Japanese scientific whaling - humbug

By Murray Bourne, 05 Jun 2007

People become more pig-headed when they are under pressure. The Japanese really love seafood. Fine. They have hunted whales throughout history. That’s a known.

But the nonsense known as "scientific whaling" has gone on for 18 years now. And produced what?

This transcript from Australia’s respected Catalyst TV program, Whale Science, shows what little has been achieved.

Out of the papers that were published during the JARPA research, only 55 were refereed (a requirement of scientific research). Out of those, only 14 were relevant to the stated aim of such research:

Usefulness for managing commercial whaling

And the verdict?

Prof Archer: From that whole pile of papers we’ve got a total of four papers that can be said to be peer reviewed, that have some relevance to developing or managing a whaling industry and also would require lethal sampling of whales to get that information. Just four papers.

Nick Gales: So with the eighteen year program and sixty eight hundred whales divided by four papers - that means 1700 whales killed for each one of those four papers.

Mike Archer: Extremely depressing. Nick Gales: It wouldn’t pass an ethics committee. Archer: No it would not.

Dr Jonica Newby: So - the verdict - science or smokescreen?

Mike: I have to say, having seen it all it’s more like a smokescreen than science.

A good counter argument was mentioned. Since Australia kills kangaroos for food (often for pet food), how can it complain about Japan’s harvesting of whales? [Yes, but kangaroos are not endangered.]

In 2005,

Japan announced it’s new research program JARPA 2.

It doubles the Minke catch, and for the first time, includes endangered Fin and threatened humpback whales.

When will humans ever learn? When they’re gone, they’re gone.

2 Comments on “Japanese scientific whaling - humbug”

1. Steven says:

Japan consumes many tonnes of seafood per year. They have over-fished much of the Pacific.

Why should we let them do the same to the whales? I agree with you Zac - they must be stopped.

2. Li-sa says:

Only when the consuption stops, the killing stops.

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