Whales 2005

This is the First of the series of Articles on Whales and Whaling in today’s events concerning the nations of Japan, Norway, Iceland and Korea. Will we have Whales to Kill and Eat, or Watch and Enjoy. It includes a few thought provoking twists, often leading the readers to other related articles to continue those thoughts to a point of conclusion on their own. I'm just an old Newspaper Stringer who needs to keep his mind and fingers nimble and keep the facts in front of You the reader!

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Location: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

Simi-Retired, from the Import-Export Business, being a World traveled Stringer on all kinds of articles of sights I've seen, a Past Assayer and Metallurgical Chemist in precious metals, Former Locksmith and Safesmith as well as Security designer.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Now Think About It


"Now Think About It! 1st of Series"

My Viewpoint and Perspective,
with a Perception of the Outcome.

Commentary By:

Doug Newman

© 2005

"Save the Whales!" Current News is showing Anti-whaling groups are forming worldwide daily preparing for a tenacious stand, and the threat from the whaling nations of Japan, Norway, Iceland and perhaps now Korea, are real today.

A whole generation of mankind has been born and raised without knowing the trials and tribulations that were fought for so hard, by so many in the years past, just to "Save the Whales" from Total Extinction by Commercial Whalers of many nations.

The whales we have now come to love through Whale watching, as they have slowly begun to recover from an almost total annihilation, are now threatened once more. This will truly be a Call to Arms, once again. For only through a constant vigilance will the Saving of the Whales become a permanent reality.

The 57th Annual Meeting of The International Whaling Commission has scheduled meetings to open from May 27th. through at least June 24th 2005 in Ulsan, in the Republic of Korea.

This is due and perhaps destined to be one of the most heated discussion meetings since Whaling was Almost Banned World Wide in 1986. Sadly for many however, the International Whaling Commission (I.W.C.) and its member nations since 1986, only Suspended the Commercial Whaling of many nations. This is a little known or often a misunderstood fact on the whaling issue today. It was Not a total Ban on Whaling.

Recently in Hawaii in covering a discussion on the matter, it became a very heated issue with a number of people in the group outraged to the point of being livid at the very idea of Japans application of Increasing their current Whaling catch, specifically, as they have announced their intended proposal to do so in the near future at this coming I.W.C. meeting.

A Boycott of The nations that are involved in the Scientific Whaling was mentioned repeatedly of which there are Three (2) presently, Japan, and Iceland, with possibly Korea likely soon to follow in their example in 2006.

Norway is a Nation that Hunts Whales in Objection to the IWC, and has for many years basically restricted its hunts primarily to only one type of Whale.

Korea has intoned repeatedly in past and present, that it is considering taking up Scientific Whaling though Section VIII of the IWC charter.

Which is a serious possibility this year considering at this time in Ulsan, South Korea officials are planning to build a Whale Meat Processing factory, where at the moment the Greenpeace organization has set up a "Whale Embassy", and this has been under a continual threat of Eviction by Mayor Park Maeng-woo of Ulsan for weeks now.

The Weblog they maintain on location is amazing, as well as very informative.

Principally the boycotting of Japanese products was mentioned repeatedly, in depth, as an example to the other whaling nations, with the consideration to do something similar to Japan, as was done to France when America went to war in Iraq.

Try to realize that it is plausible as well as possible that this type of action could occur Internationally, and very quickly as well.

Today in this age of the Internet, web pages, Blogs and chain e-mails, is it worth it for Japan to perhaps lose a large amount of its Export business due to a Boycott? Not just in the United States, but perhaps a Major Internationally stimulated boycott in so many other parts of the rest of the world?

Many people in the world are very adverse and even repulsed by the Japanese practice of continuing to Eat Whale Meat, and now the very idea of Japan expanding on their Whaling practice is even often more disturbing, especially here in Hawaii, where Whales are revered as the Greatest Creatures of the Seas.

France didn't think a boycott was possible until they lost Billions of US Dollars in their Exports, sadly and worse yet they are still losing today for their non support in Iraq.

In speaking to Japanese tourists after the meeting we found that the cost for Fresh Whale Meat (when you can get it), in Japan is presently at bargain rates about $1 USD per Ounce ($35 to $40 USD per Kilogram) in a Supermarket or fish market. However, for the Best Prime cuts served in a Tokyo Sushi Bar it can cost 1000 ¥ to1200 ¥ yen (About $12 USD) for less than a 1 oz serving. Well now, at 25 grams to a serving, that's 40 servings to a Pound which equates to a little more perhaps than $450 USD per Pound.
Is there a monetary factor of Greed here as well?

It has been repeatedly alleged, that Japan has been known to be Freezing large quantities of whale meat for many years, this being a portion of the catches brought in. Hence, this allows a control to maintain the Current High Prices of Whale Meat on the market presently.

Will the future Whaling for Scientific Research and the Eating of all that Whale Meat in the results, just perhaps affect Japan's Exports? By many that's the hopeful results.

It could be very expensive for them in the future, if seriously faced with a strong World Wide Boycott by many of the offended people of many nations world wide.

An Extreme thought perhaps, however the Killing and Eating of the Whales is pretty extreme too, especially just to "Research How Good They Taste!"

Now that's a fact how many look at it today. Especially since many other nations in the world do research studying the whales without Killing, or Eating them. The I.W.C. for years has told the Japanese that they do not need the information they provide by the Killing the whales, however the Japanese have continued to do it, and submit there information to the I.W.C. every year.

In 2004 the meat from the Japanese research cull was about 4.4 Million Pounds (2-million Kilos). The number of whales "Reportedly" taken in 2004 in the Northern Hemisphere totaled 330 last year, which included by Japanese records, 220 Minke whales, 50 Bryde's whales, 50 Sei whales and 10 Sperm whales. This is currently Japans maximum allocated catch allowed. And then on their Antarctic hunt in their deliberately violating the Whale Sanctuary to hunt, they took another 220 Minke whales as well.

Sadly however, this figure, does not include those maimed, injured or Killed in the attempts, and which were then possibly lost at sea. Along with the Nagging Question, are those actually accurate figures they give? It's questionable at the very best, since there are NO Independent IWC Inspectors on board any of the Japanese ships.

A good sized Sperm whale can easily weigh 110,000 pounds (50,000 Kg). Now is it going to be worth it for Japan as a Nation, to Lose Billions of Yen (¥) or US Dollars $, per whale in Their Good Export business World Wide?

So as it becomes more plausible in the future the Japanese whaling will expand, it also becomes far more possible that some type of imposed sanctions, or the fact of a very serious world wide boycott could, and perhaps would occur in the near future if Japan so chooses to continue.

Ahhhh,! So what then becomes the true cost of Whale Meat?

Currently today the Japanese want to Add 10 Humpback Whales and 10 Fin Whales ( Hey,, EXCUSE ME,, Humpback and Fin Whales are Still on the International Endangered Species List! ) and then they seek to gradually continue to increase the numbers in years to come!

That could create degrees of hostility here in Hawaii to say the very least, as well as in many other States. To mention just a few, California, Oregon, Washington, and then there's every state on the eastern seaboard from Maine to Florida as well as every one between them. Then also, let's not forget many of the other countries around the world. Australia and New Zealand have already filed many protests, but in Japan they have fallen on Deaf ears to the moment.

We currently see that the countries of Australia, So. Africa and New Zealand are already strongly protesting this matter just for starters, so you can be sure many others will follow as well in the future by the end of the I.W.C. conference. In fact the Australians and the Humane Society International as well as others in the future are considering Suing Japan and the Shipping company "Kyodo Senpaku" in regards to the matter at present in the World Court I.C.C..

An appeal is presently pending In the Australian courts today, However, it might not be in Australia's best National interests to proceed there. The International courts have been suggested repeatedly, as it would offer a better venue and in a more neutral setting.

Another factor for Japan to consider as well, if in adding the Humpback whales to their catch, it would perhaps put Japan in Violation of the International C.I.T.E.S. Treaty. (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna). Yet in question, one seriously wonders if the Japanese have considered this thoroughly enough in world opinion? Especially since Whale Meat has been found Sold in so many Japanese restaurants throughout South-East Asia.. It is a Black market problem that just won't go away for them, since the Whale Meat is canned in Japan, and is so marked.

The C.I.T.E.S. Treaty was established to protect All Endangered Species. To present date this treaty was accepted and ratified by over 150 nations, of which Japan is a signatory nation. It does so state in the C.I.T.E.S. Treaty charter:

"To Commercial trade in the most endangered species, including all apes and many monkeys, the "Great Whales," elephants, tigers, many spotted cats, many birds of prey and parrots, all sea turtles and many other reptiles, orchids, cacti and other plants, and other species is prohibited." Now somehow I don't think you'll find a C.I.T.E.S. certificate on the whale meat sold in Japan. Which perhaps is technically is a violation of their own laws and a violation of the C.I.T.E.S. agreement they signed.

May I add the massive Humpbacks and Sperm Whales are also Great Favorites here in Hawaii, as you can be sure in many other places world wide that today indulge in Whale Watching.

Another fact is Hawaii is one of the few places in the world you can see from 3 to 5 different types of whales normally in the late Fall through early Spring in the Northern hemisphere months of October through May.

Amazingly the Japanese come here to Hawaii to see the whales then. I wonder now; are the Hawaiian waters somewhat like the fish tanks filled with live fish and prawns seen in so many restaurants throughout Japan?

How many whales will be hunted in the years to come? This in part is to be decided for the next year and future years in Ulsan, South Korea in the next few weeks

In time however, this will be an Issue for people of the world to vote on, not just for the Japanese or the I.W.C. to decide. For people will vote with their Pocket books and credit cards, as that's how a boycott functions, by Not Buying the products of an Offending Nations.

France Lost considerably for almost 2 years in the U.S. Boycott over the Iraq war, so now perhaps, it's also a grave possibility for Japan and perhaps others in the near future as well.

In conclusion today, if the Japanese wish to persist in the expanding, rather than that of reducing of their whale hunts, and especially those on the International Endangered Species List. I ask myself, would you support a Boycott to"Save the Whales?"

Well, My answer is YES!

If I'm going to Shoot a Whale,

It's going to be with a Camera,

Not a

Grenade Loaded Harpoon.!


Series Articles and Items of Interest

1st of Series Whales 2005

Be Sure To Read Also

2nd of Series

"One, you Can Not Pull,

From a Bucket Full of Octopuses"

A reader of mine threw this little ditty at me recently, He Wrote:

"Remember Folks":

"Whales is much better for the Lookin,,, rather than the Cooking"

Some Beautiful Whale Pictures

Breach of the peace

Breach of the Peace... If Japan's whaling extension is approved, the Humpbacks that migrate from Antarctica to our waters each year will be killed for 'scientific purposes'.
Sahlan Hayes

Tails of a Sunset Past

Photo: Iain Kerr

Laying back, Having Fun

Photo: AuNZ News

Special Credit and Mahalo's
May I mention, One of the greatest articles of facts that
started this foray in my research was an article written in June 2002 by
Genevieve Johnson, while she was doing her research on whales and whaling on her Round the world trip of the boat Odyssey, in which she provided the most excellent reports for the concise, clear facts and details. My Thanks to You Genevieve, where ever you are today.

This is a stringer submission submitted with All rights reserved.

Doug Newman. Copyright 2005 ©.

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