Saturday, August 2, 2008

Westerners killed off all the whales

OK how many times have we heard the "It was Westerners who killed all the whales off" bullshit?
Personally I have read it hundreds of times.
It is one of Japans favourite facts to use during ATTACKS upon anti-whalers
The serious suggestion that Japanese whaling played no contribution in the near-extinction of whale populations is a bit of rewritten history that I find VERY offensive.
Well lets have a look at it then shall we?
As a first source I would like to call to the stand....
Toennessen and Johnsen's
"The History of Modern Whaling"
Yep thats a link to the dam book.
Its a respected source, and a good book. Buy it!
If you feel the need to argue the great whales should die you should at least look at the mistakes of the past to ensure you are not encouraging a repeat of them!!

'None of the other whaling nations was in any doubt that the real reason for declining stocks was the ruthless catching undertaken by the Japanese, starting as they did four to five weeks before the others, ignoring the ban on the catching of humpbacks or minimum size limits. Germany, Britain and Norway despatched notes to this on Japan at the same time' (p 469).

Now key points of interest

1) Japanese whaling expeditions were working in the Antarctic prior to the outbreak of World War II.

2) Whaling nations were making efforts to instigate international controls on whaling prior to the IWC coming into being post-WWII. These efforts were frustrated in several ways, one being Japanese intransigence.

3) There was a perception amongst whaling nations in the latter part of the 1930s that ongoing declines of Antarctic populations were being driven by the approach that the Japanese were taking to whaling - killing species that other nations had agreed shouldn't be being hunted, killing lactating blue whales, starting their season earlier that what others had agreed to, things like that. Given what we now know of the population biology of baleen whales, the perception that the Japanese were solely responsible for ongoing declines was probably wrong. That they were primarily responsible for the ongoing declines in the latter 1930s may well be right.

4) The actions of Japanese Antarctic expeditions was considered so bad that three whaling nations (the UK, Norway and Germany) worked together, using diplomatic channels, to object to the Japanese actions. This is despite the diplomatic tensions existing between the UK and Germany - World War II broke out a couple of months later. Clearly folks engaged in international negotiations on whaling management back them thought something was going wrong.

Yes many other nations whaled.
Heck heres a website on the dam yanks
But at least they are honest about their history.

Major whaling nations

Germany quits whaling in 1939
U.S. quits whaling in 1940
Argentin quits whaling in 1960
U.K. quits whaling in 1963
Holland quits whaling in 1964
New Zealandquits whaling in 1964
Norway withdraws from the Antarctic Ocean in 1972
Canada quits whaling in 1973
South Africa quits whaling in 1975
Australia quits whaling in 1978
Brazil quits whaling in 1980
Chile quits whaling in 1983
Peru quits whaling in 1984
Spain quits whaling in 1985
U.S.S.R quits whaling in 1987
Norway reopens whaling in its surrounding ocean area in 1993
Japan tests whaling operation in the Antarctic Ocean in 1934
Demmark/Panama/Republic of Korea/Portugal/Iceland/

The Japan Whaling Assoc offers this time line

9th Century Whaling starts in Norway, France, and Spain
12th Century Hand-harpoon whaling starts in Japan
1606 Hand-harpooning whaling by organized groups starts in Taiji, Japan
1612 Hand-harpooning of Baird's beaked whales starts in Chiba Prefecture, Japan (near Wadaura)
1675 Whaling using nets begins in Taiji, and spreads to Shikoku and Kyushu, contributing to rapid expansion of whaling
1712 Sperm whaling starts in the U.S. (US-style whaling)
1838 Organized whaling using nets starts in Ayukawa, Japan
1864 Modern whaling is developed in Norway
1868 With harpoon guns completed in Norway, Norwegian-style whaling starts
1879 A storm claims the lives of 111 whalers from Taiji. This incident prompts transition from net whaling to modern whaling
1899 Japan starts Norwegian-style whaling
1903 The world's first whaling factory ship (Netherlands) sails out to Spitsbergen sea
1904 Norway sets up a whaling station in South Georgia Island; Whaling begins in Antarctic Ocean
1905 First whaling factory ship sails to Antarctic Ocean
1906 Full-scale modern whaling starts in Japan with construction of modern whaling station in Ayukawa
1925 A mother ship equipped with a slipway goes on whaling for the first time
1931 First International Whaling Convention is signed
1932 Claws (tail fin pinchers) appears
1934 Japan enters mother ship-type whaling in Antarctic Ocean
1940 U.S. quits whaling
1941 Japan suspends mother ship-type whaling upon the outbreak of World War II
1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling is signedJapan resumes whaling in Antarctic Ocean
1948 International Whaling Commission (IWC) is established
1949 1st IWC meetings are held
1951 Japan joins IWC
1959 Olympic system is abolished; Self-declared whaling starts
1962 Country quota system starts
1963 Hunting of humpback whales in Antarctic Ocean is bannedUK quits whaling
1964 Hunting of blue whales in Antarctic Ocean is banned
1972 Resolution calling for 10-year moratorium on commercial whaling is adopted at United Nations Conference on Human Environment Blue Whale Unit system is abolished; Catch quota by whale type system startsNorway withdraws from whaling in the Antarctic OceanJapan starts minke whaling
1975 New Management Procedure (NMP) is adopted
1976 Hunting of fin whales in Antarctic Ocean is banned
1978 Hunting of sei whales in Antarctic Ocean is banned
1979 IWC adopts an Indian Ocean whale sanctuary
1982 IWC adopts a commercial whaling moratorium
1985 Japan withdraws objection to IWC moratorium
1987 Japan withdraws from Antarctic whaling and starts research whaling (JARPA)
1988 Japan suspends coastal catching of minke and sperm whales
1990 IWC estimates population of minke whales in Antarctic Ocean as 760,000
1992 Iceland withdraws IWC; North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission (NAMMCO) is established IWC completes development of Revised Management Procedure (RMP)
1993 Norway resumes commercial whaling
1994 IWC adopts southern ocean whale sanctuary
1994 Japan starts research whaling in northwest Pacific (JARPN)
2000 Japan starts research whaling (JARPNII) for feeding study
2002 54th IWC meeting is held in Shimonoseki
2003 IWC adopts Berlin initiative
2005 Japan starts research whaling (JARPAII)
2006 IWC adopts St. Kitts and Nevis Declaration
2007 Confrence for the Normalization of the IWC in Tokyo

Another whaling organisation luna offers these body counts for species of interest to whalers today taken in ANTARCTICA.

Minke, Humpback, Finwhale
And to a lesser extent Spermwhales, Sei, and Blue whales.

I dare anyone to do the maths on those species and then claim the Japanese whaling played no part in the near extinction of the species involved! Of course there is also much secret whaling and almost all nations have helped out.


Whaling is cruel and obselete it must be ended.
Whaling destroys social and family bonds within a whale pod. Whale products are superfluous or can be replaced by substitutes

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

whales are too friendly to be eaten. I just watched The Cove and I'm shocked that some japanese are so stupid that they'll do anything to support whaling. now they're going to poor countries and fund fishing projects to get their support in the IWC. it's insulting for the starving people that want to get food and work, while there's an evil plan behind it. and these projects don't even work. one of the fish farms in St. Kitts or somewhere in caribbean turned into a chicken farm.

but I'm still a fishvore.