Author Topic: Set-back for anti-whaling forces  (Read 5848 times)

fern hill

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Set-back for anti-whaling forces
« on: June 18, 2006, 08:00:25 PM »
This story has everything: environment, foreign aid (Japan is said to be trading aid for votes), global politics, food, and cruelty to animals.

Now the Japanese want to hunt humpback whales as well.

Quote
Japan wins first pro-whaling vote in two decades
 
UPDATED 10.15am Monday June 19, 2006
By Anne Beston and Agencies
 
FRIGATE BAY, St Kitts and Nevis - Japan and its allies won a pro-whaling vote for the first time in two decades today at an international meeting.
 
The approval of a non-binding pro-whaling declaration by the International Whaling Commission, or IWC, does not immediately threaten a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling, which is credited with saving the Earth's largest creatures from extinction and which Japan would like to overturn.
 
But in backing by 33 votes to 32, a statement that said the whaling ban was no longer valid, that whales were responsible for depleting fish stocks and that non-governmental and environmental organizations were a "threat," the IWC boosted Japan's hopes of chipping away at the ban. There was one abstention.



http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10387235

anne cameron

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Set-back for anti-whaling forces
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2006, 01:57:00 AM »
Oh, right, the whales are eating all the fish.  Even those whales which strain algae for food are responsible for the decline in fish stocks.  It has nothing at all to do with the tonnes and hundreds of tonnes of fish of all species hauled out wholesale to be processed into pellets for salmon net pen feed lots.  Has nothing to do with wasteful overfishing of all stocks.  Has nothing to do with global warming, with rampant pollution, with the leaching of until tonnes of pesticide, etc., into the oceans.  It has nothing to do with US in any way.

It's the fekkin whales!
And their cohorts, the seals!
And the otter are wiping out the shellfish...
and the sea lions are..and the walrus are...and...

WE are not at fault.  We are blameless.  It's those damn whales.

skdadl

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Set-back for anti-whaling forces
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2006, 06:23:54 AM »
God, I pray this does not succeed.

Whales are our relatives -- probably our smarter relatives. Och, we are a bad bunch. And what is up with the Norwegians?

fern hill

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Set-back for anti-whaling forces
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2006, 08:15:40 AM »
Here's a piece on the politics from the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5093684.stm

I don't geddit. Is there huge money in whaling? Are they so tasty that people will pay big money for a whale steak?

As this BBC piece points out, the Japanese have been relentless in their campaign. Why?

Gigi

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Set-back for anti-whaling forces
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2006, 01:24:43 PM »
Entitlement and tradition.


Need I say more?

Mandos

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fern hill

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Set-back for anti-whaling forces
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2006, 04:43:33 PM »
Thanks, Mandos, that was interesting.  I liked this bit:

Quote
Each year, the research institute sells 2,000-3,000 tonnes of whalemeat to the Japanese government, thereby paying for most of the cost of the research. The government sets the price, depending on the cut: ¥3,000-4,000 per kilo ($13-17 per lb) for the red meat, comparable in price to top-quality tuna or Kobe beef; ¥5,000-6,000 for the tail meat. Most of this meat is then distributed to Japan’s prefectural governments. The only prefecture that declines to buy whalemeat is the island of Okinawa. Okinawans prefer to eat dolphins.


I got hopeful there about the Okinawans for a moment.  :(

Mandos

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Set-back for anti-whaling forces
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2006, 05:14:31 PM »
I am given to understand that the actual amount of whale meat consumed by the average Japanese person is microscopic.

The questions here are:

1. Are the hunted whales endangered?
2. How much of the aversion to whaling is due to Western prejudices about what animals are appropriate food animals?
3. How much of this conflict is purely political---or is there a real traditional basis to it?

Here's the FAQ of the Japanese Whaling Society:
http://www.whaling.jp/english/qa.html

An article critically analyzing Western prejudice against Japanese mores:
http://www.whaling.jp/english/isana/no31_01.html

skdadl

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Set-back for anti-whaling forces
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2006, 06:13:52 AM »
But Mandos: that essay is itself nothing but cultural prejudice.

Whales are not fish, to begin with, which that guy seems not to know, nor does his government, apparently, which placed him in the department of fisheries.

He offers no stats on what was happening to the world's whales during the years of very aggressive Japanese fishing.

I can relate to anyone who is concerned about Western ethnocentricity when it stomps about the world being destructive, as often it does, but stopping the Japanese whalers, who were an immensely aggressive, industrial-strength operation, would not be the place I'd start.

If individual Japanese eat so little whale meat, then why not investigate the rationale for the industry further?

And if there is one non-Western nation that became very quickly very aggressively Americanized in its embrace of capitalism and over-industrialized everything, that nation would be post-war Japan. Cultural deconstruction takes a little more than the superstitious sniffs that this guy is pushing.

Mandos

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Set-back for anti-whaling forces
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2006, 07:07:08 PM »
I realize this.  I put it up not as an argument, but as a partial indicator of what the Japanese government is thinking.  I'm given to understand that whale meat is not a serious or pressing economic issue for Japanese society, which hardly actually consumes whales.  Someone told me that it is a point of national pride for the bureaucrats of a society that is not permitted to have large-scale military engagements and is largely allergic to military paegeantry anyway.

That in itself is interesting: do societies have a "desire" for destruction that needs some form of outlet?

Boom Boom

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Set-back for anti-whaling forces
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2006, 09:32:15 AM »
That's close to my understanding, which is that whale is a traditional food for the Japanese, even if it is not consumed in any great quantity; their argument is that they should have the right to consume something which is a part of their tradition. Isn't there a similar parallel for our northern aboriginal peoples?

Dagmar

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Set-back for anti-whaling forces
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2006, 06:29:41 PM »
That's ridiculous. I'm no environmentalist, but the right to eat things you traditionally eat gets ridiculous when you traditionally eat everything.  We should shame Japan into stopping whaling.  We have people here making loads of money promoting whale watching tours, so whaling is a threat to our way of life.
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deBeauxOs

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Set-back for anti-whaling forces
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2006, 06:36:48 PM »
Quote from: Dagmar
...We have people here making loads of money promoting whale watching tours, so whaling is a threat to our way of life.
Loads of money?   :shock:   Who would have guessed that ecotourism was such an economic force?  Or is that your attempt  :roll:  at being ironic?

Dagmar

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Set-back for anti-whaling forces
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2006, 07:02:18 PM »
I'm serious.  It's a growing industry.

Face it, whaling threatens our west coast way of life.  And for what?  All we're asking for is for Japan to eat one less creature.
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aRoused

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Set-back for anti-whaling forces
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2006, 04:17:50 AM »
Quote
If individual Japanese eat so little whale meat, then why not investigate the rationale for the industry further?

Such as explain why the Japanese government continues to say they're hunting 'for scientific research purposes'.  If you're hunting to eat the whales, have the sand to say you're hunting to eat the whales, otherwise what are you ashamed of that you need to conceal it?
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