March 2nd, 2011 by J.H. Soeder
Masayuki Komatsu, former member of the IWC
In a recent article written by ABC news correspondent, Mark Willacy, whaling supporters consider Japan’s whaling ship retreat from Antarctic a cowardly move.
Masayuki Komatsu, a former delegate to the International Whaling commission made the above comment.
“I really regret that they [the Japanese whaling "research" vessel] decided to come back saying that it’s a matter of safety of the life,” Masayuki Komatsu said.
But that’s not all.
Komatsu went on to further say, “I think Australia’s position is very much disappointing, and perhaps lots of Japanese [are] really not happy with the action taken by Australia.”
As you may know, Australia is taking Japan to task in International Court, later this year. The reason? Specifically Japan has used (and abused) the word “research” to cover up their whaling in the Antarctic whale sanctuary.
Now there are those of you out there who continue to comment that Japan is doing nothing wrong under the laws established by the IWC. If that were so, why are so many people upset about the Japanese hunting whales in Antarctica? Why is Australia taking Japan to court? And for those “dyed in the wool” whaling supporters, they should start reading Japanese newspapers. Their own correspondents and writers openly admit that the Japanese Cetacean Institute’s Research vessel is an excuse for whaling in Antarctica. The other fact is that the area is actually a sanctuary.
A whale sanctuary is a safe haven. But this point is rigorously ignored by the Japanese.
It really boils down to semantics. In this case, semantics are being used to justify killing whales in a protected sanctuary. And as far as research goes, I see no scientific papers published that actually provide any meaningful data about the dissection of whales. And the papers that have been, show nothing new:
“After studying the genetics, biology, and body shape of minkes, ICR concluded there are two large stocks in the research area in the Antarctic, where there were originally believed to be six. ICR says it needs to therefore monitor changes in the Antarctic ecosystem to understand how the whales adapt to shifts in the ecosystem, “to provide scientific basis for comprehensive management of whale resources.”
“However, some marine biologists doubt the connection between the lethal research ICR is carrying out, and its stated research goals.
“Dr. Phillip Clapham, who heads the Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle, says only a small portion of the ICR’s research is relevant to whale population management.”
If you notice I highlighted the Japanese comment. Monitoring changes does not say “harvesting” or “collecting specimens”. Look at the verbal banter going on!
And with over 6,000 tons of frozen whale meat in Japanese food lockers, what additional research is needed?
In fact, if ANY research was being done, Japan would discover the currently dangerous mercury levels in whales and dolphins. The point is, the research is coming from elsewhere and NOT Japan!
It is quite easy for Mr Komatsu to state, “We are following the rules of the International Whaling Commission, Sea Shepherd is not,” when in fact pure semantics are at play here, or verbal banter.
I am sorry if I disappoint you, Mr. Komatsu. I guess you are disappointed because I will not, as many others agree with the smoke screen of “research” when in fact it is only a justification for slaughter.
It is always best to call a “spade a spade”.
But the key point to all of this is to bear in mind the rhetoric. With 6,000 tons of frozen whale meat and no where to sell it (except on Yahoo! Japan and under various surnames) I think the real reason is that it is a tremendous cost to the Japanese to continue whaling efforts in Antarctica, plus the fact that only a small percentage of Japan (less than 1 1/2%) eat it.
And that is no tall tale.