Japan To Host IWC Meeting in Whaling Port
April 18, 2002 3:34 PM   Subscribe

Japan To Host IWC Meeting in Whaling Port . . .the sheer volume of food they [whales] need has actually become a threat to the ocean environment.

Apparently they feel that when the rest of the world gets to taste whale bacon, or whale soup, they will suddenly realize who stupid we've been in banning commercial whaling. Am I hypocritical in eating tuna or salmon, but being horrified with the potential resumption of commercial whaling?
posted by Danf (16 comments total)
Danf, thanks for the informative link. It seems like they are really pushing on this issue these days. Next they'll claim it whale meat will help prevent terrorism, or something similarly absurd. Maybe we need to counteract this push with another Star Trek IV? A visual commentary on the Japanese whaling position.
posted by curiousg at 3:57 PM on April 18, 2002

Heh... if they'll promise only to use 'em on whalers, I'd say give Greenpeace a hefty little supply of TOWs. I see no hypocrisy, Danf.
posted by dissent at 4:08 PM on April 18, 2002

Whales eat approximately 250 to 500 million metric tons of fish each year, which is from three to six times the total amount fished by humans.

Wow. That's a lotta fish.

There are an estimated 760,000 minke whales in the Antarctic Ocean, according to the IWC's scientific committee, which acknowledges that the 400 or 500 killed under Japan's annual research program represent little threat to the survival of the species itself.

Wow. That's a lotta whales.

Are whales particularly intelligent? I got issues with eating animals that may have the same sort of self-awareness/understanding of time/etc that we humans do.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:54 PM on April 18, 2002

Uhm no that's not hypocritical since whales are much higher on the evolutionary scale...
posted by Aikido at 5:26 PM on April 18, 2002

Don't they do a lot more stuff with whales (and their blubber - man i love that word) than just eat it?
yeah, thats a lotta whale.... "no thanks, couldn't possibly have another bite. I'm full." Make film? Or is that some silly fact that is no longer true that is still stuck in my head from pre-historic school days?
posted by dabitch at 5:46 PM on April 18, 2002

I dont know about you, but i sure miss that whale oil.
posted by clavdivs at 5:57 PM on April 18, 2002

The whole "760,000 minke whales" estimate by the IWC is/has always been under dispute especially are the cockroach of the sea" comment.

This page states the population is estimated at over 300,000 individuals [as of 1996] and I would have thought that whales reproduce slower than every other year?
posted by X-00 at 6:08 PM on April 18, 2002

We wouldn't want all the whale victims of the US Navy's sonar defense plan to go to waste, would we?
posted by G_Ask at 6:51 PM on April 18, 2002

The best joke I've heard on this: "Japanese scientists capture 500 whales for scientific research. 'Whales tasty', scientists say."
posted by delmoi at 7:21 PM on April 18, 2002

Hrm, that didn't come out quite right. Ah well.
posted by delmoi at 7:22 PM on April 18, 2002

I've had whale stew two or three times since moving to Japan in '96. I muttered a few joking protests each time but left it at that (nobody gets invited to fewer dinner parties in Japan than loudmouthed, opinionated Americans, and most of these get-togethers do not feature dead whale, but more wholesome things, like dead fish, dead chicken, dead pig, and dead cow -- all yummy).

Whale stew tastes pretty good, but not that good. I think Japan's tactics for "selling" their whale kick to the world are blatantly stupid. Sadly, as long as they remain the world's largest creditor nation, I doubt there's much more anyone can do to apply pressure.
posted by Bixby23 at 9:16 PM on April 18, 2002

the sheer volume of food they [whales] need has actually become a threat to the ocean environment

Uh... but there were once several million more whales than exist today.
posted by HTuttle at 12:29 AM on April 19, 2002

Well.... yes.
I suppose if only the whale-eating nations would kill as many whales as they can eat, not more, and not for any other reasons, then the species in question would not be in danger of dying out. It has been particularly the ritual surrounding whalehunting (how it's so manly and heroic, and still so useful for making corsets and cosmetics) which has driven up the amount of whales killed so ridiculously in the past.
posted by disso at 12:30 AM on April 19, 2002

Ooh, another whaling debate? I'm sure I have my prime Norwegian "Intelligent food for intelligent people" t-shirt around here somewhere...
posted by dagny at 2:06 AM on April 19, 2002

Hey, kids in third world nations are higher than whales on the evolutionary scale, and you let 35,000 of them die every day.

Of course, because they die of malnutrition, you wouldn't want to eat them. So no, you're not hypocritical at all.
posted by Settle at 7:33 PM on April 19, 2002

Hey, kids in third world nations are higher than whales on the evolutionary scale, and you let 35,000 of them die every day.

As if the problem could be solved or would be allowed to be solved by first-world intervention...

And mention sterilization- the one sure way to end the cycle of misery- and...
posted by dissent at 8:00 PM on April 19, 2002

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