Comments on: A sting in the whale tale? http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/ Global environmental challenges Wed, 16 Nov 2016 08:14:55 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: david http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/comment-page-1/#comment-334624 Fri, 18 Apr 2008 03:50:04 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/#comment-334624 Will,

The Japanese believe as a result of their government funded research that neither the Humpback whales or Fin whales are endangered anymore (these species have both been protected since the 1960’s and 1970’s respectively). They would not be hunting them again now if they thought there was a serious risk that hunting them could drive them to extinction. If Australia doesn’t like it it should start funding it’s own research programmes, and prove that the numbers are lower than what the Japanese think they are. Japan is not North Korea, and just screaming out “liar” isn’t going to convince them that Australia has a rational opposition to whaling.

Whales being wild animals is no rational justification for their complete protection, tuna and other fish are also wild, so too are kangaroos, but Australia accepts that slaughtering them for food (and subsequent export) is alright.

What matters is sustainability. This goes for farmed animals too – you can’t suddenly breed new cows and pigs if you already slaughtered your entire stock last season. Wild animals breed naturally without human interference, so we have to ensure that the number we take does not exceed the natural capacity of such stocks of animals to replenish themselves.

As for Migaloo, it’s just a white humpback whale, not his own species. If Australians have given him a special “status” for being a white humpback instead of a black one, that’s something for Australians to rationally justify to themselves. The fact is that he’s just a humpback, and the chances are like that like the rest of the members of his species, he’ll die of natural causes.

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By: Will http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/comment-page-1/#comment-334620 Fri, 18 Apr 2008 00:26:39 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/#comment-334620 David,

Fin whales are endangered and so are Humpbacks and Japan have killed both these species in the past and will continue if not stopped. Whalers dont give a shit if they kill endangered whales as long as they can eat them, or put them in pet food (as hardly anyone eats the meat anymore). Whales are wild animals and thats theere is a difference between killing them and killing pigs or cows. Pigs and cows are bred to be killed, whales are not. Consideration doesnt come into the issue if there killing endangered whale to eat. Japan said at the start of the year that if they saw Migaloo they would kill him, Migaloo is the last albino Humpback left in the world. Do you why they wanted to kill him, becasue restaurants would pay 10 times as much for him than other whales due to his status. So if your barbaric enough to agree with this slaughter then thats just you, however more sensible people who respect such creatures want to save them.

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By: david http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/comment-page-1/#comment-334590 Thu, 17 Apr 2008 01:33:28 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/#comment-334590 Monica, the whalers don’t want to hunt species that are truely endangered. They agree that species like the Antarctic Blue whale (numbering in the low thousands) should remain protected so that they can recover in numbers.

But as for other species that are higher in number (some in the hundreds of thousands), the whalers hope to take a conservative number of them each year for use as food.

In that respect whaling is no more unnecessary than any other means which we provide food for ourselves, and furthermore there is more meat on a typical whale than there is on a cow, pig or chicken. It means we needn’t kill so many animals if we are to harvest whales conservatively.

So I’m sure Australians have their hearts in the right place, but they need to be a little more considerate of other people.

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By: Monica http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/comment-page-1/#comment-334577 Wed, 16 Apr 2008 01:48:36 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/#comment-334577 Not only are whale endangered species, but the way they are being hunted is cruel and unnecessary. Japan has been whaling for years, and it seems like they will continue to be stubborn towards this situation. It has not been mentioned that kangaroos are extinct or have a cruel way to be hunted, but until it is uncovered, I think Australia is not doing anything wrong. Australia is just trying to let whale hunters be aware that what they are doing should be illegal.

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By: david http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/comment-page-1/#comment-334561 Mon, 14 Apr 2008 09:12:30 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/#comment-334561 Taka, yeah I understand Japanese, but can’t agree with you, as explained in my previous comment.

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By: Taka http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/comment-page-1/#comment-334474 Fri, 11 Apr 2008 04:50:09 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/#comment-334474 Do you understand Japanese? If you understand both languages, the bias is clear by comparison in how the same news is edited differently in Japan. The segment itself is distorted, then multiple commentaries follow that lead people in one way, with nobody suggesting an opposite viewpoint. Whenever they do present an opposite viewpoint, they interview the most extreme activists, which they are labelling as criminals/terrorists, so as a whole, they’ve created an “us or them” atmosphere. Either you support whaling, or you’re a member of such groups. (It’s similar to how Americans were led to support the Iraq war through the right-leaning media and talk radio.) The atmopshere makes it difficult for people with opposing views to speak out. Furthermore, I have never seen a TV segment or a news article that has reported the state of whales from an environmentally-concerned viewpoint, or even simply as animals. The legality of whaling is not discussed either. A lot of crucial facts are left out, unreported. And it’s not just the whaling issue that is distorted. I think some journalists are aware of how the media tends to get carried away. It’s an issue that they should be addressing within themselves, not something to look justifications for. Whatever Australia is doing has nothing to do with it.

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By: david http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/comment-page-1/#comment-334471 Fri, 11 Apr 2008 00:38:29 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/#comment-334471 Taka, I originally hail from down under, but today live in Japan. In my view, your criticisms of Japan’s mass media can be turned around and pointed straight back at the Australian and New Zealand media. I would actually argue that it’s worse there.

In Japan the newspapers tend to report “the news”, and editorial opinion appears in … editorials, but whaling is not an issue of huge concern to many. On the other hand, in Australia and New Zealand lately the newspapers themselves have actually been running their own anti-whaling petitions and campaigns – far beyond the realm of what I’d expect from an unbiased source of news. All this over an issue that basically doesn’t effect many Aussies or Kiwis either (it does seem to help sell the news there though).

I wonder if our different views of the media stems from our own individual beliefs of what should be reported? If we can agree on one thing, perhaps it is that there is unsatisfactory communication between people on the different sides of the argument. It’s not something that I see getting fixed anytime soon though, and nations like Australia and New Zealand will happily procrastinate with the status quo unless Japan and others decide that enough is enough.

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By: david http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/comment-page-1/#comment-334462 Thu, 10 Apr 2008 10:41:05 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/#comment-334462 Australia’s kangaroo killing doesn’t occur only in the form of culls, but in outright commercial hunting as well, evidenced by the quota numbers on the page to which David Fogarty linked.

I can’t agree that whaling should stop because it “doesn’t fulfil any human need not met from other sources”. Yes, it could probably stop – the Japanese could import more kangaroo meat or beef from Australia to fill the void if whaling were to end entirely (with the added benefit of extra profits for Australians). But does the fact that it could stop really mean that it should stop? Is the decision about what to eat not best left to those doing the eating? Are your ethical views more right than those of those Japanese who would prefer to eat meat gratefully received from the single life of a large whale, rather than the meat from multiple lives of smaller animals such as kangaroos and cows?

The huge ethical diversity that exists within nations such as Australia and the inconsistency in policy that results from this precludes those nations credibly taking the moral high ground as a member of the international community. The problem with this situation is that the people who suffer because of such hypocrisy are not those who have a direct say in electing Australia’s policy makers, but people in other countries.

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By: Taka http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/comment-page-1/#comment-334461 Thu, 10 Apr 2008 09:02:52 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/#comment-334461 david, as I said in the beginning, the Japanese media is overwhelmingly conservative on the whaling issue for some reason, so I’m not surprised that the majority of people were led to believe they should support whaling. If the media fixes itself to take an unbiased position, and creates a healthy environment that allows people to speak up without fear of being labelled as unpatriotic or whatever, so at least both sides can debate, I think those poll numbers will gradually change. I actually found it surprising that 20+% in that poll opposed whaling, no matter what the media said. That’s a high number of people who have their own minds, in an environment where you have FOX-TV mentality on all channels, brainwashing you for weeks and weeks, with the kind of arguments that you’ve posted here.
(Yes, I am a Japanese, who has also lived abroad. I can read Japanese newspapers and English ones, that is why I find something unhealthy with the state of the Japanese media. My opinion here may be a minority in Japan at the moment, but I hope more people will speak out, if they feel differently than what the media wants them to think. Thank you for giving people the opportunity to post their voices.)

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By: Will http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/comment-page-1/#comment-334460 Thu, 10 Apr 2008 07:10:54 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/04/07/a-sting-in-the-whale-tale/#comment-334460 There is no such thing as sustainable whaling, as of the harsh environment that the whales live in the numbers are reasonably rough estimates. If Japan whales sustainably please tell me why they kill endangered fin whales just to eat. And please tell me why they kill humpbacks (not this season) and why they were going to kill Migaloo if they saw him. Sustainable whaling is not real, whos the research done by about the numbers of whales left in Antarctica, IWC probably get it from Japan, which if they do is very un-credible.

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