Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Shame On The Shamu Killers

Japan, which has continually subverted an international ban placed on whaling 20 years ago, has been slowly gaining clout within the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the body that put the ban in place. It's done this in part by getting numerous small countries, some without direct access to an ocean, to side with it on the commission in exchange for financial incentives.

This week the IWC held a vote to end the whaling ban, and while supporters were shy of the 75% margin needed to do so, they did garner a considerable 50%+ showing for their side. Japan likely knew they would not yet overturn the ban, but, like those American consternatives who recently tried to push through a gay marriage amendment, they did it to publicly reaffirm where they stand on the issue.

Japan's influence in the IWC has an analogue to Republicants' influence in the US. After years in the minority, the latter regained control of the US government, and began to bring to fruition what many people had long feared. They looked upon the beauty of nature and could only see its profit potential - as in the case of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and too many others to mention.

Both parties share the goal of gutting (in Japan's case, there is a literal dimension to this) longstanding, sensible protections of our natural world at the behest of big business. Both need to be prevented from doing so.

Japan is by no means starving; they are merely eager to find something else to put on a bun and sell in a fast-food joint. Much of the whale meat Japan now acquires through a shady "research" loophole in the ban ends up commercially available - i.e. sold for profit - in Japan's restaurants and grocery stores. Apparently the research was regarding how to commoditize another part of nature.

Japan is joined in this "vital research" by Iceland. Norway makes no pretense of conducting research, and continues to kill whales despite the ban. But it's Japan that's clearly steering the IWC ship back in the direction of our mammalian cousins. (Where is a pilfered Klingon ship when you need one?)

Some of the IWC countries voting with Japan are popular Caribbean tourist destinations, and there has been some talk of boycotting travel to those locales. As they know where their bread and butter comes from, some of the countries have already labeled such a boycott "economic terrorism." Terrorists being the popular villain of the day, you see, it's "in" to call anyone with whom you disagree a "terrorist."

It's like the Hitler thing, where political enemies are compared to Hitler. Exactly like the Hitler thing, actually, in that it's a bunch of shit. If tourists who decide to skip the Caribbean are really terrorists, so was Rosa Parks and the bus-boycotters she inspired. And we know that wasn't the case. Nope, the Caribbean contingent are just smoking too much ganga. Or maybe too little. Blaze that shit up, mon.

There's no real call to action from me here; I merely wanted to make others aware that bloody atrocities may soon be widespread on our oceans once again, and to register my disapproval. As when I took Canada to task for hunting seals and China to task for eating dogs, I expect and welcome comments about my cultural ignorance, the plentiful supply of animals, etc.

Oh, I do feel so very ashamed for my compassion.


Mr Q said...

I smell snow in the air. It will be coming from the north, from the same place that brought us Seal Clubing.
Whale meat smells like Sh!t, therefore it must taste like it. Whoever eats it must get diahrrea or at least we hope. I say that if we still have other abundant food, leave them alone.
But, but, but I just remembered that Macys, Saks, Dilldoard's and others still need plenty of them, to smear them on people's faces.
So, Bawgs, they win. Once again. For now.

Pete Bogs said...

You're right... they'll probably start a "Save The Plankton" group just to confuse the issue...

CROAK said...

This is very much on Australia's area of interest. We have constantly brought Japan to account for their brutality as the whales swim up the Austalian coast for feeding and breeding.
It is disgusting. The blood in the water.
And now they are going to ignore the IWC and do what they want anyway. Go down to the Antarctic and kill to their hearts content. The farce of 'scientific research' has proven to be a furphy. Out of a hundred 'documents' only a handful have been published and outof them only 4 paragraphs are of any significance.They kill to eat not to study.

This is a passionate debate in Australia and one that the Japanese said of us at the conference that "Australians should stop being so emotional about whales".
Sod off buddy!

Aunty Belle said...

BAwgs, puddin', why boycott the islands? Since they ain't whalin'? Should'nt us'uns boycott toyoto, sanyo, komatsu?

Reverend X said...

Well, this may sound a bit harsh, but this entire situation sounds similiar to the debate over the Makah Whalers and their cultural traditions of Manhood. I totally respect their traditional conservative need to go out and slaughter endangered species in order to achieve their mysoginistic notion of Manhood. I have verbally and physically supported their cause. i feel it is very important for a People to embrace their ancestral legacies no matter what they are. Of course, I hope they will be equally supportive of my ancestors traditions when I try reenacting those. Being a caucasion, my ancestors brutally wiped out indigenous peoples just like the Makahs and I do not think that my offspring will really be prepared for the rigors of manhood in the modern age until they have torched a village or two of native islanders and perhaps even rounded up the survivors and forced them to march somewhere for relocation or just to die.
It's kinda fun getting back to ourt cultural traditions. Anyone have any ancestors in WWII. We might want to start thinking about researching aspects of that War with the help of Japan. Just so long as everyone is clear that "Research" can get really bloody.

Hellpig said...

As a commercial fisherman of 15 years,Japan among other nations do not and never have been into conservation of the resources of the seas,they disregard all catching quotas and all seasons for specific species they fish year round throughout the international waters,Shark populations are decimated due to the Japanese over fishing,one bowl of sharksfin soup is about $100.00 US

All these nations need to be held accountable for any harvesting of any kind or the worlds greatest resource will be lost

Daydreamer of Oz said...

In the Australian study, scientists used non-lethal means to relate whale abundance and distribution to important ecological factors such as distribution of their primary food source Antarctic krill, oceanographic circulation patterns, water depth, bottom features and the presence of sea ice, he said.

"Japan claims that the major objectives for its scientific whaling programmes are to monitor the Antarctic marine ecosystem and to model possible competition for food among whale species," Campbell said.

"The information required to meet these objectives is precisely the type of data that Australia has now collected" without killing any whales, he added.


I don't understand how they have any support at all. It's not surprising that they want Australia to stay out of it, it's our waters they're raping.

Pete Bogs said...

croak, day - are you saying Japan isn't whaling their own waters or international waters, but Aussie waters? what a bunch of wankers!

Aunt B - I said there is talk of boycotts... it's moot for me because I can't afford the trip... hence, I am not actually taking part in the boycotts... however, the reason some people are talking about it I think is clear from the post - they are supporting Japan in exchange for money...

Rev - I hear you... I am torn on that because I find the practice horrific... it's a shame that it takes something like that to validate one's culture... but who knows how many traditions they have left?

hell - kill all the crabs you want... creepy crustacean mofos they are! lol...

Hellpig said...

government restrictions

Reverend X said...

Traditions? Even on the most basic level, traditions are worthless. Adapt or die is the biological imperative. I honestly don't care in the slightest about what my ancestors did or what my culture was. I only care what my culture will be and what my offspring will do. The whale hunt is anachronistic. No one has the Right to act as their ancestors did. The same logic that validates their whale hunt , validates my proposed extermination of them. Don't worry, I will strive to maintain a balance wherein we keep enough alive to slaughter them again in a year. Gotta thin the herd. It's BS. Total BS.
Times change, people must change.