Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics
Greenpeace has launched a very slick looking
new web-based campaign
to 'save the whales
They hope to trigger 'a positive and productive public debate both in Japan and all over the world.
This in itself is commendable, but what sort of debate are they looking to trigger?
- A conservation debate?
- An ethical debate?
- A cultural debate?
- A trade/globalization debate?
The lack of clarity gives the impression that rather than a debate about a principle
that needs fighting for, the intention is likely almost any old thing so long as the conclusion is 'save the whales
' - that essential element of Greenpeace's global brand.
In their introduction Greenpeace repeat their latest deception - 'most people [in Japan] are against whaling in Antarctica
', but are helpful enough to expose their own untruth later by stating the 'fact' that '69% of the Japanese population does not support whaling in Antarctica
' (my emphasis) - a creative twist for a start, on a survey that they commissioned, that was also not representative of the population as a whole, and in fact even then showed that just 26％ were opposed to a resumption in commercial whaling in general (all of which I covered here
Two further 'facts' which Greenpeace see fit to inform people of was that '61% haven't eaten whale meat since childhood, and ONLY 1% eat whale meat more than once a month
'. Such information by itself can give a very false impression as readers may then fail to consider that limited consumption might in fact be related to a global moratorium on commercial whaling, of course not to mention a true fact that private consumption has been rising quite significantly recently, as analysis of official figures
Yet another piece of information that Greenpeace see's fit for it's readers is that 'Japan has more than 4.800 tones of FROZEN whale meat in storage'. The average stockpile figure over the past 12 months was actually more like 4,400 tonnes, and the trough size was less than 2,900 tonnes (based on current consumption this trough size looks to go even lower in 2007). But more significantly, the fact is that there is usually more than 1,000,000 tonnes of frozen marine products stockpiled in Japan at any point in time. The whale meat stockpile is almost insignificant when viewed in this relative context. From the production point of view, the contrast is even more stark - the FAO homepage notes that Japan's "coastal fisheries have maintained a stable supply of marine products, yielding 1 577 000 t in 2003." That's without considering Japan's other fisheries - on the other hand
Whale meat supply currently appears
to be less than 10,000 tonnes annually.
So, Greenpeace apparently hopes that netizens, with this misinformation in mind, will help them to devise some direct actions that will see "the whole world to stand up for the whales and against the Japanese government's policy of killing them."
The chances of whalers listening to people who have been brainwashed with such propaganda is ziltch, by my reckoning. If Greenpeace really wishes to see a "positive and productive" debate take place, they'll start by at least informing their gathering of "environmental activists" of the basics, and then decide on some clear terms of reference to actually entice the whalers into such a discussion.
Don't hold your breath.
Labels: Greenpeace, Whaling