Sea Shepherd

February 8th, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

No surprise there has been another collision as the stated aim of the Society is to sink the opposition. I am amazed that the breathlessly report on each clash with doubt over who is responsible.

Wikipedia states on :

As of 2009, Paul Watson has said that the organization has sunk ten ships while also destroying millions of dollars worth of equipment.

Their aim is to destroy and sink whaling ships. So who do you think causes the crashes.

Of course every time there is a crash, the Sea Shepherd people claim they were not at fault. Anotehr quote from Wikipedia may help the media:

Watson’s public relations savvy is shown in an episode of Whale Wars when he creates an international media “storm” after two crewmembers are detained on a Japanese whaling vessel.[18] In his book, Earthforce!, Watson advises readers to make up facts and figures when they need to, and to deliver them to reporters confidently.[9] He also states that the “truth is irrelevant” due the nature of mass media.[19

So Watson has written a book telling his followers to lie to the media in a confident way, and the media still fall for it and report the claims without scepticism.

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48 Responses to “Sea Shepherd”

  1. Murray (8,844 comments) says:

    The Japanese Whalers go there to ram peaceful marchant ships for no apparent reason and Sea Stupid Scoiety go there to just like you know randomly innocently tootle about the forzen southern ocean.

    We know this they told us so.

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  2. vibenna (305 comments) says:

    Sea Shepherd paints the numbers of ships rammed on the side of their ship, like a fighter ace recording enemy kills.

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  3. Murray (8,844 comments) says:

    You mean like a pirate hangs severed heads from the topyard vibenna.

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  4. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    If we were a responsible nation we would require all our ticketed masters to sign up evry year for renwal and thsoe who deliberately drive dangerously would have to resit their masters exams.
    The japanese would put in official complaints which we would have to bring before a board of inquiry to be assessed and either sanctions or removal of tickets from holders would ensue.

    We don’t do this, therefore we are complicit in the behaviour as we know it is going on.

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  5. MT_Tinman (3,092 comments) says:

    Sounds like this Watson arsehole knows the slime rather well.

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  6. m@tt (630 comments) says:

    “So Watson has written a book telling his followers to lie to the media in a confident way, and the media still fall for it and report the claims without scepticism.”

    Sounds like something pulled from the National Party handbook.

    [DPF: Sounds like you need to get over your obsession with National]

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  7. ben (2,418 comments) says:

    It doesn’t stop with Paul Shepherd. The Sea Shepherd’s idiot supports at The Standard saw this video

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SB1wP5KbSY

    and maintained that it wasn’t possible to tell who rammed who – it all depended on camera angle or something, apparently. It seems that on the Sea Shepherd as at The Standard, the truth is whatever you make it up to be.

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  8. ben (2,418 comments) says:

    Who funds Sea Shepherd? God forbid they get a dollar of taxpayer subsidy.

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  9. Chthoniid (2,029 comments) says:

    Sea Shepherd depends on dollars from donors. To keep the dollars in, they need the publicity.

    It’s a money-pump for them. By turning an industry with no economic future (whaling) into a point-of-principle for Japan, they sustain Japan’s resolve to keep whaling. This gives them the publicity they want. Which then generates the dollars.

    If you think protests reduce whaling, then you haven’t been following events since 1985. There is no strategy to end whaling. There is only a strategy to keep the money-pump from donors pumping.

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  10. mikeysmokes (269 comments) says:

    I’d be keen as to eat whale meat at my favourite waterfront restaurant yum

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  11. fredinthegrass (273 comments) says:

    So Sea Shepherd is wrong.
    Does that make the Japanese right?

    The whaling is for “Research Purposes” – yeah, right.
    Bullshit. The whale is killed for its meat.
    Remember ‘we’ once nearly wiped out the whale.

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  12. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    ” So Watson has written a book telling his followers to lie to the media in a confident way, and the media still fall for it and report the claims without scepticism.”

    That’s because the media is not really the media, but is in reality a collection of politically partisan liars too. They repeat Watson’s lies enthusiastically and uncriticially beause they’re all on the same team.

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  13. Murray (8,844 comments) says:

    The japanese whalers are full shit, Sea Shepard of full of shit, explain why we should therefore support piracy please.

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  14. TripeWryter (715 comments) says:

    The media don’t do a lot of checking. They don’t caveat any of their stories with: “There is no way of idependently verifying either side’s versions of events.”

    Just that would go some way towards the media distancing themselves from what they are being told.

    Meanwhile, the media gives the impression of bias and of lack of checking by still calling the anti-whaling groups ‘activists’.

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  15. polemic (457 comments) says:

    I am not saying the Japs are perfect either but a question.

    No one is above the law ? True or False ?

    Is the Green Party condemning the Sea Shepherd for its acts of High Seas Violence?

    Is this the same party that actively supports the Waihopai spy base extremists ?

    Somehow the Green Party thinks its OK to illegally damage other peoples property to support your ideology.

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  16. Pete George (23,421 comments) says:

    Sea Shepherd is a bit like Whale Oil, taking a reasonable protest far too far.

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  17. Chthoniid (2,029 comments) says:

    The point fredinthegrass, is there are many more whaling countries than Japan.
    Norway takes them commercially.
    Many other countries- including the US- take them under aboriginal permits.

    Japan cannot use commercial permits, because they withdrew their objection to the 1985 moratorium as a political gambit to get support in the IWC. Norway never did, so continues to to hunt commercially.

    Japan cannot get aboriginal permits, because they have not impoverished and marginalised their coastal aboriginal communities like the US. Because the US has shattered many of its indigenous communities, the US has earned the privilege of hunting whales. Japan has not systemically destroyed much of the culture of their communities, so has not ever been able to get aboriginal permits. (Japan does sense there is something intrinsically unfair about this approach).

    Scientific permits are a fallback. The reality is that they are both scientific and commercial whaling. There’s only so much you can learn from whales by recovering their floating poo. And under IWC rules, the meat has to be sold afterwards. So scientific whaling is also commercial whaling. Not one or the other, it’s both.

    So the question is, if your objective is to end whaling, is the Sea Shepherd (and Greenpeace approach of old) of direct protest, doing anything helpful? I don’t it does. I think Japan would be quite happy to let their whaling industry die by itself, quietly and without fuss- just like most of whaling countries. What these direct protests do, is make the issue into one of principle. It keeps whale meat in the national eye, and it becomes a source of nationalist pride in Japan to refuse to back down. All we have done with direct action for nearly 30 years, is maintain Japan’s resolve to subsidies and support whaling. Direct action is a dumb gambit that means more whales are getting killed.

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  18. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    ” Sea Shepherd is a bit like Whale Oil, taking a reasonable protest far too far.”

    Totally worthless unnecessary and off topic opinion.

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  19. Yvette (2,761 comments) says:

    stuff.co : Key plan to end Southern Ocean whaling
    Last updated 15:01 13/01/2010
    Prime Minister John Key has hinted at a diplomatic solution he is hopeful could end Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean.
    He told reporters at a media conference in Auckland this afternoon that he would discuss the “potential solution” with US secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday night.
    Mr Key remained tight-lipped on the details of the plan and he would not speculate on the likely Japanese response.
    Mr Key said he was taking his plan to the upcoming International Whaling Commission meeting, due to be held in Hawaii later this month.

    So what happened?

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  20. m@tt (630 comments) says:

    [DPF: Sounds like you need to get over your obsession with National]

    Sounds like you are telling me what I should think. Control issues much?

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  21. Chthoniid (2,029 comments) says:

    I’d be betting it’s supporting Japan’s desire for coastal whaling under aboriginal permits, in exchange for giving up their Antarctic whaling. Japan has certainly dropped enough hints in the past that this would be an acceptable compromise.

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  22. dime (9,790 comments) says:

    im surprised wikipedia hasn’t edited out an criticism of a left wing organisation.

    these people are scumbags.

    ive never been asked to donate to them, not sure how strong their presence is in NZ?

    the Japs should deal to them.

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  23. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    Dont worry m@tt, I am sure your tinfoil hat will see off DPF’s additional assault on your free will.

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  24. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    Whale is tasty, but definitely suffers from the scarcity of powdered fur seal seasoning. Most establishments try to appease their clients for this absence by offering a complimentary tuatara egg souffle though, so its not that bad.

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  25. Chthoniid (2,029 comments) says:

    ive never been asked to donate to them, not sure how strong their presence is in NZ?

    I think donor-fatigue has become an issue for NZ anti-whaling campaigns. There’s only so long you can keep pumping money into those campaigns before the lack of material outcomes discourages you. Even Greenpeace has given up direct action in favour of other strategies.

    The fact that NZ has so many whale-strandings every year, may be cutting into the whales-are-endangered myth.

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  26. kowtow (8,131 comments) says:

    Ship ramming.

    Got to keep the issue in front of the worlds thicko ,head line dominated MSM……..how ? ram a ship.

    The Japs dont want to draw attention to their own activity……. the fricken environazis do…….how? ram a ship.

    If these pirates arent in the headlines then how are they going to get their donations from the vegefreaks that support them?

    How dare those Haitians have an earthquake when we’re down here sacrificing ourselves for the future of the planet,taking all the attention away from us, oh I got it ram a ship.

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  27. RRM (9,767 comments) says:

    [Quoting DPF]: the stated aim of the Sea Shepherd Society is to sink the opposition. [/quote]

    FFS – dog-whistling much DPF?
    Sea Shepherd’s “stated aim” is sinking the opposition ECONOMICALLY. Not sinking whaling ships literally.

    Clicky:
    http://www.seashepherd.org/matilda/

    But this greenie/leftie just can’t get too excited by Sea Shepherd’s cries of Boo Ref!… Sea Shepherd’s own tactics are piracy (or as near as dammit) and they should be big enough to finish what they start – not cry foul when the whalers fight back.

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  28. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    I like what Sea Shepherd do, at least they do something which is more than the pathetic desk jockey, tin rattlers at Greenpeace. It takes some balls to play dodgems in the Southern Ocean with whaling ships.
    As for who rammed who, it doesn’t matter. As RRM said, they are playing big boy games so deal with it. What we hear in the media is spin from both sides, the truth of the matter is lost in the bullshit.
    I must admit I’m surprised at the level of resentment here towards Sea Shepherd, especially as they are self funded and don’t get a cent of taxpayer’s money, a shining example of free enterprise in action one would have thought?
    Do all the Nat supporters have shares in whale meat companies or something? Or maybe they feel it’s good form to tell lies about the reasons for your activities and to buy the votes of smaller nations?

    It wouldn’t even be an issue to me if the Japs were upfront about it. It’s their lying, smarmy way of going about it that pisses me off. “Research” yeah right.

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  29. Sonny Blount (1,848 comments) says:

    From wikipedia:

    Watson feels that “no human community should be larger than 20,000 people,” human populations need to be reduced radically to “fewer than one billion,” and only those who are “completely dedicated to the responsibility” of caring for the biosphere should have children, which is a “very small percentage of humans.” He likens humankind to a virus, the biosphere needs to get cured from with a “radical and invasive approach,” as from cancer.

    In Earthforce! An Earth Warrior’s Guide to Strategy, Watson also expresses disdain for truthfulness in the pursuit of environmental protection goals:

    The nature of the mass media today is such that the truth is irrelevant. What is true and what is right to the general public is what is defined as true and right by the mass media. Ronald Reagan understood that the facts are not relevant. The media reported what he said as fact. Follow-up investigation was “old news.” A headline comment on Monday’s newspaper far outweighs the revelation of inaccuracy revealed in a small box inside the paper on Tuesday or Wednesday

    In 1997, Watson and his then fiancée Lisa Distefano was convicted in absentia by a court in Lofoten, Norway on charges of attempting to sink the small scale Norwegian fishing and whaling vessel Nybrænna on 26 December 1992, and sentenced to serve 120 days in jail

    Watson was also told to leave Iceland after having turned himself in to the Icelandic police after disabling two ships in harbor. Kristjan Loftsson of Iceland’s largest whaling company told The New Yorker that Watson is persona non grata in that country.

    in 2002, Paul Watson was also quoted as saying, “There’s nothing wrong with being a terrorist, as long as you win. Then you write the history.”

    Watson has stated: “What we do is provide the media with the kind of stories they can’t resist…

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  30. KiwiGreg (3,246 comments) says:

    “I must admit I’m surprised at the level of resentment here towards Sea Shepherd, especially as they are self funded and don’t get a cent of taxpayer’s money, a shining example of free enterprise in action one would have thought?”

    One could say the same of Al Qaeda.

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  31. Komata (1,158 comments) says:

    kaya

    I thnk the problem is more with Sea Shepherd than with the Japanese.

    Long experience has shown that the Japanese are indifferent to the creatures of the sea. ‘If it swims, it can be eaten’ is their mantra and is something that we have subconciously known for years.

    Where the Sea Shepherd people cause diifculties is their very patent dishonesty. As previously noted, they DON’T like it when the whalers hit back, yet are NEVER honset enough to actually come out and state that their avowed intention is to sink anything that is involved with whaling – so long as it is Japanese!

    It is noticable that they never take on the Norwegians or (gasp) the USA, which nakes me wonder if Watson has some sort of personal vendetta against the Japanese people per se’? He will of course never admit to such a thing, but the fact that his target is very specifically Japan does give cause to wonder.

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  32. kowtow (8,131 comments) says:

    kaya likes what sea shepherd does! Endangering life at sea,piracy!”Self funded”….wot ,everyone on board is paying for the privilege?

    I’d love to know where the money is coming from.
    It would be nice to see a list with names and amounts.

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  33. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    kowtow – it’s an old saying bit very much worth repeating. “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”. In my homeland former murderers and terrorists now hold key seats in Government, I can live with that.

    Komata – “Where the Sea Shepherd people cause diifculties is their very patent dishonesty.” And the Japanese are honest????? lol

    I have no problem with whaling itself, it’s the fact the Japanese come to the Southern Ocean to do it and tell lies about why they do it. Just because they used up all there own resources they need to move to other peoples turf. Nice.
    As for not taking on the Norwegians (according to Sonny Blount’s post they have taken on the Norwegians) and USA, I don’t think they are whaling in the Southern Ocean which is a whaling sanctuary.

    I know Sea Shepherd bitch on when whalers hit back, its’ all part of the game. All I am saying here is I have a measure of respect for them in how they have taken the issue on – head first, not an endless series of meetings and bullshit that achieve nothing.

    Kiwigreg – many people, particularly in the ME probably do say the same thing about Al Qaeda.

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  34. Chthoniid (2,029 comments) says:

    Actually Kaya, Japan would prefer to undertake coastal whaling in their own waters. We- along with many others- have blocked that in the IWC.

    Japan only does scientific whaling because it withdrew its reservation against the 1985 5 year moratorium. Whale sanctuaries are not worth the paper they are written on, because they don’t apply to non-IWC members and they don’t apply to IWC members with reservations (all current whaling countries). And anti-whaling countries have I’m afraid, acted duplicitous in their dealings with Japan. The moratorium wasn’t a ban, it was only for 5 years.

    Japan’s management of inshore fisheries is generally well regarded, and has done much better than many other Western countries.

    The real point is whether direct action achieves anything other than strengthening Japan’s resolve to continue, and attract funds to Sea Shepherd?

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  35. menace (407 comments) says:

    from my perspective it seem most people are just plin fucking think in the head about this.

    no question that the large majority of people don’t aprove of whaling. so our governments should act on our behalf as is htere jobs and tell japan to get it shit together and stop this or else we will have to take furthar action on our peoples behalf.

    of course though they couldnt put sanctions or something like that on japan because we need the busines to much.

    so there you have it because of money we sell out on the issue.

    our government is fucking useless pieces of shit obvloiously. spinless scum that don’t do what we tell them to do even though we are there bosses, normally you get the sack for this

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  36. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    Chthoniid – thanks for the information. Wouldn’t Japan be better ignoring the IWC then and taking the whales in their own waters?
    As for direct action, I’m not sure exactly what it achieves, I think my point is I admire people who do something about their issues instead of bitching and moaning and having 50 years of meetings that do nothing except keep otherwise useless muppets employed.
    I don’t know enough about the whole whaling thing, my reactions are gut feelings based on the little I do know. I find Japan’s lies about research tedious and therefore have adopted Sea Shepherd in my corner. Pathetic logic I know but that’s the truth of it.

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  37. Chthoniid (2,029 comments) says:

    Japan has considered at various times leaving the IWC and forming a new group with other whaling countries. There’s nothing to stop them. The main concern is possibly the US could invoke the Pelley Act to block Japanese exports, and that it would betray their commitment to international agreements.

    If you want to kill off whaling, the best thing is just to shut about it. It will go the same way that the Dutch and English and American and NZ and Australian whaling industries. It’s only economical because the government supports the industry now as a matter of principle. Direct action doesn’t help, it took Greenpeace years to realise this, and Watson merely perpetuates this problem.

    Nothing really in the IWC reflects well on the participants. Dragging a 5 year moratorium for 25 years doesn’t make us the good guys. It just says, don’t trust us. And we quite happily approve the harvest of far more endangered whales than minkes, under aboriginal permits. I’m not saying Japan is the good guys here, just we don’t actually come across as the white knights we think we are.

    My advice, if you want to stop whaling, step 1, give Japan coastal permits. Step 2, shut up. Step 3, wait for the economic demise of the industry.

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  38. Komata (1,158 comments) says:

    Chthoniid

    I suspect you forgot Step 4: revoke Mr.Watson’s Foreign-going Master’s Certificate or whatever it is that legalises his ability to be in command of an ocean going-vessel (aka ‘remove his license to command’).

    Doing that might go a small way towards solving the problem – or at least dilute it.

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  39. JoshB (1 comment) says:

    While I agree that the directive to make up facts and figures is ridiculous it is a little dishonest to say that Sea Shepherd are going south
    with the stated aim of ”sinking the opposition”. As far as I know Sea Shepherd have only endorsed the sinking of ships which were empty and in harbor. This is of course ethically dubious but it isn’t exactly sinking a fully crewed ship in the southern oceans.

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  40. fredinthegrass (273 comments) says:

    Chthoniid @ 10.48. Take your point. Just in from work – well gardening – well finding a shady spot in the garden – well anyway
    the ensuing debate has been illuminating to say the least.
    Now off to do some reading to upgrade a woefully lacking knowledge-base on whaling.

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  41. Sam Buchanan (502 comments) says:

    “Sea Shepherd depends on dollars from donors. To keep the dollars in, they need the publicity.”

    Bad Sea Shepherd! Fancy understanding, and capitalising on, the way politics works in a capitalist environment.

    I’m not mad about much of the way Sea Shepherd works, but to say they only attack Japanese whaling is plain wrong – check their history, And Japan’s pretense that their whaling is ‘scientific’ is dishonest and the whaling probably illegal.

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  42. Sam Buchanan (502 comments) says:

    By the way, for a hilarious take on anti-whaling, google ‘International Harpoon’ – a badly produced pro-whaling magazine produced by a lobby group some years ago. The slagging off of New Zealand for our massacre of our friendly native opossums was particularly amusing.

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  43. Chthoniid (2,029 comments) says:

    @Sam Buchanan

    “Sea Shepherd depends on dollars from donors. To keep the dollars in, they need the publicity.

    Bad Sea Shepherd! Fancy understanding, and capitalising on, the way politics works in a capitalist environment.

    I have no objection to any NGO maintaining their financial position by efforts to keep their campaigns in the public eye.

    I am however, very cynical about Sea Shepherd, for the simple reason they are obtaining funds with no feasible strategy to end whaling. Indeed, they are helping to sustain Japanese whaling by keeping the issue one of ‘principle’, not ‘economics’. Direct action isn’t bringing about the demise of whaling, it’s keeping the industry going.

    I have covered the point about Japanese scientific whaling before. It is both research and commercial whaling. That is a peculiar result of Japan (unwisely it appears) withdrawing its reservation against the 1985 moratorium as a sign of good faith, and IWC rules on the disposal of whales. I’m quite sure Japan would prefer the commercial permits Norway & Iceland still employ. (And despite our claims, there are limits to what you can discover about whale population dynamics by looking at their floating poo- most of our knowledge of minke consumption of fish in the South Pacific actually comes from Japan).

    The claim that Japan’s whaling is illegal has been made continuously since 2000, and has no legal basis. Japan follows the rules scrupulously. The moratorium isn’t a ban and does not affect whales caught under scientific permits. And the Antarctic Sanctuary has no international legal force. It only applies to IWC members, and then, only those IWC members who have not placed reservations against it. That includes the pro-whaling nations. It would be illegal if we did it :), but not Japan.

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  44. mjennings (42 comments) says:

    Nothing wrong with whaling for whatever reason, as long as it is done in a sustainable manner – and the Japanese cull is.

    Several hundred humpbacks and Minkes will not make a dent on their overall population – if it was blue whales I’d be 100% against it. But it is not. The Japanese have as much interest, if not more, in ensuring the culling is carried out in a sustainable way.

    In fact eating whale meat is a very humane to obtain protein.

    After all whales are obviously free range (compared to torturing pigs for their entire lifetimes in tiny little cages), and extinguishing the life of just one whale will provide the protein equivalent of perhaps several hundred cows or pigs.

    Thus by killing one sentient sea mammal, a whale, several hundred sentient land mammals such as the highly intelligent and emotional pig are saved.

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  45. sidneyholt (1 comment) says:

    Unfortunately the comments on this topic are marred by an enormous number of factual errors, indicating that too many haven’t done their homework. Examples are: the moratorium adopted in 1982 was NOT just for five years but indefinite until overturned by a contrary three-fourths vote; the IWC decisions may in law apply only to Member States’ governments, but in fact most governments are now Members of IWC and account for at least 90% of the human population; humpback whales are increasing in numbers under protection but are still only about 5% of their number before decimated by whalers;Japan did not withdraw its reservation to the moratorium as a sign of good faith but in a deal with the US to allow Japanese fishing vessels into American waters: the ONLY objection to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary decision is by Japan, and that refers only with respect to minke whales. Need I go on?!

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  46. rosscalverley (111 comments) says:

    Their factual errors are marred by their ideology. It doesn’t matter what they do, within the bounds of law, it allows the NZ Government to have a harsh line against the Japanese Government. And if they are committing crimes, what can we do?

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  47. rosscalverley (111 comments) says:

    mjennings, prove it. Japanese people ate the whale meat in the harsh times after World War Two, and they seem to be losing their taste for it. Why have articles stated they have to store or throw the meat away?

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  48. david@tokyo (263 comments) says:

    sidneyholt,

    The moratorium was stated to be reviewed by 1990 at the latest, this never seriously happened in good faith. You omitted this fact. The result today is we have an International Whaling Commission that does nothing about regulating Whaling, as it was mandated to.

    Still less than half of the world’s governments are IWC members. Therefore most governments are not members. I am sure you are aware of the numbers, yet you ignore those non-member nations, why? They are not important to you? So you twist it to be about the population. So other than trying to be picky about “facts” when you can’t even get them right yourself, what is the point?

    I can only think that your new role with Sea Shepherd is also an illustration that these days you simply have far too much time on your hands.

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