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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



JARPA II 2006/2007 Update #1

The JARPA II fleet left port back on November 15th. Almost a month has passed.

In the meantime, the extremist organization Sea Shepherd has apparently successfully acquired a fast new ship which is capable of keeping pace with the ICR research fleet, and Greenpeace, who also last year rammed the nose of their ship into the side of the Nisshin Maru, are also sending vessels to the Antarctic.

Already Sea Shepherd are trying to pump up their media hype machine, boasting that they are prepared to "instigate an international incident" in the Antarctic. While we can hope that this is just a load of huff and puff to attract attention and with it donations, again I recall the IWC 2006 Resolution on the safety of vessels engaged in whaling and whale research-related activities, which encouraged
"Contracting Governments to take appropriate measures, consistent with IMO guidelines, in order to ensure that the substance and spirit of this Resolution are observed both domestically and internationally."
I imagine that the Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace vessels are flagged to states that have adhered to these agreements, and I expect that these nations will fulfil their responsibilities should a repeat of last year's dangerous events reoccur this year.

Finally, a report out today suggests that:
The Japanese fleet is believed to be near New Zealand and should be ready to start hunting in two weeks.
In fact, I believe that with almost a month passed since they left port, they will likely already have commenced the research. This year the research is being conducted in Area V and the western part of Area IV (map). In previous years when this area was covered, for example 2004/2005, the fleet departed Japan on November 12 (Japanese ICR link), and the actual research in the Antarctic commenced on 7 December (IWC/SC 2005 pg. 52). With chief eco-terrorist at Sea Shepherd, Paul Watson reporting that they won't be in a position to obstruct the ICR fleet until the last week of December, we can probably estimate that the research fleet might catch 100 or so minke whales between now and that time (not to mention the 10 Fin whales). Of course, as the eco-terrorists themselves admit, they may not be able to find the fleet immediately either.

Incidentally, despite attempts at obstruction last year, the 2006 IWC/SC report indicated that the JARPA II sampling efficiency for minke whales was 95.6% (that's the percentage of whales taken to the number of whales selected for sampling). In the previous 2004/2005 cruise, the sampling efficiency was 94%. In 2003/2004, it was 93%, and in the 2002/2003 cruise, 92% (based on the IWC/SC report for each year). So despite their best efforts, it appears that Greenpeace failed to achieve much last year in terms of their stated aim of "saving whales" (although they must have reaped a lot of donation money). It remains to be seen how extreme the actions taken by Sea Shepherd will be this year, and the extent of any obstruction of the research. They apparently plan to go back to Australia to re-fuel so that they can stick it out for the whole summer, but one hopes they would have their ship impounded by the authorities if they do commit any illegal activities during the first leg of the trip.

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For what it's worth, using terms like eco-terrorist might feel good, but it gets in the way of understanding what is really motivating others, and so just leads people into locked positions that are self-justified and self-righteous.
Hi Tom,

At this stage the IWC is not yet in a situation where it is able to function at all, so discussions about ITQs and so forth are premature. As we know, nations like Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and the UK all like to deny the Japanese the opportunity to harvest whales that are only present in the Western North Pacific, which those nations clearly can't benefit from economically through their preferred whale-watching activities. In international waters there are other agreements between nations that already govern living marine resource use. I'm not sure how feasible it would be to re-negotiate those, at least in the medium term.

I also doubt that the whaling peoples would be happy to accept a new agreement that would see nations be able to deliberately waste part of their quota, anyway. That sort of system is extremely unlikely to be acceptable, compared to the current framework, which just needs to be adhered to properly by all contracting governments.

And for what it's worth, I regard my use of the term "eco-terrorist" as being quite apt - it has nothing to do with "feeling good". People should be made aware of the violent actions of these groups, and we should not shirk away from calling a spade a spade, unless we wish for such intolerable actions to become common place. Violence is unacceptable - even if it's for a cause that one may personally support.

>but one hopes they would have
their ship impounded by the
authorities if they do commit any illegal activities during the first leg of the trip.<

This year,I think it is the best chance for Japan to judge if both AU & NZ are the good partners to us.If they fail,we will have to reconsider the partnership.
I do hope these countries should obey the IWC resolutions.

Strange to say,in these countries,there are many people who like to solve whaling issue with violence.

In modern socitey, I believe there is no place for SSCS & GP to exist.


The crazy guys were requested
by Iwan not to do crazy performance,weren't they?

If Iwan supports the crazy,
he is also crazy.


Hi! You are the third person to bring my attention to that press release this evening :-) It seems SSCS have a popular homepage.

As for the content, I take it with a grain of salt. Last season Ian Campbell heavily criticsed SSCS. He described Watson a "lunatic", and "a rogue pirate on the seas", "bringing the cause of whale conservation into massive international disrepute" (link).

So, I think that this SSCS PR is most likely a bunch of lies and distortions, and will probably annoy Ian Campbell greatly. On the other hand, if indeed Campbell is cosying up to the "lunatic" "rogue pirate", then he deserves to be roundly criticised.
>CAPTAIN PAUL WATSON: The fact is that the Japanese do understand confrontation, and we do have a reputation in Japan. They call us the 'samurai conservation organisation'. So I think we have a respect there, really.<

Nobody in Japan respects SSCS.
They are just crazy.
If more Japanese knew their
violence,they would have criticised the crazy group more strongly.

The crazy also should know there is nobody who likes to be interfered with violence.

>SENATOR IAN CAMPBELL: He is a rogue pirate on the seas, and he's bringing the cause of whale conservation into massive international disrepute.<

Good! Ian is smart.
He is not crazy.


I like to tease Ian Campbell for his blunders and hysterical huffing and puffing about whaling, but I also would like to give him credit for his criticising SSCS... at least last season. I hope for his sake that SSCS's PR is the bunch of lies and distortion that I suspect it is.

An idiot of anti-whaling
let me know as follows.

>Yesterday the Institute for Cetacean Research hinted that the Japanese government could intervene in confrontations. "At this point we do not want to say what we intend to do. But we are very disappointed that some countries, in particular Australia, give Sea Shepherd moral support," Mr Inwood said.<

All of the eco-terrorist will be in
jail next year.

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