the breeding season, not the calving season.

  • -3

    redmanshow

    It is clear evident that japan is loosing their economic status in competition to others,now they are back to square 1,which is fishing. Glad that they didn't forget the way they became so far.. Go fishermen Go!!

    Pls vote against this massacre.

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/take-strong-action-stop-japanese-killing-whales-southern-ocean-antarctic-whale-sanctuary/qfwCLZMj?utmsource=wh.gov&utmmedium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

  • -3

    cabadaje

    @budgie

    It is a loophole if it is exploited for unintended purposes.

    Well, no, not by definition, but even if it was, then by extension of that logic, if it is used for its intended purpose, it isn't a loophole, correct?

    Like tricky accounting practices, it is not something actually missing from the law but a skewed and advantageous interpretation of the rules. Japan is not 'researching' anything but a dwindling culinary preference.

    And yet, we still do not have conclusive data on even the most elementary of things, such as their specific migratory paths, their gestation time, their lactation time, what they eat most of, where they mostly eat it, all of these thing vital data to determine the sustainability of the population. And that's for the Minke, the most populous whale the Japanese get the most samples of; we know even less about the biology of the other whales, and you cannot observe these things, nor can you find them out with a biopsy dart (not yet, at least. Once the biologists get a decent baseline data chart, they can compare biopsy samples for some of this data. Of course, that first requires the construction of baseline data chart, which can only be done with actual baseline data, i.e. forensic study of an actual body).

    I see a lot of claims that the research doesn't have to be lethal, but I don't see any suggestions as to how to get the data otherwise. Similarly, I hear a lot of cries about the research being redundant or unnecessary, yet I don't see anyone offering conclusive data sets on the lives of whales. Indeed, if we had such information, the IWC would be forced to lift the moratorium on whales like the Minke, who cannot be referred to as endangered anymore. Which, incidentally, is not the same as declaring a free-for-all on the Minke whale; there would still be limits, but the limits would be set based on the sustainability of the population, not on the number required for a representative sample. The numbers of the Minke cannot be allowed to grow too much, as this would create a situation where they would outcompete the other whales and eventually overwhelm their food supply. Like most mammals, whales do not "breed-to-their-feed". Given the chance, they will, literally, eat themselves out of house and home.

  • 2

    letsberealistic

    cabadaje FEB. 22, 2013 - 03:58PM JST

    Caba, it's great you seem to be able to justify Japanese whaling as legitimate science. A large majority of the scientific community are very skeptical to say the least - perhaps you are a greater authority, or perhaps, dare I say it, espy convinced of anything that supports your believes.. Do you have any links to peer-reviewed papers on this "research"?

  • -5

    cabadaje

    @cleo

    The link you give lists a grand total of TWO papers from JARPA, one each in 2009 and 2010.

    Ahh...there's 14 papers there.

    And that's New Publications. If you want more specific research, go to the previous page and you can click on JARPA, other surveys, contributions, etc, etc...

    All that money, all those deaths, all that agro, for yet another rehashed 'report' on feeding habits (we know what they eat) and 'possible migratory links' (you need to kill and eat them to find out where they're going??)

    Actually, we don't know all that much about what they eat (just what they eat in the Southern Sea, really), we are sort of guessing about where they eat it, and we are outright guessing about their migratory paths, since the number of whales we can actually see is radically smaller than the actual number of whales out there.

    The 2010 paper lists just one Japanese author. The Japanese government needs to subsidise 'research' that isn't being done in Japan by Japanese scientists because...why?

    There are 7 Japanese papers. And yes, Japanese scientists and foreign scientists working in Japan work together on research, just as they do all over the world. Whaling isn't just about Japan (ore just about whaling, for that matter); it's about all the whaling countries.

    Neither paper seems to refer to age distribution, the famous reason for which whales have to be killed and their ears gouged out.

    Oh good, then you agree that further research needs to be done.

  • -5

    cabadaje

    @redmanshow

    It is clear evident that japan is loosing their economic status in competition to others,now they are back to square 1,which is fishing. Glad that they didn't forget the way they became so far.. Go fishermen Go!! Pls vote against this massacre. https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/take-strong-action-stop-japanese-killing-whales-southern-ocean-antarctic-whale-sanctuary/qfwCLZMj?utmsource=wh.gov&utmmedium=shorturl&utm_campaign=shorturl

    Redmanshow, are you aware of what the US did to Japan in regards to the moratorium? How the US directly coerced Japan into agreeing to it by threatening to cut them off from fishing in Alaskan waters (i.e. sanctions to the tune of $450,000,000 1980 dollars a year and about a million tons of fish a year), and then, after Japan agreed, cut them off anyway?

    Bringing down sanctions on Japan to stop them from whaling in compliance with the moratorium regulations they were forced, by sanctions, to agree with in the first place...How well do you think that is going to go over?

  • 0

    letsberealistic

    @Caba

    How do you account for the widely held skepticism among the scientific community, national governments and the mass media?

  • 1

    cleo

    They certainly did not claim what the Humane Society accuses them of, that are targeting pregnant females.

    Well, if they've learned that at this time of year most of the mature females are pregnant or nursing, and they still keep shooting exploding harpoons at them, how can you say they aren't targeting them?

    .there's 14 papers there

    There are two from JARPA. The rest are from JARPN and 'Other survey'. JARPN does not take place in the Southern Ocean.

    we are outright guessing about their migratory paths, since the number of whales we can actually see is radically smaller than the actual number of whales out there

    And killing tells us more about migratory paths....?

    you agree that further research needs to be done.

    I'm saying that there is no need for lethal research.

    Bringing down sanctions on Japan to stop them from whaling in compliance with the moratorium regulations they were forced, by sanctions, to agree with in the first place...

    Except that they're not 'in compliance' with the moratorium in good faith: the US said they could fish in Alaska if they stopped commercial whaling, which Japan then resumed under the very thinly-veiled guise of 'scientific research'.

  • -5

    cabadaje

    @letsberealistic

    How do you account for the widely held skepticism among the scientific community, national governments and the mass media?

    I account for the skepticism (or more accurately, the indignation) of the national governments by stating they are reflecting the popular opinions of the people. If the people didn't care about whaling, the governments wouldn't mention it; if the people wanted whaling, the governments would tell the IWC to get off it's butt and lift the moratorium.

    I account for the outrage among the people as caused by the mass media, who has a particular fondness for outrageous claims that get people to buy their papers, even if they have to twist the truth ever so slightly.

    As for the widely held skepticism among the scientific community (of the three, their opinion is pretty much the only thing that interests me on a personal basis; the actual whaling issue is only interesting to me as a study in rationality, much like the nuclear issue and the China issue), my first two questions would be the first questions of any rationalist:

    1) How "wide" is "widely"?

    2) What, exactly, are they skeptical of?

    In the same way that creationists talk about how there isn't agreement among scientists regarding evolution, the statement is too vague to answer, and must be further clarified. Agreement to what? How many agree vs disagree? Looking for an answer without having a question firmly in find tends to lead to the wrong answer for the question you actually want answered.

    And that's if your already trying to be skeptical. If you have already decided which answer you want supported, you increase the danger of confirmation bias even more, to the point that you can't even trust information that actually is correct.

  • 3

    budgie

    @ Caba : It is a loophole because the rule's intended purpose was only to allow the killing of a handful of whales. Japan has exploited the allowance by using 'science' to justify the slaughter of thousands, which they then make no secret of selling as meat. They certainly don't need to kill so many whales to discover their migratory habits and so on.

    You can argue semantics over the definition of a loophole but common sense tells us that the provisions of the law were not written in to allow Japan to sustain a whale meat industry by killing thousands of whales. That's not science, and there's no way to spin it as such.

  • -3

    JaneM

    @AriesKJJ If you have time watch the movie ,"The Whale" about the Orca who befriended a community here in British Columbia. Please educate yourself then decide if Killing cetaceans is a good or even justifiable position.

    I do know that orcas can express feelings and communicate, but there are also several documentaries about them being cold-blooded killers - they chase larger whales, namely mothers and calves, until the calve dies of exhaustion. Mind you, they do not use the body for food, it is just a game for them.

    You seem to generalize all whales although the species defer a lot from one another. As the Japanese hunt minke whales, which are not an endangered species, I don't see your point in talking about the gratitude of the orcas. Also, the Japanese whalers seem to keep their catch under the set quota so their hunting is indeed sustainable at the moment. As for the multipurpose of the research - as Japan is officially doing it because it is legally allowed to conduct the research - how is it a bad thing? Is it better to kill whales and dispose of the meet after the research is done?

    And, yes, people do eat whale in Japan. Though many foreigners do not find it tasty the locals do not consume it. They go to kujira restaurants and I can see whale in department stores in Tokyo. Unlike other fish and meet, whale is almost never discounted in the department stores even when you go there just before closing time. To me, at least, it means that whale sells, though not in big quantities. But the supply is not great either, so...

  • 2

    smithinjapan

    cabadaje: "And that's if your already trying to be skeptical. If you have already decided which answer you want supported, you increase the danger of confirmation bias even more, to the point that you can't even trust information that actually is correct."

    Ahem... you don't say?

  • -5

    cabadaje

    @cleo

    Well, if they've learned that at this time of year most of the mature females are pregnant or nursing, and they still keep shooting exploding harpoons at them, how can you say they aren't targeting them?

    As I said, this is the season of breeding and conception. Calving (and nursing) is in the north, during the summer.

    "Targeting" means that they are specifically looking for and hunting pregnant females. They are doing that. They are culling a random sample (unless, for some reason, pregnant females are more susceptible to harpooning, which is not beyond the possibility). A random sample gives us a representative view of the population. An increase in pregnant females indicates a growth in population.

    There are two from JARPA. The rest are from JARPN and 'Other survey'. JARPN does not take place in the Southern Ocean.

    JARPA was one research program that ended in 2005. there are other programs, and you can find them in "other publications", and if you want more, you can click on the links to the scientific journals, type in a search, and get a list of all the ones that have been published there.

    And killing tells us more about migratory paths....?

    Correct. Just like migratory animals on land, the biology of the creature can tells us a lot about the environment it is adapted for. That includes types of food, climate, forces applied (wind, heat, currents, etc), rate of travel, many, many things that cannot be adequately measured through observation.

    I'm saying that there is no need for lethal research.

    As I said, I hear that a lot. What I don't hear are alternatives.

    Except that they're not 'in compliance' with the moratorium in good faith: the US said they could fish in Alaska if they stopped commercial whaling, which Japan then resumed under the very thinly-veiled guise of 'scientific research'.

    Nope.

    Japan, along with a handful of other countries, filed a complaint regarding the moratorium (the fifth attempt at establishing a moratorium) based on the total lack of input from the scientific committee (which kind of defeats the purpose of having a scientific committee). The US threatened Japan around Apr-May of 1985. Around Oct-Nov of 1985, they began the process of limiting Alaskan waters to foreign vessels. Japan applied for their first permits the following year, in the 1986 winter season. They did not kill their first Antarctic whale till 1988.

    Okay, have to go to class now, be back tomorrow.

  • -5

    Probie

    @smith

    As for "it's not a loophole", it clearly is since the main purpose is not science at all, but whaling for food. Hence, they exploit the science part as a loophole for whaling for food.

    Are you STILL bringing this up? For the last time: Look up the definition for loophole, then read the IWC rules. You'll then see, very clearly, that it's not a loophole.

  • -1

    letsberealistic

    @Proble

    Are you STILL bringing this up? For the last time: Look up the definition for loophole, then read the IWC rules. You'll then see, very clearly, that it's not a loophole.

    Tell that to the worlds media and, well anyone except the Japanese, and, yourself it would seem. By the way, why the vehement support by yourself and a few others despite the massive opposition? Is the Japanese Fisheries department paying you? It wouldn't be the first time they have done that.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    Probie: You've been proven wrong on the 'loophole' thing so many times it's pointless to continue to do so -- you simply won't see the forest because there are too many trees blocking it.

  • 1

    humanrights

    Pride and stubbornness is the core of this argument, but in the end a higher price will be paid by Japanese. Everything you do has a 'Opposite reaction' and looking at the last few months, it is evident that the biggest loser is JP for being uncaring about international views and opinions. Whaling is just one issue.

  • 5

    Darren Brannan

    If Japan knew just how redundant its status is becoming overseas then it may change. All. The nationalism and whaling in the world won't change the image of ' a country that makes animation movies' . Japan has become passe.

  • 4

    cramp

    where theres pride involved, screw all else

    they got money to burn anyways, jpn silliness just adds to the comedy

  • -2

    AriesKJJ

    @JaneM I don't know if 'cold-blooded-killers' is the correct term: I think only man is capable of that distinction. They do hunt in an often very creative and dramatic way which also shows amazing intelligence and adaptability. Orca's are dolphins but all dolphins and whales are cetaceans.

    If you dare to be Amazed watch, "The Intelligence of Dolphins" Shared to me by awesome little Japanese Samurai for animals, Missie! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kH68iL5SL3g&feature=share&list=PLZlUxdfaJHpFVX_qJTEwCKLcCZNJpQhzQ

  • 0

    Globis007

    "Norway and Iceland are the only nations that hunt whales in open defiance of a 1986 IWC moratorium on commercial whaling.**" SS it's time to go this way if you really care about whales.

  • 0

    avigator

    IT vows to continue Whale hunt, not "research whaling"

  • 1

    cleo

    As I said, this is the season of breeding and conception. Calving (and nursing) is in the north, during the summer.

    So how many female whales in excess of 100% have to be found to be pregnant/nursing before the 'research' shows that in fact this is the season of pregnancy, calving and nursing? Or are you saying that the whales have got it wrong? Maybe they haven't read the results of the 'research'.

    there are other programs, and you can find them in "other publications"

    Who cares about 'other programs'? The topic is Japan's whale hunt in the Southern Ocean.

    and if you want more

    I do not want more, I want less, and preferably none.

    What I don't hear are alternatives.

    Don't kill whales sounds like a pretty good alternative to me.

    Japan applied for their first permits the following year, in the 1986 winter season. They did not kill their first Antarctic whale till 1988.

    Then maybe Ronnie Reagan was confused when in 1988 (after Japan ignored resolutions by the IWC in 1987 and 1988 recommending that it not proceed until disagreements over its research proposals to kill 825 minke and 50 sperm whales every year for ten years were resolved) he wrote to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, 'Given the lack of any evidence that Japan is bringing its whaling activities into conformance with the recommendations of the IWC, I am directing the Secretary of State under the Packwood-Magnuson Amendment to withhold 100 percent of the fishing privileges that would otherwise be available to Japan in the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone. Japan has requested the opportunity to fish for 3,000 metric tons of sea snails and 5,000 metric tons of Pacific whiting. These requests will be denied. In addition, Japan will be barred from any future allocations of fishing privileges for any other species, including Pacific cod, until the Secretary of Commerce determines that the situation has been corrected.

    The sanctions being imposed are the strongest possible under the Packwood-Magnuson Amendment. The immediate and prospective effects of a 100 percent reduction of fishing allocations, coupled with Presidential review in the near future, is the most effective means of encouraging Japan to embrace the IWC conservation program.'

    http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1988/040688e.htm

  • 2

    Open Minded

    Whaling had been a "tradition" when protein and fat were missing for balanced diet in Japan during tough times. Nowadays this is not an issue anymore. Finally it seems whale meat is not that demanded. Hence the conclusion is quite simple: give permit for a few catches to meet the demands and stop subsidizing it. But please stop this "scientific" alibi.

  • 1

    chenn

    ...why?

  • 1

    YuriOtani

    Looks like the whaling season is over. Bonsai! Bonsai! Bonsai!

    http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/2013-02-20/japan-halts-whale-hunt-after-sea-shepherd-clashes/1091506

    As the Whaling fleet sets sail for Japan and home with 12 whales. Better luck next season!

  • -3

    megosaa

    you're doing it right JAPAN! don't let these idiots tell you otherwise! they are terrorists, shame on them! just whale in japan's water and nobody can say shh. hope interpol finds watson F-A-S-T!

  • 0

    hannasummer

    Shameful! Hopefully they will be stopped. Just watched the yideos on YT and I just hope SS will get these Japanese whale hunters

  • 2

    SamuraiBlue

    Calves that are not able to sustain themselves are not found in the antarctic oceans because they do not have enough body mass to maintain body heat.(whales are warm blooded mamals like us) That is the main reason why pregnant female whales migrate to the warm southern Pacific oceans and gives birth in those oceans. From what I heard I believe the migration takes about three month from the Southern Pacific to the Antarctic and a whale's average gestation period is about 12 months so a female is about half in their gestation period before heading towards warmer waters.

    Anybody who think differently should try taking a dip in the antarctics.

  • -2

    AriesKJJ

    Here's the Nisshin Maru ramming the Bob Barker and the Sun Laurel: poetic justice ... Can't wait to hear from; Korea about being rammed by the 'Death Star' in Antarctica. Australia for the heavy fuel below the 60 and the International courts who will deal with the Japanese captains ... "road rage at sea" ... definitely think the he snapped this time!

    One must think this marks the end of Japanese Whaling though they have fought like madmen to continue to this point. Surely the public will have to tire of the yen/tax vacuum, not to mention the intentional embarrassment.

    http://youtu.be/ssw3xG1wH1s

  • -1

    SwissToni

    Cabadeje, "Like most mammals, whales do not "breed-to-their-feed". Given the chance, they will, literally, eat themselves out of house and home".

    The old "the whales are competing for resources" claim rehashed. Perhaps you can point us to where have whale numbers recovered to the point of destruction of their own habitat?

    The fact is, it's people that are eating themselves out of house and home overfishing every species we have access to. Rehashing the well be sure to stick to the quotas argument may seem rational, however in the real world that simply hasn't happened.

    Due to the huge margin of error in the counting processes, there is no agreement that even Minke have recovered to a level able to sustain limited hunting. Perhaps if the ICR were to cooperate with international bodies looking to improve biological, habitat and tracking data collection methods and research into more humane killing methods some of the alternatives you seem to crave might be found. Rationalising the results of this years hunt, twelve dead whales aren't going to move the process on any further are they? Certainly not in any fiscally responsible way.

  • 0

    hkitagawa

    not Japan because I never ate whales meat.

  • -1

    Heda_Madness

    Aries. Why is there no video of the Japanese ship approaching?

    Just like the AG... heavily edited. Subsequently proven to be a work of fiction.

  • -1

    cleo

    whaling season is scheduled for the winter season

    It's summer down under right now.

  • -3

    arrestpaul

    AriesKJJ - Here's the Nisshin Maru ramming the Bob Barker and the Sun Laurel: poetic justice ... Can't wait to hear from; Korea about being rammed by the 'Death Star' in Antarctica. Australia for the heavy fuel below the 60 and the International courts who will deal with the Japanese captains ... "road rage at sea" ... definitely think the he snapped this time!

    This video proves that the eco-terrorist SS scow Bob Barker is violating the 500 yard, court ordered, buffer zone. The captain of the eco-terrorist BB should have have his ticket pulled for creating this dangerous situation.

    Refueling is difficult and hazardous enough without some eco-terrorist SS nitwit forcing the two vessels involved in the refueling to bump into each other.

    If the eco-terrorist SS Bob Barker hadn't positioned itself so close to the refueling action, which is a definate violation of the court order, no collision would have occured.

  • -2

    AriesKJJ

    @arrestpaul

    Terrorists throw harpoons into animals and kill them for no other reason than stubborn selfishness, and terrorist supporters seek to justify those murders to the world: while hero's try to stop them. ☠

  • -1

    cabadaje

    @cleo

    So how many female whales in excess of 100% have to be found to be pregnant/nursing before the 'research' shows that in fact this is the season of pregnancy, calving and nursing?

    Are you claiming that 100% of the females captured in the Antarctic were calving or nursing?

    Or are you saying that the whales have got it wrong? Maybe they haven't read the results of the 'research'.

    I'm saying that you have it wrong (and sincerely doubt you have read the research results).

    Who cares about 'other programs'? The topic is Japan's whale hunt in the Southern Ocean.

    Then please stick to whale hunting in Antarctica. You seem to have no problem jumping from calving in the North during the summer and hunting back in the south during the winter when it suits you, and when I try to give you specific data about Antarctica, such as when Japan actually killed its very first whale there, you either claim it was wrong (without providing a reference), or claim you where referring to something else.

    I have no problem with a discussion, but if your sole purpose is to win an argument at whatever cost, or to keep on believing that your position is correct, no matter what, then you don't need to carry on with me. I am not interested in changing your beliefs, as long as you don't go around claiming your conclusions are facts.

    Is there research on whaling? Yes, lots of it, and it isn't difficult to find. Is that research based on whale autopsy? Yes, the vast majority of it is (which is why so much of that research comes from whaling countries and why so many foreign biologists work in those countries; they have the best research material, i.e. actual specimens). I have done my part in giving you links that will allow you to find these papers. You have the research and the means to find more. If you wish to show the research either incorrect or redundant, by all means (you have at least two papers to start from). I am not going to spend any more time arguing about its actual existence.

    Don't kill whales sounds like a pretty good alternative to me.

    "Don't kill whales" is not an alternative to "How do we learn more about whale biology?" Again, if you are going to talk about a point, please don't change the point after you have been given a response to it.

    Then maybe Ronnie Reagan was confused when in 1988

    He wasn't confused at all. The man was pretty sharp, contrary to popular rumor. There is no doubt in my mind, or, for that matter, the mind of the Japanese people he was dealing with, that this was his intention all along. The problem with coercion is that the people you are coercing tend to not trust you afterwards.

    Hence, the Packwood Amendment, that was in place in 1979, which amended the previous 1976 Act (the Pelly Amendment also served as a bludgeon). Remember that this was back in the good old days of the US taking great pride in being the world's policeman. They swung that club back and forth and weren't all that subtle about their willingness to bully others into their line of thinking (an attitude which, unfortunately, would come back to bite them in the rear in a few decades).

    Using these two amendments, the US forced under threat of sanctions the compliance of not just Japan, but the Soviet Union, Chile, Peru, South Korea, Spain, and Taiwan. They tried forcing Norway and Iceland, but these two decided that they had enough fish in their own waters and didn't need the Americans to tell them what to do, thank you very much. They opted out of the IWC, and are currently running their own whaling regulations, which do not seem to be depleting the growing whale populations, contrary to predictions of the time (and even predictions today, contrary to actual census taken of whale populations).

    Japan, being smart enough to spot repeat behavior when it sees it, quickly noticed a trend of countries being told by the US to do things less and less, and then eventually forced to stop altogether. Sure enough, five years into their forced agreement, the US was demanding that Japan now agree to a moratorium. Unlike the previous times this moratorium was proposed, this time the US had eliminated almost enough opponents to force it through, and with the walk-out of a few countries, they just needed one more on their side. Unlike Norway, which did not need the US fish and decided to walk out, Japan had no choice but to comply, but at that point, the writing was on the wall. The US had no intention of allowing whaling to resume (ever), weaker countries had already been banned from Alaskan waters, and the Americans didn't even wait six months before they began adding further wording (amending) to the amendment of the amendment of the original act that made it clear that no foreigners, Japanese or otherwise, would be fishing off Alaska.

    So, Japan was loosing about a million net tons of fish a year that they needed to find a substitute for. They applied the next year for permits, which the IWC not only allowed, but absolutely needed, even just as a pretense at being scientific. The IWC, despite passing a moratorium that was not based on recommendations from their scientific committee, had as their stated purpose the research of whaling population for both conservation and sustained whaling. The only way, at the time, to gather any sort of research was to bring in specimens. Back in the day, you couldn't just tag and GPS a whale (even today, it isn't all that easy); you might, if you were lucky, be able to capture a scat sample (you had to be in the right place, at the right time), you certainly couldn't deduce its genetic diversity.

    Today, things are a bit easier, and we can do many things that just weren't possible back in the day without putting humans in danger or stressing out the whales. We are not, however, magicians. We cannot make data materialize without a source.

  • -1

    cabadaje

    @SwissToni

    The old "the whales are competing for resources" claim rehashed. Perhaps you can point us to where have whale numbers recovered to the point of destruction of their own habitat?

    If I had made such a claim, I would have provided the source. I did not say that the whales had recovered to the point of destroying their environment, and considering how long my posts are normally, I am not going to repeat myself when you can scroll upwards and read my actual response.

    The fact is, it's people that are eating themselves out of house and home overfishing every species we have access to. Rehashing the well be sure to stick to the quotas argument may seem rational, however in the real world that simply hasn't happened.

    If your complaint is about the eating habits of people, and not about the purpose or legality of the Sea Shepherd vs Japanese whaling, then more power to you.

    Due to the huge margin of error in the counting processes, there is no agreement that even Minke have recovered to a level able to sustain limited hunting.

    Due to the huge margin of error, all the whale populations are biased toward the negative intentionally (because it doesn't take a scientist to figure out there are more whales swimming around than the ones we see, particularly when we actually do see them swimming around in areas beyond the census region). Even with the numbers skewed toward the negative, there is agreement that the Minke whale is no longer an endangered species, to the point that there is some concern as to whether it might outcompete the Blue whale (which is definitely endangered) for food (now that particular topic is definitely under debate, between those who favor numbers and those who favor available whale data).

    Perhaps if the ICR were to cooperate with international bodies looking to improve biological, habitat and tracking data collection methods and research into more humane killing methods some of the alternatives you seem to crave might be found.

    Sounds good to me. Is there any reason to believe they are not?

    Rationalising the results of this years hunt, twelve dead whales aren't going to move the process on any further are they? Certainly not in any fiscally responsible way.

    No, if anything, it is just going to piss a lot of people off. There is no rationalizing of this years results; it is pretty clear that the actions of the James-Younger gang has gotten to the point that it can no longer be ignored by the relevant authorities.

  • -3

    cabadaje

    @Cleo

    It's summer down under right now.

    And it's winter in Japan. Cleo, if you like, I can use months instead of seasons, but really, does it affect the argument in any way, shape, or form? Semantics are important if it affects the argument, but if it doesn't, then really, it's just semantics.

  • 0

    cleo

    Are you claiming that 100% of the females captured in the Antarctic were calving or nursing?

    Not me - it's the icr that reports a pregnancy rate of over 90% in JARPA 2007 - 262 of 286 mature females taken.

    Then please stick to whale hunting in Antarctica. You seem to have no problem jumping from calving in the North during the summer and hunting back in the south during the winter when it suits you

    All I have talked about is the killing of whales in the Southern Ocean. You're the one wanting to include JARPN and 'other survey' in the discussion. My concern is the pregnant females being killed in the Southern Ocean in the southern summer.

    "Don't kill whales" is not an alternative to "How do we learn more about whale biology?"

    Cute, but we all know what the whalers mean is "Don't kill whales" is not an alternative to "How do we kill more whales?"

    Is there research on whaling? Yes, lots of it, and it isn't difficult to find.

    Most of it being 'research' into finding reasons to kill more whales, laced with the truly weird stuff about fertilising cow and pig ova with whale sperm (for which, no, there is no need to send fleets of harpoon ships and a factory ship all the way down to the Antarctic - you can get more than enough sperm for Dr. Moreau from beached specimens.)

    Is that research based on whale autopsy?

    The research is the reason given for the need to kill whales. The true reason is to put them on plates. The argument is circular.

  • -3

    cabadaje

    Speaking of semantics...

    @budgie

    It is a loophole because the rule's intended purpose was only to allow the killing of a handful of whales. Japan has exploited the allowance by using 'science' to justify the slaughter of thousands, which they then make no secret of selling as meat. They certainly don't need to kill so many whales to discover their migratory habits and so on. You can argue semantics over the definition of a loophole but common sense tells us that the provisions of the law were not written in to allow Japan to sustain a whale meat industry by killing thousands of whales. That's not science, and there's no way to spin it as such.

    You can't wave your hand disdainfully and dismiss something as mere "semantics", when the definition of the word (the semantics) is the actual problem.

    If you call someone a criminal, and they have not committed a crime, then it is a semantic issue, and it is a problem, which is why they have laws regarding libel and defamation. Similarly, if a directive is explicitly stated and is neither vague nor ambiguous, it is not a loophole, which is defined (by academics, who actually study words, and write dictionaries, i.e. semantics, and not by mass media or popular opinion) as a vaguery or absence of directive. The word itself evolved from the slits made on doors or shutters for defenders in a fort to shoot out of, in other words, to the parts that didn't have wood or stone in them.

    To call something a loophole is to infer that people using a loophole are being sneaky, or subversive. You are, in effect, accuse them of criminals in all but name. If they are not actually using a loophole, but rather are in full compliance with a set of regulations, no need to be sneaky or anything, then you can refer to them as however you like, but you cannot refer to them as criminals, even in spirit or intent. To be a criminal, you do actually have to break laws.

    That's just the loophole nonsense. Now, about your logic:

    You accuse Japan of using "science" to justify the hunt on whales, but it isn't Japan that proposed Art.8, nor is it Japan that is demanding research on whales (no more so than any other farming industry, anyway. All food industries have to carry out continuous research, just as a matter of survival). It is the IWC that is requiring research, it is the IWC whose charter it is to create and control that research, and it is the IWC who wrote Art.8. If you do not believe the IWC is acting in a scientific manner and in 1985, Japan, Norway, Iceland, and South Korea, would have agreed with you) then you need to take it up with them.

    Japan makes no secret that they sell the leftovers as meat, and why should they? Would it be nobler to turn it into chum and toss it back in the ocean? Wouldn't it be downright foolish to not sell it and try to recoup as much of an investment as you can to make up for the expenses that research burdens you with? The whales are dead regardless, and eating the whales is one of the primary reasons sustained whaling is one of the core purposes of the IWC. We certainly don't need the lamp oil or scrimshaw anymore.

    Now, you talk about a "handful" of whales. Again, the purpose of the IWC and of the moratorium is scientific research on the population of whales. "Handful" is not a scientific term. The correct term is "Representative Sample". It is a sample size that is calculated to represent a decent indicator (depending on the margin of error and error sampling) of the state of a given population. Let's say you have a town of 500,000 people, and you want to know how many of them like to eat turkey. Are you just going to go out and ask a handful of them, and base your marketing strategy around that? No, you need to calculate how many people you would need to ask. If you wish to argue that too many whales are being hunted, you need to be able to defend a different representative sample.

    In regards to "common sense", you cannot take a field that has little to no marketing, no reliable supply of stock, no chance of making a profit with the stock it does have compared to the expenses, and most importantly, no powers of negotiation in the market, and pretend that this is a commercial venture. It flies in the face of common sense to claim that something is of a commercial nature in one breath, and then claim it is heavily subsidized by the government in the another. Either something is commercial or it isn't, and while there are food industries that do get heavy subsidies, they are inevitably products that do get regularly consumed. To claim that Japan is trying to sustain a whaling industry is ludicrous. The Japanese are not idiots. They know how to run a business, and this is not it. When you have a bunch of people doing something that costs more than it makes and it's primary purpose is to figure out how to do that something in a sustainable manner, it isn't commercial, it's research. It's also why researchers have to beg for grants so often; they don't make their own money.

    Like it or not, Japan isn't using a loophole in the IWC. They are following the rules as explicitly stated. You can claim they are abusing the rules, but in doing that, you need to show why their numbers are too high, and why lower numbers would achieve the same results.

    If you claim that whaling is not profitable, then you need to show why countries that are not throttled by the IWC can profitably and sustainably run a whaling industry. You cannot claim that Japanese whaling is not profitable and ignore all the limits placed on it preventing it from being profitable.

    If you are going to argue about common sense in science, you need to actually use common sense for scientists, because their common sense is different than your common sense. For scientists, common sense tells them that a "handful" is meaningless, "profitable" is irrelevant, and the only opinion regarding your research that matters is that of other scientists in the same or similar fields. Non-scientists don't get a vote in that; science is not done by popular opinion (unlike funding).

  • -3

    cabadaje

    @cleo

    Not me - it's the icr that reports a pregnancy rate of over 90% in JARPA 2007 - 262 of 286 mature females taken.

    Good, then you see that it is not 100%, and certainly not "in excess of 100%" (not even sure what that means), and it is not either calving or nursing (it's way too cold in the Antarctic for baby whales.

    All I have talked about is the killing of whales in the Southern Ocean. You're the one wanting to include JARPN and 'other survey' in the discussion. My concern is the pregnant females being killed in the Southern Ocean in the southern summer.

    Allright then, we can limit it to that.

    Cute, but we all know what the whalers mean is "Don't kill whales" is not an alternative to "How do we kill more whales?"

    This has nothing to do with the whalers. The whalers go out and kill whales because that is what they do. They get told how many whales they can kill by the scientists. It's the scientists who decide the limits.

    Most of it being 'research' into finding reasons to kill more whales,

    Ridiculous. Why would people need more reasons? Eating animals has always been sufficient in and of itself to kill them.

    ...laced with the truly weird stuff about fertilising cow and pig ova with whale sperm (for which, no, there is no need to send fleets of harpoon ships and a factory ship all the way down to the Antarctic - you can get more than enough sperm for Dr. Moreau from beached specimens.)

    Lack of understanding on your part doesn't actually negate the value of a scientific study. Ridicule, while common, doesn't either. Certainly , there where those who ridiculed Bernhard Zondek and Selmar Aschheim when they injected urine from pregnant women into mice and rabbits. I am a little confused, however, at your focus on pregnant whales combined with your evident disdain for a research paper that is aimed at determining through non-lethal means the state of pregnancy of a whale. I would have thought you would be all for it.

    The research is the reason given for the need to kill whales. The true reason is to put them on plates. The argument is circular.

    Cleo--you seem to have this image of whalers buying new houses and cars, writing and submitting research papers to Cambridge Publishing, and Nature magazine, and manipulating international law and organizations, while entire countries sit helplessly by unable to do anything to stop them.

    They're just fishermen. Really. They don't do research. They don't live in fancy houses or drive expensive cars. They rarely get involved in international committees, and then only as union members of sorts. They catch whales for the scientists, they eat and sell whatever is left over, and they dream of the day when they can actually go back to work without Westerners chucking bottles at them or trying to destroy their million dollar propeller with chains.

  • -2

    cabadaje

    Correction: The above study is only peripherally aimed at determining pregnancy; its actual purpose is in determining strength of fertility in whales, as well as genetic variation. Sorry, I was thinking of a different study.

  • 0

    cleo

    I am a little confused, however, at your focus on pregnant whales combined with your evident disdain for a research paper that is aimed at determining through non-lethal means the state of pregnancy of a whale. I would have thought you would be all for it

    Why would I be all in favour of any messing around with pregnant whales? Just let the mother get on with her pregnancy in peace.

    it's way too cold in the Antarctic for baby whales

    Then where did the butchers find this little one?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-512826/Harpooned-bloody-mother-whale-baby-dragged-factory-ship-Barbaric-No-research-says-Japan.html

    They're just fishermen. Really. They don't do research.

    I guess the reason 'research' whaling is so well-protected is that there are enough people besides the ones who do the actual killing, who find it beneficial for the killing and the subsidies to continue. Like other pork-barrel policies, doesn't mean it's right or beneficial for the rest of us, any more than the roads-to-nowhere, empty concrete boxes and unfinished dams are. Not to mention the endlessly-repeated experiments on animals carried out just to secure grants.

    they dream of the day when they can actually go back to work without Westerners chucking bottles at them

    Then maybe they should go back home and get proper jobs on land, doing something useful that doesn't involve killing mothers and babies.

  • -2

    arrestpaul

    AriesKJJ - Terrorists throw harpoons into animals and kill them for no other reason than stubborn selfishness, and terrorist supporters seek to justify those murders to the world: while hero's try to stop them.

    Your "heros" are violent thugs who believe that violence is the answer. The eco-terrorist SS have sunk ships, rammed ships, launched glass bottles of butyric acid at the whalers, fired red phosphorous flares at the whalers, repeatedly tried to disable the propellers of the whalers in the freezing waters of the Antarctic. The eco-terrorist use violence to force others to do their bidding. And you support their acts of violence.

    Japan has vowed to continue whale hunts. Nation after nation has refused to register eco-terrorist SS vessels because of the eco-terrorist SS repeated acts of violence. Nations have kicked the eco-terrorist SS off their ship registration because of the eco-terrorist SS repeated acts of violence. Your "heros" promote violence and you support your "hero's" violence.

  • -1

    SwissToni

    Cabadaje, "there is agreement that the Minke whale is no longer an endangered species, to the point that there is some concern as to whether it might outcompete the Blue whale (which is definitely endangered) for food (now that particular topic is definitely under debate".

    Only of concern to those wishing to justify the hunt. There is agreement that Minke whales have not recovered to their pre whaling numbers and therefore are not out competing Blue Whales. There is of course concern for the reduction in Krill which is believed to be caused by melting pack ice, higher sea water acidity levels due to increased CO2 and now Antarctic Krill fishing. So the rationale still doesn't support whale hunting in the southern ocean unless of course you feel that a reduced Minke population is only fair to Blue Whales in the face of a likely man made destruction of their food supply?

  • 0

    SamuraiBlue

    SwissToni

    Only of concern to those wishing to justify the hunt. There is agreement that Minke whales have not recovered to their pre whaling numbers and therefore are not out competing Blue Whales.

    Auhh, when commercial whaling was allowed minke whales were considered to be too small so they were not targeted for mass hunting.

  • 1

    SwissToni

    SamuraiBlue, sadly as other whale species became more difficult to come by in the early part of the last century Minke were in fact targeted, and in huge numbers. It's ironic that as the major whaling nations up to that point started to become aware of the dire situation, Japan decided to create its pelagic whaling industry. They jumped in with both feet and showed no interest in supporting any conservation conventions.

  • -4

    cabadaje

    @Cleo

    Why would I be all in favour of any messing around with pregnant whales? Just let the mother get on with her pregnancy in peace.

    Because that is not an option. Do you really think that biologists are going to leave one of the most impressive mammals out there unstudied, even if whaling had never existed?

    Then where did the butchers find this little one?

    Well, first thing I did when I looked at that article was catch a hold of my heart, because, damn, they really went to town on the emotional tear-jerking. Then, seeing as how I automatically become suspicious anytime someone tries to guilt me into thinking something, I took a harder look at what I didn't want to look at, namely, the picture.

    And the first thing I noticed was that, despite the article continuously making references to the mother and the baby and how it was suckling, and twitching, and a single tear rolled down its face as it let out one last mournful cry for peace in the world, my first question was:

    "How the hell did something that size come out of a whale that's barely twice that size?"

    That's like a mother giving birth to a teenager.

    The article does spend one line telling us it was at least 12 months old, although Minke are known to stop nursing at 6 months. It also tells us how the whale was shot in the gut (probably on purpose, just so those lying whalers could have a giggle), not in the head, as whalers claim to try to do.

    Seriously, that article is so ridiculously emotional that it actually made me want to actively support whaling, just to see if that sort if idiocy could be done away with. I decided to look up some more of this guys articles. Villagers crying because their alligator dies. Young girl burned alive for witchcraft by parents of a dead child. Refugees throwing 100 bodies out of the ship they were trapped in.

    Really, it's bad enough that people are willing to allows others to tell them what to think. Do they really need to have people telling them what to feel too?

    I guess the reason 'research' whaling is so well-protected is that there are enough people besides the ones who do the actual killing, who find it beneficial for the killing and the subsidies to continue.

    Then why guess? Why bother pretending to think it through? You don't like whaling? Fine, you don't like whaling. You don't have to justify it to anyone.

    But don't lie to yourself. Don't go out of your way to find any excuse you can to have a reason to not like whaling. Hell, just seeing the dead body of the teenage whale should be enough justification to not like whaling.

    There is nothing wrong with not liking something subjectively. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Where it becomes an issue is when people start trying to objectively rationalize their subjective opinions. Some of the worst crimes in the history of mankind have occurred because people decided that their dislikes had to have an explanation, and whomever turned out to be the scapegoat for that, why, at that point it was almost a mercy to get rid of their kind.

    Then maybe they should go back home and get proper jobs on land, doing something useful that doesn't involve killing mothers and babies.

    Case in point.

    Guess who else kills babies:

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_qUFDMUpk9jE/TOETQasy9dI/AAAAAAAAnlM/3NwwDJ3YaLU/s1600/image050.jpg

    You don't like something, great, you don't like. Don't dehumanize the people who do. Don't take fishermen and call them mother killers, or baby killers. You don't have that right, and they do not deserve that sort of hatred.

  • -4

    cabadaje

    @SwissToni

    Only of concern to those wishing to justify the hunt.

    Umm...and to the IWC...and to whale biologists all over the world...and environmental organizations...

    Data is not political. Data is data. Don't reject data just because it conflicts with your likes and dislikes. For all you know, there may not even be a conflict.

    There is agreement that Minke whales have not recovered to their pre whaling numbers and therefore are not out competing Blue Whales.

    The conclusion does not follow the premise. Yes, there is agreement that the Minke whales have not recovered to their pre-whaling numbers (and probably never will). Neither have the Blue Whales. And yet, there are a lot more Minke than Blue out there. And they eat a correspondingly greater amount. There is no rule that they have to reach their previous numbers before becoming a danger to other sea-life.

    There is of course concern for the reduction in Krill which is believed to be caused by melting pack ice, higher sea water acidity levels due to increased CO2 and now Antarctic Krill fishing. So the rationale still doesn't support whale hunting in the southern ocean unless of course you feel that a reduced Minke population is only fair to Blue Whales in the face of a likely man made destruction of their food supply?

    What rationale for hunting? I was talking about the argument some make that all whale research is redundant or irrelevant, which would mean the IWC would have no choice but to lift the moratorium and impose whaling limits.

    As for the whole climate change thing, not really of interest to me.

  • 0

    SwissToni

    "Don't reject data just because it conflicts with your likes and dislikes." "There is no rule that they have to reach their previous numbers before becoming a danger to other sea-life."

    I didn't reject the data, I reject the position that minke are damaging Blue Whales by taking their food. If the Minke Whale population had grown beyond its pre whaling peak, you could assert that they may well be out competing Blue Whales for the Krill. However, that's not the case, both populations remain reduced, the reduction in Krill is not due to over competition from Minke Whales its due to environmental pressure likely caused by human activity.

    If you're basing you're discussion on rationality and climate change has an impact on that discussion, surely you should at least give the issue a cursory glance? If not then you're guilty of limiting the discussion to fit your pre determined conclusion. Something you have accused many people of.

  • 1

    cleo

    Do you really think that biologists are going to leave one of the most impressive mammals out there unstudied, even if whaling had never existed?

    There are plenty of other impressive mammals out there; biologists do study them. The difference is that they don't fire exploding harpoons at pandas, orangutans, elephants, tigers, polar bears etc., in the wild, look at the contents of their stomachs and ears, throw 40% away and put the rest on plates. Heck, not even on plates - in cold storage. Nor do they pack the best bits in salt and donate them to themselves as reward for a job well done.

    The article does spend one line telling us it was at least 12 months old

    Maybe your crocodile tears prevented you reading the words. The article clearly says the calf was no more than 12 months old, not at least 12 months old.

    It also tells us how the whale was shot in the gut

    At least you managed to read that bit - though no need to read, just look at the pic.

    not in the head, as whalers claim to try to do.

    • and obviously fail to do. Not that it stops them firin' that harpoon.

    the dead body of the teenage whale

    Minke are sexually mature at around 8 years old and over 7 metres in length, so no way a calf no more than 12 months old and 5.3m long (according to the icr - http://www.icrwhale.org/eng/080207Release.pdf) is a 'teenager'. Or are you now going to squirm and say that shooting a baby in the gut is a no-no, but shooting a toddler or even a pre-pubescent is OK?

  • -1

    cleo

    It looks like the whale killers aren't giving up - now they've called in the military.

    The 12,500 tonne Shirase, operated by the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force, has appeared near whalers and Sea Shepherd activists 50 nautical miles off the coast of the territory

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/whale-watch/military-icebreaker-arrives-to-defend-japanese-whalers-20130225-2f0hj.html#ixzz2LtIvyfzY

  • -2

    Stranger_in_a_Strange_Land

    they've called in the military.

    Finally, the Japanese are growing a spine. Good news.

  • 1

    slumdog

    It looks like the whale killers aren't giving up - now they've called in the military.

    At first glance, I thought you were suggesting the whales were calling in the military.

  • 0

    Nessie

    It looks like the whale killers aren't giving up - now they've called in the military.

    Maybe the whale killers should be sued. Oh, I forgot: It's the SS, not the whalers, who are operating illegally.

  • 1

    Nessie

    There are plenty of other impressive mammals out there; biologists do study them. The difference is that they don't fire exploding harpoons at pandas, orangutans, elephants, tigers, polar bears etc., in the wild, look at the contents of their stomachs and ears, throw 40% away and put the rest on plates.

    It's standard practice to eat fish taken for research, Cleo. There's a reason exploding harpoons are not used on these fish. It's the same reason you don't use a chainsaw to cut your tofu.

  • 0

    cleo

    Not talking about fish, Nessie. Or tofu. cabadaje is trying to tell us that the only way to study 'impressive mammals' is to shoot them up and butcher them. That isn't what happens to other 'impressive mammals' that are studied, and there is no reason it should happen to whales. Except that non-lethal research doesn't satisfy the prime objective, namely hunting for meat, which gives the lie to the laboured claim that the junket in the Southern Ocean is all about 'research'.

  • -1

    arrestpaul

    cleo - It looks like the whale killers aren't giving up - now they've called in the military.

    The eco-terrorist SS own videos show that they are violating the 500 yard buffer zone and that the eco-terrorist SS scows are causing damage to the whaling vessels and the tanker.

    According to the article you linked:

    Shirase was scheduled to be in the region conducting Antarctic scientific work off nearby Cape Darnley, an informed Australian source said. The ship was due to be working on ocean moorings, which are used to collect oceanographic data.

    I find it odd that the fugitive Watson is saying, ''This is a serious situation and the tanker should be recalled,'' Mr Watson said. ''This situation represents a real potential threat for a major oil spill in the area of MacKenzie Bay not far off shore of the continent of Antarctica" when it is Watson and the eco-terrorist SS who positioned the eco-terrorist scow Bob Barker to cause the collision in the first place.

    Maybe the Australian Navy could ALSO send a ship to arrest Watson for damaging the Sun Laurel AND for violating the 500 yard buffer zone AND for fleeing German custody AND to ship Watson off to Costa Rica to stand trial for attacking fishermen.

  • 2

    Nessie

    Not talking about fish, Nessie. Or tofu. cabadaje is trying to tell us that the only way to study 'impressive mammals' is to shoot them up and butcher them. That isn't what happens to other 'impressive mammals' that are studied,

    Research on fish involves killing and eating fish. Some are studied in the lab, some are studied by hunting. Similiarly some whales are studied in mammal parks and other are studied by hunting. Whales and fish are both studied by lethal and non-lethal means. The most common method of surveying sea creature populations is by catching them in population surveys, whether it's fish or whales.

  • -1

    cleo

    Still not talking about fish, Nessie. Fish have got nothing to do with it. Whales may look like big fish and we all know they live in water, but they're not fish. You can do better than 'People do it to fish so it's OK to do it to whales'.

  • -3

    cabadaje

    I'll do you one better. It's okay to do it to pretty much anything as long as it isn't endangered or illegal.

  • 0

    Nessie

    You can do better than 'People do it to fish so it's OK to do it to whales'.

    I'm addressing the "putting it on their plates" part of your argument. The fact is that it's the rule, not the exception, for the results of population surveys to end up on plates. You don't have to eat it. You don't have to aknowledge that truth. But you can do better than strawmanning.

  • -3

    cabadaje

    @SwissToni

    I didn't reject the data,

    So when you said: "Only of concern to those wishing to justify the hunt.", you *weren't *claiming that the data was irrelevant to anyone who didn't want to hunt whales?

    I reject the position that minke are damaging Blue Whales by taking their food. If the Minke Whale population had grown beyond its pre whaling peak, you could assert that they may well be out competing Blue Whales for the Krill.

    Why? Why are you setting that limit that the Minke have to reach X number from whatever year prior to becoming a competitor for krill?

    However, that's not the case, both populations remain reduced, the reduction in Krill is not due to over competition from Minke Whales its due to environmental pressure likely caused by human activity.

    In a room with 1 black dog and 4 white dogs, you throw in 10 milkbones, do you expect each dog to get 2 treats?

    If you're basing you're discussion on rationality and climate change has an impact on that discussion, surely you should at least give the issue a cursory glance?

    If it had an impact on the discussion, sure. However, being that the question on the table was whether or not there was any research left to be done, then if we are at the point of asking if climate change needs to be taken into account, the question can be pretty much well and truly answered.

    If you wish to move on to a different question, no problem, but I am not going to let people think that you are referring to any actual data point I made regarding food sources and quantities for the Minke. I am not going to let you take my answer to one question and pretend I am answering a different question with it.

    If not then you're guilty of limiting the discussion to fit your pre determined conclusion. Something you have accused many people of.

    That, or, you took part of an answer to an unrelated question and ran with it as if it was its own topic. Remember when I commented:

    Similarly, I hear a lot of cries about the research being redundant or unnecessary, yet I don't see anyone offering conclusive data sets on the lives of whales. Indeed, if we had such information, the IWC would be forced to lift the moratorium on whales like the Minke, who cannot be referred to as endangered anymore. Which, incidentally, is not the same as declaring a free-for-all on the Minke whale; there would still be limits, but the limits would be set based on the sustainability of the population, not on the number required for a representative sample. The numbers of the Minke cannot be allowed to grow too much, as this would create a situation where they would outcompete the other whales and eventually overwhelm their food supply.

    And you jumped in with:

    The old "the whales are competing for resources" claim rehashed. Perhaps you can point us to where have whale numbers recovered to the point of destruction of their own habitat?

    And I replied that, No, that was not what I had said?

    Again, don't take an answer for one question, substitute it for a different question, and then carry on as if that had been my answer to your question. Under different circumstances, that can be referred to as a strawman.

  • -4

    cabadaje

    @cleo

    There are plenty of other impressive mammals out there; biologists do study them. The difference is that they don't fire exploding harpoons at pandas, orangutans, elephants, tigers, polar bears etc., in the wild, look at the contents of their stomachs and ears, throw 40% away and put the rest on plates.

    No, they fire bullets at them, look at the contents of their stomachs (and ears, I suppose...apparently that's particularly horrible, for some reason) throw probably more than 40% away, or, on occasion, eat what's left over, laws and cultural appetite allowing.

    It defeats the purpose of killing an animal for an autopsy if the part you want to autopsy (or, for that matter, the entire animal) has been blown up.

    Maybe your crocodile tears prevented you reading the words.

    Crocodile tears?

    I'm sorry, where you under the impression I was at any time sincere regarding any feeling of sadness for that article? I thought I went out of my way to clearly illustrate my contempt for that sort of writing.

    The article clearly says the calf was no more than 12 months old, not at least 12 months old.

    And it also says it was a mother and suckling calf, and it also says that the whalers lied when they claimed they tried to shoot for the head.

    Look, you want to believe everything the author says without making the slightest effort to check things out on your own, you go right ahead. Don't try to defend it as any sort of objective support for anything, though.

    At least you managed to read that bit - though no need to read, just look at the pic.

    I did both. And then I put some thought into the matter. And I realized that there were a dozen different possible reasons that this occurred aside from the writer's insinuation that the whalers had deliberately done it that way.

    and obviously fail to do.

    Yes, that is referred to, by people who shoot anything, as "missing". It's fairly common.

    Not that it stops them firin' that harpoon.

    Correct. Hunting generally does require firing something at the animal. Ideally, you hit and kill on the first go. Sometimes, you don't. And that's a damn shame. And the good hunter will put the poor animal out of its misery as soon as he can.

    Unless, of course, some jackasses decide to get in the way and make the animal suffer a slow, prolonged, torture by not allowing the hunter to administer the coup de grace. To keep an animal suffering for nothing more than political gain; that's sick.

    Minke are sexually mature at around 8 years old and over 7 metres in length, so no way a calf no more than 12 months old and 5.3m long (according to the icr - http://www.icrwhale.org/eng/080207Release.pdf) is a 'teenager'.

    Okay, how old is a whale at 5.3m?

    Doesn't make sense? An easy way to tell if a you are asking the wrong question is to flip it around and see if it makes sense backwards.

    Being that I am no more an expert than anyone else here, I decide to make some objective comparisons (It is incredible how many anti-whaling websites do nothing more than repeat this one report over and over again, and no one seems to bother actually fact-checking it).

    Looking around for sources who didn't care about the whaling issue, I found this:

    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/whale-207445-dock-gowanus.html

    Looks...a lot smaller. But let's keep checking for more pictures:

    http://www.glaucus.org.uk/Minke2-AGF.jpg

    Hmm...okay, a little bigger, but kind of hard to tell the scale, and there's no mention of the age.

    http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/minke-whale-washed-up-on-beach-1.326580?referrerPath=home/2.1962

    Ah, there we go. A 20 foot whale is determined to be a "juvenile" by people who aren't arguing about whaling.

    Incidentally, since you acknowledge that ICR release as credible, did you also notice that it stated the whales were not lactating, i.e., not suckling, neither the big one or the small one?

    Or are you now going to squirm and say that shooting a baby in the gut is a no-no, but shooting a toddler or even a pre-pubescent is OK?

    I'm not going to call it a baby, nor a toddler, nor a pre-pubescent, mostly because it is an animal. Asides from "baby", I reserve the words "toddler" and "pre-pubescent" for humans (I didn't here, but I do use "teenager" for animals as well because...well, there are similarities). Apparently, it is a juvenile.

    So, the article referred to this (several times) as a baby, and that was incorrect.

    It referred to it as suckling, which is also incorrect.

    It stated that the whalers lied about aiming for the head.

    Sorry. Low credibility called on that article. I stand by my claim that the Antarctic is too cold for babies.

  • -5

    cabadaje

    @cleo

    Not talking about fish, Nessie. Or tofu. cabadaje is trying to tell us that the only way to study 'impressive mammals' is to shoot them up and butcher them.

    No, I'm not. I'm saying it is the best way in terms of efficiency, economics, and detail.

    That isn't what happens to other 'impressive mammals' that are studied, and there is no reason it should happen to whales.

    Can you think of any "impressive mammals" that haven't been studied this way?

    Except that non-lethal research doesn't satisfy the prime objective, namely hunting for meat,

    It doesn't satisfy pretty much most the other research objectives either. How do you tell migration morphology through non-lethal research? How do you measure food intake, both at the end of migration and beginning? How do you determine fertility, gravidity, pregnancy, etc? If you want to claim lethal research is unnecessary, what do you propose that would get you these answers?

    ...which gives the lie to the laboured claim that the junket in the Southern Ocean is all about 'research'.

    Not until you can actually show that it isn't research, or that it can be done a different way.

  • -1

    cleo

    they fire bullets at them

    Like to point us in the direction of all this research that being done by shooting bullets at pandas, lactate, elephants, tigers, polar bears etc.? If there's research there's research papers, right? All published and peer-reviewed and pretty?

    Crocodile tears?

    I'm sorry, where you under the impression I was at any time sincere regarding any feeling of sadness for that article?

    No, I'm the one that must apologise. I didn't realise English wasn't your mother tongue and that so much of the discussion was going right over your head. (I should have known from the way nothing seems to register with you except what you already 'know'. Definitely my bad). Find a dictionary and look up the definition of crocodile tears.

    it also says it was a mother and suckling calf

    And this was the only point the icr got upset about. No, no, they aren't a mother and child, they aren't related. That is so misleading, we are so wronged.....Yes, it was a calf, but it was another whale's calf... so that's OK then. It probably means that there's a female minke frantic right now at losing her calf, but don't worry, we'll have a darn good try at killing her, too.

    the whales were not lactating, i.e., not suckling, neither the big one or the small one?

    Again, get out your dictionary and check the meaning of lactate. Nursing mothers lactate. Babies/toddlers/juveniles/calves/tiddlers do not lactate.

    Okay, how old is a whale at 5.3m?

    Easy to work out. A calf measures an average of 2.8m at birth, and grows about 1cm a day; to grow the 2.5m needed to reach 5.3m will take approximately 250 days, or a little over 8 months. Maturity is reached at 7 to 8 years for females, so an 8-month old is a tiddler.

    you acknowledge that ICR release as credible...

    Pointing out that even they admit they happily kill calves doesn't give them any overall credibility. They're still lying through their teeth about 'research'.

    If you want to claim lethal research is unnecessary, what do you propose that would get you these answers?

    The answers are also unnecessary. Just leave the whales alone.

  • 1

    SwissToni

    Cabadeje, "So when you said: "Only of concern to those wishing to justify the hunt.", you *weren't *claiming that the data was irrelevant to anyone who didn't want to hunt whales?"

    Well no, if that were the case I would have made that claim rather than let you invent it on my behalf. My assertion is that the 'concern' that Minke whales might be out competing Blue Whales is a fallacy for the reasons that I explained earlier.

    "Why are you setting that limit that the Minke have to reach X number from whatever year prior to becoming a competitor for krill?"

    Again I didn't do that. Logically, for Minke to be shown to be out competing Blue Whales the baseline measure must be their naturally sustainable population levels, ie prior to their depletion by industrial whaling. Should the Minke population recover enough to surpass naturally sustainable levels, only then can there be a concern that they are outcompeting other animals in their habitats. All the current population data indicates is that there are more Minke than Blue.

    That you agree that we may never see Minke return to their pre whaling populations indicates to me that you accept that it is man that is doing the out competing. You're only a step away from accepting the logic of maintaining ocean sanctuarys and a mere snip from there to accepting the legitimacy of Sea Shepherds protest.

  • -3

    cabadaje

    @cleo

    Like to point us in the direction of all this research that being done by shooting bullets at pandas, lactate, elephants, tigers, polar bears etc.? If there's research there's research papers, right? All published and peer-reviewed and pretty?

    Enough, Cleo. Now you are just arguing for the sake of arguing. You asked for papers on whales, you got papers on whales, and you complained about the papers. If I give you papers on anything, you are going to do the same thing. Don't ask for evidence if you already plan to dismiss it. If you seriously believe that no animals other than whales are ever killed for the purpose of study, then we can go ahead and put this argument right next to the one about two thieves representing the whaling fishermen income.

    No, I'm the one that must apologise. I didn't realise English wasn't your mother tongue and that so much of the discussion was going right over your head. (I should have known from the way nothing seems to register with you except what you already 'know'. Definitely my bad). Find a dictionary and look up the definition of crocodile tears.

    Yes, they are tears that are insincere. I was very much sincere in my contempt. But hey, since we have the dictionaries out, look up "ad hom"

    And this was the only point the icr got upset about.

    Good, then you acknowledge that the article was wrong.

    No, no, they aren't a mother and child, they aren't related.

    Meh. Maybe they were, maybe they weren't. No way to check from here.

    That is so misleading, we are so wronged...

    I agree. Emotional arguments are a rather pathetic sort of attack. It is an admittance to a lack of intellect and reason.

    Yes, it was a calf, but it was another whale's calf...

    Aren't they all?

    so that's OK then.

    They aren't the ones passing judgement based on false information. They did not mention anything about it being okay or not okay. The paper was specifically objecting to the tactic of using false information to provoke an emotional reaction against them. They have the right to defend themselves from lies.

    It probably means that there's a female minke frantic right now at losing her calf, but don't worry, we'll have a darn good try at killing her, too.

    Nah, she just shrugged and got on with her life. In an interview, the female minke stated that minkes don't really care about their babies.

    See, anyone can make up ridiculous stories. That doesn't make them accurate, however.

    Again, get out your dictionary and check the meaning of lactate. Nursing mothers lactate. Babies/toddlers/juveniles/calves/tiddlers do not lactate.

    And since neither were lactating, neither were nursing, which makes the claim that the baby was suckling wrong.

    Easy to work out. A calf measures an average of 2.8m at birth, and grows about 1cm a day; to grow the 2.5m needed to reach 5.3m will take approximately 250 days, or a little over 8 months. Maturity is reached at 7 to 8 years for females, so an 8-month old is a tiddler.

    Neat. Where did you get that info?

    Pointing out that even they admit they happily kill calves doesn't give them any overall credibility.

    You didn't use the document to point out that they happily admit to killing calves (which is good, because nothing in that document indicates any sort of happiness whatsoever). You used it as a data point for the size of the juvenile whale.

    They're still lying through their teeth about 'research'.

    What part of random sampling being necessary to obtain accurate information of the whale (or, for that matter, any animal) population do you consider a lie?

    The answers are also unnecessary. Just leave the whales alone.

    Not an option. Humans never leave anything alone. Even if one set of them does, another set jumps in and takes it. The only chance anything has to be protected from humans is for other humans to set up laws to protect them.

    • Moderator

      Readers, please stop going around in circles and repeating yourselves.

  • 0

    cleo

    Now you are just arguing for the sake of arguing.

    You stated that they fire bullets at them (=pandas, orangutans, elephants, tigers, polar bears etc), look at the contents of their stomachs (and ears, I suppose...apparently that's particularly horrible, for some reason) throw probably more than 40% away, or, on occasion, eat what's left over. You cannot back up that 'argument'. These mammals are not being shot at, dismembered, butchered and put in freezer storage in the form of handy steaks. no animals other than whales are ever killed for the purpose of study is a far, far cry from claiming, as you did, that pandas, orangutans et al regularly go through what the minke go through in the name of 'research'. Why not just man up and admit you were wrong? That you got carried away with the sound of your own voice? (In your head)

    since neither were lactating, neither were nursing

    You didn't bother to check the meaning of lactate, right? Mothers lactate. Babies/juveniles do not lactate. They nurse. 'The baby is not lactating' does not mean 'the baby is not nursing'.

    Actually looking again at the icr page, they say both were not lactating, which I took to be bad English for neither was lactating, but maybe they meant exactly what they said; both were not lactating, ie one of them was. Hard to tell with people who claim that telling the truth (icr kills baby whales) is 'a dangerous emotional propaganda'. They could well be hiding behind supposedly bad English.

    Neat. Where did you get that info?

    Google minke life cycle and do a bit of digging. A 2-minute job.

    What part of random sampling being necessary to obtain accurate information of the whale (or, for that matter, any animal) population do you consider a lie?

    The bit that goes, We kill whales for the research, honest. Not for the meat, honest. The IWC makes us eat the meat. We're just doing what the IWC tells us to do.

  • 0

    HokoOnchi

    How many voters actually are involved in whale hunting? Better yet, how may Diet seats? Whale meat and whale hunting pretty much is an anachronism to a bygone age. Why put so much international good will at stake?

  • 0

    Kyle Alpert

    Japan is following international law to the letter. If the international community wanted things to be different, laws would not be written as the are. This online outrage is just propaganda meant to give readers (including Japanese) a false impression of things, to induce a false feeling of momentum against the Japanese. SS activities are illegal, Japans are not. International law sides with Japan, meaning the community does as well.

    Remember, SS is a well financed, high tech, media savvy organization, that regularly criminal & fraudulent tactics, to create the illusion of legitimacy and popular support.

    I, for one, am thankful that Japan has allowed me the honor of eating food with an untold wealth of nutrients and macrocompounds from places far far away from from the reach of Westernization. Whales are natural marvels in so many ways, and the Japanese are right-on for wanting to understand and be one with them, via research and consumption.

    If only I could find some freshly whale/dolphin 'melon' and thymus/sweatbreads...

  • 1

    moanalabella

    Whale and dolphin hunting are just barbaric behaviors. People are just resistant to change (whale hunting is our culture? What if Hitler said killing jews is our culture?) and think they can exploit the ocean because they think they're God. I know that they, their next generations and next next generations will pay dearly for their disrespect of their ocean, and that they will feel the pain of the animals they slaughtered, many times over."

    This comment is not off topic - so moderators don't try to tell me otherwise.

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