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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 - August 2008

Here's the August 2008 update for whale meat stockpile figures. Lots of action this month.

Where we left off with the July update last month, the JARPA by-product whale meat auction had been taking place around the country, and concluded on August 9 (ICR).

Additionally news had come in of 270 tons of by-product meat from the JARPN research being put into cold storage in the Ishinomaki area during the month of August as well, so we expect to see the impact of that in the August figures released by the Ministry:
Official PDF (Japanese)
Official MS Excel (Japanese)

August 2008 outgoing stock: 788 tons

This is a 65% increase on the same month in 2007, but there was a bit of a timing difference in the JARPA by-product auction between this year and last so this isn't of great significance.

603 tons of this left so-called "consumption" regions, probably mostly Tokyo.

August 2008 incoming stock: 1,592 tons

Lots of incoming stock this month, the bulk of this will be from the completed JARPN II cruise. The breakdown by species was incidentally 59 Minkes, 100 Seis, 50 Bryde's and 2 Sperm whales.

1,291 tons of this came into "consumption" regions (again, seemingly most to Tokyo), and 301 tons were shipped into "production" regions. As mentioned last month, and at the top of this post, 270 tons of this were reportedly stored away in Ishinomaki (which is a "production" region).

Overall a 54% increase compared with the same month in 2007.

August 2008 end-of-month stockpile: 4,058 tons

Back above 4,000 tons for the first time in a while, and this will probably be the maximum size of the whale meat stockpile in 2008. Usually, the peak occurs after the JARPA by-product hits the stockpiles, but this year it's occurred after the JARPN by-product has been stored.

The stockpile is 25% higher at the end of this month than July, and 11% higher than at the same time last year.

August 2008 top stockpile regions

Here's the August summary of movements in the top stockpile regions:

Stockpile size at
month end
Stockpile size at
previous month end
Tokyo city wards2,168

The big increase in Tokyo this month is a combination of probably 500 or so tons of JARPA leaving storage, and around 1,200 tons coming in from the JARPN cruise.

Ishinomaki had an upward movement due to the small chunk of JARPN meat being shipped in there, and a presumable decrease in existing stocks.

Otherwise not much happening, but the likely storage place of the Icelandic and Norwegian whale meat imports, Funabashi, still contained 300 tons of product that doesn't appear as if it will move anywhere until the import procedures can be completed.

Graph: Annual volumes

Incoming stock jumped well back out in front of outgoing stock by the end of August. Most probably these bars will be back level by the end of the year.

Graph: Monthly volumes

Graph: Outgoing stock (cumulative)

Graph: Incoming stock (cumulative)

Graph: Regional whale meat stockpiles

* * *

September 2008 figures are scheduled for release on November 10.

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