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Captain Paul Watson, the founder of the U.S. conservation group

Sea Shepherd, which has claimed its greatest victory at sea yet:

Japan has canceled the rest of its 2011 Antarctic whale hunt.

[The New Yorker, United States]

 

Nishinippon Shimbun, Japan

Whale Hunting Protects Marine Life - and Japanese Culture

 

"The U.S., The Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand are all anti-whaling nations, but it should nevertheless be possible to cooperate based on a shared stance against violence. Ö We need to think of clever ideas for making whale meat appealing to young people who never tasted it. Japanís earnest wish to resume whaling along its coasts is deeply rooted in a desire to pass down cultural traditions related to whaling techniques and gastronomy."

 

EDITORIAL

 

Translated By Ai Ishii

 

February 25, 2011

 

Japan - Nishinippon Simbun - Original Article (Japanese)

Bob Barker: It was his namesake, 'The Bob Barker', that convinced Japan to cancel its yearly whale hunt. Barker is one of The Sea Shepherd's biggest financial backers.

 

BBC VIDEO NEWS: Japan urges international action against Sea Shepherd, Feb. 18, 00:01:38RealVideo

This seasonís Antarctic research whaling mission has been reluctantly cut short due to rampant sabotage by the American anti-whaling organization, Sea Shepherd. Agriculture Minister Michihiko Kano explained, ďin order to ensure the safety of the fleet and crews, an early withdrawal has become unavoidable.Ē Although Sea Shepherd has been actively disrupting research whaling since 2005, this is the first time that the government has discontinued a research mission.

 

Japanese research whaling is a legitimate program operated in accordance with the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling as recognized by members of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). In addition, Japanese research aims to further our scientific understanding of whale ecology and marine resources and has been highly evaluated by the Scientific Committee of the IWC. It is therefore absolutely ludicrous to block with brute force, scientific activities of such merit. Furthermore, the use of violence has put human lives in jeopardy and cannot be condoned under any circumstances. Sea Shepherd’s obstructive activities have been escalating wildly, as it has introduced new tactics every year. The governmentís decision to curtail this year's mission is understandable, given that human lives are at risk from these unscrupulous attacks.

 

On the other hand, there has been criticism that this sends the wrong message to the world. Japan could be perceived as "giving in to violence." For this reason, it was appropriate for Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano to uphold plans to resume Antarctic research whaling next season. The question now is how to put adequate measures in place to allow Japan to safely carry out its legitimate activities.

 

Whaling: Precious cultural and gastronomic tradition, or the

murder of an advanced animal species?

 

The governments of The Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand enable Sea Shepherd to operate by permitting the group to register their ships and use their ports. Japan has asked these countries to put controls in place to prevent a recurrence of these disturbances. In fact, the government has repeatedly made such requests, which have gone virtually unheeded.

 

The government, in addition to consulting with the U.S., must begin urgent talks with the three countries to implement effective regulatory enforcement and prevention of sabotage. The United States, The Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand are all anti-whaling nations, but it should nevertheless be possible to cooperate based on a shared stance against violence. It is also imperative that Japan continues to emphasize the importance of whaling for the collection of scientific data necessary for managing marine resources.

 

 

The pros and cons of whaling should by rights be debated within the IWC. At last yearís general meeting, a proposal was made for Japan to accept whaling along Japanese coasts alone in exchange for a large reduction in research whaling. Japan indicated it would oblige, but the anti-whaling countries, including Australia, pushed for a total ban on Antarctic whaling, so the issue ended in stalemate. Japan should try and reach a compromise along the lines of a 10-year interim suspension.

Posted by WORLDMEETS.US

 

It is important to note that the whaling issue is not simply a matter of whales. They consume vast amounts of fish and shellfish, sitting as whales do, on top of the marine food chain. We should encourage debate on how best to maintain balance in the marine ecosystem and look at the issue in terms of limited global food resources.

 

The majority of the cost of research whaling is met by the sale of a byproduct: whale meat. In recent years, the number of captured whales has diminished as a result of interference, and combined with low demand, it has been financially difficult to fund research whaling. The slump in consumption is largely attributable to the moratorium on commercial whaling. At present, we need to think of clever ideas for making whale meat appealing to young people who never tasted it. Japanís earnest wish to resume whaling along its coasts is deeply rooted in a desire to pass down cultural traditions related to whaling techniques and gastronomy. This is another message that needs to be communicated both at home and abroad.

CLICK HERE FOR JAPANESE VERSION

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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US March 8, 4:35pm]

 

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