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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 - March 2007

March's marine product stockpile figures from the Ministry were released Friday (Japanese PDF format, Excel format). As always, the details for whale meat are below...

March 2007 outgoing stock: 730 tonnes

This figure is roughly equivalent to the recent 12 month moving average. Back in 2004 and 2005 anything above 700 tonnes of outgoing stock in a month was a large one. Versus March 2006, this figure is 89%.

On an annualized basis, this rate would see 8,760 tonnes of meat leave stockpiles in a year. Incoming stock in 2006 was 8,950 tonnes, although 2007 is likely to see less supply than that.

March 2007 incoming stock: 2,159 tonnes

The majority of this 2,159 tonnes of meat will have been the by-product of the JARPA II programme, with the ships returning early to Japan at the end of March. This figure is 41% higher than in the same month last year, but this should probably represent all of the by-product from JARPA II. Last year the by-product appeared to be reflected in the stockpile figures in both March and April.

The main difference in supply between 2007 and 2006 will be the lower supply from JARPA II

I've not had time to look at possible incoming stock volume through by-catch, as I mentioned last month.

March 2007 overall stockpile movement: Up 1,429 to 4,590

A big jump in the stockpile size here by 45% on the previous month - the JARPA II by-product is in. Depending on the amount of by-product from the Western North Pacific JARPN II programme, and consumption rates, this month may turn out to be the peak stockpile level in 2007.
This figure is 28% higher than at the same time in 2006, but as I mentioned above, there isn't likely to be any huge amount of incoming stock in April, as there was in 2006.

Graph: Annual volumes

Outgoing stock for the first 3 months of 2007 is 29% higher than in the first 3 months of 2006, and incoming stock was 58% higher than in the first 3 months of 2006. When April's figures come out, the outgoing stock figure is likely to remain higher than at the same time last year, but the incoming figure should come out much less due to the lower supply of JARPA II by-product.

Graph: Monthly stockpile movements

As noted above, the end of March is likely to represent a peak in stockpile size this year. The end of April was peak month in 2006, but 2005, which 2007 is more likely to resemble in terms of supply, saw stockpile sizes peak during summer.

Graph: 12-month moving averages:

The outgoing stock 12-month moving average is likely to level out going forward, and the incoming figure will also come down sharply next month.

Graph: Cumulative volume:

This graph takes a break this month! It shows the same thing as the previous graph anyway, so I might stop making it.

Graph: Regional whale meat stockpiles:
A summary of the top 7 stockpile location movements:

1. Tokyo wards: 707 tonnes -> 2,336 tonnes
2. Ishinomaki: 490 tonnes -> 525 tonnes
3. Hakodate: 518 tonnes -> 466 tonnes
4. Kushiro: 374 tonnes -> 289 tonnes

5. Osaka: 256 tonnes -> 261 tonnes
6. Kanazawa: 267 tonnes -> 232 tonnes
7. Shimonoseki: 116 tonnes -> 117

According to the stats released, 292 tonnes of meat entered "production area" regions, while 1,867 tonnes entered stockpiles in "consumption area" regions. Presumably the Tokyo wards stockpile was where the JARPA II by-product was stored.

* * *

April figures will be released on June 12.



This news might be interesting for you re Australian "green" policy:

Sorry, the link was corrupted:

Thanks - it does strike me that Australia's fervent anti-whaling rhetoric is a useful decoy to distract their general populace away from the complaints of the animal rights activitists at home.
Hi David!

If you haven't heard, Sea Shepherd is coming to Iceland. The news just came out this morning, so it is hard to say what will happen.

They seem to be determined to cause some havoc as their statement says:

"We intend to create an international incident over Iceland's refusal to comply with international protection regulations. "

Check out their page for the press release. The Icelandic government has never been subject to go down easily, especially if Sea Shepherds ship is still a "pirate" ship.
Hi Siggi,

Good to hear from you!

Yes, I saw the news about Sea Shepherd as well.

In fact, Sea Shepherd is said to have successfully registered the Farley Mowat on the Dutch ship registry, so that vessel is no longer a pirate (not sure about the status of the Robert Hunter, but I guess if they could register one, they could register the other as well).

Still, as Iceland's whaling is currently conducted in Iceland's waters, any actions Sea Shepherd might take at sea will presumably be subject to Iceland's laws, as well as any actions they may take on land.

If the IWC is good for anything, one hopes that it will make a strong statement with respect to Sea Shepherd's actions.

The Dutch officials who agreed to permit the Farley Mowat to fly the Dutch flag will probably also be facing some hard questions.

Any extremist actions by Sea Shepherd will I suppose strengthen support for whaling in Iceland, but of course we have to hope that no persons or property is damaged by them.
Hi David!

It is a shame that the Dutch registry allowed the ship to be registered.

The Icelandic coastguard has stated that they will keep Farley Mowat under 24 hours watch by the coast guard vessel and airplanes in light of their past atrocities and their threatening statements. The coast guard doesn't call everything their granny (Icelandic saying! ;)) after the cod war against the british!! :)

Do you have any idea when they will be in Icelandic waters?

The worst part is that I'll be in the states for the next 2 weeks so it could be tough to watch the news properly!

SS had their ship in Australia, and it's a bit slow so it's probably about a month before they arrive in Iceland I guess.

Hopefully they get dealt with.
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