.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

David @ Tokyo

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



Whale meat stockpile update for November 2006 figures

November figures for the volumes of frozen marine products in circulation, including whale meat (item #35) were published on the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries homepage today.

While last month we found that October was slow in terms of both incoming stocks as well as outgoing volumes (with outgoing volumes falling below October 2005 levels), November 2006 has provided a big contrast.

Outgoing stock

Outgoing stock volume in November came out at 908 tonnes, the second largest amount of outgoing volume since February 2004 (that's as far back as the figures go on the MAFF's homepage).

To put some context around the figure, only July 2006's massive 1,723 tonnes was larger, with the third largest volume recorded being for March 2006 (827 tonnes). The fourth largest amount was also from 2006, the 785 tonnes in August. It's only once we go down to the fifth and sixth largest volumes that we find non-2006 figures - 747 and 745 tonnes in respectively in August and July 2005. The seventh largest figure is the 705 tonnes in August 2004.

But back to the November figure - the 908 tonnes recorded is a massive 73% increase on the November 2005 volume, and a whopping 133% increase over the November 2004 amount.

Incoming stock

The figure of 349 tonnes is relatively high, considering that the coastal component of the JARPN II programme finished at the end of October, for which there was only 233 tonnes of incoming stock. I'm not aware of any other relevant background for this figure.

Total stockpile movement

The volume of frozen whale meat overall dropped from the 4,962 tonnes at the end of October, down to 4,403 tonnes at the end of November - a big overall decrease due to the large amount of outgoing stock for the month.

Last month with the outgoing volume figure surprising on the downside (against the trend of ongoing increases in consumption), I noted that it seemed unlikely that the stockpile levels in early 2007 will bottom out at a lower level than they did in February 2006. Outgoing supply would have to exceed incoming stocks over the next 3 months by an average of around 500 tonnes a month for that to happen.

I still have my money on the likelihood of that outcome, although December traditionally appears to be a strong month for consumption, so who knows. Each year, the JARPN by-products are also put on the market around the time.

An ICR press release (in Japanese) indicated that almost 1,600 tonnes of by-product were available for sale through the wholesale markets between November 29 2006 and January 09 2007. In 2005, this sale didn't start until December 5, however, so I wonder if perhaps the JARPN sale starting in late November for the 2006 figures contributed to the big outflux of stock for the month.


1) Here's the updated annual graph showing incoming stocks alongside outgoing stocks.
With November figures added, and only December figures for 2006 outstanding, we can now see that 2006 outgoing volume was at least 30% higher than the total for 2005, and 76% higher than in 2004. Also, total outgoing stock in 2006 is already 33% higher than total incoming stock for 2005. In 2005, total outgoing stock was approximately equal to the total of incoming stock in 2004.

2) By region, stockpile levels in all of the top regions fell, including a big decrease of more than 200 tonnes in Hakodate. Kanazawa, the port to which I believe the JARPA II fleet will return to in April, also again had an appreciable decrease. Tokyo's stockpile levels only fell by a smaller amount to 989 tonnes, where levels in Tokyo were as low as 80 tonnes in January / February 2006. Perhaps it's possible that Tokyo won't see any of the whale meat from JARPA II in 2007, as was the case in 2006?

3) Incoming stocks graph update. As I noted above, for some reason, there was a relatively high amount of incoming stock for November (about 100 tonnes more than one might have expected). The regional stockpile figures don't provide any hints as to where the incoming stock came from (outgoing stock volume cancelled out incoming volume in every case). As the incoming supply doesn't appear to have been concentrated in any single location, perhaps the reason for the figure is related to a large amount of by-catch during the month? Or was it possibly incoming by-products from the tail end of the JARPN II coastal research?

4) Outgoing stocks graph update. After October's result against the trend, November's result is back on trend, and given the scale of the increase on 2005, above the trend.

5) Finally, the cumulative 12-month graph. For the 12 months to the end of November, incoming stock was 512 tonnes higher than outgoing stock (down from 741 tonnes last month), or in other words, outgoing stock for the 12 months was 94.2% of incoming stock volume (up on 91.5% in the previous month). In plain terms, the total outgoing stock for the 12 months to the end of November was 8,377 tonnes, versus a total of 8,889 tonnes incoming.

Raw Figures

I'm maintaining a full set of raw figures in English based on the official ministry figures at FAQ #5 of my Whaling FAQ (scroll to the bottom).

Labels: , , ,

As read these blogs,I chuckle at the supposed application of science in the ICR's ridiculous justifications for whaling. Cultural reasons are nonesense. Slavery was once a cultural justification as well as an economic reason for the barbaric treatment of Africans. The conquest of Europe by the Facist regime of Hitler and even the current unilateral aggression of the US against Iraq was "justified". Humanity is a master at justification of even the most heinous of acts. The mass killing of whales is fundimentaly wrong. There is no amount of rhetoric that will prove otherwise. This is not about the west imposing their hypocritical views on Japan. It is about the incredibaly painfull and horrific slaughter of sentient being. You may find this difficult to believe, but there are some cetaceans with a larger brain mass/body weight ratio than humans. Consider the possibilty that the killing of whales is a moral crossroad that is of the same magnitude as the slaughter of the buffalos in the western states of the 1800s or the genocide of the Jews in the 1940's or the Kurds of the just a few years ago. If mankind is to survive, we must learn to live in a manner that promotes stewardship of the planet as opposed to the mass extortion of anything we desire and attribute it as a "managible harvest"
Post a Comment

<< Home


June 2004   July 2004   August 2004   September 2004   October 2004   November 2004   December 2004   January 2005   March 2005   April 2005   May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   December 2005   January 2006   February 2006   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   April 2008   May 2008   June 2008   July 2008   August 2008   September 2008   October 2008   November 2008   December 2008   January 2009   February 2009   March 2009   April 2009   May 2009   June 2009   July 2009   August 2009   September 2009   October 2009   November 2009   January 2010   February 2010   April 2010   May 2010   June 2010   July 2010   August 2010   September 2010   February 2011   March 2011   May 2013   June 2013  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?