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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 - May 2007

The monthly marine product stockpile figures from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan out today (Japanese PDF format, Excel format). No big surprises here, but the whale meat figures for May 2007 contained were as follows.

May 2007 outgoing stock: 469 tonnes

This figure is in line with the expectations I wrote of in last month's update based on lower outgoing stock volume in the first 6 months of the year, and the current situation of limited stocks of ready-for-sale meat.

This May 2007 figure of 469 tonnes is actually a 32% increase on the same month last year.

May 2007 incoming stock: 240 tonnes

Slightly less incoming stock in May than for April, but this figure is a 90% increase on the same month last year.

May 2007 overall stockpile movement: Down 229 to 4,175 tonnes

Last month's end-of-month total stockpile figure was 74% of that of the same month in 2006. This month for May again, the figure of 4,175 tonnes is slightly less - 73% of that size of the stockpile at the same time last year.

Graph: Annual volumes

As expected, the gap between incoming and outgoing whale meat stock volume for 2007 narrowed further in May. The gap was 500 tonnes at the end of April, and by the end of May outgoing stock volume (3,265 YTD) was only 271 tonnes behind incoming stock volume.

With the June figures probably going to reflect the first week of JARPA by-product sales, we will likely observe that the YTD outgoing whale meat stock volume has overtaken incoming stock volume when the June figures are released.

YTD outgoing stock volume is also remains significantly higher (19.5%) than at the same time last year (it was 2,732 tonnes as of May 2006).

Also, YTD incoming stock volume is still approximately 30% lower than at the same time in 2006.

Graph: Monthly stockpile movements

Just another regulation month here, but with the first week of JARPA by-product sales to possibly be reflected in next months figures, the pink stockpile line will probably slant a few degrees further downwards when I next update this picture.

Graph: 12-month moving averages

Both incoming and outgoing stock volume figures in May were larger than the same month in 2006, so these 12-month moving averages both head up a touch.
The outgoing 12-month moving average is 757.6 tonnes, and the incoming average is 627.1 tonnes.

I'm predicting that next month will see the outgoing figure maintained at the same level (if not a little higher), but with less JARPA by-product available to leave stockpiles this year, by the end of July we should probably see the outgoing stock average drop down quite sharply. The 2006 July outgoing stock figure alone was a monster 1,723 tonnes, which is only a few hundred tonnes short of the total amount of JARPA by-product available in 2007.

I'm not sure of the exact dynamics of the JARPA by-product auction though, and with whale meat getting positive media coverage recently, you never know.

Graph: Regional whale meat stockpiles

A summary of the top 7 stockpile location movements in May 2007 is below (previous month's level in parenthesis):

1. Tokyo wards: Down 99 (4.4%) to 2,171 tonnes (2,270)
2. Ishinomaki: Up 30 (6.1%) to 518 tonnes (488)
3. Hakodate: Down 76 (16.7%) to 378 tonnes (454)
4. Osaka: Down 14 (5.9%) to 225 tonnes (239)
5. Kushiro: Down 45 (16.7%) to 224 tonnes (269)
6. Kanazawa: Down 5 to 223 tonnes (228)
7. Shimonoseki: Down 1 to 123 tonnes (124)

I believe that almost all of the stock in Tokyo is the JARPA by-product, so the Tokyo figure will probably drop away over the next couple of months.
The rise in stock in Ishinomaki is probably attributable to the first coastal component of the JARPN II research programme taking place in that area.

The top 7 locations again contain 92.5% of the overall whale meat stock as of the end of May. I am guessing the JARPA by-product sale will see a lot of this stock dispersed to storage facilities in other parts of the country.

* * *

June figures will be released by the ministry on August the 13th.


In the late 1990's, people concerned with the future of grey whales fought a valiant and successful battle to prevent Mexican "Exportadora de Sal, S.A." and its affiliate, "Baja Salt," from siting a massive salt processing plant in grey whale and sea turtle spawning grounds of the coast of southern Baha Mexico.

Those who fought so valiantly may not be aware that Markos Moulitsas (DailyKos), who wants to "crash the gates" of the Democratic Party, shares a family business with the principal of Baja Salt, Carlos Alberto Delgado ZÚÑIGA. And Baja Salt is the very company that was trying to destroy the Mexican whale preserve by siting an enormous international salt processing plant there.

That's right. It's all documented in records of the Government of El Salvador that the "manager" of the hotel that Moulitsas calls his "family businesses," the Suites Jaltepeque Hotel of San Salvador, El Salavador, is Carlos Alberto Delgado ZÚÑIGA. In Salvadoran Government documents, this same person is listed as "owner" of Baja Salt, a notorious polluter of grey whale and sea turtle spawning grounds in Baja Mexico.

But don't just take my word for it. Read the article and follow the links to official Salvadoran Government and commercial websites for yourselves to confirm these astounding facts.

I know Moulitsas ZÚÑIGA says he wants to "crash the gates" of the Democratic Party and change it fundamentally. But, I've just learned from his speech at the Commonwealth Club that he spent six months interviewing with the US CIA in 2001. I think his motives are VERY suspect!

America DOES need fundamental changes, but the Democratic Party ought not be taken over by CIA applicants like Markos Moulitsas ZÚÑIGA who are connected to notorious polluters of grey whale spawning grounds. I can't see how that would help the grey whales, the sea turtles, or anybody else!
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