Sunday, November 23, 2008

Media failing to report truth about whaling

You would be hard pressed to find any newspaper article about whaling that actually mentions the core issue. Will hunting a few whales make them go extinct or not? How many whales are there? If we can't hunt them, why not?

There are millions of whales and the species hunted by the Japanese are plentiful. Try to find a journalist who will report this fact. The anti-whalers are happy to let the misunderstanding about extinction live on.

This article is typical:


Japanese whaler and ecologists set sail for annual confrontation
By Mark McDonald
International Herald Tribune

Friday, November 21, 2008

HONG KONG: Quietly, without the usual bon voyage fanfare and Buddhist blessings, a Japanese whaling ship set sail this week on its yearly hunt for the great whales of the Southern Ocean. If the hunting is good, the Nisshin Maru will haul in more than 1,000 whales.

Meanwhile, at the Rivergate Marina in Brisbane, Australia, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is preparing its own ship, the Steve Irwin, for its annual oceangoing battle with the Japanese whaler.

Past confrontations have been dramatic, dangerous, even violent. There have been collisions and rammings, forced boardings, the fouling of propellers, the firing of stink bombs and stun grenades, even allegations of gunplay.

Sea Shepherd, with a crew that includes the American actress Daryl Hannah, promises big surprises and new tactics for the Japanese fleet. But the group whose members have been labeled eco-terrorists won't have any backup this year: For the first time in four years, Greenpeace is not sending a ship to help harass the whalers.

That infuriates Paul Watson, the Sea Shepherd founder and the captain of the Steve Irwin. In a telephone interview Friday from Brisbane, he called Greenpeace "the Avon ladies of the environmental movement."

"I've offered to work with them over and over," said Watson, one of the original founders of Greenpeace in the early 1970s who then parted ways with the group in 1978. "I call them 'the other whaling industry.' They've raised millions of dollars off the whales for this campaign - and now they're not sending a boat. They should be ashamed."

Greenpeace has decided to concentrate on a court case in Japan involving two of its activists along with a campaign to turn Japanese opinion against whaling. The leadership also rejects Sea Shepherd's confrontational tactics.

"Their brand of militancy has generated a huge backlash in Japan," Steve Shallhorn, chief executive officer of Greenpeace Australia-Pacific, said Friday from Sydney. "Japan is a society where confrontation is avoided and property damage is considered violence."

Shallhorn acknowledges that Greenpeace has been "out-messaged by the Japanese Fisheries Agency."

"They've been very skillful, using the message that Westerners can't tell Japanese what they can and can't eat."

But Watson argues that, with its resources, Greenpeace could easily afford to fight its court battle and mount a public relations campaign - and still harass whalers at sea.

"Look, we don't have time to 'turn public opinion,"' said the bushy-bearded Watson, 57, who was born in Toronto. "Greenpeace is utopian. It's just not gonna happen."

Watson, who flies a skull-and-crossbones flag on his boat, claims he was shot in the chest last year by a Japanese sailor who was on board the whaling ship. Only a bulletproof vest saved his life, he said.

Shallhorn scoffed at the incident, saying that Watson - "never one to miss a media opportunity" - has never produced the bullet. Instead, he thinks it was a piece of shrapnel from a stun grenade that had been fired from the deck of whaler.

The Australian government is not sending its patrol icebreaker, the Ocean Viking, to keep the peace or monitor the confrontations during this whaling season, which typically lasts until April.

Tokyo has sent vessels in the past, and Watson has heard rumors of "a Japanese gunboat" being deployed as an escort to the Nisshin Maru this year.

"They could send the whole damned Japanese Navy," he said. "We're not going to surrender in this fight to save whales," said Watson.

The Australian environment minister, Peter Garrett, the former lead singer of the rock band Midnight Oil, recently named Sandy Holloway to be the country's first special envoy for whaling. Holloway, the former head of the Sydney Olympics organizing committee, is expected to press the Japanese to abandon whale hunts in the Southern Ocean.

Shallhorn (Greenpeace) sees the Holloway appointment as "a significant development."

Watson (Sea Shepherd) says "21 years of diplomacy has done absolutely zero."

Few Japanese eat whale meat on a regular basis, and Shallhorn said Greenpeace polling shows that most Japanese "wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot chopstick."

But surveys also show that the idea of whaling and whale meat apparently still resonates with some Japanese, especially older men. After World War II, with Japan on the verge of starvation and winter coming on, General Douglas MacArthur requisitioned ships for whaling expeditions.

"They were encouraged to go whaling," Shallhorn said. "For almost 10 years, whale meat was an important part of the Japanese diet, a lot of the protein in their diet."

The International Whaling Commission, with 82 nations as members, banned commercial whaling in 1986. Some native and aboriginal groups are permitted to hunt whales for food; Norway and Iceland have since objected to the moratorium and continue to hunt whales.

International law also allows whaling for scientific purposes, and Japan uses this codicil to license its deep-water whalers. They mostly hunt minke whales, but also fin whales, which are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

"The Japanese have seized on that loophole," Shallhorn said, "and stretched it beyond all recognition."

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy whaling

Wishing the Nisshin Maru good luck on her whaling expedition to the southern seas.

It is great to see this proud tradition carried on. In Australia certain overly sentimental city dwellers, who seem to think that meat grows in a can, are up in arms as usual. Maybe they should try to catch their own food for once and see how it all works.

Australia has no business declaring a " whale sanctuary" outside of their own maritme borders.

Whales are for eating.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Whales are so nice

Greens who humanise whales get problems when they see photos like these. They are from The Mirror in the UK and show a pack of orcas hunting and eating ducks. Sweet, innocent ducks.

The nice, caring whales drove the ducks together and eat them one by one, like candy. My god, these whales behave like animals.

Anti-whaling loonies

This is "captain" Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd, a splinter group from Greenpeace. He is one of the publicity-hungry professional protesters who put on a show of clashing with whalers. They use small Zodiac boats to run around and make trouble for the hunt, all while their heroic actions are filmed.

"Captain" Watson is wanted in Norway for acts of sabotage.

The loony greens use the whaling issue to get publicity, which means money from supporters. Their impact on the hunt is minimal, as Japan and Norway has had no problems reaching their annual whaling targets.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Whale myths

People offer a number of reasons why whales should not be hunted. The main arguments are

1. "Whales are endangered"

Most species of whale are not endangered. This is what anti-whalers never tell you. Anti-whalers want you to believe that all whales are rare and close to extinction. The truth is that some whale species are endangered, and nobody wants to hunt those. Rather, hunting is for plentiful species such as the minke whale. There are at least one million minke whales in the sea, and controlled hunting of this whale is sensible and sustainable.

2. "Whales are too intelligent to hunt"
Whales are not that smart. If they were smart, why are they so easy to catch and why do they end up stranded on beaches? Whales are nothing but swimming cows. The nearest living realtive on land is the hippo.

3. "But whales can sing"
So can birds. Unlike birds the typical whale song recording is played back at 10x the real speed because whale song is so boring.

4. "But whales care for their young. They are social animals"
So do sheep, cattle, rats and any other mammal.

5. "But whales are special, magnificient animals"
Whales are nice enough. They are big and look good on television. But since the 1960s some people have given whales symbolic and mystical power. Some people almost worship whales, as if they were gods. This is New Age nonsense.

6. "Whaling is illegal"
There is a ban on commercial whaling. This should be lifted for species of whale that are plentiful.

7. "Whaling is barbaric and the animals suffer"
Whales live free lives in the sea till they are caught and killed. The end is quick. Who is better off? A whale or the Kentucky Fried Chicken you had for lunch?

8. "We can't allow whaling since whales were overhunted in the past"
No whale has gone extinct due to human hunting. The massive whaling in the 19th century was mainly for whale oil, used in lamps. This is irrelevant today. Modern whaling is for food and a limited hunt is no threat to their numbers.

9. "Nobody should eat whale meat"
Why not? It is tasty meat, similar to beef. If you can eat beef you can eat whale.

10. "We must preserve whales for the future"
Yes, and we can do that while allowing a responsible, limited hunting. How many whales to hunt each year is something science should deceide. Keep sentimentality out of it.

Whales are animals. Don't try to make them human.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Whale beef is served

Greenpeace, Sea Shepard and the media are fooling the public. Nobody are hunting endangered whales. There are millions of whales in the sea and catching a few is sound wildlife management. I recommend whale beef with pepper sauce, potatoes and fried vegetables.