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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: Greedy Greenpeace (again)

It seems I'm not the only one pointing out the greed of the Greenpeace organization:
If the idiots from Greenpeace stopped using whaling as a major fundraising vehicle there is a very good chance the Japanese would stop harpooning the dumb beasts.

The knuckle-headed eco-freaks would be better served if they pulled back a little and thought things through more clearly instead of claiming every whale, given the chance, would be a Nobel-prize winning poet.

From some statements made by Federal Environment Minister Ian Campbell about wind farms and the orange bellied parrot, not to mention his outbursts at the International Whaling Commission conference in the Caribbean, it would appear he has been captured by the Greens and is more a part of the problem than the solution.

The heat must be taken out of this issue and it will not happen while Greenpeace is staging stunts in the Antarctic.

We do not talk of boycotting Norway but the Norwegians run a commercial whale fishery.

The environment movement is either happy to pander to the racists by targeting the Japanese or it knows its anti-whaling posture is its greatest fundraiser.

There is no doubt most Japanese would be happy to save whales (without thinking of collecting valuable prizes) but they need someone other than the usual suspect organisations to convince them why they should.

BASSETERRE, St Kitts: Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Cedric Liburd reported to the closing session of the recent International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting that the government and people of St Kitts and Nevis were thoroughly displeased with the "illegal activities" of Greenpeace on June 20.

The organization, which one week earlier had requested to dock at the St Kitts harbour during the period June 11-21 for “educational activities”, was denied permission given the fact that the interest of IWC activities taking place over that same period would be threatened.

Liburd said the decision of Greenpeace to illegally offload passengers was nothing but gross disrespect for the Government and people of the Federation. He added that the Federation’s size was no indication of its stance or ability to protect its shores.

In related news, the Ministry of National Security, Justice, Immigration and Labour issued a press release indicating its deep concern with the illegal entry of the Greenpeace vessel, the MV Arctic Sunrise, into the Federation’s territorial waters.

Apart from the obvious disrespect to the government and people of the Federation, the ministry reported that the infringement was also a threat to the marine environment.

Specifically, in this case, “jeopardizing the barrier reef which protects the Eastern Atlantic Coastline of St Kitts and Nevis and other fragile near-shore marine eco-systems.”

Additionally, the captain and crew aboard the vessel defied the law enforcement officials by refusing to accompany them to police headquarters; eventually heading west in the direction of St Eustatius.

The National Security release echoed the sentiments expressed by Liburd during his report to the IWC meeting that Greenpeace had violated and showed total disregard and disrespect for the Government “in utter contempt of its sovereign status.”

Labels: ,

Thanks for letting me know about your new blog. It would be great if the contents become more abundant. The answer to Q3 was impressive based on data.
(sorry in Japanese only)
If help needed with translation, let me know.
X -> supergateway@yahoo.co.jp
O -> supergatewayjp@yahoo.co.jp

Good Luck!
David San

I have visited your blog over the past few days, curious to see if you are trying to provide a balanced debate or if you are simply having a rave to annoy the greenies.

You may not have realised that Piers Akerman is well known in Australia as an attack dog of the right. He seems to help sell newspapers by offering the far right a warm inner glow, leaving the rest of us to watch on in morbid fascination. Perhaps Japan and NZ have an equivalent "entertainer"?

Quoting him (in isolation) will not win you any points if you hope to speak to a wider audiance.

(other David)
Other David-san,

The mainstream western media is full of anti-whaling propaganda. If people want to read that, and get the impression that Japan and other whaling nations are nasty evil villians, they are welcome to.

My aim is to focus on information that I believe people in the west are not commonly aware of - aka, "the other side of the story".

For example, I often note that Humpback whale populations are "booming" at rates of 10% each year. This was actually reported in Australia repeatedly, yet despite that, still lots of people seem to think that they are endangered, and worry about what will happen to them when Japan starts taking 50 of them each year starting next year.

The IWC Scientific Committee has just endorsed a new population estimate for the stocks of Humpbacks that feed in the Antarctic over summer - 41,800 whales was the estimate (I don't remember the confidence limits of the top of my head).

This estimate of 41,800 is up from less than 10,000 20 years ago. We're talking about a very strong comeback.

I don't think that you'll hear about this trend from Greenpeace.

That's just one example.

> if you are simply having a rave to annoy the greenies.

People who are anti-whaling probably never question Greenpeace's motives. Afterall, "They are the good guys, saving the whales from extinction!".

Given the information that I present, indicating that the world's leading cetacean scientists acknowledge that some whale stocks are healthy enough to sustain limited harvests, this leaves people who are anti-whaling in a dilemma...

"If the scientists say it's sustainable, why is Greenpeace opposing this and telling me that whales are endangered?"

A great contradiction arises. Most anti-whaling people are not marine mammal biologists, and need to know who they can trust in forming their opinions.

Thus, people need a reason to believe why Greenpeace would be carrying on their anti-whaling campaign if it were true that the whales have already been saved, way back in the 1960's when all the largest species got protection, years before the moratorium was introduced, as I am asserting.

So, collecting information about Greenpeace's motives and misbehaviour is thus almost as important as informing people about the status of certain whale species and the sustainable catch limit setting procedures that have been developed.

As you have seen, I believe the financial incentive is why Greenpeace is in this. And if people read the scientific information and let it sink in, I think enough doubts about Greenpeace's motives can be arisen.

"Saving whales" is also part of the Greenpeace brand as well, which is another aspect that I could focus a bit more on, but playing on the money aspect is a bit more interesting.

But - of course - if people want "balance" they most certainly should read widely on the WWW, and make up their own minds about this. That's what I did oh so many years ago, and plonk, here is where I landed :-)

I'm working on a "whaling FAQ" at the moment, which you might have seen. This is going to continue to grow (if anything, to save me repeating myself). I'm going to be addressing a whole load more of the common anti-whaling arguments there in coming weeks.

> You may not have realised that Piers Akerman is well known in Australia as an attack dog of the right.

I had no clue at all. I was just interested to see that I wasn't the only one criticising Greenpeace for being in the anti-whaling campaign for the money. I couldn't care less whether he is left or right or whatever. Whaling is about sustainable use. Its not a left or right political issue, IMO.

> Quoting him (in isolation) will not win you any points if you hope to speak to a wider audiance.

I'm only speaking to anyone who wishes to hear "the other side of the story", the people who are uncomfortable with the image of the "evil Japanese" raping the seas.

By all means, if you'd like to hear my thoughts on any particular aspect of the whaling arguments, please let me know. I've probably written about it before somewhere, in which case I'll dig up a link for you.


What a long answer to a simple question!

There is much here that I can agree with. The mainstream western media is full of "propaganda" at worst, or what the market wants to hear at best. And Greenpeace, of course, is not an independent scientific body, but a lobby group keen to enhance its brand.

We must be very careful with the "race card", as race and nationality clearly do not and should not have anything to do with the debate. There are plenty of Australians (and one or two New Zealanders) who would side with the whalers, and clearly many in Japan who would not.

My question to you was really just one of motive, and it does seem that your site has become one for a) annoying any passing greenies; and b) talking to "the converted". Nothing wrong with that of course, if that is your intent.

I know nothing of Humpback ecology, so I am afraid that you will have to try elsewhere for that debate.


Other David
> race and nationality clearly do not and should not have anything to do with the debate.

This I totally agree with. Indeed, I wrote a long piece about the real reason for people supporting whaling the other day.

I've also written about blatant racism from the anti-whaling camp before as well, but I don't really want to give it more airtime.

Exactly as you note, just looking at people of different cultures and races gives us a rough idea of who is for and against, but there are exceptions. Eventually what it really comes down to is principles, and what you believe in. Our culture may effect what we believe in to a large extent, but it's not definitive.

> My question to you was really just one of motive

It's really about good versus evil, right versus wrong, the light side versus the dark side :-)
I see the whaling debate having greater implications for the wider debate about humankind's place on earth.
Those principles I mention above.

> and it does seem that your site has become one for a) annoying any passing greenies;

The thing is, I consider myself to be a greeny. But the difference between me and Greenpeace is that Greenpeace is a selfstyled greenie group. I don't think what they are actually calling for is necessarily good for the conservation of earth's biodiversity. Even one of their founders, Patrick Moore, agrees with me that they have lost their way.

And unfortunately, there is no easy way for me to break this to the people who believe that Greenpeace are a wonderful bunch who would never do anything contrary to the benefit of our planet.

It hurts to see your favourite band get totally panned. I think they should be big enough to take it, given that the pro-whaling side cops plenty of abuse for their position themselves. This isn't particular helpful, but with information about whale stocks I think we can make progress.

> and b) talking to "the converted".

Actually the majority of my hits are from NZ, Australia, the US, and Europe. I am assuming that most of those people are not for whaling.
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