Saturday, January 01, 2011

Bummer bulletin . . .

WHY I DON'T BUY JAPANESE ANYTHING: according to the Washington Post, the Japanese have sent a fleet to Antarctica to kill 1,000 whales, if they can. Their fleet has been found and is being harassed by The Sea Shepherd Society.

Japan's whaling fleet set out for Antarctic waters in December. Sea Shepherd has been searching for them since, and spotted the first whaling vessel on Friday, Watson said. By Saturday, the group had tracked down three of the fleet's ships in an area about 1,700 nautical miles (3,200 kilometers) southeast of New Zealand, he said.

"We got them before they started whaling and now that we're on them, we're hoping to make sure they don't kill any whales for this season," Watson said.

Brave people. Why can't the Japanese make whale-flavored Tofu or something?


M@ said...

Let's see if I've got this straight.

A high-tech navy killing whales illegally: a terrible, terrible crime. I shall boycott Japan.

A high-tech navy killing pirates illegally: high five! Those Russians play hardball!

Is that about right?

Jason said...

At M@:

It's probably multi-kulti's fault.

Anonymous said...

The efforts of these always struck me as sticking a band-aid on the problem of whale extinction. This is the sexy option for environmentalists. Video on the news saving the leviathon from the heartless whalers.

The greatest threats to the whales are from increased sea traffic, pollution, over exploitation of their food sources and it would appear US defence sonar arrays.
But saving the whales from the harpoon looks good. Actually preventing them from starving, dieing of diseases or interfering with national security is not as camera worthy and it is 24/7/365 not seasonal.

Edstock said...


Any kind of tech navy killing cetaceans legally or illegally is reprehensible, and thus I try to buy nothing Japanese.

You will note that the whales are just swimming around, doing nothing to nobody.

This contrasts with human pirates, who held hostages with the threat of execution.

Now, your opinion is that the Russians acted illegally. You may or may not be right as far as maritime/military/international law is concerned.

The level of technology of the navy involved is irrelevant; in the early years of the US, the USN and Marines wound up "On the shores of Tripoli" dealing with pirates. Maybe that was illegal too — but the problem got fixed.

Now, it seems that piracy is endemic to that area, in spite of what, a decade of NATO/UN patrols and arrests and trials? Every year, the pirates are still active.

So, there is insufficient incentive to stop. The pirates just keep at it.

So what to do, besides being sarcastic?

Dave said...

Jeez, Ed.

I hate the Japanese and their "research fishery" which gives them some sort of permission to go out and slaughter Minke whales.

I hate that the world hasn't slammed them as hard as possible for doing it. FSM knows, there were a thousand ways to drive a spike into their commercial whaling operation which have never happened.

Sea Shepherd however, is a Patrick Watson driven enterprise, (and it is an enterprise), which I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. He is the worst of the worst and is likely responsible for more than one human death. His actions outweigh his results.

Edstock said...

"Sea Shepherd however, is a Patrick Watson driven enterprise, (and it is an enterprise), which I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole."
Dave, I don't know anything about them, except that they like whales, and their logo really sucks.

Dave said...

It speaks volumes that Watson's former Greenpeace associates will have nothing to do with him.

The Mound of Sound said...

I too have reservations about Watson and his ego but his outfit is the only one challenging the Japanese whaling fleet. It becomes the default option.

Yes whales are endangered by shipping and pollution and, supposedly, by US navy submarine sonars and these are all problems that need to be addressed. That said none of these collateral threats brought so many whale species to the verge of extinction. That was commercial whaling and whaling alone.

The Japanese are constantly striving to lift the moratorium on commercial whaling. What they're doing today in the far southern waters is a pittance to what they would like to do. What Watson is doing is essentially symbolic but it serves us in reminding us of what Japan and other states like Norway really have in mind for the global whale populations.

Your criticisms of Watson may be quite valid but the mere fact that he's the only game in town makes them irrelevant. I would dearly like to see a much more acceptable anti-whaling champion but there isn't such a person on the horizon.