Sunday, September 21, 2008

Its not just Japan.

In the world of whaling history, this is the bible.

Now try page 658

Friday, September 19, 2008

Why does Japan kill whales in Antarctica?

Excuse the epic posts here!
I had a fair bit to say and it took more words than I expected to say it.

After a year of reading about whales I still don't have a real understanding of the basic question in all of this.

Why is Japan defending whaling so strongly?

If I had to bet money on the reason... I would say that the Japanese Fisheries Agency sees itself as fighting some sort of desperate rear guard action over its rights to take resources from international waters. They have decided to invent a game where each species has to 'win' its protection one by one, from the top down. They see a war, fought battle by battle in a logical path down the food chain as fishery after fishery collapses.

Whales in the Southern Ocean where chosen first because of the legal nightmare surrounding them as well as their physical DISTANCE from Japan. I mean when you start a rear guard action the idea is to delay the 'enemy' as long as possible from your 'base'. Its what I would do in their place anyway.

First we stall them for over 40 years on whale protection, then 20 for dolphins, then 10 after that for Tuna, then 5 after that for sardine, then 2 after that for squid.....

But thats not how it works.
Every thing is connected.
As Jacques Yves Cousteau knew well enough in 1970, when you remove things from an ecosystem it creates changes. With whales it impacts the krill which are the central part of the entire Antarctic food web.

I only reached that pattern of thought after enough reading to kill an average person :)
The Japanese do not whale for scientific, cultural or monetary reasons. Of this much I am certain. The whales themselves could also never be considered a viable food source for 127 million people.

All that remains is political/territorial reasons, or the use of the whales as either a method of distraction or a punishment dummy to keep the heat off the big fisheries that are important to Japans food security like the krill harvests and longliners.

I think it is important that all nations work together to keep Antarctica unspoilt, but we need to understand that if the Southern Ocean ecosystem collapses it will impact on the health of the entire sea.

Let me break down what I do know.
The animals are in deep shit & We are in deep shit

You are either part of the solution, or part of the problem.

Live or die.

The difference is what we do today.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Whaling VS Whale Watching?

Lets take a closer look at that!

First up,


Whaling represents only 20 to 25 percent of overall income nowadays for most of the 30-odd whaling vessels that take part in the hunt in Norway each year.

In that light, whale safaris have become a more profitable business, with lower costs and less conflict. Usually.

"Once a whaler harpooned a whale right in front of us. My passengers, who were German tourists, were horrified. I almost had a heart attack," says Heiki Vester who runs the Ocean Sounds whale safari company.


Jan Kristiansen, who represents the whalers, defended the shootings. He claimed the whalers were simply taking advantage of the nice weather, when the hunting is best.

"Many of the whaling boats had been tied up at the dock for several days, waiting for better weather," he said. "When it finally came, we have to make the most of it."

Kristiansen claimed that he and the other whalers "don't have anything against the whale safari boats... but it's important to get across that it's the extreme opponents of whaling that travel out to see whales.

"We can't prevent them from being against the hunt, and they can't prevent us from hunting."


Although opinion polls have shown general support for whaling among Icelanders, some shun the meat because of the giant creatures' still-limited numbers. Others worry that whaling will hurt Iceland's image and thus harm its thriving tourist industry.

Eva Maria Thorarinsdottir, marketing manager of Reykjavik's Elding Whale Watching, says minke whales were much friendlier before hunting resumed, but now they avoid ships. She regards whale-hunting as akin to fox-hunting in England: a legacy kept alive only by "proud, rich traditionalists." She adds: "Our business is much more profitable than theirs."



The eco-tourism boat full of tourists came up along side the Baird’s beaked whale as they spotted water from it’s blowhole. The 20 tourists looked on in horror to see the rare whale struggling for life bleeding from a harpoon. One of the two other whale watching ships nearby left when a child started crying.


Now if thats not bad enough, these whaling nations are also damaging the well established whale watching industries of other nations such as New Zealand. In some cases Japans bully tactics have crossed the line into extortion with certain whales being held for ransom, in an economic standover technique.

Look at the war japan waged on Australias whale watching industry
for example Link 1 link 2 link 3

"Let us kill what we want or we will obliterate your whale watching industry in a single whale kill mission!"

End of the day, whalers kill whatever they can find. They don't care about whale watching -> despite the fact it earns many many more millions of dollars more than whaling does EVERY year.

Whalers kill the friendly whales and this impacts on how much fun you can have on a whale safari.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dangerous Times

In 5 days.

On the 15th the IWC holds a meeting to decide whether to end the ban on commercial whaling or not.

As it stands the Japanese whalers are engaged in illegal poaching of protected whales in a wildlife sanctuary.

If the ban is ended, then the whalers go fullscale legit.
It will be difficult to stop the industrial scale slaughter that will then begin.
Nation after nation will take Japans lead.

In short, the whales will be fucked up.

I have no real plan or advice that I can give. But this is an end to decades of effort... or at least it might be.
The Japanese whalers are playing a power card, and it will not be easy to stop.

I wish I could give you a version of Al Pacino's Inch By Inch speech
But I just don't have the skills.

So I'm just gonna say if you have an idea, use it. If you have done something in the past, consider doing it again. We have the numbers, we either act...

or we see the whales die in our times.

live or die

Your whales, your choice.

It may be your last real chance to have a say.