Japan starts Pacific 'research' whaling

September 7, 2014
In this file photo, a Japanese whaling fleet (L) departs Ayukawa port in Ishinomaki City, on April 26, 2014

A fleet of four Japanese ships left the northern main island of Hokkaido on Sunday to start the seasonal "research" whaling hunt in Pacific coastal waters, local media said.

Japan's Fisheries Agency has said whalers planned to kill up to 51 minke in waters off Kushiro city through the end of October.

Japan has hunted whales under a loophole in the 1986 global moratorium that allows lethal research on the mammals, but has made no secret of the fact that their meat ends up in restaurants and fish markets.

Agency officials could not be immediately reached on Sunday.

The smaller scale Pacific coastal whaling comes as Japan hopes to resume its Antarctic Ocean next year, despite an order from the UN's top court to stop all whaling in the area.

Tokyo was forced to abandon its 2014-15 hunt in March when the International Court of Justice (ICJ) said the annual expedition was a commercial activity masquerading as research.

But the pro-whaling government hopes to bypass this ruling by giving the controversial mission a more scientific focus.

The latest expedition, officially to survey the contents of whales' stomachs, is one of the few hunts not covered by the ICJ ruling.

One in July saw the slaughter of 90 sei whales and 25 Bryde's whales, while in another through June some 30 were killed as part of a coastal hunt.

Pieces of whale sushi are seen at a restaurant in Japanese whaling town Ayukawahama, Miyagi prefecture, on June 16, 2010

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1.4 / 5 (9) Sep 07, 2014
You actually expect one of the oldest civilizations in the world to just abandon like 10,000 years of culture and livelihood because an international body demands they do so?

I think it sucks that we rely so heavily on other animals as food sources, and yet I eat meat every day and love it, and can't really imagine not doing so. I usually feel healthier, stronger after eating a meal high in animal protein, whereas purely vegetarian meals seem to lack substance, not to mention cause other problems.

I doubt they are threatening extinction. It's not like poaching rhinos or something. Their government is involved, and people, especially governments, are more aware of conservation issues than in the past.

And would you prefer if they called it a research project and the meat didn't go to market? of course not. Marine Biologists kill lots of things all the time in the name of research, without even knowing whether it's a unique specimen of an unknown and near-extinct species....
Sep 07, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Uncle Ira
3.5 / 5 (8) Sep 07, 2014
I usually feel healthier, stronger after eating a meal high in animal protein
At least you don't pretend any science for it...'-) It's a mercury content, what does such a brain damage for you..

Maybe that is what is causing his mental condition, he eats the stuff with too much mercury in it.
5 / 5 (8) Sep 08, 2014
Recent worthwhile non-destructive 'research' has shown that 'living whales' are far more important to the correct functioning of ocean ecosystems than previously thought.
Without living whales thenutrient cycling within ocean ecosystems stops and so does all the regeneration of lifeforms within the oceans. When that happens all life in the oceans ceases to exist. Global Warming ensues and all life on land quickly follows the demise of all life in the oceans through positive feedback loops.
We will go extinct the same as every other species we have slaughtered.
Now go tell that to the nation with10,000 years of culture, 28 years of sheer arrogance and absolutely no bloody respect for real science or the rest of life on this planet.
The whales are more valuable than they are.
1 / 5 (1) Sep 08, 2014
Well, that's obnoxious. The Sea Shepherd is busy in the arctic, right?
5 / 5 (3) Sep 13, 2014

So the Japanese regularly sailed to Antarctic waters from Japan up to 10,000 years ago?

OK then they can use 10,000 year old technology to sail to southern waters to harvest whales! I have no problem with that scenario, I'm sure they will though!
5 / 5 (1) Sep 13, 2014
The Sea Shepherd is busy in the arctic, right?

Sorry no it's in the southern oceans. You need to fund another group to combat Scandinavian whaling if you feel that's appropriate,
2 / 5 (4) Sep 13, 2014
You got to admit, that's some delicious looking research.
5 / 5 (1) Sep 13, 2014
You got to admit, that's some delicious looking research.

Seriously why is it delicious? Did you eat a whale lately?
4 / 5 (4) Sep 13, 2014
Antigoracle is a ham-fisted troll. Don't mind him.
1 / 5 (3) Sep 13, 2014
Crikey, such boneheads. Let me guess, you can't read very well.

antigoracle said delicious *looking*. Nothing about *tasting* or *eating*.

That's his opinion. He's entitled to it.
1 / 5 (3) Sep 13, 2014
Then again, I suppose *looking* delicious, a common expression, is nonsensical. A food can *taste* delicious. Hmmm ... It looks apertising? Sure, if you are Japanese.

Then there's the old argument that if you truly want an animal to survive in large numbers, then simply ensure they are a human food source. No shortage of chickens.

1 / 5 (3) Sep 13, 2014
Instead of 'whale sanctuaries', we could have whale farms. We have salmon farms, prawn farms, oyster farms. What's the big deal about whales? They are not cuddly, they don't make good pets, they are so stupid they keep crashing onto beaches and getting stranded.

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