Whaling

Discussion in 'Japanese News & Hot Topics' started by Rosea, Oct 17, 2000.

  1. Rosea

    Rosea 後輩

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    Hi. Finally, I decided to show up here, Thomas.
    Sorry, it took me so long...

    Let me introduce myself for all of you. I am Japanese.
    While I was in the US, I wrote a research paper on whaling.
    (See my paper if you have an interest:
    >>> http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Styx/9189/whaligcon.html)
    So, I am very interested in this issue. To discuss about whaling, you have to know the facts that is backed up by scientific studies, not tricky facts propagated by anti-whaling activists.

    Facts:

    1. Because of some whale species are increasing, fishermen in the Indian Ocean, the sea around Japan, Caribbean Sea, and Norwegian Sea cannot take fish as much as they want. This is a very recent situation. Whales are eating fish or baby
    fish as well as plankton. Whole whale species eat more than 280 billion tons of fish a year. Please compare the amount with 90 billion tons of a fish catch a year in the whole world. Don't you think it's a threat for people in the world? This causes ecological imbalance in the ocean and would soon cause
    severe shortage of marine food resources. Whaling is not only a matter of whaling nations vs. anti-whaling nations. This issue is a matter of whole people who consume marine and also land stock. (by a reference of Masayuki Komatsu's book "We Can Eat Whale Meat!" Mr. Komatsu is a Director for International Negotiations, International Affairs Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan.)

    2. Do you know why major hamburger shops' hamburgers are so cheap?
    Where does its meat come from?
    Have you ever thought about it?
    Major hamburger companies raise cattle with cutting down the enormous amount of trees in the Amazon or other areas in North America. In other words, they make vast area for the cattle with collapsing the environment, then they can supply enormous amount of meat. This enables major hamburger producers to supply hamburgers so cheap. Did you know your food is by the sacrifice of the environment of the earth?

    On the other hand, whale stock is abundant. IWC's Scientific Committee acknowledged it in 1991 and 1992. Nature raises the whales, so there is any destruction to raise whales. Therefore, we can take whale meat without any environmental destruction. Whale meat is an alternative to the meat of land stock. Whale meat is superb. It really tastes good, too.

    3. YOU SHOULD REALLY KNOW THIS >>>
    IWC's Charter says its twin goals are "to provide for the conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry." IWC is banning whaling now, so it is breaking its law by itself.

    4. Japanese fleet for scientific research is LEGAL as you know. Japan has a permit to conduct research whaling authorized by the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. They take only a little whales that never extinct. And the money they make is used only for another researches. Do you know how much it costs for research whaling to the Antarctic Ocean?
    They don't get profit. To let you recognize how huge it costs, the following report will help you to be convinced.

    Biological Samples and Balance Sheets ..... Simon Ward, published by ICR (1992) (* ICR = The Institute of Cetacean Research)

    http://luna.pos.to/whale/icr_bio_intro.html
    http://luna.pos.to/whale/icr_bio_play.html
    http://luna.pos.to/whale/icr_bio_keep.html
    http://luna.pos.to/whale/icr_bio_money.html >>> Watch Out!!
    http://luna.pos.to/whale/icr_bio_verdict.html >>> Watch Out!!
    http://luna.pos.to/whale/icr_bio_f.html

    *** My Ultimate Question >>>
    Why anti-whaling countries do not want whaling countries take even a whale? Why they are so persistent? Whale stock is abundant and they don't have to protest against the whaling of the abundant whale stock.

    *** For Tomoko >>>
    I really loved whale meat in our school lunch. It was not soup but fried whale meat with miso paste and sesame covering. It was delicious!!!

    *** Please refer to the following web sites. They will supply you a lot of valuable facts that you maybe don't know.

    http://luna.pos.to/whale/
    http://www.highnorth.no/
    http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Styx/9189/whali_ja.html >>> This is for Japanese.
    http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Styx/9189/whaligcon.html >>> This is my research paper.
     
  2. thomas

    thomas Unswerving cyclist
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    ARTICLE: Antiwhaling lawmakers urge Clinton to oppose Japan's UNSC seat bid

    Thank you very much for your conclusive posting, Rosea. I shall respond to some of the questions you have raised later on. Meanwhile I would like to post an article from today's JAPAN TIMES proving that the big showdown is still to come...


    Antiwhaling lawmakers urge Clinton to oppose Japan's UNSC seat bid

    WASHINGTON (Kyodo) A group of U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers said Friday it has introduced a nonbinding resolution calling on President Bill Clinton not to support Japan's bid to gain a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council unless it stops whaling.

    Sixteen congressmen sponsored the resolution, which needs majority support to be adopted in the 435-seat chamber, amid increasing global criticism of Japan's expanded whaling program.

    "Japan's continued defiance of the International Whaling Commission's requests to halt its scientific whaling program undermines international efforts to conserve and protect the world's whale populations," the resolution says.

    William Delahunt, a Massachusetts Democrat who is a chief sponsor of the resolution, said in a statement, "Despite repeated protests from the United States and many other nations, the Japanese government recently proceeded with plans for scientific hunts of three protected species of whales in the North Pacific -- hunts which kill more than 500 minke, sperm and Bryde's whales each year."

    Japan officially ended commercial whaling in 1987 but has continued to hunt minke whales, purportedly for research purposes.

    Under a two-year pilot program introduced this year, Japan has stepped up its whaling practices to include 50 Bryde's whales, 10 sperm whales and 100 minke whales in the northwestern Pacific.

    The program has drawn stinging criticism from environmental groups. Japan has maintained that the species have increased sufficiently to allow for the catches and that the expanded program is acceptable under the commission's rules. Washington opposes the hunting of Bryde's and sperm whales because it says the species are endangered and protected under U.S. law.

    Early last month, U.S. Commerce Secretary Norman Mineta recommended Clinton impose trade sanctions against Japan over the whaling program.

    Tokyo has said it might lodge a complaint with the World Trade Organization if Washington takes punitive action.

    Delahunt said he and a bipartisan group of colleagues as well as Secretary of State Madeleine Albright have conveyed that the whale hunts could undermine Japan's credibility in connection with a variety of international marine environmental agreements.

    "In response, the Japanese government has turned a decidedly deaf ear and it is time to turn up the volume," Delahunt said.

    A spokesperson for Delahunt's office could not confirm when the resolution will be voted on.

    When asked if he thought majority support could be gained to pass the resolution, the spokesperson said, "We'll see what happens."

    "The issue is not only whether commercial whaling has a place in the 21st century but also whether Japan can be trusted to fulfill its commitments to the letter and spirit of multilateral environmental agreements," Delahunt said.


    Copyright © Japan Times
     
  3. Maciamo

    Maciamo Twirling dragon

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    #3 Maciamo, Jul 22, 2002
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2002
    I think pollution and overfishing are more relevant causes to this problem.

    The whale population was much (but really much) higher 100 or even more 200 years ago and fish were also more numerous than nowadays. The problem must reside somewhere else. You are saying that if humans don't reduce or at least control the number of whales, the ecosystem will be disturb and lose its balance. Sorry but that's nonsense. The ecosystem was perfectly balanced before humans started fishing whales. They are not going to overbreed and replace fish populations. Humans are also catching fish, which reduces the availability for whales and consequently refrain them from becoming to numerous.

    You are tallking about a guy that has strong interest in whaling. It's evident he is not going to be against. He works for the Japanese government (so has some interests and has high chances to get "commissions" from whalers). Basically you are saying that if the devil think it's good you should do it.

    There are also fishburgers that I know. Eat fish, but leave the whales in peace. I personnally don't eat hamburgers, nor beef altogether (eventhough beef is the traditional staple of my country).

    This is your personnal opinion. I think more people find whale meat greasy, distgusting or at least not so good than "superb" like you. I understand your point now ; you only care about the satisfaction of your stomach, that's why you want to exterminate whales.

    Why does Japan need to make scientific research on whales ? I believe it's only an excuse to go around the law. Everybody with a connection to the whale industry in Japan abuse international treaties because they only care about money. The government lies on everything. Why should we believe that they use so much money for research or don't actually make profit from it. You have the choice between trusting a corrupted government or your common sense. I'd rather choose the latter, because I know how things work everywhere in the world when it's about money (and Japan really is a stereotypical example).
     
  4. moyashi

    moyashi Sempai

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    Rosea, I wish you good luck since I'm sure many will find this issue pretty debatable and words might be exchanged strongly.

    hmmm ... Maciamo raised some good points which I too had in mind.

    So are you suggesting something like Deer hunting to keep the population of deer down? Or hunt just enough to pursue research? I find it strange though that I've seen whale meat at Kaiten sushi shops. I wonder what breed that meat was.

    What kind of research is really that necessary to increase the catch? I can understand widening the research material but more of just one species?

    If whales eat that much fish. What have the fishing industries done to replenish stocks? I think of the guilotine wall that was dropped on a bay in Hoshu. The nori and fisherman all lost profit and the government sites and says it'll study.

    hmmm, I guess I too should study more. But my questions above have been bothering me for a while. I look forward to interesting exhanges.

    Cheers and good luck
     
  5. Tomoko

    Tomoko Sempai

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    I use to support such campaigns as save the whales, save the elephants, Green Peace go hoorah! Now a days I see these as nothing more than mere cogs, in the political machine.
    First off, whose to gain from such political propaganda? Corporations in direct competition with Japanese comapines. Remember the big "made in the USA" campaign a few years back, not to mention the higher import taxes on cars.

    To make a point about species protection, I use to think that African Elephants were endangered and we need to save every last one of them. Now bear in mind that elephants are the largest land mamal, just as the whale is the largest animal in the sea. Animals of such magnitude require a multiplication of their size, in terms of resources, to attain such enormity. Back to the point, when the elephant population had escalted to higher numbers (not sure if it ever reached the safe population digit or not), what scientists began to observe was the African forrests diminishing. Why? The elephants were stripping the barks of trees as well as uprooting them to get to the roots and pulp. A culling program had to be initiated to protect the elephants and the forrests from complete destruction.

    So after all this babble what my point? Protection of a species is good, especially when we are the ones overharvesting, however over protection is worse, as the protected species begins to regain momentum in population and dominate its resource niche, if left unchecked will overwhealm the resurces it needs which will, IMHO, lead to its own extinction. Point in matter, whales are meat. I like to eat some meat. Never had whale though, but I'm willing to give it a try:emoji_grinning:
     
  6. NoWrongInWhaling

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    It looks like some clarification of the facts are required here:

    "You are saying that if humans don't reduce or at least control the number of whales, the ecosystem will be disturb and lose its balance. Sorry but that's nonsense. The ecosystem was perfectly balanced before humans started fishing whales. "

    The Minke whale population in fact doubled during the large scale industrial whaling days when whalers use to hunt primarily for oil (unlike today where whalers only hunt for food):

    http://www.omplace.com/omsites/discover/faq/index.html

    Indeed many scientists believe that the reason why larger whale species have not bounced back from their depleted status is because the Minke whale, which doubled in numbers, took up the extra surplus food supply as the other whale stocks were gradually depleted.

    "You are tallking about a guy that has strong interest in whaling. It's evident he is not going to be against. He works for the Japanese government (so has some interests and has high chances to get "commissions" from whalers). Basically you are saying that if the devil think it's good you should do it."

    Where as you are saying "we shouldn't listen to a word this guy says, because he doesn't agree with me, therefore he must be the devil". You ought to address his arguments, rather than attack his person.

    "Eat fish, but leave the whales in peace."

    Why not leave fish alone, and eat the abundant whale stocks instead? Fish stocks are known to be depleted, we could at least reduce our reliance on fish stocks by adding Minke whales to the menu - there are twice as many of them now than before whaling started. Naturally we should ensure that only a sustainable number of whales is taken however - this is crucial. We wouldn't want to go depleting the minke as well now would we.

    "I understand your point now ; you only care about the satisfaction of your stomach, that's why you want to exterminate whales."

    Why do you eat beef, or fish, or whatever other animal? You don't need to eat any animals - the vegans are living proof that humans can survive without eating animals. Your animal consumption is essentially just because you enjoy the flavour as well. Secondly, wanting to eat whales does not mean one wants to exterminate the whales. You ought to read about the IWC's "Revised Management Procedure". The world's top whale scientists devised this quota based management scheme for whales, and even the antii-whaling nations at the IWC supported the adoption of this procedure. Any hunting under the RMP is scientifically guaranteed to be sustainable.

    "Why does Japan need to make scientific research on whales ? "

    One of the requirements of any scientifically based quota management scheme is that data related to the population of whales being targetted is known. It would not be possible to sustainably hunt whales if it were not known for example, how many whales their were, how the age distribution of the whales was structured, and so on. Without this information any efforts to sustainably hunt whales would not be possible. You can't figure out how many whales you can catch without understanding the growth rate of the stock. This is precisely why Japan has been researching the Antarctic Minke population for the last 15 years - without up to date information on the age and stock structure of the minke stock, there is no way the scientific committee of the IWC would ever set a catch quota. What Japan is doing is not only the sensible thing to do, it's also what was always intended by the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, which is the IWC's "constitution" if you like. Please refer to:
    http:www.iwcoffice.org/Convention.htm
    Refer to Article VIII.
    It makes it quite clear that Japan's research whaling is legal.


    The facts are simple:
    - whale species such as the minke are demonstrably abundant
    - sustainable hunting of such species has been scientifically proven to be possible
    - humans eat all sorts of things, there is no rational reason why people couldn't eat whales too.
     
  7. earthangel

    earthangel 先輩

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    Maciamo, I liked your post!
    Red Thirteen, humans are overpopulating the planet does that mean we should be killing them too to create more balance? Well, perhaps that will happen of its own accord, by the look of global warming and the coming Ice Age. Your cynicism about environmental and animal rights groups fighting for the rights of animals who are fast disappearing from the planet leaves me cold, however. The world is desperately short of people who care and will act on behalf of others. Indifference and apathy are the biggest enemies we face today in my opinion.
     
  8. timmid1

    timmid1 後輩

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    Clearly the main problem is overpopulation. Too many humans taking the resources which other species need.

    Eating meat, whether from the land or sea, makes a huge contribution to the destruction of world resources. We don't need to eat meat. Eating beef, particularly in the US, is the main cause of the destruction of the rain forests. And most of the fish in the sea either have been or are now overfished to the point at which they are in danger of becoming extinct.

    Whales are no different. While there is (disputed) evidence that there are several thousand minke whales in the oceans now, there were hundreds of thousands before whaling was a commercial enterprise.

    There were once abundant cod and tuna and sharks. But cod have almost disappeared, tuna fishermen find it harder and harder to fill their quotas and 90% of sharks have disappeared in the past 50 years.
     
  9. bossel

    bossel Sempai

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    Minke whales

    Interesting new research is out, which contradicts NoWrongInWhaling's argumentation:

    ""There is really no evidence at all that minke whales right now are so abundant that they are hindering the recovery of great whales in Antarctica," said Dr Palumbi.

    "Minkes were not rare before the age of Antarctic whaling and their present population size is not a reflection of a recent, huge increase. They are not weeds that need to be pulled." "


    More from Palumbi:

    "The most recent firestorm began in July 2003, when the journal Science published a study on humpback, fin and minke whale populations co-authored by Palumbi and graduate student Joe Roman. Using DNA analysis, Palumbi and Roman concluded that the worldwide population of humpbacks, now estimated at 20,000, might have been as been as high as 1.5 million before commercial whaling took off in the 1800s. That figure is more than 10 times bigger than the widely accepted historical estimate of 100,000 humpbacks, which is based on 19th-century whaling records."
     
  10. Leroy_Brown

    Leroy_Brown Sempai

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    Rosea,

    What facts do you have about the number of whales that were killed by the New England whalers of the 19th century? They must've killed just as many as Japan ever has.
     
  11. isanatori

    isanatori Hazashi

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    Leroy_Brown,

    New England whalers mostly killed sperm whales, right whales and bowhead whales. The latter two species have been protected since 1937.
    For technical reasons, they couldn't catch rorqual whales (blue, humpback, fin, sei or minke whales).
    These rorqual whales were mainly hunted since the invention of the norwegian harpoon gun in 1868 by Svend Foyn.
    Whaling in Antarctica began in 1904. The use of factory boats has been since 1924. Japan joined in in 1934.
    Japan certainly profited most from IWC incoherent rules (Blue Whale Unit, Whaling Olympics), but overall they killed less whales than Norway and United Kingdom did. In fact, Japan became the first whaling nation exactly when IWC regulations got stricter.
    It is not easy to compare New England whaling and Japanese modern whaling, as they don't target the same species and don't use the same hunting methods.

    As for Palumbi's research, nothing proves that they are flawless. The truth is certainly somewhere between his results and IWC estimates based on whalers'logs. Will need to wait and check again and again these studies before asserting anything, i guess.
     
  12. rosib

    rosib 後輩

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    anti-whaling activist

    Here is another tricky opinion from an anti-whaling activist - killing intelligent mammals for food is uncivilised behaviour and not worthy of the potentialfor greatness in higher beings - humankind. Still, I expect that the whole issue of killing animals for food is subject to the same evolutionary laws as anything else and we need to be educated into a few more facts about ecological degradation . I have no doubt of the need for humanity to become vegetarian when I look at a few scientific facts. Cheers! Rosib
     
  13. bossel

    bossel Sempai

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    Pretty pretentious.

    :emoji_thinking:

    Which scientific facts in particular?


    BTW, welcome to the forum!
    Another BTW, no double-posting, please. Use the edit-button instead!
     
  14. earthangel

    earthangel 先輩

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    Thanks Bossel for your post on Professor Stephen Palumbi. Palumbi's ground-breaking genetic research poses some very important questions and until the jury comes back in, no more whales should be killed by any country, otherwise there is a very real possibility that we could be making whales extinct. The IWC fails to take into account all the environmental factors weighing against whales' revival when determining catch quotas. This is just good "science." Since the Japanese Government is so into science, I am sure they will agree. Unless of course they are manipulated by greedy corporations wanting short-term profits like the rest of the world? In which case, the only hope is for Japanese consumers to refuse to eat whalemeat. It is carcinogenic after all. Does that carcinogenic meat still taste good to you, Rosea?
     
  15. RockLee

    RockLee Hullu

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    Hmm...that's BS...besides...I'm not a cow.If u want to eat plants, be my guest.On the other hand,it's not right to tell people to stop eating meat just because some scientists think it's possible to live without.However I think it's not good people hunt animals into extinction, but to make everyone start becoming veg. goes too far.

    Did u ever stop and think about what would happen if we would stop eating meat?There would have to be more farms to produce food for everyone, and with the growing number of humans there wouldn't be much space left in the future.Animals would take more space because they wouldn't get killed for food.So we'd have to use birthcontrol or kill animals because there is not enough space on the planet.In the end it's pretty much the same I think...Humans would still kill animals, but let it be on a animalfriendly way, not butcher them to death...

    my 2 cent :emoji_smile:
     

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