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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

8/29/2010

 

Supermarket shelves restocked

A few months ago when I peeked in a near-by supermarket I found the shelves were almost bare of canned whale products. What was the situation I wondered?

Were the products so popular they were selling out quickly? (Well whale is tasty, but it's no "miracle" product - just a type of meat - albeit much better than that nasty cow meat from Australia)

Or were the products unpopular so they weren't being restocked? (But then empty shelves in Tokyo supermarkets are not good at all for profitability)

Neither idea really seemed to make good enough sense.

So I was in the same supermarket yesterday, and found that not only were the shelves now packed full of whale products, there were also a couple of products I hadn't seen before, so I picked up a can each.

First up is "KUJIRA YAKINUKU":

The description on the can notes that this item is produced from whale by-products from Minke, Bryde's and Sei whales of the western north pacific and antarctic, sampled under Japan's special permit programs. The labelling on my can here in particular indicates that the whale inside came from an Antarctic minke whale.

Second up, is SANRIKU KUJIRA CURRY:

This can doesn't have such precise information about the origins of the whale, but the homepage of the company in Ishinomaki that produced it notes that they handle mainly research whaling by-products. Can't wait to try this one sometime, I love Japanese style curry and with whale it should be pretty good too (usually I use pork).

Anyway, now I have another idea about why the supermarket shelves for whale products were almost bare a couple of months ago, but packed yesterday. When in the supermarket looking at the shelves, one forgets that whale overall is limited in supply by how the volume of by-products eventuating from the research programs, and particularly with the Antarctic research being hampered again last winter, one expects that the whale meat supply this year is again down. But with it being August now, what by-products were available from last season's Antarctic research will now be available to the markets at least in part, and quite possibly the companies producing these canned products had put production on hold until such a time as they had more base products to work with, hence the lack of supply a few months ago versus now.

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Comments:
Bon Appetit. :)
 
Man, I envy you. The supermarket near where I live only have one kind of canned whale meat.

I wish they had bacon and sashimi sometimes...
 
Well actually I picked up the Yakiniku one because I remember you said you wanted to try it.

So, so long as I don't get hungry between now and when I next see you you'll be able to :)
 
david, you are a disgusting individual who obviously prides yourself on getting a rise out of people by posting images of canned whale online. Bravo.

I can picture you now, an overweight balding loser in a business suit

Bon Appetit indeed
 
Anon,

This blog obviously isn't for you. If it upsets you, just don't read it. How could I get such a rise out of you if you weren't reading this?

"Self discipline"...

Your responsibility...

I'd also hazard a guess that my physical condition is better than yours. It's better than most. Talking about fat people, ever seen the loads of blubber attached to that guy? I suppose he wants to get really fat to see if some whale might find him sexy or something.
 
That guy being Paul Watson I mean.
 
actually David I am a nineteen year old girl who engages in regular physical activity so no, i'm pretty sure your physical condition is not better then mine.

I actually stumbled across your blog because I was reading a newspaper article that mentioned it... a newspaper article reporting on how the whaling industry is struggling - majorly. Because here's the thing, in the next few years whaling is going to stop. They can't keep it up. Demand is falling, and Sea Shepherd is doing some pretty effective things to stop those "researchers" from getting their quota. I have personally met Captain Paul Watson, and rest assured that he is not going to stop until Whaling has ceased.

It is common knowledge that Whaling is unsustainable. It is also common knowledge that the human race cannot survive without the ocean. Whales play a huge part in the ocean's food chain. If this delicate environment is disrupted it could spell the end of life on this earth as we know it. Do you really want to rob the next generation of the beautiful ocean? Oh thats right, you probably live in some sky rise box of an apartment in Tokyo, munching on Whale meat.

So you had better stock up on your greasy little tins of canned Whale my friend, because soon there won't be any left. I hope your apartment block has a storage basement.
 
David you are a sick individual. Pick on something your own (brain) size. May I suggest a pea?
 
By the way, so you are aware David, the previously posted comment is from a different anonymous author to the one before. There's more than 1 person who's seen your blog and find it's disgusting. I fully support and congratulate what they said and I'm certain that my health and physical appearance would also wipe the floor with yours David. You need help. As to your comment that this blog isn't for someone who would find the content offensive isn't the point. Unjustified cruelty and related pointless blogs go on on regardless of whether you are looking or not. The cruelty doesn't stop just because you can't see it. That is why as humans we need to take responsibility for our actions, especially when they are cruel and torturous. Out of sight out of mind just doesn't cut it. However for someone with limited ability to feel and have compassion for suffering (ie totally stupid) I can see how you might reach that conclusion.
 
For the first Anonymous: If you are a nineteen year old girl who engages in regular physical activity, you may be right. Perhaps your physical condition is better than mine. If you are interested in deciding for sure, we could always compare our most recent marathon times, I guess.

I haven't been interviewed for any newspaper articles recently... Odd that my little old neglected blog would get a mention out of the blue.

Is whaling going to stop, is it? That's interesting. I will have to watch out for that.

Demand falling too, is it? I heard a similar story back in 2006, when you would have been fourteen / fifteen, and two years later in 2008 those predictions were proven to be rather, if not completely wrong. It was found that the Japanese consumer was eating 50% more whale than 10 years earlier, if I recall correctly. Check my archives for details if you do have an interest. But we never know, perhaps the people making the assertions of falling demand will eventually be shown to be right, this time around.

If you have met Paul Watson and think he's the bees knees, then I apologise for calling him fat. It must have been quite a buzz for you to meet such a famous person.

Your idea that whaling is unsustainable is not possible to agree with. Certainly, a lot of whaling in the old days (before you and I were born) was unsustainable, even after the IWC was created - through the 1960's and a good part of the 1970's - but since you and I have been around, whaling has been largely sustainable. Sustainable whaling is when, over a long period of time, fewer whales are taken from the stock each year than are replenished through the natural reproductivity of the population being exploited. (If you are a student then I recommend you take a biology class or something where "population dynamics" etc might be taught, it would surely be of great interest.)

Although you may have heard some people say that whaling is unsustainable, have you noticed that they never say by when exactly the whales are going to go extinct because of the hunting? That's because they really have no idea when. You see, Anonymous, it's not that they actually think whaling is unsustainable, it's just that some people in nations such as Australia don't like it, and don't have any tolerance for other cultures around the world where whales are regarded as a type of food. And those nations, rather than illustrate to the they world how culturally intolerant they are, like to pretend to have more respectable reasons for their opposition to whaling than that, and so they pretend to think that whaling is unsustainable (Even when their own Australian of the year, and the USA's IWC Commissioner is saying otherwise). And picking on these foreign cultures also allows them to deflect their own attention away from the way they themselves treat animals in their own constituencies to produce food (and other purposes), not only for themselves, but for exports including places such as Japan.

For the second Anonymous: If your finding my blog offensive is not the point, then why have you gone to the effort of posting a comment? Why should the existence of my blog be of any significance to you? My blog merely reflects something in a part of the world in which you do not live. Whether my little blog, which gets but a few hundred hits each week, exists or not does not change reality. The cans of whale meat food, and restaurants in my vincinity serving whale cuisine do not exist for my personal benefit. Indeed I am quite certain that I am not their target customer. My blog is a window to reality - that's all.

As for whale food, I have no illusions about where it comes from. But I know from experience that the same can not be said for a vast number of people of the anti-whaling persuasion. Just FYI.
 
David, its not 'culture' its the economic interest of the commercial whaling enterprises that have no concern for the environment.

Just because I am young does not mean you have to patronise me. I for one obviously have a lot more compassion for the environment than you and your claims that whaling does no harm proves that you are both ignorant and extremely obtuse.

Yes, it was great to meet Paul Watson. Not because he is famous, but because he is profoundly compassionate, intelligent and achieves more every year than you could ever dream of doing in two lifetimes.

It is obvious that even the most concrete scientific facts proving that Whaling is harmful are never going to make it into your thick skull, so I guess we'll just have to wait for the day when the sea dries up and there is a total loss of biodiversity as a result of the abuse inflicted upon it by humans. I imagine even then you will find someone or something else to blame.

I've had enough of reading your poorly written and badly laid out blog for now, but I look forward to the day when you waltz into your local supermarket and find no Whale on the shelves, of any variety.

Because that day will come. Have a nice life.
 
The Japanese government isn't a "commercial whaling enterprise", although it does make for catchy propaganda in places like Australia where people don't have the opportunity to know any better.

As I mentioned already, there is sustainable whaling and there is unsustainable whaling. I do not agree with the latter but I do with the former.

I'm sure Paul Watson was just fabulous. Did you let him take a picture with you?

> It is obvious that even the most concrete scientific facts proving that Whaling is harmful

I don't get the impression that you actually know of any such information to even be able to try me.

Go read the IWC homepage. Sustainable whaling is possible, in both theory and in practice. And it occurs today already. This is on the IWC homepage, so if you are actually serious you might go along there and read up about the management procedures that have been developed for whaling.

> I imagine even then you will find someone or something else to blame.

Give me the date of the Judgement Day you are describing so that I'll at least be able to look back and recall this exchange so that you needn't be around to tell me that "you told me so". Come on - give me the date when a little sustainable whaling will bring an end to the world. Otherwise your comments here will have been a complete waste of both our time.
 
Hey David, guess what?

THE JAPANESE WHALING FLEET HAVE GONE HOME!
Whaling is going to end! Actually, it already has ended by the looks of it, so I don't know who is going to listen to the endless paragraphs of bullshit you spout about how whaling is sustainable and will never end.... because it just did. How awkward for you.

Time to stockpile some whale meat Davo, because soon it will be alllll gonnneeee, you had better savour the last few morsals.

All I can say is, I told you so.

SUCKED IN.

Congratulations Sea Shepherd!!!!
 
http://www.smh.com.au/environment/whale-watch/japan-halts-antarctic-whaling-for-season-20110218-1ayy8.html

read it and weep douchebag
 
Dave, I am quite surprised you are so pro whaling seeing as you are living in japan, and are probably a fat cunt resembling that of a large, juicy whale. Seeing as you most likely look like the species you eat, you might be surprised that oneday the japanese will turn on you and harpoon you and then eat you.

Did I mention that you are fat?
 
It never ceases to amaze me that the disciples of Paulba the Hutt have the gall to claim others are fat.

Truly, they are a shameless lot.
I wouldn't mind them for a laugh if they weren't also dangerous nutcases.
 
This is true. Unfortunately most of them are so blinded by faith that they can not even comprehend that what they are doing is dangerous.

For the record, I'm running the 42.195 kms next weekend with a 180.8 cm frame and 73 kgs on it. The whales have made my muscles strong, and for that I am grateful!
 
so no response to the fact that whaling has ended?
It must hurt to know you're wrong

you're a fucking coward david
 
The Anonymous poster calls me a fucking coward and demands a comment.

If you want a comment, I guess you can just think about how people feel when they see news of any kind of terrorism.

Now ask yourself, why are you reading my blog if you get all upset to the point of mindlessly swearing and abusing someone you've never met as a result of seeing and reading information about whale meat products in Japan, where whales are regarded as a source of food if their populations are utilised on the sustainable basis? Are you that threatened by reality?
 
Yes David, I am threatened by reality, the reality of the ocean being exploited to the point where it can no longer yield any resources or marine life whatsoever.

And Sea Shepherd is not 'terrorism', they never physically hurt any of the Japanese crew. And guess what? Whatever it was, It was rather effective.

Do you also think the relentless demand and therefore subsequent over fishing of bluefin tuna is 'sustainable?'
Or do you eat whale but not endangered fish?
 
Oh, and by the way Kugigiriaka (i'll probably just end up calling you tamagotchi) I am SUCH a dangerous nutcase, caring about marine preservation and all. Harpooning an incredible, sentient mammal and watching it thrash around in it's own blood is crazy or sick at all

I wonder how you people sleep at night
 
*isn't
 
No one is saying the ocean ought be exploited to the point where it can no longer yield any harvests.

At this blog we support sustainable exploitation, not unsustainable exploitation. Make no mistake about it.

The idea, as is described by the IWC's Revised Management Procedure, is to cautiously take limited numbers of whales from a healthy stock and monitor the impact of this over time to ensure that the stock is maintained at a healthy and productive level, even taking into account all sorts of often quite unlikely uncertainties. Japan's research catches are less than the 2,000 whales that the IWC's scientific committee calculated could be conservatively utilised under a basic implementation of the RMP in the early 1990's. Your idea of Japan's whaling activities being terribly destructive are not reality, except perhaps in the Sea Shepherd propaganda materials you have read.

Ironically, it is through a policy of no sustainable utilisation that Sea Shepherd is arguing for the oceans to yield nothing - and this is the very thing that you claim to be afraid of.

Do you not agree that there is a point (or region of "balance") between "no utilisation" and "unsustainable utilisation", which can be described as "sustainable utilisation"?

This is what we ought to be striving for in this world of naturally renewable resources in the 21st century and beyond.

Is this really such a threatening and undesirable idea? If you wish to seek balance through having people of other cultures burden all the sacrifices of seeking sustainable utilisation then you won't find any sympathy from me.

> Do you also think the relentless demand and therefore subsequent over fishing of bluefin tuna is 'sustainable?'

I do not agree with over-fishing of tuna.

I also believe that generally the way to stop the over-fishing, is to, stop the over-fishing.

This comes down to the governments who allow over-fishing in their jurisdictions to police their fishing fleets properly, which has not been the case. I agree with concerns about over-fishing in the Med. But once the fish is caught, whether it is consumed later or not is irrelevant - it's too late. The point is to prevent over-fishing in the first place.

As for southern bluefin tuna, Japan has been guilty of this itself - failing to properly regulate it's fishing vessels for some period of time. As one would expect, the Japanese made some big changes as a result of this. So far, it would appear the changes have been effective. This is a positive thing.
 
> I am SUCH a dangerous nutcase, caring about marine preservation and all.

We support marine conservation and sustainable utilisation. Preservation is a no utilisation philosophy.

It is not caring about marine preservation that makes one a nutcase.

What makes one a nutcase is to support terrorism (eco-terrorism here) in pursuit of a cause, whatever the cause may be.

The means do not justify the ends - even if you happen to agree with those ends. This is a very important principle if we are to maintain order and decent human society.

> I wonder how you people sleep at night

We wonder how people who support terrorism sleep at night. If the tables were turned, and it was them on the end of these attacks, would they feel the same way? If you would accept glass bottles containing chemicals being thrown at your property, causing damage, then yes, you are nuts. If you wouldn't but still think Sea Shepherd are great, then you are employing one set of standards for yourself and another for others. This is poor.
 
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