Sexism In Gaming on Hold; Whaling Topic, Continued….

Posted: June 5, 2011 in Whaling

Sooooo….seems my (ahem) sarcastic support of the Japanese Fleet ruffled some feathers (as an aside, I do not now nor have I ever Owned a Russian Ice Breaker Class Vessel…I would take one though!)

So, as posted in comments on post one, I did some digging around. 

Ahem:  The Following Countries Engage in commercial Whaling:

Japan, Norway, Russia, and Iceland.

Iceland hunts minke and fin whales (30 and 9 respectively a year)
Russia hunts Grey Whales (140 a year)
Norway hunts minke whales (400-2000 a year)
Japan hunts minke and humpback whales (500-1500 a year)

at least that is what I could find…various other Nations (US, Canada, Greenland, ect.) allow for indigenous  peoples to engage in whaling- Greenland’s allowed number of whales to be taken being the highest-140.)

So, when it comes to Whaling, it actually looks like Norway is the country which does the most of it.  Both Norway and Russia used to hunt Orca (which is what I remember from back when I was a kid, seeing a show about Norway and Russia hunting both Orca and Humpback whales, way back in the 70’s).  It appears Japan is the only group which as a COUNTRY hunts humpbacks anymore (various indigenous people do as well).   But…this caused me to wonder (as I mentioned in comments below…)

Why is it that the Japanese seem to be singled out as the target of the Sea Sheppard’s greatest ire?  Norway actually kills more whales, and interestingly enough, Norway NEVER signed ANY agreement to LIMIT whaling…so they do not see the bans as something that applies to them (because they never agreed to the bans in the first place.  They have cut back and toned down their commercial whaling, but yeah…) .  But yes, I wonder why, specifically, the Sea Sheppard’s have a hard on for Japan?  Is it because Japan hunts humpbacks?  Is it because Norway never agreed to the ban?  Or, well, I wonder if they figure way up there in the North, the Whalers of Norway, Russia, Iceland, so on…would NOT put up with them and might be a bit more offensive (and I mean like in aggressive, not crass) than the traditionally more…calm and polite…Japanese?  Is it that Japan is an easier target?  Who knows….if you do, please enlighten me, because I am curious.  After all, if the Sea Sheppard’s are merely concerned with People Who Are Killing Whales….well, it sounds like they should be after the Norwegians along with or instead of the Japanese….



  1. Gaina says:

    Yes, I take your point and agree. I’m just having a good mooch around the Sea Shepherd website and their action is indeed global and they are every bit as critical of other whaling government’s as they do to the Japanese government.

    Maybe going on location to Japan was an easier program logistically for the network to make. I’d rather think that because the alternative disturbs me deeply – that it’s even remotely possible the network is cynically exploiting the ‘America v Japan’ angle.

    • Ren says:

      I pondered that, the whole America vs Japan thing, now, granted, it MAY be easier to GET to where the Japanese do their whaling logistically….might be harder to set up and sail out all sneaky like from, well, ANYWHERE near where Norway and Russia, ect., do theirs, BUT….Norway out hunts Japan by a significant amount…

      I also recall seeing a documentary once about Norway and Russia and whaling, and well, to put it nicely…they do NOT dick around. I don’t remember if it was a Russian Or Norwegian Ship, but one of em CHASED DOWN the film crew with a dude up there manning the Harpoon gun….did not shoot at them, just chased ’em off, but HELL that would scare me to death….

    • Ren says:

      what are their views on indigenous whalers, anything about that on there by chance? ( I refuse to go to their site)

      • Gaina says:

        This is from the Equality Statement on their website:

        ‘We do not oppose Japanese or Norwegian whaling we oppose illegal whaling as defined under international conservation law……Our volunteer crew members come from all over the world including from the nations that we are forced to oppose such as Japan, Norway, and Canada.

        We are not anti-any nationality or culture. We are pro-Ocean and we work in the interests of all life on Earth. We only oppose criminals and criminal operations.’

  2. I think it might be partly because the Japanese operation in mainly in international waters in the Southern Ocean, and not coastal waters?

    Also, Hobart, in the Australian state of Tasmania, is a useful base for Sea Shepherd’s operations and Australian opinion is very anti-whaling, meaning they can raise money and support here.

    Perhaps that that makes Southern Ocean operations far easier to support than setting up a base in Northern Europe?

    Also, just published a comment on the previous whaling post, but it disappeared, probably to the spam trap because I put two links in it.

  3. Xena says:

    I wonder if all of this has anything to do with lazy mediawhores preferring warmer waters to sail in. ;)It’s pretty cold in the North Atlantic for most of the year.

  4. Erik Schwarz says:

    Thanks to all for the fascinating posts and comments on whaling. I have learned a lot. Ren’s whale “body count” by country is a useful summary and helps to give perspective. Would love to know the source.

    About Sea Shepherd and Japan v. Norway, I have to agree with Gaina. SS does not seem to reserve special ire for Japan, and their website is replete with vitriol and contumely directed towards the Norwegians.

    Paul Watson blogged at Huffington Post after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, expressing sympathy for the Japanese people and relating the story of an SS crew trapped in Otsuchi, one of the devastated towns on the Honshu coast.

    Absent a long night of drinking and soul-baring with SS principals, we cannot presume they are motivated by racism, jingoism or cowardice re. Japan. In fact they were active in Norway until 2004-5.

    As to why SS has shifted the focus of its direct actions from Norwegian to Japanese whaling, the comments above offer plausible conjectures. Logistics, media attention, funding and public support in the theatre of operations etc.

    SS themselves point to another reason: the indigenous Norwegian direct-action operation called Agenda 21. Paul Watson has been quoted as saying “It’s always better when these things are taken care of by citizens in their own country”

    Agenda 21 seems to be aligned with SS though perhaps even more extreme. As of a year ago, the Norwegians had scuttled 7 whaling vessels. SS claims to have no knowledge of their personnel or operations, but this may be a convenient fiction.

    I do not know enough about Sea Shepherd to venture a judgment about their mission, strategy and tactics. They well may be, as Ren suggests, a self-aggrandizing, violent and hypocritical lot. Greenpeace among others would seem to agree.

    Sometimes good causes are championed by bad people. We can all appreciate the moral imperative to end slavery, but few of us would want to spend a day in the company of John Brown.

    • Gaina says:

      <> Completely off topic but as an articulate person, I just want to say I really appreciate anyone who sends me scurrying for my dictionary. ;).

      • Gaina says:

        Sorry that last post went a bit wrong, it was for Erik with regard to the word ‘contumely’.

        • Erik Schwarz says:

          I guess “contumely” is a bit archaic. No idea where I picked it up. The most famous use is in Hamlet’s famous Act 3 soliloquy, the one beginning “To be or not to be…” That is almost certainly not where I first heard the word. More likely in an episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle.

          • Gaina says:

            Yep. Rocky and Bullwinkle, that’s it. Never underestimate the eloquence of Moose (or is it Mooses?) ;P

            • Erik Schwarz says:

              [Bullwinkle is going for a walk in the woods]
              Rocky: But Bullwinkle, there aren’t any more woods.
              Bullwinkle: You don’t have to tell me, I’m the Chairman for the
              Frostbite Falls Society of Wildlife Conversation.
              Rocky: You mean “wildlife conSERVation.”
              Bullwinkle: What’d I say?
              Rocky: You said “wildlife conVERSation.”
              Bullwinkle: Well, somebody’s gonna have to start talking about these things.

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