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UN Court: Japanese Whaling "Not Scientific"

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the swim-easy dept.

Japan 188

First time accepted submitter Nodsnarb (2851527) writes "The UN's international Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that Japan's Antarctic whaling program is not for scientific purposes. In a statement, the court said that Japan's programme involved activities which 'can broadly be characterised as scientific research.' However, it said that 'the evidence does not establish that the programme's design and implementation are reasonable in relation to achieving its stated objectives.' It added: 'The court concludes that the special permits granted by Japan for the killing, taking and treating of whales in connection with JARPA II are not 'for purposes of scientific research' pursuant to [the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling].'"

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It all winds up on a dinner table (5, Funny)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | about 5 months ago | (#46620087)

So I'm shocked....just shocked, I say, that there was no scientific objective .

Perhaps the science part was developing more efficient harpoons.

Re:It all winds up on a dinner table (4, Funny)

B33rNinj4 (666756) | about 5 months ago | (#46620105)

Nah, more efficient grilling and seasoning techniques.

Re:It all winds up on a dinner table (3, Funny)

Ash Vince (602485) | about 5 months ago | (#46620195)

Nah, more efficient grilling and seasoning techniques.

The Japanese mastered that years ago, you do not get much more efficient cooking than eating it raw :)

Re:It all winds up on a dinner table (4, Interesting)

Cyberax (705495) | about 5 months ago | (#46620679)

Not really. Cooking adds 10-20% to actual caloric content of food. Mainly because it breaks down complex molecules, making them easier to digest.

Re:It all winds up on a dinner table (4, Funny)

Talderas (1212466) | about 5 months ago | (#46620895)

What You Meant:
Cooked food contains more calories per gram.

What I Heard:
Cooking food makes you fatter.

Re:It all winds up on a dinner table (2)

Cyberax (705495) | about 5 months ago | (#46620995)

Well, yes. Both are true. If you eat raw food then you'll most likely be losing weight, as it's very hard to get enough calories from raw food to sustain overweight. So if your aim is to lose excessive weight then avoiding cooked foods is probably a good ides.

If you're thinking from a perspective of a shipwreck victim stuck on an island then cooking food (especially meat or starchy food) is a very good idea, because you'll need much less of it.

Re:It all winds up on a dinner table (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46620157)

Surely they were researching the effects of massive consumption of whale meat in human population. For science [smbc-comics.com] !

Japan, a land filled with lies ! (1, Troll)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 5 months ago | (#46620177)

Japan is a country in which "truth" means nothing.

They can say that the "experiment" they carried out in their whaling exercises are for "scientific research" but all of us know that the whale meat that you can get in many sushi restaurant inside Japan came from those whaling "experiments".

And the whales are *NOT* the only animal that they killed. They kill dolphins too !

You do not have to believe me, just click on the following link to find out what them Japanese are doing ...

http://www.linktv.org/about/bl... [linktv.org]

Re:Japan, a land filled with lies ! (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46620211)

As opposed to those other countries, that haven't invented 'using euphemisms to evade established law' yet?

I'll be right back, the illegal enemy combatants in administrative detention are causing trouble again.

Re:Japan, a land filled with lies ! (5, Interesting)

quenda (644621) | about 5 months ago | (#46621215)

There is an east-west cultural difference here.

In the West, we have "plausible deniability", where we can't be 100% sure they knew they were telling lies.

In the East, a plain-as-day outright lie is more polite than saying "no, we withdraw from your treaty.".

Re:Japan, a land filled with lies ! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46620485)

And the whales are *NOT* the only animal that they killed. They kill dolphins too !

If the reason for the exclamation mark is that dolphins are considered cuter than whales then I think you are preaching to the wrong crowd.
This article is already a bit off by being posted on Slashdot rather than to pages that specializes in wildlife, environment or Japanese food.
Please don't make me take the side of Japanese whalers just to spite you.

Re:Japan, a land filled with lies ! (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 5 months ago | (#46621117)

Well, they're most probably smarter, self-aware communicators too.

Re: Truth and Countries (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46621173)

"Japan is a country in which "truth" means nothing."

So you are saying Japan is similar to the majority of countries in the world, and more specifically governments? So?

While you're so up in arms about Japan killing dolphins, millions of "less cute" animals are slaughtered in the United States. Those fur coats that few people wear in the USA anymore? That the US has shown we won't tolerate? Well, most of animals for the coats worn across the globe are still born, raised and killed in the USA and Canada.

Re: Truth and Countries (0)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 5 months ago | (#46621339)

1. That's a tu quoque fallacy that makes even less sense than a normal tu quoque fallacy. Just because more than one country lies doesn't make it the truth. Furthemore, Taco Cowboy is not a nation. You're assuming he's from the US and also that he endorses the US policies. That's stupid. His criticism is not hypocritical necessarily.

2. No one is saying that eating meat or wearing fur is for science, at least not in the US.

Re:It all winds up on a dinner table (4, Insightful)

will_die (586523) | about 5 months ago | (#46620199)

Guess I will have to just rely of Norway for my whale meat supply. It is rather tasty.

Re:It all winds up on a dinner table (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46620363)

I've tasted whale, it isn't tasty.

Re:It all winds up on a dinner table (5, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 5 months ago | (#46620515)

I've tasted whale, it isn't tasty.

Apparently most younger Japanese aren't much into it themselves either, and the "tradition" isn't, really. From this report [bbc.co.uk] :-

For [Mitoshi Noguchi] there is nothing wrong with eating whale, it reminds him of school lunch.

"When we were growing up we didn't have ample supply of food, so this was meat for us, our protein," he says. "So when we eat it now it's very reminiscent. It's delicious."

Mr Noguchi is in late middle age, but on the same table is one of his much younger colleagues, Yoshitaka Takayanagi, born after the meat was phased out in Japanese schools. Few Japanese eat whale regularly these days, especially the young, and he has only eaten it twice before.

This covers the phenomenon in general in more depth [bbc.co.uk] :-

So why does Japan exert so much diplomatic effort on this issue? The official line is that whaling is an integral part of Japanese culture, a practice dating back hundreds of years.

That isn't quite true. A few coastal communities, like Wakayama, have been hunting whales for centuries, traditionally with hand-held harpoons.

But the rest of Japan only became familiar with eating whale during the 20th Century, as modern ships with harpoon-guns became available. Whale meat was especially widespread in the difficult years after the Second World War, when it was seen as a cheap source of protein.

But as incomes rose, people switched to imported beef, or fish like tuna and salmon. With such an abundance of high-quality protein available these days, few Japanese see the point in eating whale, which doesn't taste that special.

There are other reasons for Japan's determined campaign.

"If the current ban on hunting whales is allowed to become permanent," says Hideki Moronuki, at the Fisheries Agency, the government department leading the campaign, "activists may direct their efforts to restricting other types of fishing."

As Japan consumes more fish than any other nation, it worries about possible curbs on its fishing activities in open seas for species like tuna.

Officials also like to claim that whales damage fish stocks because of the quantities they eat, although this is largely dismissed by scientists in the rest of the world.

But perhaps the biggest factor is resentment of being told by other countries what Japan can and cannot do.

"Why do people in the west make such a big deal about our very limited hunting of whales?" asks Hideki Moronuki.

"How would they feel if we told Americans they couldn't hunt deer, or if we told Australians to stop hunting kangaroos?"

Re:It all winds up on a dinner table (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 5 months ago | (#46621419)

Also interestingly, the US was the one promoting it right after WWII.

General Douglas MacArthur encouraged the surrendered Japan to continue whaling in order to provide a cheap source of meat to starving people (and millions of dollars in oil for the USA and Europe).[35][36] The Japanese whaling industry quickly recovered as MacArthur authorized two tankers, converted into factory ships (Hashidate Maru and Nisshin Maru), with whale catchers to once again take blue whales, fins, humpbacks and sperm whales in the Antarctic and elsewhere.[35]

Wiki If you object to the US telling you to stop eating whale meat, remember that it was the US who told you to start. Maybe start by rejecting that first order we gave you and refuse to eat whale meat?

Re:It all winds up on a dinner table (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 5 months ago | (#46621441)

Oops. The wiki link [wikipedia.org]

Re:It all winds up on a dinner table (4, Informative)

ljw1004 (764174) | about 5 months ago | (#46621513)

I'd had it twice. The first time raw in Japan it was okay.

The second time, seared, in Iceland, it was sublime. Like a combination of the best bits of sashimi and the best bits of high quality steak, somehow unexpectedly combined in one delicious whole.

Re:It all winds up on a dinner table (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46620445)

It WAS science! ... culinary science!

Irony (4, Funny)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 5 months ago | (#46620467)

In the USA, a large quantity of peanut butter is now being destroyed because it comes from a plant that had experienced Salmonella contamination, although supposedly not at the time this particular lot was made.

In the mean time, Japan - a country notoriously obsessed with cleanliness and purity - is eating discarded remains of scientific experiments.

Not Irony (4, Insightful)

sjbe (173966) | about 5 months ago | (#46620735)

In the mean time, Japan - a country notoriously obsessed with cleanliness and purity - is eating discarded remains of scientific experiments.

There is not and never was any science involved. This was a fig leaf to protect commercial interests, nothing more. These were obviously fishing vessels for commercial purposes and everyone has known that from day one.

Re:Not Irony (1)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 5 months ago | (#46621313)

Yes, of course, it's always been an obvious sham.

In other news... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46620113)

License to "harpoon" your "mom" still UN approved!

Excellent, but .... (2, Insightful)

DaMattster (977781) | about 5 months ago | (#46620117)

How will the UN enforce this? This is nothing more than a symbolic gesture as I don't think sanctions are likely to hurt Japan all that much.

Re:Excellent, but .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46620201)

How will the UN enforce this? This is nothing more than a symbolic gesture as I don't think sanctions are likely to hurt Japan all that much.

UN itself can't enforce this, but other countries with a bone to pick with Japan *cough* China *cough* could take this as more ammunition against Japan. Going from simple PR spin, to banning of whale meat imports, to where their imagination can go.

Re:Excellent, but .... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46620289)

The Chinese eat dogs, are responsible for the death of countless sharks killed just for their fins, and are the endpoint of the majority of illegal ivory trade which kills thousands of endangered animals each year. I hardly think they will be the ones taking Japan to task on this.

Re:Excellent, but .... (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 5 months ago | (#46620389)

You're absolutely correct, but hypocrisy has never stood in the way of politics

Re:Excellent, but .... (2)

jythie (914043) | about 5 months ago | (#46620397)

What better way to deflect criticism then to jump on a bandwagon and attack another country for its own issues?

Besides, they can always claim (esp to their own people) 'but that is different!'. The US does it with our farm animals and fishing after all.

Re:Excellent, but .... (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 5 months ago | (#46620753)

That's Korea moron.

Re:Excellent, but .... (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 5 months ago | (#46620837)

It's both, numbnuts.

Re:Excellent, but .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46620967)

Yeah, but this could be used as excuse when other countries try to point their fingers to China killing sharks, they can now point to Japan killing whales and claim the West showing double standards again.

Re:Excellent, but .... (2)

imrahilj (3553503) | about 5 months ago | (#46621541)

What's so much better about eating pigs than dogs? People in the US think it is somehow odd or disgusting to eat dogs, but we are just fine with eating pigs which are arguably more intelligent animals.

Re:Excellent, but .... (2)

jonwil (467024) | about 5 months ago | (#46620339)

Given that it was Australia who launched the court challenge in the first place, it will be interesting to see what, if anything, Australia does next.

On the one hand, Australia doesn't like the Japanese whale slaughter. But on the other hand, Australia has good relations with Japan as a trading partner that they need to maintain (Japan buys a lot of Australian beef for example)

Re:Excellent, but .... (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 5 months ago | (#46620771)

And that's going to stop why?

Re:Excellent, but .... (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 5 months ago | (#46620949)

Because economic warfare is the only course of action you have available if you don't want to be party to actual warfare which is generally looked down upon without an obvious aggressor.

Re:Excellent, but .... (4, Funny)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 5 months ago | (#46620229)

Whale Wars: UN Edition?

Re:Excellent, but .... (2)

Zatchmort (1091857) | about 5 months ago | (#46620309)

Japan exports a lot of products, particularly consumer electronics. They also depend heavily on imports for things like food. Any sort of tariffs or sanctions related to those would certainly make an impression.

Re:Excellent, but .... (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 5 months ago | (#46620345)

Yeah. We know how the Japanese have responded to economic sanctions.

Re:Excellent, but .... (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 5 months ago | (#46620779)

You mean China. Most "export" products are made in the countries that consume those products. Most manufacturing is done outside of Japan.

Re:Excellent, but .... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46620319)

Easy, just dope the whales with some radioactive materials. Not enough to harm the whales but enough so the japanese will be too scared to eat them.

Re:Excellent, but .... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 months ago | (#46621393)

Easy, just dope the whales with some radioactive materials. Not enough to harm the whales but enough so the japanese will be too scared to eat them.

You're too late. The Japanese already thought of that idea [huffingtonpost.com] .

Re:Excellent, but .... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46620331)

How will the UN enforce this? This is nothing more than a symbolic gesture as I don't think sanctions are likely to hurt Japan all that much.

Japan has agreed to abide by the UN courts rulings, which have asked for am immediate stop to the practice

Re:Excellent, but .... (5, Informative)

Xest (935314) | about 5 months ago | (#46620413)

It's not so much how the UN can enforce it, it's the fact that it makes it legal for other countries to take action against Japan over it without themselves becoming victims of legal cases from Japan.

For example, Japanese ships entered New Zealand's exclusive economic zone earlier this year - something boats are normally allowed to do without needing explicit permission. Now however there's nothing to stop the New Zealand coast guard from arresting them and seizing their ship for carrying out an illegal activity if they were to pass through that zone again. Effectively Japan could no longer call such act an act of piracy which would be the risk of New Zealand or similar decided to go ahead and do that without this ruling.

This is why Japan has said it will abide by the ruling, because whilst it's embarassing for them to lose their whaling argument at long last, it'd be even more embarassing if they said "fuck the UN" and then got their ships legally seized by a foreign government and the Japanese crew paraded on TV as arrested for engaging in illegal activity. They'd then have to stop whaling for the reason that their ships had been seized, rather than that they'd accepted the ruling and given it up themselves - this is the least embarrassing route for them now, hence why they're taking it.

Re:Excellent, but .... (1, Insightful)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about 5 months ago | (#46620459)

Well, they can always ask Sea Shepherd.

Re:Excellent, but .... (4, Interesting)

mean pun (717227) | about 5 months ago | (#46620489)

How will the UN enforce this? This is nothing more than a symbolic gesture as I don't think sanctions are likely to hurt Japan all that much.

Since Japan is using UN resolutions/verdicts against China in its geo-political battles, they do not want to be seen as flouting UN verdicts themselves.

Also, whale meat is actually not that popular in Japan, so much so that the whalers have to dump their stocks: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/op... [japantimes.co.jp] . The reason Japan has persisted in whaling despite all the protests is a mixture of lobbying, nationalist sentiments, and fears that banning whaling will open the door to more restrictions of fishing rights.

I'm sure some Japanese politicians will thank the gods of their choice for this verdict.

Re:Excellent, but .... (1)

countach (534280) | about 5 months ago | (#46620961)

Good question. Personally I think Australia should just send a destroyer down there and sort it out, but I doubt we'll have the guts.

Re:Excellent, but .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46621145)

Personally I think Australia should just send a destroyer down there and sort it out.

If only they would... that'd be great.

Re:Excellent, but .... (1)

myth24601 (893486) | about 5 months ago | (#46621559)

How will the UN enforce this? This is nothing more than a symbolic gesture as I don't think sanctions are likely to hurt Japan all that much.

Simple, the UN Anti-Whaling commission will be called together. Japan will serve as Chair of this commission.

one word can come out off my throat : (2)

polar red (215081) | about 5 months ago | (#46620147)

My throat can only make one sound :
DUH !

Next: eavesdropping does not stop terrorism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46620151)

Well, one can hope.

It's all fun and games... (0)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | about 5 months ago | (#46620163)

.. when putting whale meat on the dinner table until a giant black spray painted bounty towel roll core parks itself in Earth's oribit and dangles a glowy soccer ball over the planet to bag us for lack of whales. Shattner and Nemoy won't be around forever Japan!

Re:It's all fun and games... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46620505)

If you're trying to make a snarky Star Trek IV reference, I'll thank you to spell Leonard's name properly.

Researching mass extinction! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46620169)

Ground-breaking work.

Zero Fin (5, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 5 months ago | (#46620217)

Somebody set up us the harpoon.
All your whale are belong to us.
For great justice.

Thankfully, we can still do research in simulation (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 5 months ago | (#46620233)

Continue the noble science against UN oppression with the Cetacean Research Simulator [harpooned.org] !

Buried the lede (4, Insightful)

barlevg (2111272) | about 5 months ago | (#46620277)

From the Washington Post version [washingtonpost.com] ,

Australia had sued Japan at the U.N.’s highest court for resolving disputes between nations

Hold the phone--you mean there are ways to solve disputes between nations that *don't* involve firing artillery, invasion or threatening sanctions? Has anyone told North Korea, South Korea, Russia, Ukraine or the United States?

Re:Buried the lede (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 5 months ago | (#46620367)

The UN court is basically non-binding arbitration.

Re:Buried the lede (3, Insightful)

barlevg (2111272) | about 5 months ago | (#46620525)

Really, I'm just shocked every time I read about the UN doing *anything* productive. In truth, the UN probably does a lot of good throughout the world. For instance, I applaud them for keeping their election observers on the ground in Afghanistan, whereas two other groups are withdrawing theirs after the Kabul hotel bombing [csmonitor.com] (the withdrawal of foreign observers is quite clearly one of the Taliban's goals).

American, I presume? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46621123)

Because you sound like American propaganda.

You do know that the UN was partly the brainchild of an American president, didn't you? As a body to help project American power?
And don't say you did if you didn't, and that it doesn't matter, because it does.

Re:Buried the lede (1)

nojayuk (567177) | about 5 months ago | (#46621571)

Once you actually look, you find out the UN does a lot of productive stuff like peacekeeping and conflict monitoring, elections, health and welfare, education etc. It's just that sometimes the UN doesn't do as the American government tells it to do so it is by definition ineffective and unproductive.

http://www.theonion.com/articl... [theonion.com]

Re:Buried the lede (1)

criten (986175) | about 5 months ago | (#46620399)

Or Sea Shepherd?

Re:Buried the lede (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46620851)

Sea Kittens!

Re:Buried the lede (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 5 months ago | (#46620509)

Yes, the problem is for it to work you need civilised nations that actually listen. Unfortunately that doesn't apply to any of those you listed (and I add my own nation to the list - the UK).

Getting Putin to listen though when he's off on a paranoid rant about how the EU wants to make him eat croissants is a no-go, much less Kim Jong Un who actually thinks he's a good leader and the whole of the rest of the world is always wrong about everything.

This is one of those rare occasions where it's actually worked because the loser has accepted the ruling rather than saying "Okay, I lost, but I don't care, I'm going to carry on as I was anyway" or alternatively, "Fuck that, I'm not even going to go to that court because deep down I know I'm wrong and know I'll lose", the latter of which is what Argentina has done each time the UK has offered to let the court rule on the Falklands for example.

Re:Buried the lede (1)

javelinco (652113) | about 5 months ago | (#46620841)

This is one of those rare occasions where it's actually worked because the loser has accepted the ruling rather than saying "Okay, I lost, but I don't care, I'm going to carry on as I was anyway" or alternatively, "Fuck that, I'm not even going to go to that court because deep down I know I'm wrong and know I'll lose", the latter of which is what Argentina has done each time the UK has offered to let the court rule on the Falklands for example.

Why do you imagine that Japan is going to give a shit about this ruling? I don't see any reason to believe that anything is going to change.

Re:Buried the lede (4, Informative)

Xest (935314) | about 5 months ago | (#46620857)

Because they've said they will?

That was kind of a big pointer. It does require you to RTFA though.

The quote in question from TFA:

"Japan said it would abide by the decision but added it "regrets and is deeply disappointed by the decision"."

Re:Buried the lede (1)

Talderas (1212466) | about 5 months ago | (#46621043)

1. Because whale meat is not that popular.
2. Not abiding by it causes them more trouble than abiding by it.
3. Most importantly, Japan has been fighitng this issue as the frontline of the battle for fishing rights. It was a battle that was going to be lost eventually so it was serving as a delaying action.

Re:Buried the lede (2)

jrumney (197329) | about 5 months ago | (#46621099)

The fact that Japan has always claimed to work within the rules of the IWC shows that they do give a shit about the ruling on some level. If they wanted to continue blatantly commercially whaling without even the slightest pretence of giving a damn, they could have joined Norway and Iceland in giving the finger to the IWC long ago.

Re:Buried the lede (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 5 months ago | (#46621573)

NO country complies with such rulings, unless it's in their interest do so, or unless they are compelled.

The problem with the US (who has since WW2 largely complied even with rulings against itself, contrary to your implication above) is that moronic recent political leaders don't understand that following such rules (except in extremis) IS in the US's broader long-term interest in fortifying the legal conduct of all other states.

Re:Buried the lede (4, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about 5 months ago | (#46621005)

Hold the phone--you mean there are ways to solve disputes between nations that *don't* involve firing artillery, invasion or threatening sanctions? Has anyone told North Korea, South Korea, Russia, Ukraine or the United States?

Nations aren't ignorant of other means of settling disputes. They just believe the dispute is more likely to be settled in their favor if they break out the artillery.

For example, Russia would risk the loss of Sevastopol as a naval port, if they were to resort to a UN court. By merely taking over the Crimea, they don't have that risk. It's simply the better move for them.

Re:Buried the lede (1)

barlevg (2111272) | about 5 months ago | (#46621085)

Re:Buried the lede (1)

khallow (566160) | about 5 months ago | (#46621151)

I posted not because there was too much sarcasm in your post, but because there was too much unicorn.

Re:Buried the lede (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46621057)

No, because nothing ever actually gets solved there, just used as political fuel for moves elsewhere (like backing up sanctions).

Route for the Whalers (1, Flamebait)

cgfsd (1238866) | about 5 months ago | (#46620283)

Is is just me, or does anyone else route for the whalers in Whale Wars?

Re:Route for the Whalers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46620715)

just you

Re:Route for the Whalers (0)

es330td (964170) | about 5 months ago | (#46620741)

When the activists boarded the whaling ship I was praying the people on the whaling ship would simply throw them overboard. I know the Sea Shepherd had Zodiacs deployed to pluck people from the water if needed, but I promise you anybody that went in that water will think very long and hard about risking having that happen a second time. It was obvious that many of the people on the Shepherd thought this was all fun and games but a quick dose of reality in the form of freezing water would probably change their attitude. I also thought the whaling ships needed someone on board with a 12 gauge shotgun to take out the bags of rancid butter being flung at the ship. Unlike most flying targets, those were large and slow moving and should have been easy to blow open.

Re:Route for the Whalers (2)

Triklyn (2455072) | about 5 months ago | (#46621147)

not so much rooting for whalers, as rooting against the anti-whalers. an altruistic act does not make good a completely wretched person.

for example, being a dick doesn't invalidate what assange did, but at the same time, what he accomplished doesn't make him less of a dick.

Re:Route for the Whalers (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 months ago | (#46621471)

I'm not sure where you are going with that.

treating creation like a scammable public (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46620313)

insensible in every sense, offending & upending all of our senses & spirits at once http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=nazi+zion+conquest+water+food+air&sm=3 UNhelpful out of charter

All I can say is "It's about fuckin' time." (1)

Chas (5144) | about 5 months ago | (#46620325)

Japanese "research" whaling has always been a wink and nod piece of bullshit propaganda.

I'm glad even an organization as spineless, dickless and useless as the UN actually stood up and realized it.

Now, will anything COME of this? Probably not.

Re:All I can say is "It's about fuckin' time." (1)

jythie (914043) | about 5 months ago | (#46620429)

Well, they have always realized it, I doubt anyone in power actually believed Japan's legal argument. It is really just a matter of who's citizens are upset in what proportions to being able to effect the political careers of various leaders.

Re:All I can say is "It's about fuckin' time." (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46620517)

I'm glad even an organization as spineless, dickless and useless as the UN actually stood up and realized it.

Now, will anything COME of this? Probably not.

People often accuse UN for being spineless. The reason UN doesn't act on anything is because a few nations have veto rights. Remove those and UN will become a lot less active. The only problem is that the US and Russia will both leave the UN if their veto rights are revoked.

Meanwhile back in reality (3, Insightful)

criten (986175) | about 5 months ago | (#46620353)

... tuna is actually more endangered than the minke whales Japan catch. Australia is a large producer of tuna. "Whale doesn't even taste good" is a common anti-whaling statement, yet neither does tuna. But Japan like tuna, so they won't protest it.

Re:Meanwhile back in reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46620669)

Tuna does taste good, or maybe it's the dolphin in the tuna cans. Tuna as a stake or what ever isn't that good.

Meanwhile back away from moranity (3, Insightful)

Uberbah (647458) | about 5 months ago | (#46620811)

tuna is actually more endangered than the minke whales Japan catch

Actually that's a red herring with zero relevance to the subject of whaling. Siberian tigers are even more rare than tuna, so Japan should be able to haul in as many bluefins as they can catch. Or something.

Re:Meanwhile back away from moranity (1)

criten (986175) | about 5 months ago | (#46621467)

Actually that's a red herring with zero relevance to the subject of whaling. Siberian tigers are even more rare than tuna, so Japan should be able to haul in as many bluefins as they can catch. Or something.

Actually thats a red herring with zero relevance to the subject of whaling. Unless I am mistaken, siberian tigers aren't a marine animal poached for food supply south to south-east of the Australian coast.

smHit? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46620375)

Hollow, meaningless, toothless ruling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46620439)

"'The court concludes that the special permits granted by Japan for the killing, taking and treating of whales in connection with JARPA II are not 'for purposes of scientific research' pursuant to [the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling].'

The court also did not nullify the existing permits, or enjoin them being issued any new permits, because it's just a powerless UN court that can't actually enforce any of its rulings.

Background (2)

Hans Adler (2446464) | about 5 months ago | (#46620455)

I have said it before, but I think it's worth repeating:

When it comes to exploiting (other) natural resources in a high seas region it's important to prove that you have been economically active there for a long time, and still are. The whaling is an investment. This investment requires that the programme is pretty openly non-scientific. Just 'scientific' enough so a sufficient number of other countries in the International Whaling Commission can be convinced to allow it, where necessary through a bribe. But no more so, because at some point later Japan will have to prove that it was an economic activity, not research.

So I guess we'll never know... (2)

dohzer (867770) | about 5 months ago | (#46620627)

So I guess we'll never know if a whale can survive a harpoon to the cerebral cortex. This is a dark day for science.

Whaling bad, mass breeding cattle and pigs good? (2, Interesting)

HnT (306652) | about 5 months ago | (#46620849)

So, can someone explain to me why whaling is such a very bad thing the whole Western world has to get in an uproar - yet destroying huge portions of the rain forest and endangering species living in it to breed cattle or grow soy is ok? It's not like our culinary preferences are not endangering other species and destroying their natural habitats.
But when it's whales, all of a sudden it matters?

Re:Whaling bad, mass breeding cattle and pigs good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46621053)

So, can someone explain to me why whaling is such a very bad thing the whole Western world has to get in an uproar - yet destroying huge portions of the rain forest and endangering species living in it to breed cattle or grow soy is ok? It's not like our culinary preferences are not endangering other species and destroying their natural habitats.
But when it's whales, all of a sudden it matters?

The simplest reason being that the whales killed were wild and not bred to be eaten? Not to mention endangered? And it did not "sudden matters", it mattered for a long time, you just haven't been paying attention.

Yeah, destroying rain forest is bad, but breeding cattle is just the indirect cause, so it is much harder to convince people to ban cattle to save the forests, cuz you need to also convince them the forests will not be destroyed for other reasons.

Re:Whaling bad, mass breeding cattle and pigs good (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 5 months ago | (#46621265)

1) It all matters. The same people who oppose rainforest devastation for food oppose whaling for food. The same people who don't give a shit about the rainforest don't, generally speaking, give a shit about whales.

2) They're a slow-breeding, unfarmed animal. Whaling has essentially been outlawed* because they can't sustain being hunted for food.

*Countries can go cap-in-hand to the UN to ask for a quota, for example to preserve small-scale traditional hunting. It goes without saying that Japan's present whaling operation doesn't meet the cultural criteria.

Re:Whaling bad, mass breeding cattle and pigs good (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 5 months ago | (#46621565)

Remember folks, the US does allow whaling. Alaska native tribes are still allowed a subsistence hunt [noaa.gov] for bowhead whales.

Re:Whaling bad, mass breeding cattle and pigs good (1)

umafuckit (2980809) | about 5 months ago | (#46621357)

So, can someone explain to me why whaling is such a very bad thing the whole Western world has to get in an uproar - yet destroying huge portions of the rain forest and endangering species living in it to breed cattle or grow soy is ok?

Nobody is saying the former is bad and the latter is OK. It's not an either/or situation: both are bad and people are trying to do something about both. In theory, however, it should be easier to do something about the whales than something about the rainforests.

Re:Whaling bad, mass breeding cattle and pigs good (1)

criten (986175) | about 5 months ago | (#46621515)

No, its just the historical culture of Japan that doesn't matter.

Re:Whaling bad, mass breeding cattle and pigs good (1)

imrahilj (3553503) | about 5 months ago | (#46621575)

So, can someone explain to me why whaling is such a very bad thing the whole Western world has to get in an uproar - yet destroying huge portions of the rain forest and endangering species living in it to breed cattle or grow soy is ok? It's not like our culinary preferences are not endangering other species and destroying their natural habitats. But when it's whales, all of a sudden it matters?

Finally, a voice of reason. The truth of the matter is (I think) that we like to feel good about ourselves "doing something". If all the whaling in the world stopped, it would have no effect on most humans. If all of the factory farms in the world stopped raising animals in the inhumane conditions that they are raised in, it would have a huge effect on many humans. People want to be seen as pro-environment, but most people aren't actually willing to sacrifice their own comfort to do so. Hence the hypocrisy.

All those scientists will lose their jobs (2)

DrXym (126579) | about 5 months ago | (#46620951)

How are they going to put food on their plate now?

One more reality TV show out of business... (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | about 5 months ago | (#46621429)

So much for "Whale Wars" and the gang of the Sea Shepard. Ah well.

Seriously though, laudable as the decision (that would require others to enforce) is, I'm baffled that it took this long (almost 4 years) to make a decision on something that clearly wasn't scientific in nature.

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