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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 2006: JARPA II returns to port

The Institute of Cetacean Research reports that the JARPA II research fleet has returned to Japan.

From the ICR website (roughly translating):

Approximately 5000 Minke whales, 3450 Humpback whales, 930 Fin whales, 82 Southern Right whales, 48 Blue whales and 3 Sei whales were sighted as part of the non-lethal portion of the research.

853 Minke whales were taken as samples in the lethal portion. The sample size had been set at 850+/- 10%, or 765 - 935, so the number taken was as planned.
10 Fin whales were also taken, as planned.

Biopsy samples were taken from 5 Blue whales, 9 Fin whales, 1 Sei whale, 13 Humpback whales, and 15 Minke whales.

Brief summary of some results todate:

Now, readers may recall that earlier this year Greenpeace's obstruction tactics were questioned, on the grounds that those actions led to increased time-to-deaths for the whales.

Greenpeace's Shane Rattenbury explained the through their obstruction tactics, they hoped that they could ensure that it took a longer amount of time for each whale to be taken, thus preventing the JARPA II research vessels from taking their target sample size of 850 whales, thus "Saving Whales".

Well, it didn't work, did it. But it did have the side effect of leading to a longer, more painful death for those whales struck at the time of Greenpeace's obstruction.

The money question is now whether Greenpeace will in future continue to persist with their tactic of obstruction, despite the lesson that it achieves nothing other than additional pain for the whales.

I suspect that they will continue with the tactic, because they care more about their fancy video footage than they do about their purported cause.

I can but wait for Greenpeace to prove me wrong.


I have just posted the following to the Greenpeace website:


I saw today that the JARPA II research fleet has returned to port in Japan, having taking their planned 850 minke whales (853 in the end), and 10 fin whales.

I wanted to ask what Greenpeace's plans are with respect to putting the inflatables in between the whales and the harpoons.

From Shane Rattenbury's comments in the media, it appears that the idea behind this was to obstruct the whaling operation as much as possible, so that they would not be able to kill quite as many whales. It seems that ultimately, these obstruction tactics haven't worked.

My question is whether Greenpeace will continue to persist with this tactic in future?

What I read seems to indicate that the harpooners are unable to take a clean shot when Greenpeace protestors are obstructing them, which contributed to an increase in the time-to-deaths for whales. Shane Rattenbury mentioned himself in the media that whales often die instantaneously. He was quoted in the media when the incident with the Greenpeace protestor getting tipped into the water by the harpoon line. He said that, had the whale been still alive, the situation could have become even more dangerous for the protestors. So, lucky for the protestors that the whale died instantaneously, but also lucky for the whale that it suffered an instantaneous death.

Given that Greenpeace's obstruction tactics may lead the harpooners to take less than optimal shots, potentially leading to increased time-to-deaths for the whales, I would urge Greenpeace protestors to not obstruct the harpooners in this manner in future. I for one would certainly be very angry with Greenpeace if this request were not heeded. The Japanese whalers have proved this year that they will take their whales, regardless of Greenpeace's obstruction tactics.

I am wondering whether the IWC's humane killing working group may criticise Greenpeace's actions, and perhaps the IWC might even issue a resolution against such behaviour in future. Even if they don't, please think about the whales that are going to die, when you execute your protest plans for future years. Greenpeace protestors have a responsibility to ensure that their actions do not increase suffering, as appears to have been the case this year.

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Hello! David-san

Glad to see your comments of the behavior of GP.
As an citizen,please let me give you some comments (excuse me for
some mistakes of English)

>My question is whether Greenpeace will continue to persist with this tactic in future?

According to some info,I hear GP will stop the obstruction against the ICR vessels at South pole area, next year.simply because the money for their acts is lacking.
Poor indeed.

I firmly think the main perpose of them is not to save whales but to gather money for themselves through their poor show or harassment at sanctuary.

The trouble is they do not think their behavior is criminal.To me,it is amazing for a large number of people to ignore the fact.

Moreover, some Japanese joined the harassment :Japanese must get
angry with their deed and force the criminals to jail !

No other country,for example, will permit anyone to make big noise
or to do dangerous performance in front of someone s store or house.
But,they still put dead blue whale at the gate of Japan Embassy of Germany.Incredible !

GP and SSCS is enough to be called Eco-terrorists.
They should disappear from the world.

Thanks . Y/H
Hello Y/H!
Thank you very much for dropping by :-)

I certainly agree that those NGO groups behaviour is unacceptable.

Whether there are laws under which they could be prosecuted, I am not certain.

At least, I hope by pointing out that their tactics may be causing unnecessary distress to the struck whales, they may have no choice but to cease their obstruction tactics.

I suspect as much as you though - their goal is to obtain bloody footage and then seek to encourage donations.
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