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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



Early start to JARPN II by-product auction in 2007

Recently I noted that the JARPN II by-product auction has already started this year. The ICR has a Japanese press release on it's website each year announcing this, and until this year, each auction has started in around late November or early December.

In 2007, it started about four weeks earlier than usual, and is only scheduled to last until the end of the month.

The JWA homepage's news section has a reproduction of an article from Japan's top marine products newspaper related to this.

"Western North Pacific research whaling by-product sale brought forward a month - healthy sales, stock shortage see sale start from November", reads the headline.

The article, dated the 19th of October, says that that the by-product sale from the JARPN II offshore research will start a month earlier than normal, from November 1. There had apparently been a series of calls from distributors to bring the auction forward, as sales have been going well. With stock in hand from the previous research almost gone, an early start to the sale was decided. The article notes that the supply from JARPN II in 2007 is approximately equal to that from the previous year's JARPN II programme, about 1,900 tonnes. The breakdown by species was 100 minkes (258 tonnes), 50 Bryde's whales (414 tonnes), 100 Sei whales (1220 tonnes), and 3 Sperm whales (8 tonnes). The portion destined for the market will be on sale from November 1 until November 30.

The article also has info on prices. The price for minke whale is left the same as the price from May (1,990 yen per kilo). Prices for Sei and Bryde's whales were raised 5.6% and 5.2%. Red meat, in plentiful supply, rises in price 20 yen per kilo for Sei whale meat (1,920 yen), but for Bryde's whale a price rise was put off (1,950).

* * *

Indeed sales do seem to be going well. 2007 consumption already appears to be approximately equivalent to consumption from 2005, and that's with only 2/3rd's of the year gone.

With the JARPN II by-product auction having been brought forward, unless consumption slows down, perhaps we may see the 2008 JARPA II auction brought forward as well.


David. Have you read The Yomiuri Shimbun this week? There was a groundbreaking article published 2-3 days ago on the front page of the features section on Australia's criticism of Japanese whaling. It talks about Australian coastal communities 'adopting' 50 humpback whales and what would happen if Japan was to kill one of these identified whales this year (they are all identified by a scientific database). I was told it was the first article of its kind ever in Japanese media.
What would happen if Japan killed one of those whales and ate it?
Well there'd be one less whale and a whole lot of noise from Australian politicians and bigots trying to exploit prejudice for their own ends.
In the end though, life will go on and people far away will continue to eat whales sustainably.
Oh yeah, and the animal protest industry will screw a few more fools out of some of their spare cash.
That's all.
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