Monday, June 19, 2006

Japan's "scientific" sushi filling

Japan is going to increase its "scientific" whaling. Of course, after all the "scientific" research, the meat will go into "scientific" sushi. Or "scientific" dog food.

Japan is to allow its whaling fleet to catch more of two endangered species after its efforts to have a temporary ban on commercial whaling lifted were frustrated.

Tokyo confirmed that it will increase its catch in the Southern Ocean this year to 935 minke and 10 fin whales.

The Japanese fleet will kill another 40 fin and 50 humpbacks - species listed as endangered by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) - in the following two years under a loophole that permits "scientific" whaling. Humpbacks have an estimated population of 10,000 in the Southern Ocean.
Japan seems to be oblivious to the fact that Humpback whales were hunted to near extinction during the 20th century with their global population reduced to 90 percent of its original strength by 1966 when a worldwide moratorium went into effect. The Atlantic populations have recovered fairly well, but the southern Pacific animals, due to both Japan and the Soviet Union's under-reporting of their actual take, have struggled to re-populate.

Japan is allowed to take whales under a "research" caveat. They make the claim that they need to kill some numbers of animals to do "stock assessements". However, since 1977 researchers have been able to monitor stocks using a mark-release-recapture program. Using non-lethal methods, researchers at places like Wood's Hole Oceanographic Institute have been able to accurately determine population numbers using computer modelling.

Of course, germanium semi-conductors would probably give you gas.

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