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Japan Science

Japan Defends Scientific Value of New Plan To Kill 333 Minke Whales (sciencemag.org) 214

sciencehabit writes with news that Japan plans on killing 333 minke whales this year as part of their whale research program in the Antarctic Ocean. "We did our best to try to meet the criteria established by the ICJ and we have decided to implement our research plan because we are confident we have completed our scientific homework," Joji Morishita, the nation's representative to the International Whaling Commission said. Science reports: "Japan has resumed its controversial lethal research whaling because it wants to determine how many minke whales can be harvested sustainably while studying the environment, Joji Morishita, the nation's representative to the International Whaling Commission (IWC), told a press conference today. 'We'd like to find out how the marine ecosystem of the Antarctic Ocean is actually shifting or changing and not just look at whales but [also at] krill and the oceanographic situation,' Morishita said.

Japan's whaling fleet last week departed for the southern seas for the first time since the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered the nation to halt its research whaling in March 2014. The court ruled that Japan's JARPA II program, which sought to take some 850 minke whales, 50 fin whales, and 50 humpback whales, was not for the purposes of scientific research as stipulated in the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. The convention allows countries to kill whales for research."
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Japan Defends Scientific Value of New Plan To Kill 333 Minke Whales

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  • Destination (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 08, 2015 @04:13AM (#51078973)

    Would any of these whales killed for "scientific" purposes happen to end up on the dinner plates of Japanese restaurant-goers?

    • Re:Destination (Score:5, Interesting)

      by davester666 ( 731373 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2015 @04:50AM (#51079107) Journal

      The way I read the summary, it amounts to "we are researching how many minke whales we can kill before it becomes unsustainable". So basically they will stop doing it once the population no longer can sustain itself.

      Japan will know the minimum number of minke whales needed for a sustainable environment. Unfortunately, we won't have that minimum number here on Earth.

    • by Tomahawk ( 1343 )

      Yes. This was previously stated in another article.

    • Whale isn't really a delicacy. This is more like a safari hunt.
      • Re:Destination (Score:4, Interesting)

        by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2015 @06:11AM (#51079351) Homepage

        The dead whales are intended to be used as some sort of alternative medicine.
        So remember that for next time somebody tells you that atleast alternative medicine can't hurt.

      • Re:Destination (Score:5, Informative)

        by dcw3 ( 649211 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2015 @09:23AM (#51079961) Journal

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        The prized tail meat, called onomi (?) or oniku (?) are two strips of muscle that run from the dorsal to the base of the fluke. The tail meat is regarded as marbled, and is eaten as sashimi or tataki. Even Masanori Hata (aka Mutsugor) a zoologist author and animal shelter operator has extolled the delicacy of the tail meat.[

        • From the [base of the] dorsal fin to the base of the fluke? I'm trying to figure how that would work, without potentially breaking the whale's back.

          Oh, I see that you're just copying and pasting the Wikipedia article, not supplying anything yourself.

          That article seems to have been regurgitated all around the web - or the Wikipedia article is a regurgitation of someone else's article - but without any additional data. But it doesn't sound anatomically correct to me, because a muscle aligned as the article

          • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

            I'm no anatomy expert, but I knew that I'd read about it being a delicacy, contrary to the parent's claim.

    • Re:Destination (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Xest ( 935314 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2015 @04:59AM (#51079131)

      Yes all of them and the Japanese even admit that but claim it's a byproduct of the research. This is why their hunt is illegal because international courts ruled that there is no scientific merit to their programme that requires killing of the whales and yet all the meat ends up being sold for profit.

      This is an illegal commercial hunt and the courts have determined it as such. Pretending there is any actual science here is nothing more than a well destroyed lie at this point.

      Japan has created itself a real problem now, because it expects countries like China to respect international law over it's territorial disputes with China, whilst defying international law in the southern oceans to carry out illegal commercial hunts. At this point Japan cannot rationally complain if China does further tighten it's stance on disputed territory because it can't on one hand pretend international law governing the seas only applies to everyone else. It could just pull out of the IWC of course like Norway, but again they want to pretend they're good players in international diplomacy land and sign up to laws so that they can try and hold others to them when it suits. Essentially Japan wants it cake, and wants to eat it too.

      The fact is, how much a country will listen to you when you cry international law, will depend on how many you sign up to and how well you adhere to it yourself. Japan basically now has no credibility on this front and cannot really complain when countries like China ignore it's cries. If Chinese boats fish in waters Japan claims then it's frankly tough shit, not a leg to stand on.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        ..ignore it's cries.

        Ok, breaking international law is one thing, but oh my god, Apostrophe Crime!

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        While there's no benefit, that I can see, for this as far as science goes. There is likely to be *some* tangential benefit. Those whalers are almost certainly going to be attacked and bothered during their trip. This will likely be done by people who do a bunch of silly things like try to board that ship. Almost invariably, this makes someone end up falling into the water and then getting run over by the dinghy they were using to attack the giant whaling vessel. It's makes for amusing videos. So, there's th

        • by gfxguy ( 98788 )
          No love for Japan, but you forgot the rest of the story - then it makes international news and Japan is blamed for the death of the protesters.
          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            I thought that was a given? ;-) It's not like we're going to blame the idiot for trying to climb onto a moving boat. We're HORRIBLE at blaming the appropriate problem, we really are. We'll blame terrorism on the US, Europe, France, religion, poverty, health-care (really), women's rights (seen it), capitalism (not kidding), and all sorts of other things. You know who we don't blame? The jackass terrorists!

            We humans are bloody stupid.

      • Re:Destination (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Pseudonymous Powers ( 4097097 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2015 @01:51PM (#51082243)

        This is an illegal commercial hunt and the courts have determined it as such. Pretending there is any actual science here is nothing more than a well destroyed lie at this point

        Well, sure. But in my opinion, the real reason that the Japanese keep killing whales has little to do with either science or commerce. They do it for the same reason that the U.S. still uses inches and pounds, instead of the metric system. One, they've always done it that way, and two, every other country in the world is loudly and repeatedly calling them idiotic assholes for it, in the most obnoxious manner imaginable.

        So, as human nature dictates, they double down on it. Because: USA! USA! US--I mean, Nip-pon! Nip-pon! Nip-pon!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I don't see why Japan is allowing this. Whales are an endangered species in Japan.

      They should try this in the US, where whales are everywhere.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The minke whale is not an endangered species It's of Least Concern.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minke_whale

      • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2015 @05:53AM (#51079301) Homepage

        1) Whales are not a single species

        2) Minke whales are not endangered. They are classified as LC (least concern) by the IUCN. The Antarctic stock alone is estimated at over 500k.

        3) Whaling is legal in parts of the US ("traditional whaling" by Alaskan natives... but as if the whales end up any less dead, or as if people are actually going out in canoes, hunting with spears, and bringing them back ashore by manpower, rather than going out in motorboats, hunting with large guns and explosive harpoons, and hauling them ashore with backhoes)

        #3 is the one that really gets me when the US sees fit to lecture Iceland (where I live, which like Alaska also has a long tradition of whaling** and consumes similar whale per-capita) about the evils of whaling. Clean up your own damned backyard before you start lecturing others. Not that we really need a lecture on morality in general from a country that tortures people, or specifically a lecture on food-production morality from a country that produces most of its meat in factory farms in squalid conditions. At least whales live their whole lives free in near idyllic conditions rather than crammed in cages where they can barely turn around.

        It's also counterproductive. The anti-whaling people who run all of these protests, particularly the really high profile ones (economic sanctions, hacking, violence, etc), just encourage people to want to support whaling even more. Think about it: how would you feel if some other country came in and said, "look, pigs score as well or better than dogs on most intelligence tests, yet you stubbornly refuse to stop eating them or even raise them in humane conditions"? You might have a "we'll just agree to disagree" reaction. Now imagine that said country or people from said country decided to try to force you to stop eating pork by slapping sanctions on your whole country, launching hacking campaigns against your government and businesses, sinking ships in your harbors, etc. How would you feel? How would you react? Would it make you more or less likely to eat pork? Most people would be so ticked off they'd eat more of it. Now imagine that said country that was doing all of this actually consumed significant amounts of pork themselves in one region. How would you feel?

        Full disclosure: I'm a vegetarian. I just don't like hypocrisy or counterproductive actions. Let me help you out: if you really want to stop people in nations where whale is consumed from eating it, there is one tactic that is actually quite effective: health. Whale meat contains dangerous levels of heavy metals and accumulative organic toxins (dangerous to everyone, but particularly to pregnant women). The more people are aware of this, the less they feel comfortable eating it. Hence, raising awareness of this fact should be your goal. Not morality lectures and a "big stick" approach that - every time - only causes a pro-whaling backlash. Also, target the tourists. Nearly half of the whale consumed here is consumed by tourists - a lot of whom would describe themselves as anti-whaling and would never dream of eating it at home. It's amazing but for some reason when people are on vacation they act as if the normal rules of their life don't apply, as if whatever they do on vacation "doesn't count", that either their actions are insignificant or that it's okay because they're just "being like locals". The irony being that locals don't actually consume whale that often (horse, on the other hand...)

        • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2015 @06:02AM (#51079335) Homepage

          ** The whole concept that it's okay for Alaskans to whale because it's "traditional" but it's not okay for Icelanders just stinks of racism - that because the Inuit and Yupik are american indian peoples then their culture and history matters, but Icelanders are just white devils, so who gives a rat's arse that Icelanders have been eating whale for over a thousand years on the island, and their ancestors in Scandinavia for thousands of years before that? Who cares that it was such an important part of Icelandic life that it's even part of the language, such as hvalreki - literally "beached whale", but also used as "godsend", because finding a beached whale used to be the difference between life and death for entire towns? Meh, Icelanders are just evil white people so their cultures don't count. Icelanders, Norwegians, Russians, Faroese, Japanese... all get put into the "modern peoples" category, but Alaskans are just "natives preserving their culture" - you know, those primitives who live in modern houses, ride around on snowmobiles and fly from town to town by bushplane. It's okay if they do it, their culture and history actually matters!

          • I'm not sure it is racism. More about scale for me. When the 'natives' whale hunt, it is usually just 1 whale for ceremonial purposes. When countries with industrial fishing fleets do it, the kill numbers are a lot larger.

            But besides that, countries like Japan really have no modern cultural defense of whaling. The vast majority of their population places no cultural value on whaling. It just tastes good and is an expensive treat in high-end dining. It isn't like the average Japanese person feels a cu

        • 2) Minke whales are not endangered. They are classified as LC (least concern) by the IUCN. The Antarctic stock alone is estimated at over 500k.

          Yeah. I used to be really upset at Japan for whaling, but then I realized they are not out there killing blue whales (or any endangered whales, as far as I can tell). It's harder to get upset when their actions probably aren't harming the ecosystem at all.....

          • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2015 @09:53AM (#51080193)

            A large part of the reason Minke whales have such a large population are because they've had to fill the void left by the decimation of other species of whale - whale help to fertilise the oceans by spreading nutrients around, which in turn help grow fish stocks by making sure ample food is present.

            Should the population of large whales increase, the population of Minke whales will decrease to a point of equilibrium determined by survival of the fittest. The problem is that populations of whales typically take decades to return to their natural levels of balance, thus it'll take a long time before blue whales and so forth can reach a population size at which they would naturally be expected to achieve.

            So species such as Minke whales are able to fill the void the missing blue whales otherwise would, thus it's irrelevant that there are lots of them - you need a certain level of whale biomass to prevent problematic algae build up, and to help keep fish stocks healthy amongst other things. Hence, just because Minke whales are well populated doesn't make it okay to hunt them, it just means that as yet unrecovered populations of other previously over-hunted whale species will be coupled with reduced Minke populations and in turn will mean we end up with a level of whale biomass too small to perform it's task in the ecosystem to a suitable degree. This in turns leads to environmental problems and reduction of fish stocks.

            The IUCN simply ranks species based on how at threat they are from extinction - this isn't simply a question of population, for example, some plant species have healthy population numbers in the hundreds of thousands, but only grow on rocky outcrops that are tagged for potential mining - in that case the population numbers are good, but the threat of extinction is still high. What the IUCN does not do is take into account the impact of hunting a species, thus it's not true that a least concern ranking on the IUCN list correlates with "Okay to hunt". It's possible for something to be near extinct, but fine to hunt to extinction because it has little relevance to it's ecosystem, just as it's for something to be least concern, but still a bad idea to hunt as in this case. Suggesting that because something is ranked as least concern that it must be okay to hunt is a completely invalid way to interpret IUCN rankings because that's not what they measure - it's a measure of population health and NOT a measure of population value within the ecosystem.

            There has been a particular focus on whales over the years for precisely the fact that they have a high ecosystem value, more recently the same is beginning to be realised for sharks also having long been characterised as evil pointless predators. Contrary to what the Japanese, Icelanders and so forth will tell you, the IWC itself, and the ICJs rulings are as they are not because of emotion, but because they're important to help make sure we can maintain healthy oceans. This something we're already struggling to do as is with over-fishing in general, much more so if we end up with even greater reduced fish stocks due to ecosystem problems due to whale over-hunting.

            • by Wycliffe ( 116160 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2015 @10:12AM (#51080325) Homepage

              So species such as Minke whales are able to fill the void the missing blue whales otherwise would, thus it's irrelevant that there are lots of them - you need a certain level of whale biomass to prevent problematic algae build up, and to help keep fish stocks healthy amongst other things. Hence, just because Minke whales are well populated doesn't make it okay to hunt them, it just means that as yet unrecovered populations of other previously over-hunted whale species will be coupled with reduced Minke populations and in turn will mean we end up with a level of whale biomass too small to perform it's task in the ecosystem to a suitable degree. This in turns leads to environmental problems and reduction of fish stocks.

              I don't think it's completely irrelevant. If there is a huge number of minke whales then they are competing with the "actually endangered" species and thinning them out a little might actually help the other endangered whale species.

              That being said, I think Japan's premise is laughable and an insult to the rest of the world. I would much rather them say "we believe that reducing the minke whale population will help other whale populations recover" or even "we believe there are plenty of minke whales and are going to harvest some just because". 333 whales out of 500k is not going to hurt the minke whale population but they shouldn't claim it is scientific research.

              • by Xest ( 935314 )

                "I don't think it's completely irrelevant. If there is a huge number of minke whales then they are competing with the "actually endangered" species and thinning them out a little might actually help the other endangered whale species."

                No, that's really not how things work, if it were the case that Minke whales were a limiting factor on blue whale growth, then Minke whales would always have had a higher population, and Blues always a lower population (in our recorded history at least), Blues previously had a

        • #3 is the one that really gets me when the US sees fit to lecture Iceland (where I live, which like Alaska also has a long tradition of whaling** and consumes similar whale per-capita) about the evils of whaling.

          First, some of the agreements that the US has with natives on whaling predate the whale moratorium by a century. Second, it isn't commercial whaling which Iceland is doing. The whaling done by natives are families and tribes in small boats. It is predominantly subsistence whaling in that the tribes hunt the whale as food source. Third, the total amount of whales taken by nine tribes in the US: 40-60 whales per year. This is nothing compared to the hundreds of one species that Japan, Norway, or Iceland each

          • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

            by Rei ( 128717 )

            It is not "subsistence whaling" any more than it is here - they have perfectly modern [photoshelter.com] grocery stores and first-world per-capita incomes - not to mention subsidized transport and no state taxes. And even if it was, would the whales be any less dead?

            Third, the total amount of whales taken by nine tribes in the US: 40-60 whales per year.

            Alaskans natives kill about 75 per year. Icelanders kill about 150. Not a huge difference, and there are a lot more icelanders than inuit and yupik. Plus the Inuit and Yup

            • It is not "subsistence whaling" any more than it is here - they have perfectly modern [photoshelter.com] grocery stores and first-world per-capita incomes - not to mention subsidized transport and no state taxes.

              What? Just because grocery stores exist do not mean that poverty nor subsistence farming does not exist. Subsistence farmers all over the world probably live within a grocery store; it does not raise their income at all to do so. Just because there are no state taxes does not mean that people are not poor. The state does not collect taxes: they don't have much income to be taxed anyway so what does that matter? Subsidized transport is great but that still does not raise their income level.

              And even if it was, would the whales be any less dead?

              You do realize th

    • by Anonymous Coward

      > Would any of these whales killed for "scientific" purposes happen to end up on the dinner plates of Japanese restaurant-goers?

      Yes. One of the largest users is the Pierrot fast-food chain in Hokkaido. In fact, Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan is their evil spirit when it comes to whaling, as they are the most fanatical supporters of the carnage and they consume most of the giant sea mammal meat.

      I would recommend the general public to target Hokkaido for effective boycott. One big bulls-eye is

    • Please correct me if I am wrong but whale populations in the world have [bbc.com] been [wiley.com] recovering [iwc.int]. And multiple species are less than a decade away from not being endangered any more. So the opposition to whaling is from people who don't want to kill whales per se. I am not arguing for premature killing of whales that leads to extinction and I know that has been as issue in the past. But that problem for most areas is going away. And it really only remains a big problem in Oceania. But if you eat meat and your cultu
      • by Anonymous Coward

        There are definitely moral inconsistencies. There was an interesting story in the Economist a few years ago about the background to Japanese whaling. Basically, the history was that Japan had been whaling around their islands sustainably for centuries, and then American and European whaling fleets turned up and emptied out the seas around Japan, and left again. Japan was pretty upset about this (they had an isolationist policy at the time), and this carried forward into today's opposition to western countri

      • by alexgieg ( 948359 ) <alexgieg@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 08, 2015 @07:32AM (#51079541) Homepage

        If they don't want to eat whales or use their skins - that's fine - but they don't have the right to ram down their viewpoints down everyone else's throats, particularly other countries. It reminds me of abortion - if you don't like it, then don't have one but leave other people alone.

        Precisely. And the same should be applied to laws against animal torture. If you don't like to slowly rip the flesh out from living kittens, then smashing their toes with hammers, and finally setting their bloodied bodies in fire, then just don't do it. As for those who enjoy hearing the screams of tortured dying kittens, let them. /sarcasm

        • by Junta ( 36770 )

          Yeah, the argument seems to be a weird one in this case. It's one thing to make that sort of argument about drugs/alcohol (those that do it hurt themselves, and that's their prerogative until they do something like drive). If you are opposed to killing animals or abortions, it's because you see it as victimizing a helpless victim, so an argument of cultural relativism doesn't really work.

          Now another perspective would be whether the stance is inconsistent with the treatment of other sealife or land mammals

        • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

          As for those who enjoy hearing the screams of tortured dying kittens, let them. /sarcasm

          There was a video of some people sawing up a whale shark they had dragged in. I saw they had already cut off it's fins when they started sawing it's tail of *while it was still alive, 'A real cunt act'. The animal gasped from pain as they just kept sawing through it, made me fucking angry. What wrong with killing something first before chopping it to bits?

          Why do we have to be cunts to animals just because we can and are going to eat them?

      • If whale populations have recovered to the point where they can support commercial whaling again then fine but in that case there should be quotas, just like there are for fish, and all nations which want to whale should be allowed to within the scientifically established quotas. Lying about "research" as a way to avoid all of this is not acceptable. At a minimum the rule should be that any whales killed for scientific reasons are destroyed afterwards and no part of them may be consumed to avoid extremely d
      • So the opposition to whaling is from people who don't want to kill whales per se.

        So isn't all the griping here just a matter of people who never want sustainable whaling to resume.

        My gripe is that they are using a "for science" cover story. If they want to sustainably harvest whales, then come out and say it and make their case. 333 out of 500k (less than 0.1%) is a pretty good case. By publically saying they are actually harvesting whales, they also make it harder for someone to kill endangered species "for science". I would much rather they allow Japan to legally harvest 1000 whales a year and get rid of the "for science" loophole.

    • by LesFerg ( 452838 )

      The last reporting I read on that suggested that most of it ended up in frozen stock piles because whale meat has mostly gone out of fashion and most people don't really like it that much.

    • by voss ( 52565 )

      In the past yes, but nowadays frozen whale meat is stockpiled and meat harvest is subsidized. Japans government is full of older men who
      ate the stuff as kids.

    • "Now, friends, we should probably reel the whale in, the experiment is over. sushi time!"

  • Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2015 @04:13AM (#51078979)

    I thought we were done with this shit. No one in the world believes Japan actually cares about the research and their "research program" has been debunked by the ICJ the one time it did come under scrutiny.

    Heck even Terry Prachett made a joke about it in the discworld series:
    "The Kappamaki, a whaling research ship, was currently researching the question: How many whales can you catch in one week?"

    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LMariachi ( 86077 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2015 @04:24AM (#51079013) Journal

      If only it were a joke.

      > "Japan has resumed its controversial lethal research whaling because it wants to determine how many minke whales can be harvested sustainably”

      Japan’s rep is pretty much paraphrasing Pratchett’s line right there.

      • Worse than that. Suppose their research 'proves' that you can catch 333 whales 'sustainably'. Is their research then complete? Sadly no. They can come back and research a higher number. When the outcome of the research could only be to allow you to undertake an illegal activity then it should never take place. Meanwhile any whale meat that is a by-product should be incinerated. Total sham and embarrassing to see a country acting in this way.
    • Heck even Terry Prachett made a joke about it in the discworld series:
      "The Kappamaki, a whaling research ship, was currently researching the question: How many whales can you catch in one week?"

      It was 'Good Omens', not the Discworld, but a fabulous book. But yeah, you're right. What really pisses me off - and probably almost everybody else - is the fact that they have so little respect for the intelligence and decency of people, that they actually try to explain it away withh such a transparent lie. I would have felt less offended if they had simply stuck up a finger and said "We don't give a shit!". The expression "lying cowards" presents itself to the forefront of my mind, but let's keep it unde

      • by bentcd ( 690786 )

        The core problem is that the IWC was hijacked by the lunatic fringe a couple decades ago and ever since it's been impossible to cooperate internationally about whaling levels. Countries that do whaling are left to wing it on their own, and since there is no rationality left in the international debate anyway they long since stopped trying to come up with good explanations of what they're doing or why.

        • In that case the correct actions are to present the research about how many whales can be harvested sustainably (this must meet international peer review standards, not just some national government review) to the IWC. Then request that whaling be allowed within these quotas. If they cannot come back with sensible, scientifically supported reasons as to why this is not sensible then you threaten to leave and, if ignored, you do leave (citing the unscientific, irrationality) and then limit yourself to the sc
          • by bentcd ( 690786 )

            This was tried for the first decade but the IWC is no longer science based and so it kept failing. Nowadays whaling nations no longer care and the IWC is effectively a dead organization.

      • Well noted. For some reason I thought I'd never read his non-Discworld stuff. Guess I was wrong.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "it wants to determine how many minke whales can be harvested sustainably"
    It's just happens that their test method is "kill them until it is no longer sustainable"

  • that you can't harvest 333 minke whales sustainable than it is too late... "Japan has resumed its controversial lethal research whaling because it wants to determine how many minke whales can be harvested sustainably while studying the environment"
  • Save the whales - eat a nip today!

  • by lucm ( 889690 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2015 @04:52AM (#51079111)

    They could at least wait until Fukushima stops leaking radioactive waste (which has now reached North America) before sending boats to kill more whales.

    • Why should they wait? They are trying to fish in unpolluted waters.
  • by Tomahawk ( 1343 ) on Tuesday December 08, 2015 @04:56AM (#51079125) Homepage

    One wonders if one would get the go ahead to perform the same experiment substituting "Japanese Whale Scientist" for "Mink Whale"... how many would we need to cull in order to put an end to such ridiculous idea and an end to hunting and killing these amazing animals?

    And, unlike them, the fruits of our hunting won't make it onto any dinner plates...

  • Minke Whale is still a misnomer based on the japanese "Minkku Kujira" chosen by conservationists because it sounds cuter than the correct "Lesser Rorqual".
      When did the wrong name become right?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If it were truly for scientific purposes, they should discard the carcasses back into the ocean after research is done, and ban the meat from reaching dinner plates.

    This should stop any activities falsely done in the name of science, as there is no longer an incentive to hunt the animals for food.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The nastiest thing is that whales live amazingly long (if not hunted...) Finds of black-powder propelled 1880's era harpoon fragments in recently deceased whales and analysing the aspartic acid level decay in their eyeballs has convinced scientists that whales can live until 185 to 211 years old. In other words, a matsuselah whale today may have been a calf witnessing the naval Battle of Trafalgar or the inaugural journey of Fulton's steamship, in first person!

    People no longer find it acceptable to turn 200

    • Four of the species have been identified as "endangered" or "critically endangered" with another two being classed as "vulnerable". Minke whales are rated as least concerned.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    You're telling me in a world where humans bomb and murder one another, where entire nations lie in ruin at the hands of criminal cabals, and where all of this is endlessly apologised and even lauded by the very same who condemn this, that the Japanese shouldn't do this? Why? Because they didn't pay enough media protection money, or because "The West" suddenly has standards?

    Spare me. And go visit a slaughterhouse before bitching at the Koreans over their dogs too.

  • by dhaen ( 892570 )
    He said slirpingly...It would be a shame to waste the flesh!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Slashdot users are known for watching anime. By watching anime you are funding whale hunting. Watch American shows instead.

  • U.S. Department of Transportation continues the practice of capturing motor vehicles on I94 and I75 in Michigan. The 2016 quota have been negotiated to be 850 Fiestas, 50 Transits and 50 Corvettes.The department states that "it's necessary to maintain a high standard of scientific research on interstate transportation safety". USDOT secretary Anthony Foxx adds "We are acting in a environmentally responsible manner; all vehicles are duely recycled. No animals come to harm during these operations, and the con

  • So I know little about whales, which whales there are a lot of and which aren't, and I'm not going to state any opinion on if they should be hunted or not.

    However, I've been on whale spotting trips where we saw Minke whales which the spotters said were very rare to see (next to the Humpbacks that are apparently endangered but seem to be as common as any other fish). At the same time, I've been to several restaurants in Scandinavia that have Minke whale (specifically) on the menu.

    Considering that, how much s

  • How to sink Japanese whaling ships.



    Just for science. Honest.
  • Is that the same as the scientific value of testing the a-bomb on them?

    Yes, I know that's over the top, but just as logical.

    • Why, gotta make sure the next gen nukes work. Since Japan was designated as a nuclear testing ground - they're used to it.
  • Culinary science?

User hostile.

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