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Whaling: Beginning of the end?

Richard Black | 12:36 UK time, Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Is this the beginning of the end for Japanese whaling in the Antarctic?

Clash between whaling ship and opponent

Clashes have been dramatic - enough to cause a U-turn?

That is the biggest question arising from Wednesday's announcement in Tokyo that this season's whaling programme was being suspended.

The Fisheries Agency (FAJ) hasn't formally declared the season over, but it appears likely that the fleet will soon be on its way out of the Southern Ocean and back to harbour.

FAJ official Tatsuya Nakaoku blamed the suspension on harrassment by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which has made life progressively more difficult for the whaling fleet each year by sending faster and better-equipped boats.

This season, it has regularly managed to park across the back of the Nisshin Maru factory ship, making it impossible to winch whales on board.

Mr Nakaoku said it was a question of Sea Shepherd boats endangering safety.

So has Sea Shepherd won? It has pursued its campaign not only in face of physical opposition from the whaling fleet, but also objections from some anti-whaling observers who believe the annual confrontations handed the FAJ an opportunity to garner support by painting an image of anti-whaling activists as anti-Japanese and akin to terrorists.

The campaigns have certainly reduced the number of whales caught. The official target this season was 850 minke whales and 50 fin whales, although the fleet left port later than usual and was apparently aiming for a far smaller quota - perhaps as low as 200.

No official pronouncement has been made on the actual catch - Sea Shepherd estimates it at 30.

But the ocean skirmishes are just one part of a much bigger picture, with a number of factors combining to squeeze the Japanese whaling programme in a financial and political vice.

Whalemeat poster

Sales of whalemeat have fallen, despite promotion

The national budgetary situation is dire.

The Kyodo Senpaku company, which actually does the whaling on behalf of the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR), is itself said to be in major financial difficulties.

The greater part of the funding for the whaling operation comes from selling meat.

With sales falling, and a constrained government not minded to raise its subsidy in compensation, a smaller fleet salied than in previous years - which made it more vulnerable to Sea Shepherd's attention.

(In fact, one of the ironies of the current situation is that the plucky anti-establishment activist group is probably much better funded than its state-backed foe - especially given its recent receipt of a million euros from the Dutch National Lottery.)

Sources from within the industry told Greenpeace in December that a smaller quota would be targeted this year, purely for financial reasons.

Meanwhile, the Australian legal case against Japanese whaling is due to come to the International Court of Justice this year.

It'll take several years to conclude and there's no guarantee Australia will win - even so, there may be some in the Japanese government who see the reputational damage as being just too severe.

Another looming constraint is that from next season, ships carrying heavy fuel oil will be banned from Antarctic waters under the International Maritime Organization's new anti-pollution code.

Switching the Nisshin Maru to diesel would be technically feasible - but would anyone foot the bill?

An alternative would be to invest in a new factory ship that would both meet the new pollution standard and be fast enough to escape Sea Shepherd's attention. 

But again - who's going to pay?

On the other hand - without such an upgrade, will the whaling fleet ever be effective again?

Reading the political runes is never easy on this issue, but there's no doubting that Mr Nakaoku's statement marks a major change of tone.

Flare on ship's deck

The ICR says activists have attacked with flares

Previously, the Fisheries Agency and the ICR have been adamant that Sea Shepherd would not win on the seas. Fire has been fought with fire, even to the extent of collisions that really did endanger lives.

Yet now the official line is that Sea Shepherd has made whaling impossible though compromising safety.

It is a remarkable turnaround - and it's matched by the apology that emerged late last year from the FAJ [video link], after it acknowledged that five of its officials had taken "free gifts" of whalemeat in substantial quantities.

Until that point, the official line had been to condemn Greenpeace, whose activists Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki exposed the issue and were consequently put through criminal prosecution under threat of 10 years in prison (they eventually received suspended sentences).

So what it all means is, as yet, unclear.

But it looks increasingly the case that if the Japanese fleet is to go Antarctic whaling next season, it'll require substantial investment.

Negotiators at the heart of the "peace process" that fell apart at last year's International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting believed Japan was looking for a way out of the Southern Ocean that saved face.

Admitting to defeat by Sea Shepherd doesn't feel like a face-saving solution.

Japan's whaling takes place under regulations permitting hunting for scientific research - technically it's the Japanese Whale Research Program under Special Permit in the Antarctic (JARPA-2).

There's due to be a review after the first six years of operation [pdf link] - which is after the end of the current season.

Might the review conclude that there's no need to continue the research?

Whatever the reality of such speculation - and speculation it is at this stage - it does at least appear possible that the current Antarctic hunting season will be the last.

On the other hand, the crisis might spur the whaling lobby in the Diet to action, and persuade the government that finding the necessary investment would be in the national interest. Maybe Japanese consumers will find a new taste for whalemeat, and the industry's economics will turn around.

Alternatively, the "national interest" card might be deployed in favour of ending the Antarctic operation and spending resources instead on increasing whaling close to shore.

Either way, the fleet's turn away from the Antarctic hunting grounds feels like a significant move in what has been a long-running war of attrition.

 

Comments

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  • 1. At 1:11pm on 16 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    Richard Black.

    ah yes, the 'cuddly' whales tear-jerker -- again.

    there are so many stories, even domestic (!!), which you could report on Mr Black, so many aspects of our manifest mismanagement of natural resources that need discussing but (I feel) you're too wrapped up in your cozy bubble. besides, the new 'regime' of moderation on this blog, which closes down every entry prematurely, further discourages debate.

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  • 2. At 1:15pm on 16 Feb 2011, MangoChutney wrote:

    This season, it (Sea Shepherd) has regularly managed to park across the back of the Nisshin Maru factory ship, making it impossible to winch whales on board.

    Couldn't the whalers simply deploy an inflatable around the rear of their ship to prevent the Sea Shepherd from stopping the winch?

    (This is not to say that killing lots of whales is correct)

    /Mango

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  • 3. At 1:46pm on 16 Feb 2011, Arrrgh wrote:

    Star Trek has a link to whales.

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  • 4. At 2:03pm on 16 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    #1 - jr4412 wrote:

    "there are so many stories, even domestic"

    I do not challenge your statement.
    I would like to see a list...
    Your list. Lay it out there.
    Really.

    I think buried in this article, for
    whatever reason, it's about changing
    minds. For whatever reason... it's change.
    Egypt is obvious with respect towards why
    they have been 'successful' to this point
    (a friendly military). Ultimately, it's
    about getting the 'ball' rolling.
    Revolution will come at a much higher
    price for those who wish to purchase it
    in other countries...

    Like the items that may appear on your
    forthcoming list... they could use a
    catalyst. Changing minds, changing
    methods, changing attitudes.

    Being able to point to something
    that isn't just thin air...
    for a change.

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  • 5. At 2:22pm on 16 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    one of the ironies of the current situation is that the plucky anti-establishment activist group is probably much better funded than its state-backed foe

    That's only "ironic" if the "plucky anti-establishment" group is actually anti-establishment. But we have to count such factors as funding among the criteria of being part of the establishment.

    Thus the BBC, the Church of England, the mainstream press, academia, etc., always have to be counted as part of the "establishment", no matter what their current opinions happen to be. These opinions differ from one era to the next, but the main players remain pretty much the same. If the BBC and the Church of England and the mainstream media and academia were in favour of whaling, then an anti-whaling group would indeed be "anti-establishment". As it is, they're all against whaling, so this group is just one of many agents of the establishment.

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  • 6. At 2:54pm on 16 Feb 2011, simon-swede wrote:

    The Church of England may be part of your establishment - it sure isn't part of mine.

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  • 7. At 2:58pm on 16 Feb 2011, dutchdavey wrote:

    The Norwegians and Japanese have the same right to shoot and eat whale as the rest of us have to kill and eat beef. It's easy to protest about what someone else is doing, if it doesn't affect your own daily life particularly.

    Maybe the Japanese and Norwegians will starting launching taskforces onto the mainland of the US and Europe to 'peacefully' sabotage the widespread slaughter of cows??

    Okay if whale stocks are depleted, otherwise let 'em get on with it and let's not throw stones from our comfy glass houses..

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  • 8. At 3:02pm on 16 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    b5happy #4.

    "I do not challenge your statement.
    I would like to see a list...
    Your list. Lay it out there.
    Really."

    should I give my time,
    when prose is composed,
    without reason nor rhyme??

    :-))

    seriously though, I would have liked (and expected from the man who writes about "our shared environment") to read about the proposed sell-off of our forests perhaps or why the UK fails so dismally on recycling (by comparison with our neighbours). but that's 'too close to home' apparently for RB (or perhaps even his employers). at any rate, I've no time to compose and lay out a list, Countdown's on in a few minutes. priorities and all that..

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  • 9. At 3:13pm on 16 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    #4 - bowmanthebard:

    "That's only "ironic" if the "plucky anti-establishment"
    group is actually anti-establishment. But we have to count
    such factors as funding among the criteria of being part
    of the establishment."

    I find your statement to be ludicrous...

    First, if Japan's 'establishment' is 'for' whaling then the
    Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is 'anti-establishment'
    regardless of what England thinks.

    Second, "If the BBC and the Church of England and the
    mainstream media and academia were in favour of whaling,"
    as you have stated, I do not see how that would preclude
    the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society from being considered
    'anti-establishment' since they seem to subsist on donations
    from the 'public' versus government representation and support.

    If your use of 'the establishment' is by strict definition
    then you are possibly correct... but just plain silly.



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  • 10. At 3:26pm on 16 Feb 2011, Smiffie wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 11. At 3:35pm on 16 Feb 2011, PragueImp wrote:

    What the hell is jr442's problem?! (first post)
    This whaling story is topical - it's just happened, so why not have a blog on it?!
    There are plenty of other reports on the BBC and elsewhere about other issues.

    The only thing that ''further discourages debate'' is having such petty comments right at the beginning of it!

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  • 12. At 3:39pm on 16 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:

    @Richard Black:

    #8 - jr4412 wrote:

    "I would have liked (and expected from the man who writes about "our shared environment") to read about the proposed sell-off of our forests perhaps or why the UK fails so dismally on recycling (by comparison with our neighbours)."

    How about it?

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  • 13. At 3:44pm on 16 Feb 2011, PragueImp wrote:

    Interesting issue - do we applaud Sea Shepherd for what they are doing (because we are against whaling) or should we condemn them (are the Japanese actually breaking any laws?).
    Should well-funded activists be allowed to impose their will on a situation, especially if they are not necessarily in the right?

    Shouldn't they be going after the tuna fishermen instead?

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  • 14. At 3:55pm on 16 Feb 2011, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    Economic and political decision on the part of the Japanese. Do not forget that there are other whaling countries and the Japanese can just purchase the whale meat from them.
    Funding for many things are being reviewed as Japan faces the same issues as other countries because of the thieving bankers and their willingness to sink the world economy with their illegal lending and the governments to have taxpayers bail them out. The consequences continue to roll out as the politicians continue to provide cover for their masters.
    Always has been questionable tactics on both sides.

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  • 15. At 4:10pm on 16 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    Smiffie #10.

    "..Japan has a long history of criminality.."

    borderline racist.

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  • 16. At 4:16pm on 16 Feb 2011, Eamon77 wrote:

    About time too!

    Now for the seal hunt, please!

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  • 17. At 4:19pm on 16 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    Excellent work by Sea Shepherd in the continuing effort to make sure the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is internationally recognised and enforced.

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  • 18. At 4:21pm on 16 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    PragueImp #11.

    "What the hell is jr442's problem?! (first post) ... The only thing that ''further discourages debate'' is having such petty comments right at the beginning of it!"

    let's see how you think/feel about things here in two/three years from now. ;)

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  • 19. At 4:27pm on 16 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    b5happy #9 wrote:

    if Japan's 'establishment' is 'for' whaling then the
    Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is 'anti-establishment'
    regardless of what England thinks.


    But almost the entire Western world thinks whaling is wrong and should be banned.

    Compare this scenario:

    Almost everyone in the Druid "community" thinks Stonehenge has magic powers. But almost the entire Western world thinks it's just a place of historical interest, with no magic powers. Some Druids enter Stonehenge to exercise what they see as an entitlement to do their magic. But then a gang of anti-magic activists disrupts their ceremony and makes all them go home.

    Would you say that because the "Druid establishment" is "for magic" and this lot is "anti-magic", that therefore this gang is "anti-establishment"?

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  • 20. At 4:29pm on 16 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    #14 ghostofsichuan wrote:

    "The consequences continue to roll
    out as the politicians continue to
    provide cover for their masters."

    A very potent statement...

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  • 21. At 4:56pm on 16 Feb 2011, verity wrote:

    to link farming cattle to the slaughtering of whales seems ridiculous to me. cows are bred to be slaughtered, and though I would be the last person to condone intensive farming practices, it is on no way comparable to the killing of endangered species.

    the exploitation and depletion of whale populations over recent centuries, especially the last, is beyond belief. in the twentieth century 360,000 blue whales were culled, reducing their population to just 1000. is it only ok to stop hunting this magnificent animals once the effort becomes commercially unviable?

    it may seem to some that hunting Minke whales is a sustainable option but to base whales sustainability on the numbers killed is an ill-considered idea. studies show that whales survival depends upon complex social interaction with knowledge such as that of feeding grounds passed down to younger whales. depletion of a particular whale species could have an untold affect on its ability to breed in the future. some protected species still hang in the balance; it's unknown if they will be able to rejuvinate the social bonds they have lost.

    I am not living in a 'cosy bubble'. this story is relevant to anyone living on this planet. whales are migratory, and the whales hunted by Japan do not belong to it. it is the fault of humans that whales have brought to the brink of extinction and it is now up to us to do something about it.

    it's sad to think that it is only money that can make the decision between the life or death of an entire species.

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  • 22. At 5:02pm on 16 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #19.

    "But almost the entire Western world thinks whaling is wrong and should be banned."

    I must have missed something; since when do you believe that being 'right' or 'wrong' is a democratic/majority decision. what happened to 'truths'? really.

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  • 23. At 5:04pm on 16 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @19 'Compare this scenario:' - bowmanthebard

    A blatantly unsubtle attempt to make an analogy between environmentalists and fringe religions bowman?...

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  • 24. At 5:05pm on 16 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    #19 bowmanthebard wrote:

    "Would you say that because the "Druid establishment"
    is "for magic" and this lot is "anti-magic", that
    therefore this gang is "anti-establishment"?"

    If I was of the "Druid establishment", yes, obviously.

    See... it's silly.

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  • 25. At 5:17pm on 16 Feb 2011, PragueImp wrote:

    There are about 5 comments above which have anything at all to do with the subject of this blog!
    No wonder so few people are getting involve - it's total nonsense! Please go somewhere else and have your petty discussions! We want to about the blog!

    Lamna nasus (17)
    ''Excellent work by Sea Shepherd in the continuing effort to make sure the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary is internationally recognised and enforced.''
    But why are we relying on them to enforce it? Are international laws not working?

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  • 26. At 5:28pm on 16 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    verity #21.

    "studies show that whales survival depends upon complex social interaction with knowledge such as that of feeding grounds passed down to younger whales."

    the same goes for any number of mammalian species, and even for many avians. to focus, bleeding-heart-like, on one particular species is counter-productive since it prevents you from developing a coherent argument encompassing the wider issues.

    "it's sad to think that it is only money that can make the decision.."

    quite, now develop thought and strategy from there.

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  • 27. At 5:51pm on 16 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    jr4412 #22 wrote:

    I must have missed something; since when do you believe that being 'right' or 'wrong' is a democratic/majority decision.

    You certainly have missed something. Right and wrong isn't a matter of what the majority think. But "the establishment" is a matter of what the majority think.

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  • 28. At 5:53pm on 16 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    #26 jr4412 wrote:

    "the same goes for any number of mammalian species, and even for many avians. to focus, bleeding-heart-like, on one particular species is counter-productive since it prevents you from developing a coherent argument encompassing the wider issues."

    Hey, it's a start. And a 'bleeding' good one...

    A good place to start developing "thought and strategy".

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  • 29. At 5:58pm on 16 Feb 2011, lindsaybriggs wrote:

    @ #13 -- I encourage you to look at Sea Shepherd's website. They are going after the tuna fisherman. (And seal clubbers and a lot of other areas). Sea Shepherd is concerned with defending all life in the ocean.

    Furthermore, in response to the cow analogy (#7), all Sea Shepherd vessels are vegan. So they would be fine with cutting out beef as well. However, their mission is the seas. You can't save everything in the world at the same time. They've focused their work on the sea and in particular endangered species. Feel free to start your own organization if you feel strongly.

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  • 30. At 6:35pm on 16 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    29. At 5:58pm on 16 Feb 2011, lindsaybriggs wrote:

    Sea Shepherd is concerned with defending all life in the ocean.

    Are they unaware that practically every form of life in the ocean lives on (i.e. kills and eats) other forms of life in the ocean? Whales eat krill, tuna eat smaller fish, and so on.

    It is simply incoherent to try to defend "all life in the ocean".

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  • 31. At 6:37pm on 16 Feb 2011, PragueImp wrote:

    Lindsay (29)
    Thanks, didn't realise that.

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  • 32. At 6:43pm on 16 Feb 2011, threnodio_II wrote:

    #7 - dutchdavey

    "The Norwegians and Japanese have the same right to shoot and eat whale as the rest of us have to kill and eat beef".

    Absolutely right - and the next time to see a herd of domesticated whales bred for meat purposes and grazing together blissfully unaware that this time next week, they are going to be burgers, you be sure to let us know.

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  • 33. At 6:47pm on 16 Feb 2011, Pixelfascination wrote:

    I agree with lindsaybriggs.
    We share this earth with other species, And we have taken whales to the brink of extinction before, and we woke up at the 11th hour and averted a disaster.This is the 21st Century isn't it time we woke up to our responsibility as Humans?. I mean the world is full of rich, beautiful treasures that should be protected for every newborn generation to view with wide-eyed awe. Yes I am a Vegan so I am immune to the 'animals are food' argument and in my heart I just feel that we owe all animals regardless of 'cuteness' equal respect.
    And finally I would like to give the greatest possible thank you to Sea Shepherd for giving me back some pride and faith and love for my species, because in my 40 years on this earth, that faith has taken a serious kicking.

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  • 34. At 7:01pm on 16 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    #30 bowmanthebard wrote:

    "Are they unaware that practically every form of life in the ocean lives on (i.e. kills and eats) other forms of life in the ocean? Whales eat krill, tuna eat smaller fish, and so on.

    It is simply incoherent to try to defend "all life in the ocean"."

    Not again!? Chain of life and all being considered...

    Get a grip, bowmanthebard.


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  • 35. At 7:02pm on 16 Feb 2011, Pixelfascination wrote:

    @bowmanthebard

    Yes Sea shepherd realise this, But the ocean is their domain not ours, big clue there is that Whales and other marine life do not need boats and aqualungs to live there.
    The ocean is a separate world from ours and shouldn't be a resource to plunder for capital gain. We have terra firma and the animals who live here to prey on if we so choose to do so. Also Japan is a wealthy nation that can afford to import food and to be honest I find 'cultural tradition' to be a rather weak excuse for committing acts of mass murder. To be honest i don't know why we are even debating this, as history shows that our home nation abandoned whaling many years ago and UK public opinion obviously would thwart any attempt to alter that.

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  • 36. At 7:11pm on 16 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @25 PragueImp

    A very good question.

    The International Whaling Commission established the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in 1994 with the support of 23 member countries.. the Fisheries Agency of Japan however, is exploiting a loophole in the wording which bans all types of 'commercial' whaling in the sanctuary.. this is the reason Japan claims to be conducting 'scientific' research..
    There is also the obsequious mechanism within the IWC, whereby a member state can register an 'objection' to a regulation before it is voted upon and then be exempt from the regulation if it is enacted.

    However since the Fisheries Agency of Japan was caught cheating on its Tuna quotas for years, these political niceties are somewhat moot...
    http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/japanese-accused-of-2bn-tuna-fraud/2006/08/11/1154803098670.html

    .. and interestingly the Fisheries Agency of Japan only counts a pregnant female whale as a single unit for the purposes of its quota...


    Any suggestion that the Australian government might be reluctant to directly enforce the Southern Ocean Whaling Sanctuary at a level that might upset one of its most important economic trading partners, would of course be entirely hypothetical...

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  • 37. At 7:29pm on 16 Feb 2011, Phormio wrote:

    Richard; given the limited firm information available at the moment, this is an excellent and interesting overview. However -

    'the plucky anti-establishment activist group'

    I'm not sure that 'plucky' is exactly the right word to describe Sea Shepherd. So far this season, Sea Shepherd have been filmed firing rocket flares at Japanese ships; hand throwing burning flares onto their decks and anti-boarding nets and spraying Japanese ships with paintballs from a compressed air weapon. They also used steel cables to disable the vessel 'Yushin Maru 3', leavingher adrift in the dangerous Antarctic ocean for a full 48 hours before the crew managed to cut the cables free and get their ship underway.

    If those acts seem trivial, consider this: if you decided to walk down a street in the UK, firing a paintball gun and lobbing fireworks at people, how far do you think you would get before you were arrested as a violent menace? More to the point, how long do you think you would get once your legal journey continued into a courtroom? You certainly wouldn't be congratulated as 'plucky', to put it mildly.

    But as always with Sea Shepherd, it isn't them who are being violent by attacking the Japanese - perish the thought. No, it's all the fault of the Japanese for daring to defend themselves. So we have the spectacle of the vessel 'Gojira' cutting mere feet in front of a Japanese vessel to carry out a prop-fouling attempt. The SSCS version of events? 'They tried to ram us'. Even more ludicrously, we had the claim that an inflatable that pulled alongside the crippled Yushin Maru 3 was targeted by 'a shower of potentially lethal bamboo spears'. The SSCS's own publicly released video of the event shows the 'shower' to have been one (1) visibly blunt bamboo pole lobbed from the deck above. 'Bamboo spears' - gimme a break.

    Sorry, Richard, but violence and lies do not make one 'plucky' - they merely make one violent and dishonest (or 'morally bankrupt' as former SSCS anti-hero Pete Bethune described the Sea Shepherd leadership when he resigned last year).

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  • 38. At 7:31pm on 16 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    6. At 2:54pm on 16 Feb 2011, simon-swede wrote:

    The Church of England may be part of your establishment - it sure isn't part of mine.

    Obviously, "the establishment" differs from one country to another, in its religious, secular, media, academic, professional, etc. components. It's whatever is regarded by a country's majority as morally authoritative, mainstream and/or politically correct.

    I certainly would have been surprised to hear that religious Swedish people accepted the authority of the established church of the UK!

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  • 39. At 7:34pm on 16 Feb 2011, PragueImp wrote:

    Can we go back to the question of why we need Sea Shepherd to do this?

    Why aren't international laws sufficient?

    From what I understand, the Japanese are not acting illegally (pending Australian court case), so are Sea Shepherd entitled to act this way?

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  • 40. At 7:37pm on 16 Feb 2011, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    Let us hope that the days of factory whaling has 'had it chips' and that environmental groups continue to 'batter' the whalers into submission.

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  • 41. At 7:50pm on 16 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    #37 Phormio

    Oh, snap!

    (feisty, maybe? or tit for tat?)

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  • 42. At 7:50pm on 16 Feb 2011, Phormio wrote:

    Richard: Sorry, but just noticed this one as well:

    'the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which has made life progressively more difficult for the whaling fleet each year by sending faster and better-equipped boats.'

    And, it would be fair to say, by being more reckless and downright dangerous each year.

    The need for SSCS to make each season of their adulatory - and lucrative - reality (sic) TV show more dramatic than the last, as well as the need to avoid losing face among the show's viewers ( for whom 'Epic Fail' almost attained the status of an exclusive SSCS trademark), has seen the extreme antics increase year on year.

    From the rope prop foulers of the early seasons to steel cables this year. From the original hand thrown glass bottles of butyric acid, through powerful compressed air weapons firing paintballs and glass bottles of butyric acid, to the almost routine abuse of marine pyrotechnics as improvised bazookas and handy incendiaries.

    Frankly, it's to the credit of the Japanese that they've decided to walk away and risk losing face rather than risk losing lives. An example of common sense that the supposedly 'civilized' Sea Shepherds could well learn from the opponents that they routinely deride as 'barbaric'.

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  • 43. At 7:58pm on 16 Feb 2011, Phormio wrote:

    PragueImp (39)

    'From what I understand, the Japanese are not acting illegally'

    The UK government has the same understanding:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200809/ldhansrd/text/90304w0004.htm

    'Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Under the terms of Article VIII of the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling, Japan's lethal research takes of minke whales in the Southern Ocean and of minke, Bryde's, sei and sperm whales in the North Pacific are, regrettably, quite legal.'

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  • 44. At 8:06pm on 16 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    #42 Phormio wrote:

    "Frankly, it's to the credit of the Japanese that they've decided to walk away and risk losing face rather than risk losing lives. An example of common sense that the supposedly 'civilized' Sea Shepherds could well learn from the opponents that they routinely deride as 'barbaric'."

    One man's barbarism to another is another creatures survival?

    Running down a creature and then using a canon to subdue and kill..

    Paging Sarah Palin...


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  • 45. At 8:11pm on 16 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @37 Phormio

    Nice straw man.. now lets make the real comparison -

    You are walking through an International Wildlife Park and discover representatives of a government subsidised company massacring large numbers of the biggest mammals in the park.. some of the species of animals being massacred are protected by international law as endangered.. the company claims to be conducting 'scientific' studies, funded by selling the meat when they get home.. this company's employees are chased out of the Park by an environmental NGO.. yet you want to make out that the NGO are the 'bad guys'?...

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  • 46. At 8:37pm on 16 Feb 2011, Phormio wrote:

    @45 Lamna_nasus

    Japanese Antarctic whaling under Special Permit under the terms of Article VIII of the ICRW = legal.

    A gang of truth-deficient vigilantes awarding themselves pseudo-police powers and violently 'enforcing' their *opinion* of what International Law should say (as opposed to what it does say) = illegal = 'bad guys'.

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  • 47. At 9:24pm on 16 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @46 Phormio

    ..its a bit early in the AM for David or Glenn Inwood to be posting from Japan, is that you George, you old rascal?

    Stop obfuscating with that Article VIII fan dance.. Almost no reputable, peer reviewed scientific literature has been produced by the FAJ, despite decades of 'Special Permits'.

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  • 48. At 9:26pm on 16 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    #46 Phormio wrote:

    "A gang of truth-deficient vigilantes awarding themselves pseudo-police powers and violently 'enforcing' their *opinion* of what International Law should say (as opposed to what it does say) = illegal = 'bad guys'."

    Is called Civil Disobedience.

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  • 49. At 9:50pm on 16 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    Wikipedia:
    McCloskey argues that "if violent, intimidatory, coercive disobedience is more effective, it is, other things being equal, more justified than less effective, nonviolent disobedience."[25]

    25 H. J. McCloskey (Jun., 1980), "Conscientious Disobedience of the Law: Its Necessity, Justification, and Problems to Which it Gives Rise", Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (Philosophy and Phenomenological Research) 40 (4): 536–557, doi:10.2307/2106847

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  • 50. At 9:56pm on 16 Feb 2011, PragueImp wrote:

    Fascinating stuff!
    I'm really caught between my desire to see whales protected and the need to follow laws and regulations.
    Yes, Sea Shepherd are basically using civil disobedience to force their views on people acting within the law (even is the law is an ass).
    And they are doing it so well because they have the funds. So basically a bunch of rich fanatics are having their way because no one can afford to stop them.
    Maybe it's okay with this particular cause, but what if it were something most of us were not so happy to support them in? (GM crops, culling elephants/wolves/whatever, or even abortion, government cuts, student fees - choose your subject).

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  • 51. At 9:59pm on 16 Feb 2011, Phormio wrote:

    @47 Lamna_nasus

    '..its a bit early in the AM for David or Glenn Inwood to be posting from Japan, is that you George, you old rascal?'

    Um..No. I'm not 'George', whoever that is. Nor am I David (David@tokyo?)or Glenn Inwood (who would actually be posting from New Zealand, btw).

    You know, it provides an interesting insight into the minds of Sea Shepherd supporters that they believe distaste for violence and lies is the preserve of a tiny group of bogeymen. I guess that's what happens when you acquire the habit of speaking for 'the World' - you automatically assume that your value system is shared by everyone else. Actually, I think you'll find that distaste for violence and lies is still very much a majority position, even in this day and age.

    'Almost no reputable, peer reviewed scientific literature has been produced by the FAJ'

    You do realise that the IWC Scientific Committee is itself a peer review body? Everything that the Japanese present to the IWC SC is peer-reviewed. Indeed, as IWC Head of Science Greg Donovan pointed to a UK Parliamentary Committee (in 2004?), it's the toughest peer-review process imaginable.

    Sorry, but just because modern mainstream scientific journals aren't particularly interested in publishing papers on a niche interest like whaling, doesn't mean that peer review isn't happening. The vast majority of the ICR's output is only intended for presentation to the IWC SC.

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  • 52. At 10:17pm on 16 Feb 2011, kujirakira wrote:

    "it has regularly managed to park across the back of the Nisshin Maru factory ship"

    If by regularly you mean once

    "850 minke whales and 50 fin whales ... perhaps as low as 200.
    Sea Shepherd estimates it at 30."

    More fuzzy math of the 'anything less than quota was magically saved!' variety.
    I look forward to you claiming that SS has saved 10,000 dolphins in Taiji by doing nothing since they've never reached that quota either.

    "is itself said to be in major financial difficulties"

    Notice the lack of a source for this one. Because there isn't one -- the people saying it are the usual suspects who can't even tell you what the budget is.

    "With sales falling"

    Another lie.

    "a constrained government not minded to raise its subsidy in compensation"

    Unsupported supposition aka wishful thinking we've been hearing for years now

    "a smaller fleet salied than in previous years "

    Actually last year's was smaller... but as usual with the ignorance of English-language media on whaling, they're a bit slow and dense.

    "which made it more vulnerable "

    What made them more vulnerable was leaving late.
    How much that had to do with politics (DPRK/ROK snake rattling, Whaling Nations meeting) and logistics (refueling vessel) is debatable -- what's not debatable is the complete lack of connection anything any NGO has done.

    "plucky anti-establishment activist group is probably much better funded than its state-backed foe "

    Yes and no. Watson has a bigger salary than the CEO of ICR. And that's just the money he reports taking (not including his personal house which he rents to himself "at fair market value as determined by Board of Directors")
    But other than that, no.

    "Sources from within the industry told Greenpeace in December "

    I've read these "insider interviews" from GP before.
    They read something like 'Mr Hanaoka, you are so intelligent and effective. You have divine all the problems in our industry and identified everything we do.'
    http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/international/press/reports/fact-sheet-the-whale-meat-mar.pdf
    If you believe that kind of stuff for a second, I have a bridge in Alaska to sell you...

    "and there's no guarantee Australia will win "

    What Mr. Black means to say is that nobody, even the Australian politicians who started this process, believe Australia has a snowballs chance in hell of getting a positive outcome.

    "the Japanese government who see the reputational[sic] damage as being just too severe"

    More of that wishful thinking after we've seen wikileaks where Japanese officials welcomed it and said it'd prove Japan's position as being firmly grounded in international law.
    Just pretend you didn't see that, as usual. ;)

    "Switching the Nisshin Maru to diesel "

    IFO 180s aren't diesel.
    Do you guys do any research on anything before writing outright lies and misinformation, or do you get paid extra per lie?

    "Reading the political runes is never easy on this issue"

    This isn't rocket science and we've already been handed all the wikileaks.
    It's easy to read.
    But when the obvious goes against their wishful thinking, it's even easier to just obfuscate and claim the situation isn't clear.

    "Sea Shepherd has made whaling impossible"

    Impossible, no.
    Not worth risking human life, yes.
    If you think any nation is going to just say "Oh well now you're trying to kill us now so we'll do as you like"... I'd say you haven't a clue.

    "It is a remarkable turnaround "

    I think there will be an even more remarkable turnaround.

    "the official line had been to condemn Greenpeace"

    The official line still is, because GP trespassed and stole completely legal employee benefits from workers.
    GP never alleged that a few of the low-level inspectors received whale meat by accident alongside the workers.
    Don't you find it odd that Sato, one of the convicts involved, is now the head of GP Japan -- yet GP Japan's website has said nothing about being vindicated?
    The reason for that is because it's much easier to lie to people who can't read the original stories in their native language. It's very easy to play footloose with the facts in a foreign language and spin it completely different.
    Unfortunately there is no such thing as Journalistic Integrity or reporters like yourself would have something to say about that.

    "they eventually received suspended sentences"

    Which is SOP for their crime... which they were rightfully convicted of.
    I love how he tries to spin that this means they were found not guilty or something.

    "it'll require substantial investment"

    We shall see.

    "Might the review conclude that there's no need to continue the research?"

    Going by the 2009 review of JARPN, probably not.
    The Japanese government review is in 2013 as I recall. The upcoming review would be for IWC Scientific Committee.
    You made a big mistake, since IWC SC inherently recognizes the scientific validity of ICR's work.

    "the whaling lobby "

    Gotta love how they're dead broke one minute.. and the next they're a huge corporation significant lobbying powers.
    It never crosses the mind of a green shill to consider that there's little need for "lobbying" when you're in the news every year being assaulted.

    "find a new taste for whalemeat, and the industry's economics will turn around"

    An Environmentalist talking about Economics based on made-up fictitious data is rather entertaining.

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  • 53. At 10:22pm on 16 Feb 2011, Piggyback wrote:

    Another example of Western culture triumphing over non-Western ones, just because they deem it "inferior". A sad day.

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  • 54. At 10:23pm on 16 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    #50 PragueImp wrote:

    "Maybe it's okay with this particular cause, but what if it were something most of us were not so happy to support them in? (GM crops, culling elephants/wolves/whatever, or even abortion, government cuts, student fees - choose your subject)."

    See, this where 'do your own thing' comes in...

    Ultimately, good, bad, indifferent...
    it's all about survival of the fittest:
    there are no other rules.

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  • 55. At 10:27pm on 16 Feb 2011, kujirakira wrote:

    I find it very telling that there is hardly an Environmental blog or webpage which does not rely heavily on draconian moderation and censorship.

    The use of censorship and support of violence as an appropriate means to an end just goes to show that Italian fascism isn't a Left or Right thing.
    Extremists and Bigots on either side of the aisle can slip into this kind of Intolerant mindset easily enough.

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  • 56. At 10:34pm on 16 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @51 Phormio

    hmm.. George doesn't always use his own name when posting (unless he is touting for photographic work) which is why I asked the question.. but I will take you at your word.
    Glenn does a lot of shuttling about, although I agree his PR company's office is in NZ, therefore early in the AM either way.. still you do seem familiar with some of the most vocal pro-International Commercial Whaling activists, so I am surprised you have not encountered George as well.

    You are being disingenuous regarding the 'peer review' of FAJ material.. which is why you used the term 'present' not 'publish'.... it is also why the vast majority of the ICR's output is only intended for 'presentation' to the IWC SC.. and much of what the ICR 'presents' to the IWC SC has been criticised during that tough process.. Whaling is a niche interest.. Whale species are not, however publications like 'Nature' would require genuinely reputable material and methodology.

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  • 57. At 10:38pm on 16 Feb 2011, PragueImp wrote:

    kujirakira (52)

    Somewhere in there I think you have a good argument to put forward, but it is so antagonistic! I wanted to stop reading halfway through.
    I'm sure they are not lies - mistakes maybe or incorrect data, but you make the author sound like someone deliberately misleading us.
    You could get your point of view across so much better with less polarised language.

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  • 58. At 10:47pm on 16 Feb 2011, PragueImp wrote:

    kujirakira(55)
    Given some of the posts that get put on this blog, I suspect there is almost zero moderation!!

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  • 59. At 10:47pm on 16 Feb 2011, daisy wrote:

    @5 dutchdavey: the whale stocks have indeed been depleted!!!! There's plenty of research to support that.
    The statistics say it all. The blue whales of the Antarctic are at less than 1 percent of their original abundance, despite 40 years of complete protection. Some populations of whales are recovering but some are not.
    Recent DNA evidence shows that the impact of commercial whaling may be even worse than previously thought.
    In 2003 Palumbi and his colleagues used DNA samples to estimate that humpback whales could have numbered 1.5 million prior to the onset of commercial whaling in the 1800s.Humpback whales currently number only 20,000.

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  • 60. At 10:56pm on 16 Feb 2011, kujirakira wrote:

    "blue whales "

    Japan doesn't hunt blue whales

    "humpback whales "

    Japan doesn't hunt humpback whales.

    Minke whales are not, nor have they ever been, endangered.
    All of JARPA's quotas are roughly 0.1% of their populations.
    Further IWC's Scientific Committee have verified none of these pose a threat to the survival of any whale species, and that the quotas were correctly determined and appropriate for the research being undertaken.

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  • 61. At 10:58pm on 16 Feb 2011, kujirakira wrote:

    "I'm sure they are not lies - mistakes maybe or incorrect data"

    Once or twice is a mistake.
    Consistent repeating of misinformation is not a mistake.
    Everyone should start up a "feel-good" NGO. Apparently it means you can write your own press releases and never have to worry about anyone checking the facts.
    So long as it's what they want to hear.

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  • 62. At 11:09pm on 16 Feb 2011, Yorkurbantree wrote:

    Interesting article. As much as anything, the point of this blog is surely to provide coverage of developing news stories that havn't been picked up elsewhere. There has been lots of stuff in the wider media about the Government's nutty plans for flogging off forests, while this is the first I have heard about this particular development on whaling.

    Some very thought provoking comments below as well (Bowman's tedium aside). Good to see the arrival of the whaling apologists to 'balance' things up...

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  • 63. At 11:09pm on 16 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @60 'Japan doesn't hunt humpback whales' - kujirakira


    .. that appears to be just temporary -

    'A controversial Japanese mission to hunt humpback whales in the Antarctic has been temporarily abandoned, a top government official says...

    "Japan has decided not to catch humpback whales for one year or two," Mr Machimura told reporters... '
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7155255.stm




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  • 64. At 11:17pm on 16 Feb 2011, Phormio wrote:

    @56 Lamna_masus

    'so I am surprised you have not encountered George as well.'

    Well, you have your friends, I have mine... :)

    'You are being disingenuous regarding the 'peer review' of FAJ material.. which is why you used the term 'present' not 'publish' etc etc'

    Actually, I'm making a very reasonable point. The schedule amendment which created the Moratorium in 1986 stated that the Moratorium would remain in place until 1991, after which a resumption of commercial whaling would be considered,based on the 'best available evidence'. The main job of the ICR is to assemble that evidence. Much of it is the nitty-gritty of 'whale management', which is of no interest to mainstream journals, but of great interest and relevance to the IWC SC. After all, it is the IWC SC who will ultimately have the task of deciding that a quota can be safely determined under the Revised Management Procedure, calculating that quota and then recommending - and justifying - it to the IWC Commission.
    If anything , it is the anti-whaling crowd who tend to be disingenuous on this point. They would have people believe that the entire work of the ICR is devoted to publishing papers of general interest in mainstream journals. That is simply not the case.
    Then there's the fact that a journal which publishes a paper that uses lethal research data is liable to be targeted by anti-whalers. Even individual scientists using data from lethal research have been persecuted. Many journals will no longer publish such papers because of this pressure. Essentially anti-whalers prevent journals from publishing ICR papers - and then point to the lack of ICR papers in the journals as 'evidence' that no science is being done. Difficult to be more 'disingenuous' than that.

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  • 65. At 11:18pm on 16 Feb 2011, kujirakira wrote:

    "that appears to be just temporary "

    There *was* a quota of 50 after the 2 year implementation stage ended.
    However, it was sacrificed after negotiations with the US as a show of goodwill leading up to IWC compromise.
    At the compromise, Japan did not seek any humpback quota.
    The only people who have discussed hunting humbacks since, have been the usual NGOs that find lying and misinformation suits them well.
    As an example, for Watson to claim that he "saved" 50% of the quota last year depended on abusing a "within 10%" rule of the minke quota that's never been put into action and this mythical 50 humpback quota.

    But even more important, I suspect they rely on perpetuating the myth of a non-existent humpback quota because Humpbacks are even more special than your average whales -- and certainly far more special than minkes.
    If you're talking about whaling and somebody has the wherewithal to ask what species are hunted -- minkes are going to lose a certain percentage of the population's attention. But if you can namedrop the extra-special charismatic Humpbacks... you'll make bank.
    And ultimately, that's what this is all about. Fame and Money.

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  • 66. At 11:22pm on 16 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #29. lindsaybriggs wrote:

    "all Sea Shepherd vessels are vegan"

    Really? They run on vegetable oil?

    "They've focused their work on the sea and in particular endangered species."

    Really? Explain their protests of the Canadian harp seal hunt. Those seal populations are at historic highs.

    That one is all about raising money from misinformed sentimental people using images of cute baby seals (which they don't even hunt anymore).

    Now when are you sanctimonious Euro hypocrites going to do something about the Danish dolphin slaughters on the Faroe Islands? Or your seal culls? Or are they somehow different?

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  • 67. At 11:25pm on 16 Feb 2011, kujirakira wrote:

    "whaling apologists "

    Calling me an apologist implies there is something inherently wrong with eating whales.
    However, there isn't.
    In fact, this is not even a conservation nor environmental issue.

    Such sayings as "if the whales die, we all die" make about as much sense as claiming that eating lettuce will cause the destruction of the Amazon rain forest.
    Not only asinine hyperbole, but completely unrelated.

    Insofar as "oceans are dying", giving de facto immunity from the circle of life to charismatic species is not going to help the problem. Quite the contrary, it will worsen it.
    By concentrating all our resource-gathering onto a few species like tuna, cod, and salmon -- those species are already in danger.
    Now if you exempt their predators from the circle of life, such as dolphins, you are only making the problem worse.

    "Cute", "Charismatic", and disneyfied Emotional attachments to animals is no basis for wildlife management.
    Science on the other hand is. Which begs the question why the EU defies and despises science when it comes to both Tuna and Whale management ?

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  • 68. At 11:39pm on 16 Feb 2011, Phormio wrote:

    @59 daisy:

    'In 2003 Palumbi and his colleagues used DNA samples to estimate that humpback whales could have numbered 1.5 million prior to the onset of commercial whaling in the 1800s'

    While we're on the subject of the IWC Scientific Committee as a peer-review body, should probably point out that Palumbi attended the 2004 IWC SC meeting to present his research.

    A summary is here page V:

    http://iwcoffice.org/_documents/publications/editorialJCRM6(2).pdf

    'In view of this, the Committee agreed that the estimates
    of historic abundance provided in Roman and Palumbi
    (2003) for the initial pre-whaling population sizes of
    humpback, fin and common minke whales in the North
    Atlantic have considerably more uncertainty than reported,
    and in particular can not be considered reliable estimates of
    immediate pre-whaling population size.'

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  • 69. At 11:43pm on 16 Feb 2011, kujirakira wrote:

    I would like to know if these sources are also all "apologists" for whaling.
    Or just have an opinion based on facts and information (as opposed to hopes, dreams, wishful thinking, and disney) ?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5103378.stm
    http://www.news.com.au/flannery-says-japan-whaling-sustainable/story-e6frfkp9-1111115219473
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200304/ldselect/ldsctech/999/3102801.htm
    http://www.ualberta.ca/~inwr/issues/under_the_microscope.html


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  • 70. At 00:25am on 17 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    bowmanthebard #27.

    "But "the establishment" is a matter of what the majority think."

    while I think of "the establishment" as the thin (social) stratum resting on top of (the rest of) society; I fear we're doomed to never understand one another.



    b5happy #28.

    "Hey, it's a start."

    sorry, I see this as a dead-end. do read the first paragraph of verity's #21 very carefully, deconstruct it; it's so wooly and muddled (do you subscribe to the thought that a whale is more "magnificent" than, say, a spider??). anyway, kujirakira's #67 makes the point much better than I ever could.



    CanadianRockies #66.
    kujirakira #52, #55, #61, #67.

    thank you for bringing some rational thought/perspective to the table.

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  • 71. At 01:04am on 17 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @67 '..Now if you exempt their predators from the circle of life, such as dolphins, you are only making the problem worse...' - kujirakira

    The usual pro-International commercial whaling canard.. 'Cetaceans are eating all the fish, kill cetaceans to save fish, we are the real environmentalists, preserving the circle of life'..

    Which is of course absolute piffle, the marine environment is a complete mess because of unsustainable, over fishing by the same industry that is trying to imply it can re-open International Commercial Whaling and ensure it is sustainable..

    ..yet FAJ lied for years about cheating on its Tuna quotas and failed to report over quota Soviet whaling before the moratorium.. which gives a rather more accurate idea about the quality of the 'science' of the ICR... rather than the conspiracy theories regarding reputable, peer reviewed science which libertarians just love to crowbar into every debate...

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  • 72. At 01:56am on 17 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @66 'Now when are you sanctimonious Euro hypocrites going to do something about the Danish dolphin slaughters on the Faroe Islands..' - CanadianRockies



    .. did you mean like this? -

    'The Faroes cruel whale and dolphin slaughter

    Reports confirm that a pilot whale hunt was conducted this morning July 23rd 2010 in which over 100 pilot whales were cruelly slaughtered at Tórshavn, the capital and largest town in the Faroe Islands (see footage and warning below).

    Just four days ago on July 19th, a pod of 236 pilot whales were driven ashore and killed in the town of Klaksvik.

    There have now been eight recorded whale hunts this year with around 668 pilot whales and 21 Risso’s dolphins have been killed so far.'
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 73. At 02:02am on 17 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    Lamna_nasus #71.

    careful out-of-context quoting does not make an argument, all you do is weaken your own.

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  • 74. At 02:45am on 17 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    #70 jr4412 wrote:

    "sorry, I see this as a dead-end. do read the first paragraph of verity's #21 very carefully, deconstruct it; it's so wooly and muddled (do you subscribe to the thought that a whale is more "magnificent" than, say, a spider??). anyway, kujirakira's #67 makes the point much better than I ever could."

    No, I do not think a whale to be more magnificent than, say, a spider.
    Having said that, don't you think that it comes down to vulnerability?
    Isn't that what is being stated in verity's #21 first paragraph?

    kujirakira's #67 (I found #52 to be mesmerizing - not sure of all the statements, but, mesmerizing all the same) well, #67 is over-wrought.

    This is the kind of spin that just goes over the top.
    'Eating whale meat' is not the story here...
    The wimps (my term) caught up in 'Disney cuteness' is unfair.
    'Not saving whales is not going to kill the ocean'
    and 'picking on tuna, salmon, etc. is more harmful'...
    I understand what he is saying. Can't say that I agree...
    But these types of statements are pointless. And maybe harmful.

    These creatures are under our stewardship.
    When we are so sloppy as to 'slash and burn' and then say,
    "Hey, it's okay... just look at the science."
    This is the problem, as I see it.
    Attitude... not aptitude. You can have all of the aptitude on
    Earth but it means nothing in the face of reckless attitude.

    So, whales are impressive. They are a symbol as to whether or not we can
    get our act together. Tuna are a huge contemporary symbol... It's like your
    in the desert and you have a liter of water and knowing that if you drink
    it you will die of thirst, but, your pretty sure that your friends will
    arrive soon, so, you drink the water...

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  • 75. At 02:49am on 17 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @72 'careful out-of-context quoting...' - jr4412

    .. except its not out of context.. Dolphins are Cetaceans and kujirakira is attempting to promote exactly the canard I am criticising.. your post is weakened by the fact it does not appear to actually contain an argument..

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  • 76. At 03:04am on 17 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @72

    Note -

    The moderator appears to have removed the link to Campaign Whale, a UK based Environmental NGO campaigning against the "Grind' in the Faroe Islands contained in my post because the page contains embedded video footage taken during the hunt.
    I respect the moderators decision (although the video does contain a clear warning of the graphic nature of its contents and is not on autoplay) however in order for my response to CanadianRockies to make sense, it needs to be clarified that the quote was teken from a European based organisation.

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  • 77. At 03:24am on 17 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    b5happy #74.

    "Having said that, don't you think that it comes down to vulnerability?"

    very much so, which is why I think that we need to look at our relationship with nature holistically, not focus on 'trophy species' (like whales, tigers, rhinos, what have you).

    once we focus on this creature or that, it becomes so much easier to deceive ourselves into believing that there's no need to change our behaviour overall (re industrial exploitation of each and every resource) because we can save 'them' from becoming extinct.

    can you see what I'm getting at?




    Lamna_nasus #75.

    I don't want to get drawn into this too deeply (too much 'on my plate'), it's simply that your post wouldn't have worked had you quoted the preceding sentence ("By concentrating all our resource-gathering onto a few species like tuna, cod, and salmon -- those species are already in danger.") too.

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  • 78. At 03:36am on 17 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    b5happy.

    re #77.

    disregard question at end (sounds v condescending, sorry).

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  • 79. At 03:51am on 17 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    #77 jr4412 wrote:

    "can you see what I'm getting at?"

    Yes, I can. My answer is too involved for my current
    attitude... But, yes, improvements all around.

    #78 jr4412

    Too late! : D
    I'm fine with it.

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  • 80. At 04:00am on 17 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @77 '..your post wouldn't have worked had you quoted the preceding sentence..' - jr4412



    .. on the contrary, the proceeding sentence you are quoting mentions valuable commercial fish species and the sentence I quoted which follows, focuses on the 'predators' and 'the circle of life'..

    ..therefore my argument stands.. the Pro-whaling canard is that a resumption in International Commercial Whaling will help prevent the appalling over-exploitation of commercial fish stocks by industrial fisheries, because culling 'predators', will help the 'circle of life.. such Pro-whaling propaganda is a blatant distortion of the fact that the seas are being emptied of fish at an unsustainable rate by industrial fisheries.. who still have the monstrous audacity to attempt to portray themselves as ecologically responsible guardians.

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  • 81. At 08:13am on 17 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Pixelfascination #35 wrote:

    Yes Sea shepherd realise this, But the ocean is their domain not ours

    So basically, Sea Shepherd's morals decision are determined by the idea that anything Man does to the sea is bad, but anything not done by Man is OK? So it's OK for tuna to kill other fish, and for whales to kill krill or squid, but it's not OK for humans to do those things, and if we do, we must intervene to restore the "natural balance"?

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  • 82. At 10:42am on 17 Feb 2011, Robert Carnegie wrote:

    Are the Japanese really going home or are they just pretending?

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  • 83. At 10:45am on 17 Feb 2011, Dr Brian Skinner wrote:


    In their own eyes 'heroic'.
    Actually playing with fire.
    How many dead in the innevitable accident?

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  • 84. At 12:54pm on 17 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @simon-swede #6

    You obviously aren't aware of antidisestablishmentarianism.

    Many people in the UK would like the Church of England to be disestablished. For instance, there are 26 Church of England bishops in the House of Lords, which is not how you would expect to run a democracy. Also as a consequence of establishment politicians have some ability to meddle in appointments of senior Church of England roles. However antidisestablismentarianism rules the day, and the bishops get to keep their seats.

    The make-up of Westminster's Upper House doesn't just affect UK citizens. It also affects UK residents who aren't full UK citizens, and has a knock on effect on citizens of other countries to which the UK has ties.

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  • 85. At 12:55pm on 17 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @kujirakira #55

    Hardly "draconian moderation and censorship" here. The only post here to have been deleted (#10) was also criticised for making an unhelpful racist comment about Japan(#15).

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  • 86. At 1:08pm on 17 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    #81 bowmanthebard wrote:

    "So basically, Sea Shepherd's morals decision are determined by the idea that anything Man does to the sea is bad, but anything not done by Man is OK?"

    An interesting question (respectfully with tongue in cheek) if it is true
    that they are all Vegans (with a capital V)... One would like to believe that they are respectful of those who wish to dip their line into the
    water for a meal. It might feel more comfortable if maybe there were a few fish eating crew members on board. Aside from that I think that we are at a point where possible 'extremists' could be quite handy. This is way too big to be concerned as to whether or not they should be reined-in... Don't you think WE need to be reined-in (rhetorical)?

    "So it's OK for tuna to kill other fish, and for whales to kill krill or squid, but it's not OK for humans to do those things, and if we do, we must intervene to restore the "natural balance"?

    Isn't the real response to all of this quite beyond this kind of statement? Meaning, our numbers are far beyond just hunting - we are polluting a great deal... Of course Nature can eat and be eaten. It's beginning to feel like we are next on the menu...

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  • 87. At 1:25pm on 17 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #84 wrote:

    there are 26 Church of England bishops in the House of Lords, which is not how you would expect to run a democracy.

    True, and that should be changed, but let's not forget also the "tyranny of prevailing opinion", which would still be in place even if the church were to be fully "disestablished".

    Time for a quotation from JS Mill:

    Protection ... against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling; against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them.

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  • 88. At 1:40pm on 17 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @b5happy #48 #49

    If it is violent, intimidatory or coercive, then it isn't civil disobedience.

    If the violence stays inside the rules of a Just War such as Geneva Convention rules (respecting the safety of non combatants etc) then it's armed resistance or war. If the violence breaks those rules it's terrorism or war crime or persecution.

    There are a lot of claims and counter claims about the extremes of Sea Shepherd's behaviour.

    Some are straightforward to check up on, such as the chemical properties of the active ingredient in Sea Shepherd's stink bombs. Sea Shepherd used diluted butanoic acid, CH3-CH2-CH2-COOH, chemically similar to vinegar (diluted ethanoic acid) but less acidic than vinegar and with a much more unpleasant rancid butter smell.
    (note, butanoic acid = butyric acid)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butyric_acid

    Your #48 and #49 posts could be interpreted as you agreeing with unproven claims by their opponents, especially the #49 post because McCloskey appears to be justifying behaviour far more extreme than even that in the accusations against Sea Shepherd.

    Sea Shepherd are clear that they are signed up to both the law and to non-violence. This makes your argument about the morality of "violent disobedience" doubly inappropriate.
    http://www.seashepherd.org/who-we-are/laws-and-charters.html

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  • 89. At 1:46pm on 17 Feb 2011, simon-swede wrote:

    Jane at #84

    I am familair with antidisestablishmentarianism.

    I am not a UK citizen, nor am I resident in the UK. And as I said, the Church of England is simply not part of my establishment.

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  • 90. At 2:10pm on 17 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    #88 JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    "Sea Shepherd are clear that they are signed up to both the law and to non-violence. This makes your argument about the morality of "violent disobedience" doubly inappropriate."

    My stance is firm, for me...
    If I understand it correctly: a cable tangled in props I perceive to
    be violent behavior. In frigid waters - extremely violent.

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  • 91. At 2:43pm on 17 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    #88 JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    "Sea Shepherd are clear that they are signed up to both the law and to non-violence."

    Speaking strictly as a comparable reference: How would you feel having a flare tossed onto the 'decks' of your car with you in it? Where does your Geneva Convention fall? Ludicrous splicing and dicing, I expect.

    Under any guise, I say, "It's war." Civil Disobedience (violent or non) is war. Violence is war. Terrorism is war. Hunting any species to the brink of extinction is war.

    Also, I knew typing the words 'civil disobedience' had the potential of
    becoming a Pandora's Box. Therefore, I choose to bow-out of this potential portion of the discussion.

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  • 92. At 2:57pm on 17 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    b5happy #90 wrote:

    a cable tangled in props I perceive to
    be violent behavior. In frigid waters - extremely violent.


    Why not just classify it as "intimidatory" behaviour? That way, you can legitimately say it's not "civil disobedience", at the same time as not blurring the distinction between violence and non-violence.

    I'm neutral in this discussion, but I think it's important to keep the distinction crystal clear -- otherwise there'll be claims of rape (or whatever) when someone merely looks at someone else the wrong way.

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  • 93. At 3:08pm on 17 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @87 ...'
    Time for a quotation from JS Mill:

    Protection ... against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling; against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them.' - bowmanthebard


    bowman you old anarchist.. was that you pictured taking a bio-break against Churchill's statue during the Student Riots in London?...

    You are being extremely disingenuous by attempting to equate anthropogenic industrial fisheries and natural predation, it is exactly the same as the ridiculous Pro-whaling straw man comparing domesticated animals bred for human consumption with wildlife.. apart that is, from the fact that a population explosion in an apex predator unbalances the food chain.. this is routinely followed by a population crash for said predator when the food supply fails.. and in this case homo sapiens is the apex predator....

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  • 94. At 3:22pm on 17 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @b5happy #90

    As I said, there have been claims and counterclaims about the behaviour of Sea Shepherd. And some are easier to check up on than others.

    Sea Shepherd claim that their opponents have never been personally harmed by Sea Shepherd activities, and they claim to have safeguards in place that are responsible for this situation. So your references to cables and propellers are at best incomplete.

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  • 95. At 3:31pm on 17 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    Pollution is war.

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  • 96. At 4:19pm on 17 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Lamna_nasus #93

    Just to point out.

    When it comes to pure conservation issues, the Minke whale is not threatened. But some experts claim the Fin and Sei whales are threatened. (ICUN status "endangered", this is disputed by Japan.)

    And the "only 0.1%" claim (#60) is disingenuous because the practice of whaling may have an impact on many more whales than are actually killed. Also the 0.1% applies annually rather than per average lifetime of a whale.

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  • 97. At 4:22pm on 17 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    b5happy #91 wrote:

    Under any guise, I say, "It's war."

    War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

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  • 98. At 4:37pm on 17 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    @bowmanthebard

    Peanut Butter is Ice Cream

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  • 99. At 5:42pm on 17 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @96 JaneBasingstoke

    You are correct about the Minke whales conservation status .. however there is an interesting corollary to that fact.. the reason the Minke whale is not threatened, is because it is the smallest of the 'great' whale species; therefore it was regarded as commercially less desirable before the moratorium and so its populations were less heavily impacted as a result..

    Minkes are therefore the least politically and scientifically contentious of the whale species to use as a target for lethal 'studies' in order to maintain the skill sets of a Japanese whaling fleet.

    This is the reason for Japan (and members of the High North Alliance) wishing to target larger species such as Fin and Humpback.. it is simply more economically efficient to target big species.. more whale per kill to meet your diesel and wages expense...

    As a result there have been concerted political efforts to downgrade the CITES listings of Humpback and Fin Whales, much of this work has been conducted using the expertise of the IWMC (a libertarian lobby group) who specialise in advising nation states and commercial industries on how to circumvent or attack conservation regulations.. including Whales, Turtles, Sharks, Seals, fisheries and the ivory trade.. of particular interest has been the Faroe Islands almost unique status in relation to a number of CITES regulations...

    Of additional interest is that as you pointed out CITES , just like the IWMC allows for 'objections' to be registered.. and the whaling nations have registered a lot of objections..

    Some might be surprised to learn the objections include the Blue Whale, currently at about 1% of its original pre-whaling population and critically endangered... apparently some Blue Whales have mated with Fin Whales due to the shortage of available mates.. we know this because of DNA testing of whale meat on sale in in Japan.. hybrids are classed as Fins, not Blue whales by whalers.. no surprise there...

    I agree with you that JARPA figures are disingenuous.. fox guarding the chicken house...

    Another issue that is never raised by the pro-whaling activists is that if International Commercial Whaling were re-introduced it would not be just Japan, Iceland and Norway out scouring the oceans with explosive harpoons.. sustainable International commercial whaling is an oxymoronic term.

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  • 100. At 5:49pm on 17 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @99 -

    Typo Note -

    'Of additional interest is that as you pointed out CITES , just like the IWMC allows for 'objections' to be registered..'

    should correctly read:

    'Of additional interest is that as you pointed out CITES , just like the IWC allows for 'objections' to be registered..'

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  • 101. At 7:19pm on 17 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    99. Lamna_nasus wrote:

    "@96 JaneBasingstoke

    "the reason the Minke whale is not threatened, is because it is the smallest of the 'great' whale species; therefore it was regarded as commercially less desirable before the moratorium..."

    It is called 'optimal foraging.'

    "DNA testing... hybrids are classed as Fins, not Blue whales"

    Interesting. Bluefin Whales. Evolution marches on.

    Caught your #72. Good to see that some Euros are protesting that Faroe Islands massacre but that misses the point. Which is, that it is still happening, quietly, while the same hypocrites loudly rail about Canadian seals or anything else rather than deal with their own issues.

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  • 102. At 9:03pm on 17 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    Lamna_nasus #80.

    "..Pro-whaling propaganda is a blatant distortion of the fact.."

    well, that's propaganda for you. neither of us is in a position to effect any significant change for our respective 'causes' because we're dealing with people who have no reason to care; most of them are religious types who know that a better afterlife awaits them, no matter what they're doing to this planet. anyway, the argument shouldn't remain confined to whales, anyone with more than a passing interest in the world can see that we have bigger fish to fry (if you pardon the expression).



    bowmanthebard #97.

    "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength."

    鯨アイス is yummy.

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  • 103. At 11:12pm on 17 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @jr4412 #102

    confined to whales

    Looking at specific examples of potential subjects for conservation prevents us getting too abstract and possibly too far from reality as a result. We have to look at some specifics to stay grounded.

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  • 104. At 11:26pm on 17 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 105. At 11:58pm on 17 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @jr4412 #102

    "[whale ice] is yummy"

    Sorry jr4412, I think b5happy's "Peanut Butter is Ice Cream" is funnier.

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  • 106. At 00:06am on 18 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #103.

    "Looking at specific examples of potential subjects for conservation prevents us getting too abstract and possibly too far from reality as a result."

    sure. how about we start with those relevant within our own culture? for instance: CCD, the (disappearance of the) honey bee -- relevant, of crucial importance, and guaranteed free of cultural 'snobbery'.

    it's not where I'd want to start discussions, but it would be more honest.

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  • 107. At 00:10am on 18 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #105.

    agree, b5happy's is funnier, but it is not literally true. though literal truths may not matter.

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  • 108. At 00:22am on 18 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 109. At 00:57am on 18 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    #102 jr4412 wrote:

    "[whale ice] is yummy"

    Yes, very nice, indeed...

    What fun!

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  • 110. At 01:09am on 18 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @jr4412 #106

    Sometimes stuff has to be tackled because it is difficult. Conservation issues with political controversy need that controversy explored. And you can't just ignore a subject because you might make a mistake or because some below-the-line idiot might be unpleasant.

    That doesn't prevent subjects like Colony Collapse Disorder in bees being looked at as well.

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  • 111. At 01:10am on 18 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @101.. CanadianRockies


    ..we are allowed to rail loudly, that is the whole point of living in a democracy.. just because some campaigns are not as high profile, does not mean they are not occurring, so your use of the term 'hypocrites' is inaccurate.. the Faroe Islands hunt also falls into a rather different category to Japanese whaling (when it goes, it will probably be on medical health grounds).. unless you are suggesting that Japan should only hunt whales within its own territorial waters?

    The Canadian Seal Hunt is a transparent front for logging temporary employment to qualify for welfare payments.. and the reason that is required is because the Canadian fisheries decided to ignore environmentalist and scientific warnings about Cod stocks..something to do with local tax payers voting for short term profits... yet now expecting other hardworking Canadian taxpayers to pay for their mistakes.. strangely that doesn't appear to get a high profile in much Canadian libertarian political material.. cost of big government.. welfare payments.. Cod industry collapsing..taxation.. bit of a link going on there..

    ------


    @102 - jr4412

    hmm.. Whale Flavoured IceCream?.. probably not good for the kids.. might have a bit of a metallic aftertaste...

    'Whalemeat served in school lunches in an area of rural Japan are contaminated with alarming levels of mercury, a local assemblyman said on Wednesday, calling for a halt in plans for the meat to be shipped to schools nationwide.

    Hisato Ryono, a assemblyman in Taiji, a historic whaling town some 450 km (280 miles) west of Tokyo, said two samples of short-finned pilot whale had mercury levels 10 to 16 times more than advised by the Health Ministry...'
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/08/01/us-japan-whalemeat-idUST6359120070801

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  • 112. At 01:56am on 18 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    111. Lamna_nasus wrote:

    "@101.. CanadianRockies

    ..we are allowed to rail loudly, that is the whole point of living in a democracy."

    Well, maybe not the "whole point" but true enough. Thus it is fun to "rail" here within the confines of the obvious censorship.

    "your use of the term 'hypocrites' is inaccurate.."

    No it isn't. And, no, the Faroe Islands hunt does NOT "fall[s] into a rather different category to Japanese whaling" in the context of this discussion. Minke whales can be harvested sustainably, even without this 'scientific' facade. So, what is supposed to be different? Because Euros are the "barbarians" in that case?

    "The Canadian Seal Hunt is a transparent front for logging temporary employment to qualify for welfare payments.. and the reason that is required is because the Canadian fisheries decided to ignore environmentalist and scientific warnings about Cod stocks..."

    Shhhpinnnnn. The old cod stock parable. Zero comparison. And if what you suggest is true, why was the seal hunt going while cod fishing was booming?

    Which brings us back to the Euro hypocrites. You know, the Spanish and Portugese ones who did as much as anyone to destroy those cod stocks. Hope the Brits enjoyed their fish and chips.

    Even if the Canadian government had taken drastic steps in our own territorial waters, there was nothing to be done about the greedy Euro fishermen who mined the waters just outside Canadian waters.

    So yes, it is a shame that "hardworking Canadian taxpayers to pay for their mistakes."

    So what does the seal hunt have to do with the cod stocks in the real world? Well, the hyper-abundant seal population MIGHT be playing a role in the incredibly slow recovery of the cod. A population that high must be having some significant impacts on that ecosystem. Since the Native North Americans are effectively gone, somebody needs to cull them.

    On the bright side, tired of dealing with the Euro hypocrites and their trade embargoes, Canada has recently signed an agreement with China to supply them with more seal products.

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  • 113. At 04:05am on 18 Feb 2011, hikertom wrote:

    HORAY FOR SEA SHEPHERD!!!!! I think I will give them a contribution.

    The main problem with whaling is that there is no humane way to kill whales in the ocean. Whalers shoot them with exploding harpoons, which causes the creatures to suffer a slow and agonizing death. The ocean at the scene of the crime turns red with blood. Imagine the outrage if one of these whalers were shot with an explosive and then left to slowly bleed to death.

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  • 114. At 04:13am on 18 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @112 - ..'no, the Faroe Islands hunt does NOT "fall[s] into a rather different category to Japanese whaling" in the context of this discussion...' - CanadianRockies



    Yes, the Faroe Islands hunt DOES fall into a different category.. and I know you understand the difference between territorial waters and international waters because you discuss it with regards to cod fishing.. so lets make this very clear.. the Japanese Hunt in the Southern Ocean is in international waters.. the Faroe Island hunt is in territorial waters.. a little less Shhhpinnnn please....


    ---
    '..why was the seal hunt going while cod fishing was booming?'
    - CanadianRockies
    ---

    Because there was and is an international market for fur.. it doesn't change the fact the hunt is now expanded as a convenient means to enable ex cod fishermen to qualify for welfare payments.


    ---
    'Even if the Canadian government had taken drastic steps in our own territorial waters, there was nothing to be done about the greedy Euro fishermen who mined the waters just outside Canadian waters'
    - CanadianRockies
    ---


    The old stock Canadian cod theft parable.. its utter piffle.. which is why the Icelandic Cod fishery has not collapsed.. the fact is that having banned the European fishing fleet from its territorial waters, the Canadian fishery massively expanded its own fleet and pursued a policy of unsustainable over fishing of its Cod stocks.. disregarding scientific advice that the quotas were unsustainable.

    .. and talking of parables that segues neatly into the next fish theft parable.. the Canadian seal stealing fish parable...


    ---
    'So what does the seal hunt have to do with the cod stocks in the real world? Well, the hyper-abundant seal population MIGHT be playing a role in the incredibly slow recovery of the cod.'
    - CanadianRockies
    ---


    No, it doesn't.


    'Even the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans has officially stated that the Seal Hunt is not a cull to protect cod stocks.

    What do harp seals eat?
    In the St. Lawrence River they eat capelin from December to February, prior to the pupping season. Lactating females and moulting harp seals feed infrequently, although mothers forage intensively on capelin in the St. Lawrence River after weaning their pups.
    Atlantic cod, including the northern cod stock, is a minor component of the annual harp seal diet.
    - Wallace, S.D and J.W. Lawson. 1997. A review of stomach contents of harp seals (Phoca groenlandica) from the Northwest Atlantic: an update. IMMA Technincal Report 97-01. 99pp.'
    http://sharkbaitblog.blogspot.com/2006/08/data-file-3-canadian-seal-hunt.html


    ---
    'Since the Native North Americans are effectively gone...'
    - CanadianRockies
    ---


    ..more Shhhpinnnnn.. which is why in 2006 there was an 'aboriginal' hunt quota of 10,000 seals.. of course the value of that hunt to the First Nation would be considerably higher, if they were not playing second fiddle to the much larger hunt quota allocated to ex cod fishermen...


    ---
    ..'tired of dealing with the Euro hypocrites and their trade embargoes..' - CanadianRockies
    ---


    .. because of course it would make perfect sense for Europeans to protest the hunt .. and then buy its products.. that wouldn't be hypocritical at all... *facepalm*

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  • 115. At 05:22am on 18 Feb 2011, Charles Tokyo wrote:

    Japan is mostly mountainous islands, unsuitable for farming large land animals, and we get much of our food (plants, creatures) from the sea instead.

    In your country it may be normal to eat land products, but in Japan it is normal to eat sea products. "Morality" on this issue is in fact based on situation and convenience, and trying to force one's values onto other cultures is unreasonable, to say the least.

    None of the reasons given for preventing (all) whaling stand up:
    Endangered? No, there are vast numbers of minke whales, and only a tiny proportion are caught.
    Intelligent individuals? Pigs appear to be at least as intelligent as whales, but factory-farmed pigs get a far worse deal. And how many individual pigs have to be killed to get the same amount of meat as one whale?

    Why do some claim that it's ok to kill farmed animals but not wild ones? Why should an animal born on a farm have less rights than its wild counterpart? Surely killing a small, sustainable proportion of wild animals is living in harmony with nature and therefore environmentally friendly.

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  • 116. At 05:57am on 18 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @115..Charles Tokyo

    Japan is mostly mountainous islands.. with the third largest economy on the planet.. lets not forget that.

    Insisting on whaling in the international waters of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, using aid programs to buy votes in the IWC and hunting migratory wildlife, is also trying to force one's values onto other cultures.

    All of the arguments for preventing a return to International commercial whaling stand up.

    The Minke whale will be the least important target species if the moratorium is lifted, just as it was before the moratorium was introduced.

    There is no humane way of killing a whale, there are humane ways of killing pigs.

    It is ok to kill farmed animals because they were specifically bred as private property for human consumption.. wild animals are not.

    In view of the years of Tuna quotas cheating by the FAJ, on what grounds are you guaranteeing you will ensure that international commercial whaling quotas would be 'small' or 'sustainable'.. the answer to that is, you can't.

    Industrial Fisheries are neither 'living in harmony with nature' or 'environmentally friendly'.. with the greatest respect, stop trying to present it as some kind of charming, cultural cottage industry.

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  • 117. At 08:03am on 18 Feb 2011, sensiblegrannie wrote:

    The informality of a blog like this allows the participants to express feelings. Academic language forces one to think and write in a formal, and consequently stilted, objective way. This is what is unique in this type of communication. More is said and debate is instantaneous. Here, it is far easier to see both sides of the debate and see all points of view within a couple of days whereas lengthy academic papers have to be assessed and approved before entering the public domain. Informality and formality mixed together have created a unique hybrid form of which is entertaining and educational.
    Everyone with an interest in whales has their own unique viewpoint coloured by cultural norms and by media propaganda. There has to be a middle way in dealing with perceived wrongs.

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  • 118. At 10:30am on 18 Feb 2011, Dr Brian Skinner wrote:

    The international limits set on Mercury consumption are set at an incredibly low level by politicians rather than scientists. There is no real evidence for a safe level as, unless you are a Nazi, it is not possible to conduct an experiment on human beings.
    The comment that a couple of dolphins have been found to have high levels is almost certainly of no importance clinically.
    There have been cases of Mercury poisoning in areas where residues fron paper mills were discharged into rivers, the Hg concentrated in fish which were caught and eaten by fishing communities. The fish concentrations were enormous, individuals ate many fish and neurological damage resulted.
    The only real human level guide comes from the study of dentists and their nurses who until about a decade ago generally handled liquid Mercury and amalgam in a cavalier manner as well as having it in their own teeth.
    Some have been shown to have quite high levels of Hg but show no general evidence of nerve damage.
    This doesn't mean that Mercury is harmless in very high concentations. About 25 tears ago a dental nurse dropped a bottle of Mercury in a surgery and didn't tell her boss. It pooled under the cabinets and about 9 months later the entire staff started suffering from Hg poisoning. All recovered.
    By the way, it's rich that Greens use the Mercury argument in discussions about the safety of eating whales after supporting the introduction of non-incandescent light bulbs which, in the fullness of time, will introduce vast amounts of Hg into the environment.

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  • 119. At 11:00am on 18 Feb 2011, JomonWhaler wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 120. At 1:22pm on 18 Feb 2011, RedStarPenguin wrote:

    Today is a day of hope! Sea Shepherd have won a great victory for biodiversity on this planet.

    The majority of people worldwide, if questioned directly, would want to prevent the extinction of Whales. However governments and authorities worldwide did not have the desire or will to achieve this through international agreements. They made a lazy, inadequate compromise. People-power nevertheless has found a way. By donating to Sea Shepherd the end of illegal, immoral and endangering whaling has been defeated by ordinary people. People CAN make a difference and good things CAN happen.

    Bravo Sea Shepherd and Capt Paul Watson. You've done a great thing for the Whales and restored hope to people.

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  • 121. At 1:31pm on 18 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    #118 DrBrian wrote:

    "...9 months later the entire staff started suffering from Hg poisoning. All recovered."

    I'm not quite sure what you are on about. I have read this over a few times... Mercury is bad for you but we can handle more than we are told?
    Adults may 'recover', however, the danger to growing children and developing fetuses is permanent nerve and brain damage.

    Maybe a little too cavalier, here?

    @Lamna_nasus:

    You da person(not sure gender)!!



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  • 122. At 3:21pm on 18 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @118 DrBrian


    You are incorrect in stating that there is a lack of scientific research.. and the research is ethical because the study groups are self selecting -

    '...But today in a statement to the islanders, chief medical officers Pál Weihe and Høgni Debes Joensen announced that pilot whale meat and blubber contains too much mercury, PCBs and DDT derivatives to be safe for human consumption.

    "It is with great sadness that this recommendation is provided," they said. "The pilot whale has kept many Faroese alive through the centuries."

    But in "a bitter irony", they said, research on the impact of the pollutants on the Faroese themselves has shown that mercury, especially, causes lasting damage.

    The work has revealed damage to fetal neural development, high blood pressure, and impaired immunity in children, as well as increased rates of Parkinson's disease, circulatory problems and possibly infertility in adults. The Faroes data renewed concerns about low-level mercury exposures elsewhere...'
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16159-faroe-islanders-told-to-stop-eating-toxic-whales.html


    What DrBrian has failed to make clear is that it is not the fact that the amount of these persistent toxins that one ingests each time of exposure is small that is important, it is the fact that the body NEVER breaks them down or excretes them.. so each time you ingest the toxin, it adds to the existing body loading.. this is the reason these persistent toxins become increasingly concentrated as they move up the food chain.. and Homo sapiens is now the apex predator.


    Finally there is DrBrian's comment about energy saver light bulbs.. strangely DrBrian fails to register his outrage at the medical risks posed by the Mercury in Fluorescent lamps (those long tube lights that have been used for decades in private and commercial buildings) already introducing vast amounts of Hg into the environment... disingenuous much?



    @b5happy

    Thank you. :o)

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  • 123. At 4:38pm on 18 Feb 2011, jr4412 wrote:

    JaneBasingstoke #110.

    "Conservation issues with political controversy need that controversy explored."

    couldn't agree more, however, as both of us know, the chance of that happening is zilch (when all too often 'debate' is like Lamna_nasus's final paragraph in #122, complete with clever 'disingenuous' barb; as if things weren't messed-up enough).

    anyhow, coming back to this blog was my mistake, simple as that.

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  • 124. At 4:42pm on 18 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    Lamna_nasus #93 wrote:

    You are being extremely disingenuous by attempting to equate anthropogenic industrial fisheries and natural predation

    I don't remember actually doing that, but I might as well do something similar now.

    I don't much approve of whaling, and I don't much approve of killing cattle for food. But there really isn't much of a difference between them. Cattle are sentient individuals who would rather live than die. Whales are also sentient individuals who would rather live than die.

    The idea that "natural" predation is somehow less morally bad than "artificial" killing is ridiculous. Killing is killing. And anyway, the idea that man's killing of whales is somehow less "natural" than, say, giant squid's killing of whales is also ridiculous, but as I said it's irrelevant as there's nothing whatsoever good about "natural" per se.

    Some people seem to think that it's OK to kill cattle because cattle were bred by man for food. How does that excuse it? It is less bad to breed people to be slaves from birth than to kidnap them and enslave them?

    By the way, I'm not a vegetarian myself, so everything I say here condemns me as a beef-eating European as much as it condemns whale-eating Japanese. We're all in the same boat. Let's not pretend we're better than we really are, shall we?

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  • 125. At 5:31pm on 18 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    #124 bowmanthebard wrote:

    "The idea that "natural" predation is somehow less morally bad than "artificial" killing is ridiculous. Killing is killing."

    And:

    "Some people seem to think that it's OK to kill cattle because cattle were bred by man for food. How does that excuse it?"

    For discussion's sake: I don't think that morals should really enter into this (can o' worms statement) whole concept (not talking to you, bowmanthebard) of whales versus cattle or what have you...

    Accent being on 'some'. I think that most people don't really go that 'deep' (which, deep, it is not). It is more like simple supply and demand response. If venison (so delicious!) was as plentiful as beef, in the store, the average person wouldn't give it a second thought.



    "It is less bad to breed people to be slaves from birth than to kidnap them and enslave them?"

    Now, that's a good one!! I think I'd rather be the former (ignorance is bliss) than the latter (memories of a better life and the pain of not getting it back). Don't do this to me, bowmanthebard...

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  • 126. At 5:36pm on 18 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    #125 b5happy:

    I posted accidentally. D'oh!
    Now, I must wait to see how I appear.
    I may need to return to flesh-out my thoughts...
    (I 'hate' it when this happens!)

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  • 127. At 5:45pm on 18 Feb 2011, rossglory wrote:

    #124 bowmanthebard

    "Killing is killing" - are there no nuances? you're a utilitarian, killing to prevent death is surely different to killing for fun.

    i eat beef but if the only way to kill a cow was to lob an exploding spear at it and wait for it to bleed to death then i would not (unless of course i was starving and that was the only option, but that's a different issue).

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  • 128. At 6:14pm on 18 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    Continued from #125:

    If venison (so delicious!) was as plentiful as beef, in the store, the average person wouldn't give it a second thought. I personally stopped
    buying packages of chicken wings because all I could see was: 20 wings
    equals 10 chickens... My better-half told me that I was delusional, "No problem buying a bag of chicken breasts. What are you talking about?
    Get a grip!" It's true that we selectively moralize. We can't help it.
    We are a joke. Morals should not enter into the subject (that can o' worms statement again). To put it another way: I believe that all drugs should be legalized. Moral opinion should not enter into it. Take the crime out of the birthright to play with your own mind and body. Put the money into education and nurturing. Don't give me that bit about protecting you and the public... that's a crock! *pant pant*

    Don't show me slaughter houses and chickens laying eggs, etc., etc.
    Why? Because it's horrible! I mean it. It's disgusting what we do.
    I personally can kill a creature and dress it and consume it. But,
    don't show me those films, because I will become a vegetarian, again.
    Not a vegan, too much work and a little too anal, me thinks.
    So, what does this mean? Am I psycho? I'd like to think not.

    I believe the above is a good case for straight forward practicality.
    No morals. Just good clear thinking... Whether we like the idea or not
    (I don't) we a stewards of this planet. It's sink or swim.

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  • 129. At 6:21pm on 18 Feb 2011, bowmanthebard wrote:

    b5happy #125 wrote:

    I don't think that morals should really enter into this (can o' worms statement)

    Well I agree with you, and I don't mean to pontificate. I just got the impression that a lot of the discussion was already about the wrongness of whaling, the supposed rightness of "natural" behaviour and all that.

    rossglory #127 wrote:

    you're a utilitarian, killing to prevent death is surely different to killing for fun.

    I'm a so-called "preference" utilitarian (like JS Mill and Peter Singer) rather than a "hedonistic" utilitarian (like Jeremy Bentham). So I don't count pleasure or pain, but the preferences of sentient agents, in other words, what they would choose if they could.

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  • 130. At 6:34pm on 18 Feb 2011, JA89 wrote:

    dutchdavey, you say -

    "The Norwegians and Japanese have the same right to shoot and eat whale as the rest of us have to kill and eat beef. It's easy to protest about what someone else is doing, if it doesn't affect your own daily life particularly.

    Maybe the Japanese and Norwegians will starting launching taskforces onto the mainland of the US and Europe to 'peacefully' sabotage the widespread slaughter of cows??

    Okay if whale stocks are depleted, otherwise let 'em get on with it and let's not throw stones from our comfy glass houses.."

    There are several things that seem a bit confused here. Firstly, commercial whaling was banned in 1986, so Japan and Norway do not have the same right to kill and eat whales, as the rest of the world has to kill and eat beef - as I understand it, there are no bans commercial on cattle farming?

    It seems you are confused about the differences between commercial cattle farming, and illegally hunting endangered (or soon to be) animals.

    Your right, it is easy for people to protest a topic that does not directly affect them. However, this doesn't mean that it is not in their right, or in their interest to do so. I suspect that most of the people protesting the deforestation in the Amazon, don't actually live in the Amazon rain forest. However, controlling and monitoring the situation, therefore preventing it, may be a better plan than allowing it to get critical, then dealing with it later - as you suggest.

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  • 131. At 6:44pm on 18 Feb 2011, b5happy wrote:


    And another thing!
    It's greed that has put us in this position.
    All encompassing greed.
    You name it: From I want my own car,
    to I want more children...
    and everything else coming before,
    after and in-between.

    I apologize for stating the obvious.
    Please, forgive me.

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  • 132. At 8:13pm on 18 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @124 bowmanthebard.


    Natural predation is regulated by an incredibly complex web of of natural checks and balances evolved over millenia.. industrialised fisheries are not and that is the problem.. do not mistake me for some kind of bunny hugging, vegan, pacifist.. the main argument is about sustainability and the fact is International Commercial Whaling never has been and never will be sustainable.

    Ethical farming is a separate debate since it addresses the issue of animals domesticated by humans as a food source, which only exist because they have been bred to act as a commercial product.

    There are an important number of good reasons to treat domesticated animals ethically but we are discussing wildlife in international waters, not domesticated animals.. and 'slavery' presupposes the whales are kept alive.. which of course they are not.. so that is a dolphinarium argument.. not a whaling argument.


    ---


    @142 jr4412

    Richard's blog respects robust debate.. I realise that may come as a bit of a shock to those who frequent cosy libertarian forums like WUWT.. but if you wish to debate, then please do so and address the issues raised in my post #122.. rather than complaining that I volleyed DrBrian's 'barbed' comment about 'Greens' straight back at him..
    With the greatest respect, bjecting to a public forum because you are not applauded every time you post is perhaps a little unrealistic?

    There are few,if any immutable facts, therefore subjective opinion should expect to be challenged if it wishes to parade in public.. indeed it should relish the opportunity for an educational experience.

    ---

    @130 '..so Japan and Norway do not have the same right to kill and eat whales, as the rest of the world has to kill and eat beef..'
    -JA89



    The issue is rather complex.

    Norway registered an objection to the Moratorium at the IWC before the vote and its hunt is therefore legal.

    Japan registered an objection to the moratorium but there was a considerable debate over issues concerning international waters, territorial waters and fishing agreements which resulted in japan withrawing its objection in 1987 and the situation is currently that Japanese whaling is 'scientific' research governed by a 'Special Permit' from the IWC.

    Iceland did not register an objection, but threw a hissy fit in 1992 and stormed out of the IWC.. only rejoining in 2002 amid much controversy.. since it appears they managed to vote to re-admitted themselves to the IWC, while not actually being a voting member.. and also managed to be re-admitted with a retrospective 'objection' to the moratorium, despite the fact there is apparently no IWC mechanism for this.

    There are also a number of 'aboriginal' whaling quotas..

    The Faroe Islands are not regulated by the IWC, because it does regulate the hunting of small cetaceans.

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  • 133. At 8:16pm on 18 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    114. Lamna_nasus wrote:

    "@112 CanadianRockies

    Yes, the Faroe Islands hunt DOES fall into a different category.. the difference between territorial waters and international waters..."

    True. But that is a technicality. My point addressed the perceived 'barbarity' of the Japanese whale hunt - as promoted by the SS et al - versus the same kind of barbarity, or worse, by the Euros on the Faroe Islands.

    Indeed, since the latter is in Danish/EU territorial waters where they do have full control, that makes the Danes/Euros even MORE hypocritical for not stopping it... because they can.

    Me: "why was the seal hunt going while cod fishing was booming?"

    You: "Because there was and is an international market for fur.. it doesn't change the fact the hunt is now expanded as a convenient means to enable ex cod fishermen to qualify for welfare payments."

    There still is an international market. And now Canada will be selling more seal products to China.

    The "fact that the hunt is now expanded" is not a fact at all. It is much smaller than it was historically. And they are not 'welfare payments.'

    You: "The old stock Canadian cod theft parable.. its utter piffle.. the fact is..."

    Your 'fact' is conveniently false. You ignore the whole timeline.

    Me: "Since the Native North Americans are effectively gone...'

    You: "..more Shhhpinnnnn.. which is why in 2006..."

    I was talking about the pre-European era when Native North Americans were the keystone predator everywhere, and were the primary natural predator of seals. Of course, the early Euros who sailed over to start harvesting the cod wiped out the native people of Newfoundland so... better to talk about whales than that, eh?

    Me: "the hyper-abundant seal population MIGHT be playing a role in the incredibly slow recovery of the cod."

    You: "No, it doesn't. Even the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans has officially stated that the Seal Hunt is not a cull to protect cod stocks."

    That department says many things, as you pointed out when describing the demise of the cod. There are political reasons why they say what they say. However, note my very deliberate use of the word "might." I stand by that, and would suggest it is very probable. You provide this:

    "What do harp seals eat? In the St. Lawrence River they eat capelin... Atlantic cod, including the northern cod stock, is a minor component of the annual harp seal diet."

    First, this story is bigger than the SL River, but let's accept that research as representative enough. With a seal population this abundant even a 'minor component' of their diet adds up. Moreover, how do the capelin fit into the whole ecosystem? Do cod eat them? Yes. Do they eat cod food? Etc. That whole food chain there is out of balance. And, no matter what the 'experts' say, they do not know how it is all interacting now. But the fact that we have a hyper-abundant seal population and a crashed cod population suggests that those seals are having impacts.

    Or are you suggesting that that unnatural seal population explosion is a benefit to them, or to anything? If you are against the seal hunt you must think that more seals good - maybe even doubleplusgood if you have a baby seal poster on your wall.

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  • 134. At 8:36pm on 18 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @132


    Typo Correction

    'The Faroe Islands are not regulated by the IWC, because it does regulate the hunting of small cetaceans.'


    should correctly read -

    'The Faroe Islands are not regulated by the IWC, because it does not regulate the hunting of small cetaceans.


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  • 135. At 8:49pm on 18 Feb 2011, jr363 wrote:

    Doesn't it make you feel slightly queasy that so few posts consider the whales themselves? Lots of posts are off topic entirely, and many of those that are on topic are about "conservation of the species". How about the individual whales? These animals have huge brains. Whales may be more "conscious" than we are, for all we know, just different in terms of what they perceive. I would like to see an end to the killings right now.

    Anyway, good on Richard Black for focusing on this issue.

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  • 136. At 8:50pm on 18 Feb 2011, CanadianRockies wrote:

    #132. Lamna_nasus wrote:

    "cosy libertarian forums like WUWT.."

    Funny. Yes, that "cosy" little site that gets awards and has more traffic and impact and influence every hour than this blog gets in a month.

    And you do seem to have an issue with what you simplistically call 'libertarians.' OK. Let's be simple. What is the opposite of a libertarian? A serf? A slave? A lemming? A good German?

    If it were not for the so-called 'libertarians' and sites like WUWT, the serfs would have followed the AGW gang as foolishly as they followed the Iraqi WMD gang.

    Oh, that's right. The UK serfs did! In both cases. I'm so happy that Tony Bliar has moved on from the Iraq scam to the AGW scam, aren't you?



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  • 137. At 11:26pm on 18 Feb 2011, mariebee_ wrote:

    We shouldn't need a Sea Shepherd, but thank goodness they are there. People need to fight to get change e.g. egypt e.g. poll tax e.g. womens votes e.g. anything!! As our knowledge of the other species on the planet improves we realise what needs to change, and it's a huge task to send out this information and make people hear it, but sea shepherd seems to have done it brilliantly!
    Whales can send a message around the world in 5 minutes! They form intense bonds and family units. Whatever methods are necessary to protect them is ok with me. Japanese shouldn't use wild animals as larder, all wildlife is as much mine as theirs.

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  • 138. At 06:31am on 19 Feb 2011, AddiyaB wrote:

    The suspension of the Antarctic whale hunt by Japanese ships comes about amid extreme anti-whaling harassment. Japanese whaling goes on even though there is a planetary whaling moratorium, citing study reasons as its reason. I found this here: Anti-whaling harassment ends 2011 Japanese whaling season early

    Groups such as the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society are making whaling economically unfeasible, and whale meat is no longer considered vital to the Japanese diet.

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  • 139. At 12:18pm on 19 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @jr363 #135

    In political discussions about the pros and cons of whaling, both sides are in agreement that the IWC is a pro-whaling organisation. Therefore only genuine pro-conservation arguments are relevant to much of the politics. Anything suggestive of anthropomorphism can be laughed at.

    You must also distinguish between different types of whale. Dolphins and their closer relatives rival great apes in intelligence and social behaviour. The same is not true of the Minke and other such whales, where comparisons to cattle and pigs are not inappropriate, especially with many Westerners undervaluing the intelligence of such animals.

    Having said that even the keenest of whalers appear to want whale kills to be quick and clean to minimise suffering.

    I don't like whaling. I don't like the more cynical behaviour of some of the whaling companies and other pro-whaling lobbyists. But I don't like pro-whaling members of the general public being criticised either.

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  • 140. At 4:25pm on 19 Feb 2011, Lamna nasus wrote:

    @133 ..'My point addressed ..' - CanadianRockies

    Actually your point mostly revolved around the hypocrisy of Europeans protesting the Japanese whaling but not Faroe Islands whaling.. which was a fallacy.

    The Faroe Islands are a Danish Protectorate and the Danish Fisheries are pro-whaling... so no hypocrisy there.


    ---
    'The "fact that the hunt is now expanded" is not a fact at all. It is much smaller than it was historically. And they are not 'welfare payments.'
    - CanadianRockies
    ---


    You are presumably referring to the 1951 hunt when 400,000 seals were killed?.. except of course, that wasn't sustainable was it?...

    '..between 1949 and 1961, an average of 310 000 seals were taken annually. Scientists later estimated that the northwestern Atlantic harp seal population declined, perhaps by more than 50%, between 1950 and 1970.'


    Since that time it is true that the hunt contracted between the mid 80s to the mid 90s, however it has been expanding ever since -

    'From 1983 to 1995 catches of harp and hooded seals averaged only about 54 700 and 1000, respectively, far below the annual total allowable catch (TAC) of 186 000 harp seals and between 2340 and 15 000 (depending on the year) of hooded seals. In December 1995, however, Canada increased the TAC for harp seals to 250 000 and, for the second year in a row, provided subsidies to encourage sealing, ostensibly to benefit depleted cod (Gadus morhua) stocks. In the event, more than 242 000 harp seals and 25 000 hooded seals (more than three times the 1996 TAC of 8000) were killed in the largest seal hunt since 1970. In December 1996 Canada's fisheries minister announced a further increase in the TAC for the 1997 harp seal hunt to 275 000; the hooded seal TAC remained at 8000.'
    http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0007250


    .. and the TAC for 2009 was 338,000.. so there does not appear to be a huge amount of corroboration for your claim that the hunt is 'much smaller'...

    .. and as you point out Canada has signed trading agreements with China for seal products.. and China is a very big market.. so the hunt will be further expanding rather than contracting.. market forces being what they are.. and the Canadian government's record on sustainability in this area being what it is...


    ---
    'You ignore the whole timeline'
    - CanadianRockies
    ---


    No, I do not.. Canada’s unilateral declaration of its 200 nautical mile EEZ was made in 1977.. the cod stocks collapsed between the mid 80s and early 90s.. the Canadian Fishery was responsible -

    Atkinson, D.B. and B. Bennett, 1994. Proceedings of a Northern Cod Workshop Held in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, January 27–29, 1993. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences No. 1999, 64p.

    Shelton, P.A. and G.R. Lilly, 2000. Interpreting the collapse of the northern cod stock from survey and catch data. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 57:2230–2239.



    ---
    'better to talk about whales than that, eh?'
    - CanadianRockies
    ---


    .. this is a thread about Whaling, not First Nation genocide by settlers.. I am more than happy to discuss the history covered in 'Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee' by Dee Brown.. including the cynical conduct of the Canadian Government after Sitting Bull crossed into Canadian Territory after the Battle of the Little Big Horn on an appropriate thread.. however on this thread it is off-topic.. indeed the Canadian Seal Hunt is also fairly off-topic.. apart from the fact that one of the most prominent opponents of the Seal hunt is Captain Paul Watson (a Canadian) of Sea Shepherd.

    ---
    'But the fact that we have a hyper-abundant seal population and a crashed cod population suggests that those seals are having impacts.'
    - CanadianRockies
    ---


    ...endlessly repeating that pro-seal hunt canard does not make it a scientific fact.. back it with reputable, peer reviewed science or you have nothing but propaganda.. the Canadian Government which sanctions the seal hunt says it is not a cull.. you can't have your cake and eat it..

    ..especially since inshore population of capelin have not been affected by seal numbers.
    DFO, 2000b. Capelin in Subarea 2 + Div. 3KL. Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canada, Science Stock Status Report B2-02.



    --
    @139 ..'I don't like pro-whaling members of the general public being criticised either.'
    - Jane Basingstoke


    I am also a member of the general public.. why would it be appropriate to hand a 'get out of jail free' card to someone making erroneous claims on one side of the argument, just because they are a member of the general public?

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  • 141. At 8:37pm on 19 Feb 2011, JaneBasingstoke wrote:

    @Lamna_nasus #140

    "'get out of jail free' card"

    I'm not giving them a "'get out of jail free' card".

    The cynical behaviour is mainly by lobbyists and powerful people with connections to the whaling industry. Cynical behaviour is more of a problem than someone just being wrong or someone having a blinkered view. Members of the general public are far more likely to be sincere, and sincerity makes for civilised debate.

    In both instances it is appropriate to tackle claims that you think are wrong. I think tackling wrong claims in an appropriate manner can be a sign of respect where the opponent is clearly sincere. But it is much harder work and more unpleasant if your opponent is not sincere.

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