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David @ Tokyo

Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics



IWC 2005: Dan Goodman tells it like it is

Dan Goodman of the Institute for Cetacean Research in Tokyo writes an excellent article in the Canberra Times on the whaling issue, covering most of the issues which I have been raving on about for the past month. His article is so good, that I'm going to dump the whole thing on here:

Debate on whaling being swamped by error and exaggeration
Tuesday, 7 June 2005

RECENT media reports concerning Japan's planned new whale research program in the Antarctic require a context. The 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling is about properly managing the whaling industry - that is, regulating catch quotas at levels so that whale stocks will not be diminished. The Convention is not about protecting all whales irrespective of their abundance.

The fact that Australia was a whaling country when it agreed to and signed the Convention and subsequently changed its position to anti-whaling following the closure of its industry in the 1970s does not change the Convention. If Australia can no longer agree to the Convention it should withdraw rather than subvert its purpose.

Although this Convention is almost 60 years old it is in every way consistent with what has more recently become the paradigm for the management of all resources - the principle of sustainable use. The Australian Government accepts this principle in other international fora and for other wildlife species except for a few charismatic species, including whales.

For Australia and many other countries, consistent application of science-based policy and rulemaking has been sacrificed as a political expediency to satisfy the interests of non-government organisations and explained in terms of moral or ethical values. This sacrifice, however, threatens the much-needed international cooperation required to properly manage and conserve all marine resources, and disregards the need to respect cultural diversity. Environment Minister Ian Campbell, who has said, "this practice [whaling] does not belong in the 21st century" should recognize his statement as unacceptable cultural imperialism.

Prime Minister John Howard's condemnation of our research programs on the basis that "it is not science" directly contradicts the IWC Scientific Committee, as do the claims of whale-watching interests that the take of any humpback whales threatens this "endangered" species. When the Committee reviewed the results of the research program at its half-way point, it concluded that Japan's program was providing valuable scientific information and that much of this information could not be obtained by non-lethal methods. Mr Howard can ignore the reality but he cannot change it. Moreover, even the Federal Government manages its fisheries resources on the basis of scientific information.

It is also a matter of record that the IWC Scientific Committee has agreed that the population of humpback whales is increasing rapidly (more than 10 per cent per year) and that it is not threatened or endangered. It is also clear that a small take for research purposes will not affect whale-watching opportunities. Statements to the contrary, together with the Greens' calls to suspend trade talks with Japan and claims of "drastic environmental consequences", are simply hysterical overstatement.

Calls from Labor for a case at the International Court of Justice on the basis that Japan is not acting in accordance with its treaty obligations under the Convention are also without foundation. Article VIII of the Convention unequivocally provides the right of members of the IWC to kill whales for research purposes, and further states that "the killing, taking, and treating of whales in accordance with the provisions of this Article shall be exempt from the operation of this Convention."

One does not need to be an international law expert to understand therefore that Japan's research whaling is perfectly legal and in full compliance with its obligations under the Convention. The fact that research whaling is a right of all members of the IWC, and exempt from the operation of the Convention, clearly renders the calls for a case at the International Court of Justice as nonsense. The same Article VIII says, "Any whales taken under these special permits shall so far as practicable be processed and the proceeds shall be dealt with in accordance with directions issued by the Government by which the permit was granted." The fact that whale meat ends up on the Japanese market is precisely because of the legally binding obligation to process the meat. Claims that the research whaling is "commercial whaling in disguise" ignore this, as well as simple commonsense that valuable food resources should not be wasted.

Further, any international court or tribunal could, on the basis of the language of the Convention, easily and quite properly rule that Australia has failed to meet its legal obligation to interpret and implement its treaty obligations in good faith by deliberately obstructing and delaying the negotiations to establish a management regime for the resumption of sustainable whaling for abundant stocks. Such a ruling would confirm that Australia has, since the adoption of the moratorium on commercial whaling in 1982, contributed significantly to the current dysfunctional status of the IWC.

The fact that the Australian Government has publicly stated that it no longer accepts the terms of the Convention and yet continues to participate in the IWC is a self- indictment. For this reason, many would welcome the threatened case by Australia since the likely outcome would be exactly the opposite of that intended.

Is that why Senator Campbell and Attorney-General Philip Ruddock expressed the view that legal action would only be good for lawyers?

Of course, these facts and arguments will not convince the anti-whaling politicians and NGOs that benefit from all the media hype on this issue. It is to be hoped, however, that civil society in general will take a more rational position on the matter. There are enough whales for both those who want to watch them and those who want to eat them. Conservation of whale resources and respect for cultural diversity and international law should be the objective of all members of the IWC.


Key points from this, as I have been saying:
- If the anti-whaling nations don't like the ICRW, they should get out
- The Humpback population which is supposedly "endangered" is in fact booming at a generally accepted rate of about 10%
- Research whaling programmes are undoutedly legal, and bringing court action against Japan would be a huge own goal for the anti-whalers
- Unlike cake, it is possible to watch your whales, and eat them too. There's plenty of whales to go around.

Dan Goodman was in New Zealand a few years ago. I remember seeing him go head to head live on NZ TV with the then Environment Minister - Sandra "Whaling is despicable" Lee. Poor old Sandra got a good thrashing on that occassion. The western media would do well to take Goodman's comment on whaling issues more often.

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Of course Mr. Goodman's position comes from one who is completely neutral, neither for or against whaling since he is not paid by either side...


Mr. Goodman is PAID by the Japan Institute of Cetacean Research, in fact he is on a retainer. David, just WHAT else do you think he's going to say about his employer, that they are wrong?!?

Don't be an idiot - no one is buying your particular brand of BS.

And it's certainly notable that Mr. Goodman was a senior advisor to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Canada's DFO has certainly distinguished itself - what with the collapse of the east coast cod fisheries in Canada...
Hi Steve,

I note that you prance in here, abusing Dan Goodman, moronically implying that he singly is at fault for fishieries mismanagement, rather than addressing the argument he makes, not to mention calling me an idiot.

That's typical of the anti-whaling bunch which I suppose you support, yet bluster is not going to convince anybody of anything.

That Mr Goodman is employed by the ICR puts him in a perfect position to understand what the ICR does, much more so than sofa environmentalists on the other side of the world sitting in front of their tv reading biased western newspapers.

Feel free to post again if you actually have something to say with regard to the argument Mr Goodman makes. Argumentum ad hominem wins you no points in adult discussions. Take note.
While mr. Thompson does take a radical approach with somewhat bashing Goodman I truly can't blame him. I've seen and heard Goodman make statements/addresses and some of the statements he makes are truly outlandish.

You have to release Japan's government has been corrupt for many numbers of years and is still covering up major miss-haps that national companies and even their own government has made. Minamata is a great example, but as light is being shed on these different conspiracies and cover-ups how can you really take anything the japanese government (or Mr. Goodman for that matter) say with more than a grain of salt.

Do you truly believe that Japan "has to" kill all these whales for science, when whale meat in small villages is a huge commodity? Not to mention the slaughter of dolphins in Tiji which clearly shows that there is no respect for these animals, their population or survival.

I'm not going to try and argue all the points Goodman makes in this address but looking at his key points:
Of course he's going to say the whale population is booming, that only profits the ICRW and makes it look more legitimate. However, Goodman (is one of his appearances when the movie "The Cove" was made) also said their where no products in the market that violate health standards for mercury (which in japan is .04 PPM), except dolphin meat usually holds around 2,000 PPM of mercury... A truly toxic amount. So, I don't see how any statements from Goodman regarding factual evidence can really be taken honestly.

As for research whaling programs being legal well, I find it hard to believe something like that is truly "legal" when it's boundaries are so thin. Not to mention that if you look at Tiji and how Japan is handling that it's hard to believe that the "research whaling programs" are truly legitimate.
This is obviously propaganda to justify the unjustifiable. "Scientific Research"? Ahuh. Why does Japan need to kill whales to perform scientific research? What legitimate scientific *NEED* is being addressed?

Also, the fact that Japan has to bribe other countries to support them in the IWC is proof that they cannot convince other nations of the legitimacy of their arguments.

How any thinking person could sympathize with a greedy lawyer's arguments in favor of a despicable custom is beyond my quite extraordinary ability to comprehend.
Anonymous, just read the international convention for the regulation of whaling for yourself. Anyone who can read and correctly comprehend English will have no trouble understanding this.
I would challenge you to go face to face with men like Paul watson and Rick O'Barry.
Sure bring all the legal verbage you have. You won't need any of it though, if you forget to pack your heart and soul.

Because you hide behind your knowledge of this rule, and that rule, you are well equipped to defend all comers. You know, those crazies who think they have the right to preach to the world in defense of an animal.
Now it's time to put your money where your big mouth is.
With you techinal crap safely tucked in your wet suit, ( don't dare to forget all the legal paperwork ), because we both know you are nothing without it,I would challenge you to climb a dolphin at an amusement park. The crowd goes wild and so does David driving a spear, over and over again into the blow hole. Could you do that David? Could you?
What would you do when you got out of the pool. Would you feel like committing suicide, once you realize what you had done? I don't think so. I think you would slice off a piece of Dolphin, go home, and enjoy a salty sandwich, using the law for a bib.
I know your type. All bark and no bite.
Where ever did your parents go wrong!!
What a pathetic human. Fortunately for the rest of us, all we have to do is wait you out. You are a dinosaur.
to Dan Goodman.
I hope you wake up to find that everybody you know and love is captured in nets, then brutally tortured in front of you ONE BY ONE BY ONE. You are a terrorist of the world. You have no heart and all you care about is money you typical JEW attorney. I hope nothing but hell for you and your family.
Goodman, what an unfortunate lie you are to your own name. You are far from being a good man. You are the lowest of the low, one who preys upon the innocent and vulnerable for your own profit. One day you will hopefully pay for your alliance with the Devil.
To Dan Goodman,
I am not any form of activist, I am simply a regular American citizen who is one of thousands of Americans who only recently became aware of the whaling and dolphin slaughtering practiced by Japan. This is quickly becoming a major issue here in the states, and is viewed by the common American as abhorrent and barbaric which is reminiscent of early stone-age man. I have the intelligence to understand that most Japanese citizens happen to agree. There for, Learning that an American would prostitute himself to aid such a vile enterprise truly makes me sick. I am not an activist in the sense that I protect whales and dolphins, So I have plenty of free time to devote to you. I am only 26 years old and will likely out live you, And I will devote my life to exposing you as an anti-patriot, and raise awareness of you in all areas of this great nation so that you cannot travel down a single street in your homeland without people throwing dung on you. I would liken you to a big tobacco lobbyist, except I do not wish to insult them with such a shameful accusation. When I am done, everyone here will know your name as well mine and they will associate them. You should not return here, you are undeserving of this country, and we do not wish to be associated with you. god willing, we will even meet one fine day. In my opinion Hara-kiri should be your first act as a Japanese citizen. As you have dishonored your homeland. I look forward to locating you here in America so that we may discuss this at length.
I have discovered that Dan Goodman is not American, but rather he is Canadian, So all Americans can sleep soundly knowing that the devil is not one of ours. Poor Canada. If I wanted to find a Canadian, That's where I'd start. I'm sure you could find someone on the net who knows the intimate details.......neighbor, postman...ice cream man...do what he would do and "cast a large net". Now if you will excuse me I must began to write a condolence letter to the Canadian ministry, and demand an apology for his presence on the Earth. but yes, dishonor, hara-kiri. poor Canada. I'm so, so, sorry you must bear this dishonor.
Guys, you are posting comments on a blog article that I wrote 5 years ago. Your comments are likely read only by me and all your little friends, wherever it is you are suddenly coming here from.

You're giving me some amusement with all your juvenile diatribes about Jews, the Devil, etc, but otherwise your time is completely wasted here.

Just a heads up.
Mr Goodman stated that whales and dolphins eat too many fish, this is their right. They live in the ocean, we don't. The japanese will eat anything that moves without a feeling for what it is so I suggets they eat their own dead or their newborns. They are not human, they have no human feelings, they are a plague. That was proven in 1947 with their attack on Pearl Harbour. The worl needs to shun them, stop buying their products and do not assist or acknowledge a japanese person anywhere in the world until they get the message.
So mr. Tokyo rose?
If, as you say this blog is old and out of date with nobody reading it? why do people still make comments?
How much are the japs paying YOU??
Supply just one finding that the Japs have made from the years of "scientific research" appart from its killing all who eat it due to high mercury content. just not quick enough. perhaps you can also gobble some down also while your sticking up for these cretins?
> why do people still make comments?

That's what I'd like to know. Other than anti-whaling fanatics, it seems no one else is reading this page these days.

The "japs" aren't paying me anything. Have you never heard of individuals writing blogs before?

Read some more of my recent posts about Australia's lame ass ICJ court case and you'll find the answer to your question about research findings. You won't be interested anyway if you aren't of the view that whales are a resource that can be utilised on a sustainable basis.

> its killing all who eat it due to high mercury content.

No one is reported to have died because of high mercury content, probably because baleen whales in the Antarctic eat krill, which don't accumulate so much mercury, and thus neither do the whales that eat them, nor the humans that eat them.

You're wasting your time here, moron :)
Of course, David @ Tokyo, people read old posts because the beauty of the internet and ridiculous blind patronage of barbaric rituals and engineered support is that when someone like me - your average intelligent, Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and lifelong student watches a movie like "The Cove" we do some research. Then we find morons like you who support the position of a man, who is formerly from the IWC (FORMERLY) and now advises the Japanese IWC committee. Dan Goodman is a horrendous human being who has turned on his Western ideology of respect and defense of nature, to line his pockets by arguing semantics and antiquated legal doctrines, which carry little or no enforcement. My solution? Since you asked, treat whalers as poachers. Since they are whaling in international waters, defending the rights of sentient and defenseless mammals is a right given to all humans. The senseless nationalist pride a select portion of the Japanese government and population feel toward whaling is overwhelmingly abhorred by the rest of their own countrymen when they learn of the practice and by the vast majority of the rest of the world.
As to your assertion that no one has died from eating mercury-tainted meat, do you even read actual scientific studies. For years we have been issuing warnings in America about the big fish at the top of the food chain who are inexorably polluted with mercury due to humanity's pollution of their environment. The mercury levels of dolphins, which the Japanese harvest in the tens of thousands in Taiji, Japan, tests at 140,000 times the safe suggested levels. Investigate a little disease called Minamata disease. Sure nobody ever expressly died DUE to mercury poisoning, it just caused severe birth defects and infertility.
Before you go calling other people idiots, do some REAL research yourself.
I called no one an idiot, Anonymous, but if you check above you will see another poster called me an idiot. I see you call Goodman a "horrendous human being". That's not a nice thing to say about a fellow human, without very good grounds.

So, you watched "The Cove". I can't admit to watching all of it. I saw a few snippets only, and haven't found the time to watch it completely. I can't say I was impressed with what I did see.

Question: as a student with a Masters, how much of what you saw in "The Cove" do you believe was 100% accurate, fair, balanced, and not misleading? As I say, I have only watched a few snippets. Your answer to my question would interest me.

Also that you purport to know what the "vast majority" of the people in the world think is curious. Have you travelled wide and far to be able to make such a claim? Can you speak numerous languages to such a degree?

Whales are not "big fish". Baleen whales in the Antarctic eat prey such as krill, which do not contain much mercury. Dolphins are not whales. In Taiji, tens of thousands of dolphins are not harvested. Check your facts.

Minamata disease and whales in the Antarctic are not related. My comment that no one is reported to have died was with respect to baleen whales, which are the subject of Japan's research program.
Dave, you are an idiot. Plain and simple. Dan Badman too.
Another nerd from the Sea Shepherd cult club?

Thanks for your opinion, I have noted it down on a piece of paper here to go with a few others.
Pure evil Dan - enjoy your tunnel vision. Anything for the almighty $
Feel free to post again if you actually have something to say with regard to the argument Mr Goodman makes.
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Those racist comments illustrate the rotten underbelly of anti-whaling mentality.
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