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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



Whale meat stockpile update for December 2006 figures

UPDATE 02/14: I have added updated graphs including December 2006 figures below...

Tomorrow (9th Feb), Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries will release the December 2006 figures for the volume of marine products in cold storage, including of course our favourite, whale meat, amongst the array of other marine products that are consumed in Japan.

November was a bumper month in terms of outgoing stock volume. The figure was surprisingly large, even given the increasing trend in outgoing volume over the last 3 years for which data is available. My assumption is that the JARPN II by-product sell-off which commenced on November 29 may have been a reason for the large drop in stocks reflected in the November figures, in which case we may expect that the December outgoing stock figure to come in lower compared to the December 2005 figure of 626 tonnes (in 2005 the JARPN by-product sale didn't start until December 5).

I don't plan to have any graph updates for this until sometime next week, but I'll post the raw figures here around 24 hours from now.

* * *

UPDATE 2007/02/09 23:50:
The figures are below. December 2006 was another relatively big month for whale meat consumption in Japan

Outgoing stock for December 2006

807 tonnes of outgoing stock (a 29% increase on December 2005). Obviously despite the large outgoing stock volume in November, retailers still wanted more product. Regional figures indicate a drop in stock for pretty much all the major regions with large volumes (graphs next week).

With the December 2006 figures in, we now see that total outgoing stock in 2006 totalled 8,558 tonnes, as compared to 5,955 tonnes in 2005 (a 44% increase overall).

Incoming stock for December 2006

308 tonnes of incoming stock for December.

Total incoming stock in 2006 thus totalled 8,950 tonnes. This volume is just 5% larger than the total outgoing stock volume for 2006. Yet, this figure also represents a massive increase in supply compared with 2005, when total incoming stock volume was 5,832 tonnes (most of the increase is due to the JARPA II research expansion).

Taken together, the increased volumes of both incoming and outgoing stocks in 2006 indicate that there is plenty of demand for whale meat. 2006 consumption could not have been serviced if the lower levels of supply seen in 2005 had persisted.

Total stockpile movement in December 2006

Total stocks dropped from 4,403 tonnes at November month end to 3,904 tonnes at the end of December 2006. By comparison, at the end of 2005 stock levels stood at 3,511 tonnes.

Despite the massive increase in incoming stock in 2006 of 3,188 tonnes, the stockpile increased by only 393 tonnes.


All the graphs below are based on official figures from http://www.maff.go.jp/www/info/bunrui/bun06.html

1) Annual volumes of whale meat coming on to and leaving frozen marine product stockpiles around Japan:

That's 2 years of solid consumption growth. Even if you throw in Iceland's tiny supply of whale meat (a few hundred tonnes according to some reports), we can expect supply to be roughly the same in 2007 as 2006. Accordingly, it won't be possible for consumption to exceed much more than 9,000 tonnes in 2007.

There will however be another significant increase in supply from 2008 onwards with the JARPA II programme getting fully underway (another 40 fin whales plus 50 humpbacks), which will allow for additional consumption. Beyond that, I suspect that Japan will probably have resumed commercial whaling one way or another by then (coastal whaling for starters), so who knows how much supply there will be.

2) Monthly stockpile movements since February 2004:

This is a new graph, showing the raw figures and the stockpile fluctuation.
Note that the trough stockpile level in 2006 (just under 3,000 tonnes around February/March) was roughly the same as the trough size in 2005. The trough level in 2007 looks set to be comparable as well, based on the current downward trend in the size of stockpiles.

3) 12-month moving averages:

This graph is a brand new one. "Freelance journalist" Junko Sakuma made headlines last year with an "analysis" of stockpile statistics. What she showed was average increases in the size of the stockpile over recent years, asserting that this shows a lack of demand for whale meat. This of course is nonsense, as is seen by looking at the figures in context, and the above graph illustrates this as well in another way. In her propaganda piece, Sakuma never mentioned the statistics related to outgoing volume of stock - an obvious indicator of consumption - and the graph shows why: The 12-month moving average volume of outgoing whale meat stock is trending upwards, as has been the case with incoming stock as well. Sakuma's aim was to give the impression that consumption was falling, when in fact the opposite is evidently true.

* Note: The calculation I used here is to average the previous 12 months worth of figures - i.e., the final December figure indicates that the average volume for the 12 months to December 2006 was just above 700 tonnes. The incoming stock line is much jerkier than the more constant outgoing stock line because supply of whale meat is heavily seasonal in nature, whereas consumption is more constant all year round.

4) Cumulative graph:

This graph is a little bit redundant this month, as the graph of annual volume was rounded out with the December 2006 figures. Just a small difference in supply and consumption for the last 12 months. Given the increasing consumption trend, we can possibly expect this cumulative 12-month figure to go slightly negative sometime over the next 2 months.

5) Whale meat stockpiles by region.

What do you know? I found the figures for 2004 were also available, but for some reason they weren't supplied during 2005. So this is the graph with figures for 2004 and 2006:

This doesn't exactly provide the image of stagnant consumption that the anti-whaling propaganda merchants have tried to portray.

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Please see the NHK news below.
It shows there is a possibility
Japan withdraws from IWC.
Just possiblity.


Hey Y/H-san!

Thanks for the link - that's a great picture at that site as well. I think I'll post it up on my blog :)

I think the IWC will probably get one or maybe two more chances to do it's job, but the way things are going, I think the odds are on that the IWC will collapse, and the whalers will go it alone. It's a waste of time to continue as is.

Hopefully, however, enough of the anti-whaling nations (led by Switzerland and the USA) will agree to a compromise. The UK, Australia and New Zealand? Who cares. By clinging to their extremist "no whaling" position, and only succeed in making themselves irrelevant. Their decision - you'd think they'd take their international responsibilities more seriously though.

It seems anti-whaling nations have decided to organise their own meeting in april In New York. Quite childish, isn't it?

In the mean time, there are reports of a fire on the Nisshin-maru. Most crewmembers have been evacuated to the catcher boats but one is missing. About 26 crewmembers are fighting the fire on board the Nisshin-maru. Let's hope the missing sailor is fine.
Hi again!

It seems "kujira-jiru" whale soup will be served at a cheap price during the Hachinohe Enburi festival in the city of Hachinohe, Aomori prefecture.

Kujira-jiru is consomme-like soup with whale blubber (hongawa) and vegetables and is often eaten during the New Year, not only in Hachinohe but also in Hakodate.

Here's an article about the subject from Tonippo :
It seems NZ Conservation minister Chris Carter is more concerned with the possibility of oil spilling off the Nisshin-maru than the safety of the crew...

>It seems NZ Conservation minister >Chris Carter is more concerned >with the possibility of oil >spilling off the Nisshin-maru >than the safety of the crew...

Yhaa! I know.
I have no words for the Carter's

The clear thing is he does not
think of the human life.

It is is clear now that the Japanese whalers have no concept of responsibility or politeness. This is the second time in a decade that this ship has caught fire. And now it does pose a threat to the surrounding environment. The whaling sanctuary only needed to keep out the whalers. They instead kill over 500 whales this season and now pollute the sanctuary with their burning hulk. For the sake of the whales and their crew the Japanese needs to retire this truly damned ship.

But I doubt this will happen as the same nationalism and imperialism that made Japan famous in the 1930's and 1940's is raising its ugly head again.
It seems NZ Conservation minister Chris Carter is more concerned >with the possibility of oil >spilling off the Nisshin-maru >than the safety of the crew...

Yhaa! I know.
I have no words for the Carter's

The clear thing is he does not
think of the human life.

New Zealand is a anti whaling country, Y/H Japan.
A few weeks ago New Zealand helped fly out a sick crew member from the whaling fleet.
They have demonstrated that they do value human life.
If the Nisshin Maru burns because of their incompetent safety procedures then you can't blame New Zealand for not sending another rescue mission.

Greenpeace have offered to help, but the ICR have said they are terrorists...

S.A from Melbourne,Australia
...The accident on board the ship — which was crippled and drifting near penguin breeding grounds along the Antarctic coast — aroused concerns of a potential environmental disaster.

...The New Zealand navy said it had two frigates that could get to the scene quickly. A Greenpeace ship is also nearby, though Moronuki said Japan would not seek help from anti-whaling vessels.

Looks like NZ is probably going to help after all according to the local news leader site

S.A from Melb
>Moronuki said Japan would not >seek help from anti-whaling >vessels.

For many years, we have been harassed by GP.Also we know GP tries to get any chances to disrupt whaling in any time and in any way,for their donations.

If they had chance to be on the board of Nisshin Maru,they would have tried to look into the vessels.This would be the best chance for them . It is a real danger to the whalers.

I believe Moronuki took the right decision.We need not any help from GP.

S.A from Melb - san,

>They have demonstrated that they >do value human life.

Sorry, sir.I forgot it at all.
I have to apologize.

I just wanted to say it would be
ridiculous to talk about the environmental issue in emergency of fire accident.


>their crew the Japanese needs to >retire this truly damned ship.

The ICR says there is no concern about the leak of the oil.So long as it is a fact,it is unnecessary to worry about this .


On the other hand,I am sure what is important now is the safety of human being despite of the difference of countries.Not safety of whales.

It seems to me they are indifferent to a missing person
in the accident,because anti-whaling bloc is a little happy
to know the research is momentarily stopped.

Whereas they (including YOU) talk about animal rights based on the background of the compassion & sympathy,they are first worrying about the leak of oil and pollution of the area without
thinking of the missing person.

I must say it is a hypocrisy of the animal rights activists.

Although it might be inappropriate for me to talk about terrorisms
seen in your country(the USA?),you will have other possibility to
get the same terrorisms,because the compassion & sympathy is always only for your sides.

Again,to block your counter comments,I would like to reject that whalers are indifferent to the NGO activists's life.

For this, you should know nothing happens unless they interfere. In short, they(activists) get into troubles because they want it.

I do not hope the bridge between two blocs is destroyed anymore because of the lack of true compassion.

Andre,before you post,you should look at yourself from toe to head,
checking if you are the real animal activist.


It appears that your precious stockpiles (do you seriously have nothing better to do with your life than analyse stockpiles of whalemeat?) are at risk from a fall in supply - under the Marine Protection Act, if the stricken Nisshin Maru docks in NZ the whale meat would not be permitted to leave again. Best stock up your freezer now eh?

I initially found your site quite annoying now I just find it amusing! It's your smug self-assured belief that you actually have all the answers that gets me! Sure - some anti-whaling organisations indulge in spot of hyperbole for added effect now and then, I wouldn't care to rely on or defend everything all of them say. Big deal - they're passionate because they don't want to see animals blown up and made to suffer for up to an hour and a half (is that your hyperbole radar going off? relax - the data's all there in the IWC, reported by the whaling nations).

The point is that you appear to seriously believe that everything the whaling protagonists come out with is true! And you defend things you are entirely unqualified to pass judgement on - let's see, for a recent example - 'there's no potential for an environmental catastrophe here' from the Nisshin Maru. I mean really, listen to yourself! If you employ too much hyperbole surely people will set up blogs to question the veracity of your arguments...

Anyway, why don't you try applying some of your shrewd dissections of rhetoric to that from the governments of Japan, Norway and Iceland?


PS – when you and Y/H break into Japanese text when you’re getting angry - doesn't do you any favours!

Feel free to set up your own blog.
>when you and Y/H break into >Japanese text when you’re >getting angry

No.We are crying to see anti-whaling persons are always babies.



Just what I wanted to say, but I wasn't smart enough. Well done mate


S.A from Melbourne
"If you employ too much hyperbole surely people will set up blogs to question the veracity of your arguments..."

Strangely enough, David does not depend on hyperbole (unlike the animal protest industry trolls who seem to have nothing better to do) and the critics have failed miserably to show any question as to the veracity of statements from David's blog.
David's expose on the meat stockpiles is simply brilliant.
He's busy demolishing all the falsehoods and cliches that the anti-sustainable use critics use as red herrings.
By making this information publicly available it's only a question of time before the press will have to stop taking the WDCS/SS propaganda at face value and start dealing in facts.
When that happens this 30 year old cash cow for the animal protest industry will start to crumble.
Man, "saving" whales is such a leftover cliche from the 70s.
And if the best criticism of David's work on whalemeat stockpiles is to question his use of his own spare time then really you have nothing to offer.

Sustainability first!

Thank you for the kind support - and you have summarized my motivations in exposing the reality about stockpiles quite aptly.

I know for a fact that several sustainable use people are aware of this information (including some good ones from Iceland and Norway), and yesterday I had an access from a Greenpeace cyberactivist(?) in search of the following: whale meat stockpiles 2006 japan december.

January 2007 figures will be available on March 9 - I'll have the update of course.
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