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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 #21 - Nisshin Maru operational

Kyodo Senpaku's crew appear to have completed repairs and safety checks to the Nisshin Maru, which suffered a fire accident on the Thursday the 15th.

The accident took the life of Kazutaka Makita of Kagoshima prefecture. His body commenced it's journey home several days ago.

A Mainichi Shinbun article (now archived at Google) tells us that after leaving high school, Makita-san entered vocational training school, and found himself working on ships. He had been working on the Nisshin Maru for about 3 years. Only being able to return to his home and family for one or two months each Spring and Autumn, he was said to always be looking forward to seeing the growth of his daughter (6) and son (1).

Another excerpt from a 373news article (also at Google, my translation):
According to Nisshin Maru's owners Kyodo Senpaku (Tokyo, Chuo ward), the processing area is on the floor below the deck, 18 metres wide, 60 metres deep and 3.5 metres high. It is used for processing and freezing whale meat after investigations and dissection is complete.

Makita-san started work in the processing area on the morning of the 15th from 12 am. He finished work at 2:30, and was seen in the area's standby room. He was recognised as being missing at the time of the roll call after the fire breakout.

According to crew members, a burning smell was noticed at around 3:15 and at 3:30 a smoke detector had sounded. The ceiling was apparently burning fiercely.


On November 20, 1998, a fire broke out in the processing area while the Nisshin Maru was heading towards the Antarctic. The Japan Coast Guard is said to have investigated, but was unable to identify the cause.
Hopefully the cause of this latest fire in the processing area is identifiable.

* * *

Sea Shepherd, out of fuel after wasting time sailing around the Ross Sea for six weeks, made their way back to port in Melbourne where they got a suitable greeting:
Customs officers have boarded the anti-whaling vessel Robert Hunter within minutes of it docking in Melbourne's Victoria Harbour, around 3pm this afternoon.


Four customs officials, two of whom were armed, boarded the vessel for a routine search that could take up to two hours.

The Robert Hunter must register under a new flag before 11am tomorrow (midnight British time) when its British registration expires.

They naturally failed to get a new registration. Perhaps some very financially strapped state such as North Korea might be convinced to permit the Robert Hunter fly it's flag, but there's little doubt that respectable registries will no longer want to have anything to do with Sea Shepherd after their behaviour two weeks ago.

The Ministry of Forestry and Fisheries has a page of recent press conferences (sorry, all Japanese), and the Nisshin Maru situation, the IWC Normalization meeting, as well as the attacks on the Kyodo Senpaku vessels by Sea Shepherd have been covered quite a lot. It seems that the Japanese government may take some form of action in response to Sea Shepherd's unlawful behavior.

Elsewhere, Paul Watson is quoted as saying:

"I don't believe in the word 'sustainable', it just means business as usual under another name.

"With a population of six-and-a-half billion people on this planet and growing, there is no such thing as a sustainable fishery. There are simply too many people and not enough fish."

Australian and New Zealand fisheries workers must be at least a bit concerned about the level of support this fringe extremist appears to have in those two nations. If they aren't worried, they should be.

* * *

Last of all, the ICR has pictures, video, and a press release regarding the now operational Nisshin Maru. In their press release the ICR is critical of New Zealand's Chris Carter, who was busy in the media suggesting that the Nisshin Maru is:
"... filled with rather nasty and toxic chemicals"
That's probably the most immature thing I've ever seen Chris Carter come up with. Greenpeace for their part have been producing more Alarmist and Armageddonist propaganda throughout the whole episode:
"It is also clear that significant and harmful impact to the Antarctic environment is imminent ... " -- Esperenza crew, February 16
That's Greenpeace PR spin for: "We can't protest whaling for our fund-raising purposes, so let's call out 'wolf' as loud as possible to at least try to get some attention in the meantime".

* * *

This could be Greenpeace's last season in the Antarctic. In 2007 new IMO guidelines will be introduced which may make further voyages to protest Japanese whaling un-economical. New guidelines will define reasonable limits for peaceful protest, which will hit Greenpeace's bottom line. Unless of course, Greenpeace chooses to ignore the new guidelines. This is quite possible, given that Greenpeace currently uses non-peaceful forms of protest in relation to Japan's legal whaling activity.

Of course, one would hope that Greenpeace would cease it's protest activity in preference to do something about the real conservation problems facing the whales today:
MIKE ILIFFE: I think there needs to be an agreement on what are the real issues, and if the IWC could just focus on things like global warming, pollution of the oceans, netting, underwater noise and so on, that really are threatening whale populations, then maybe we could put the hunting issue aside as being irrelevant or insignificant in the overall scheme of things in a sustainability sense. Then they could get on with dealing with the real issues.
The ultimate decision lies with Steve Shallhorn, the corporate boss of Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

Greenpeace still ostensibly believe in their 1970's era dogma that commercial whaling can never be sustainable, despite the IWC Scientific Committee having concluded work on the RMP 15 years ago:
"... it's certainly true that if commercial whaling were resumed under the revised management procedure, it could be managed safely." -- Judy Zeh, former IWC Scientific Committee chair
The year today is 2007, and the world faces new conservation challenges. It's time that Greenpeace moved on, if they hope to remain relevant.

Labels: ,

The suitable greeting is nothing more than standard procedure on clearing in to most countries.

You are dramatising it out of proportion, they have not arrested the ship or anything along that line.

I'm sure you find this disappointing.

while I understand peoples critism of Paul Watson, he is due some respect in regard to the works the organizatin does in the Galapogos Islands, in cooperation with the soverign government of Ecuador.

If the governments of the world were serious about protection of the marine environment then there would be no place for such arrangements. Yet the USA can invade Iraq without the UN giving it their blessing.

Is that situation legal or right ?
I believe Sea Shepherd will get a new flag for their 07-08 campaign easily after what has recently happened.
"while I understand peoples critism of Paul Watson, he is due some respect in regard to the works the organizatin does in the Galapogos Islands,"


Would you care to explain why and what exactly Watson does for the Galapagos government?
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