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  1. #1
    Ultimate Carrie Fan clh_hilary's Avatar
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    Thumbs down National Tsunami Recovery Funds Now Go to Japan’s Whaling Industry

    Japan Earmarks $29 Million of Tsunami Fund to Revive Whaling Industry | Global Spin | TIME.com

    Blood Money: Tsunami Recovery Funds Go to Japan’s Whaling Industry
    By KRISTA MAHR | December 12, 2011 |

    They’re baaaaaaaccck. Whale hunting season kicked off in Japan last week as three ships set off with a security vessel on their annual pilgrimage to cull hundreds of minke and fin whales in Antarctic waters. And so begins the annual showdown between the whalers and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, the tenacious, publicity-savvy anti-whaling group that chases the Japanese fleet around the frigid waters of the sixth continent each winter. The yearly spectacle features scuba-clad activists zipping around in fast boats, lobbing stink bombs at the whaling ships and generally making life miserable for the crew who keep Japan’s 19th-century dream alive. The annual tussle even has its own reality show.

    Whaling is not an easy practice to defend these days, particularly when recent polls have shown that 95% of Japanese eat whale meat rarely, if at all. The state-backed industry, which Japan considers its sovereign right to pursue as part of a centuries-old tradition, is under attack both by environmental groups at home and abroad. And yet the government did not do its beleaguered case any favors when it confirmed last week that $29 million of the national post-tsunami recovery fund had been allotted to the whaling industry, including to provide extra security for the whaling fleet.

    They had to know that wasn’t going to go down well. Environmental groups in Japan are outraged that the disaster fund is being used to prop up an industry they have been fighting against for years. Though commercial whaling has been banned for decades, Japan is one of a handful of nations that continue their catch with the permission of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) for scientific purposes, culling about 1000 whales annually. “Pouring billions of yen into Antarctic whaling during this time of crisis is downright shameful,” Junichi Sato, head of Greenpeace Japan, told the Guardian last week. “Japan cannot afford to waste money on whaling in the Antarctic when its people are suffering at home.”

    Tokyo says the whaling industry needs the support of the fund to get back on its feet after March 11 just like other fishing communities on the devastated northeastern coast of Japan. Port towns like Ayukawa that were built on the back of the multi-million dollar whaling industry were destroyed along with so much else, and, like their neighbors, residents there want to get their businesses back up and running, too. “Many people in the area eat whale meat,” an official from Japan’s Fisheries Agency told CNN. “They are waiting for Japan’s commercial whaling to resume and it is their hope for recovery.”

    But padding the industry with reconstruction money is not the end of Japan’s efforts to protect its scientific endeavors. Last year, the government caved in to the pressure Sea Shepherd exerted on its ships and crew and called off the hunt early, with only about one-fifth of its intended catch. On Dec. 9, the Institute of Cetacean Research, the government body that manages the yearly cull, announced that it filed a lawsuit along with shipowner Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha against Sea Shepherd and its founder, Paul Watson. (See the press release here.) ICR and Kyodo Senpaku are seeking a court order to prevent “SSCS and its founder Paul Watson from engaging in activities at sea that could cause injuries to the crews and damage to the vessels.”

    Watson, whose organization is based in the U.S. state of Washington, responded immediately to the news of the law suit. “We have not caused a single injury nor have we been charged with a crime or even reprimanded by anyone for our actions,” he is quoted as saying on the organization’s web site. “This is simply a case of using the courts to harass us. I don’t believe they have a case and I doubt a U.S. court would take this seriously. Unlike Japan, the courts in the United States don’t automatically do what the government demands that they do.” The organization is currently planning to send 88 crew members on three ships to do its yearly battle under the banner of “Operation Divine Wind.”


    I can only conclude that the Japan government loves to kill. They'd kill animals regardless of the necessity and demand for them (And they also don't care if they're going to extinct). And they put killing above saving the lives of people, even their own. I wonder how the people feel about donating their money to Japan now.

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    I don't understand where the demand for whale and dolphin meat is coming from. If you have not yet seen it I would recommend watching The Cove, it is a documentary on dolphin hunting in Japan. Very sad but educational nonetheless, it touches on a serious topic of mercury poisoning and how dolphin and whale meat is laden with it. I believe that the level of mercury increases by 1000% at every level of animal that eats the smaller animal, for example a fish that has traces of mercury is eating by a dolphin the mercury level increases drastically in the dolphin and then by eating the dolphin you are then consuming a poisonous level of mercury, which kills your brain stems. It was also mentioned that dolphin meat was being sold in major Japanese cities as other types of meat or fish and the locals, when asked has no idea and said that they would never eat dolphin meat.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan clh_hilary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmbronefan View Post
    I don't understand where the demand for whale and dolphin meat is coming from. If you have not yet seen it I would recommend watching The Cove, it is a documentary on dolphin hunting in Japan. Very sad but educational nonetheless, it touches on a serious topic of mercury poisoning and how dolphin and whale meat is laden with it. I believe that the level of mercury increases by 1000% at every level of animal that eats the smaller animal, for example a fish that has traces of mercury is eating by a dolphin the mercury level increases drastically in the dolphin and then by eating the dolphin you are then consuming a poisonous level of mercury, which kills your brain stems. It was also mentioned that dolphin meat was being sold in major Japanese cities as other types of meat or fish and the locals, when asked has no idea and said that they would never eat dolphin meat.
    There is actually no demand for whale and dolphin meat at all. Most of the time the hunted meat are just being put somewhere and wasted. It was just some Japanese and the Japanese government wanting to uphold such ridiculous 'tradition' of them.

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    Obsessed Carrie Fan cole's Avatar
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    This is absolutely outrageous! This makes me pretty upset, actually. So they are taking money from relief efforts and putting it into an industry that (besides killing animals) is virtually useless?

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan clh_hilary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cole View Post
    This is absolutely outrageous! This makes me pretty upset, actually. So they are taking money from relief efforts and putting it into an industry that (besides killing animals) is virtually useless?
    Yes. And when their own people still need a lot of money to survive and rebuild their homes.


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