Save whales: Got a good idea?

The Japanse whaling fleet will hunt 945 whales over the next couple of months. You can help: Post your idea!

Added 22/12/2006:

Stockpiles of whalemeat are increasing in Japan

Chief Bottle Washer at Blather
Writer, photographer, environmental campaigner and "known troublemaker" Dave Walsh is the founder of, described both as "possibly the most arrogant and depraved website to be found either side of the majestic Shannon River", and "the nicest website circulating in Ireland". Half Irishman, half-bicycle. He lives in southern Irish city of Barcelona.


  1. Teach the Japanese to raise cows and eat beef. We should boycott them for killing the whales. Also the Japanese should be made aware that they are PRIMATIVE to still kill whales. They should have a harpoon in each of their backsides.

  2. PRIMATIVE, the fuckin Japanese! are you completley out of your tiny little fuckin mind, or are you just a Yank?
    and they already eat beef, they just happen to also like the taste of Whale meat, which I for one see as a perfectly acceptable foodsource, a Cow will give you what 500 burgers and a small whale will give you 5000, you know it make sense.

  3. Hmm had a look through thos articles there over the weekend (in between making hilariously funny photoshop thingys about events in the West of Ireland)it would appear that the Green Lobby is making inroads into convincing people that -killing whales for food is wrong and OMG Like those whales are Soooooo clever like.
    I generaly discount the results of any poll that dont show the poll questions, as we all know trhat these things are designed to hammer home one set of beliefs at the expense of impartiality.
    I still want to know why people dont try to get the stocks of whale meat, which apparently no one in Japan is game enough to eat. The Iron chef was on SBS a few weeks ago with some very interesting recipes for Whale, one of the Judges scoffed into it and was quite enjoying it until she was informed that it was whale, suddenly she stopped eating it. now this intriuged me, one minute she’s eatin away saying how lovely the flavour is in this traditional dish, then her indoctrinated sense of western indignation is envoked with this piece of information and she decides that its ‘disgusting and immoral’ and she shouldnt be eatin it.
    the scare mongering, posturing and misinformation campaign that has been foisted upon us seems to have worked, especialy as anyone who defends the traditions and custom of other nations is viewed as some kind of Crazy person who wont listen to reason and read the established facts, even though its only one side of the argument, its considered the only side by a lot of people, there is more than one point of view here, its just a shame that the Anti whaling lobby appeals to the hand wringing pinko liberal ‘wont somebody think of the children’ camp
    Duck Eggs are bigger and healthier for you than Hen eggs.
    however due to a very succesful two pronged advertising campaign by hen Egg farmers at the turn of the last century Hen Eggs were promoted and Duck eggs Vilified as unhealthy.

  4. Podge, I’m actually intrigued as to why you want to spend so much time hanging out on a site like, which is run by someone like me.
    I probably fit into your vision of someone from the “hand wringing pinko liberal ‘wont somebody think of the children’ camp”.
    I find it somewhat hilarious that you assume that propaganda only comes from *one side* of an argument. Check this out:
    “Professor Toshio Kasuya, of Teikyo University of Science and Technology in Japan, gave his analysis in the Mainichi Shinbun newspaper in October 2005. “The annual expenses of the research program amount to around 6 billion yen, or more than US$50 million, of which 5 billion yen is covered by the sales of whale meat produced from the catch by the scientific whaling. Government subsidy and other funding make up the remaining 1 billion yen. Without the earnings from the meat sales, the whaling organization that undertakes the government-commissioned research program would be unable to continue operation, and the shipping company that provides the fleet for the program would not be able to recover costs for whaling vessel construction. ”
    Also – I didn’t post the full Mori set of questions, because I couldn’t locate the full report on their site – what I linked to was a press release.
    Anyway, you seem to have nailed your colours to the mast over the weekend, what with your “hilariously funny” anti-traveller sentiments. Following that, I find it difficult to really take your pro-whaling arguments seriously.
    Lastly. Chicken eggs are farmed. Whales are hunted – in some species, nearly to extinction (the only reason the Japanese fleet is chasing Minkes and fins is that there’s fuck-all of the previously commercial species left).

  5. Ah now Daev, a hand wringer you are not, I may not be a fan of your politics but I do admire your willingness to get off yer arse and do something about the issues you believe in, just happens that I disagree with some of your key beliefs.
    the other thing I like is your articulate manner and consistency on issues, it makes for decent involving and inteligent debate rather than resort to name calling, brow beating and moral posturing of some other posters.
    I read blather cos I like most of the content, I find it informitave humorous and topical

  6. AAAANYWAY back on topic
    I didnt say that the Propoganda only comes from one side, I said that each side pushes their opinion on us, you being in the ‘save the cute and cuddly Orcas’ camp are pushing the propoganda that reflects your viewpoint on the situation, and those in the ‘Whaleburgers are feckin lovely’ camp are trying to flog their ideology to us.
    I must sit down over christmas and expand into a workable model my idea for whale herding and farming.

  7. Dave,
    The majority of the Japanese Public does not consume whale meat because there has in recent times been only around 2,000 – 6,000 tonnes of it available to eat each year. In the 1990’s the only source was research whaling by-products, since 2001 it has been legal to market whales that get entangled in fishing gear (under certain conditions that is, such as providing DNA samples for the whale meat database for tracking purposes). This year the supply figure will be up close to 9,000 tonnes by the end of the year, due to the new JARPA II programme commencing last austral summer.
    Basically, with hardly any whale meat available, I don’t really see what the point is in saying “oh hey, Japanese people don’t consume much whale meat”. How could they?
    Additionally, despite the impression frequently given by the anti-whaling groups in recent times, consumption of whale meat in the private sector in Japan appears to have increased by at least 50% in 2006 compared to 2004.
    As for the polls, they are meaningless. Most Japanese don’t eat whale meat, and don’t care about whale meat. If they weren’t so apathetic and easily influenced by poll questions they might be worth listening to. Even then, a recent Greenpeace Japan poll indicated that more Japanese support whaling than are against it (of course that wasn’t the way Greenpeace spun it though).
    The whale meat thing was a typical case of anti-whaling propaganda trying to blow a non-event into a massive conspiracy theory. The meat in question that the WDCS found when they made their claims was marketed by, and is made out of the small intestines of Baird’s beaked whales. That part of that particular species is known to be unfit for human consumption (don’t know why that makes it ok for dogs, but anyway…). The vast majority of the whale meat goes on to the human consumption food markets.
    The article from Tetsu Sato is frankly ridiculous. He says “Why single out whales and attach such importance to them?”
    Umm, that’s JAPAN’s argument, not the other way around. Why shouldn’t whales be harvested like fish and any other marine resources, taking into consideration their particular biological features?
    The health concerns have also been blown out of proportion. The levels of contaminants differ widely depending on the species and the part of the species in question. Antarctic minke whales are basically pure “good stuff”, north pacific tooth whales are dangerous depending on the parts. Studies have been done, the Ministry of Health has made recommendations, let’s stop the alarmism.
    Dr Kasuya’s telling us nothing we don’t already know. The ICR states clearly that the proceeds of sales from whale meat go towards funding the costs of the research of the next year. The government makes up the rest. Where is the scandal? What is wrong with the research partially offseting it’s costs by selling the whale meat? Would it be better to burn all that good meat up and import an extra few thousand tonnes of eco-friendly BSE beef from the USA instead, and make the Japanese tax payers pay even more to fund the programme? There is no logic here.
    Finally Dave, japan is currently hunting all of the Antarctic minke, the Antarctic fin, as well as the common minke, sei, bryde’s and sperm whales in the North Pacific, all of which are in pretty good shape. They’ll start hunting humpbacks from next year, a species which is globally regarded to have rebounded strongly from past exploitation. The species they aren’t hunting any time soon is the blue whale, which is still heavily depleted although believed to finally be recovering in the Antarctic, the Western Gray whale which was protected for more than 60 years already (it isn’t recovering well), the Pacific right whale and North Pacific humpback populations, also which remain depleted in the North Pacific.
    Your comments about “fuck-all” of the other species left is thus rather misleading, and ignores the strong recovery of many species. The IWC scientific committee will even be in a position to advise on safe commercial catch limits for the Bryde’s whale in the western North Pacific in 6 months from now.
    The only reason to not allow commercial whaling now is questions over regulation measures. With modern technology, there’s no reason to believe that effective measures could not quickly be agreed – if there was a desire to do so, but we know that the real reason for objection to whaling has nothing to do with science nor regulatory matters. It’s plain old politics – the European nations and a handful of their former colonies just want to look “green” in the eyes of their voters, and deflect the attention away from their domestic problems.

  8. To Marylin – as much as I don’t support whaling at all, Japan does not have the space required for raising a massive amount of beef, which is why Japan imports more than nearly any other country from Australia. Having said that, the appetite for beef in Japan is rising, as you can see here.

    People like David@Tokyo will tell you this is a simple matter of supply and demand. However, it seems that the market for whale meat needs to be artificially stimulated by such means as school lunch programs and “methods of sale”. Joji Morishita
    Director of Whaling Section of Japan, Far Seas Fisheries Division, The Fisheries Agency of Japan, has noted: “it becomes clear from about the end of last year that research by-products (whale meat) are not selling well. Until recently the traders could sell whale meat whenever they had it and so didn’t make any efforts, but bubble type consumption is over, and people who don’t know how to eat whales are increasing as whale meat amount in markets is small. We must not lose whale food culture. We have to consider seriously methods of sale.”

    Secondly, food safety is an issue. For the same reason that Japan has boycotted US beef in favour of Australian for fear of mad cow disease, the contamination of whale meat is sure to be an issue even if the Fisheries Agency can stimulate more whale meat.
    In 2000, Seiji Ohsuma
    Director of the Institute of Cetacean Research, said that this would not be a problem because “the annual consumption of whale meat per citizen was only about 30 grams.” Doesn’t sound like exactly a staple food.

    And lastly, the stockpiles of meat in Japan have risen from 2460 tonnes to 4702 tonnes from 2002 – 2006 (average tonnage for each year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and
    Fisheries of Japan). If the demand for whalemeat in Japan is so huge, then why is this stockpile increasing?

    Let’s put these figures in perspective as well: Australia’s beef exports to Japan in November hit another record for the month, reaching 41,398 metric tons – a 13 percent increase compared with the same month last year.

    This follows the October 2006 record of 37,025 metric tons.

    According to Meat and Livestock Australia, November beef export to Japan was the second highest for any month, behind March 2006 (43,263 metric tons).

    Frozen grass-fed exports totaled 15,555 metric tons, a 37 percent growth from the 11,335 metric tons shipped in November 2005. And Japan also imports beef from the US as of July, so that’s not even the total amount consumed.

    I’m not condoning industrial agriculture by the way, but it pretty much eclipses the appetite for whale meat doesn’t it?

  9. Hey Podge – thanks for your reply to me, and sorry for my late return – have a bit of an insane schedule at the moment. Thanks too for the comments. I don’t believe that it’s necessary to get *personal* during a debate, no matter how emotional the issue – and I try and have the grace to admit when I’m wrong.
    I’m not big on *belief* myself. It’s not really where I come from. I’m more of an agnostic with gut feelings that I try and reconcile with the so-called “facts”, which leads me to certain opinions, or convinctoins. I say so-called facts, because I think sometimes we can be lazy and merely accept the normal run of things as right, without ever questioning them. I tend to question as much as I can.
    Like whaling. I think I can argue The Facts with pro-whaling people – like Mr David@Tokyo for instance – till the belugas come home – each of us can sling our own interpretation of the facts at each other all over the Internet, but we’ll both end up so entrenched that we’ll get nowhere.
    However, my gut feeling is that whaling is wrong. Actually, it’s absurd, farcical, in this day and age. I can’t scientifically prove that it is absurd, no more than the whaling fleet can scientifically prove that it isn’t absurd to knock off 1,000 whales by killing 1,000 of them for “scientific” purposes.
    Oh, and one more thing – nowhere, and I mean nowhere, will you find me saying something like “save the cute and cuddly Orcas”. For a start, commercial whaling isn’t – at the moment – targetting orcas. Apart from that, while I respect the beauty and intelligent of cetaceans, I’m just not sentimental to plunge too far into anthropomorphism. I’ve never had the opportunity to get very close to a whale, but I do snorkel with a local bottlenose dolphin regularly.
    Pedant hat on: Orcas are actually the largest species of dolphin. But then dolphins are really a kind of small toothed whale (Odontoceti). Or at least that’s my understanding…

  10. Adele,
    Where did you get your quotes? Who translated them from Japanese? Are the quotes accurate translations (I’ll be the judge).
    > Doesn’t sound like exactly a staple food.
    Of course it’s not. There is a commercial whaling moratorium at the moment. How could it be a staple food?
    > And lastly, the stockpiles of meat in Japan have risen from 2460 tonnes to 4702 tonnes from 2002 – 2006 (average tonnage for each year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and
    Fisheries of Japan).
    What do you expect will happen when supply has increased?
    In the 1990’s, supply was around 2,000 tonnes a year. In 2006 it’ll go almost as high as 9,000 tonnes.
    Obviously the average amount of stock will increase.
    > If the demand for whalemeat in Japan is so huge, then why is this stockpile increasing?
    No one said demand is “huge”, and the stockpile has increased because of supply increasing. Consumption is also increasing as well. Do you deny that?
    > but it pretty much eclipses the appetite for whale meat doesn’t it?
    Of course it does. There is a commercial whaling moratorium. There is only 9,000 tonnes of stuff available in 2006 (and even this is up from 6,000 tonnes in 2005). What is the point in comparing consumption for whale meat and beef, when supply of beef is so much higher?
    All you are proving is that “Japanese can eat more beef because more is available than whale meat”.
    You really ought to drop this silly propaganda, and go back to the old “whale meat is a luxury”, because that’s the reality today due to limited (albeit recently increasing) supply.

  11. Dave,
    So you’re complaining about whales being killed for scientific purposes.
    Let’s cut to the chase.
    What if Japan were killing 1,000 whales for purely commercial purposes?
    Then where is your complaint?

  12. David, you crack me up, you really do. What bit of my “I am against whales being killed” approach don’t you get?
    I actually don’t give a damn what excuse the whaling industry wants to use for killing whales, I’m against it.
    That’s my complaint.

  13. Take a look at this video!
    Martina, an 8 years old girl , writes a letter to Mr. Toyama, Captain of the Nisshin Maru Ship asking him to stop whale’s hunting. NM is the factory ship of the Japanese whaling fleet that is in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary, iligaly hunting 945 whales.

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