I got this online at Scoop Independent World News, a New Zealand website. It totally disgusted me so I thought I’d pass it along. I had just read a report about a group of whalers who had captured and killed a mother whale with babies in tow and dragged her away to slaughter, leaving the pups to struggle alone. It broke my heart, in fact made me tear up and I never forgot that image. And then I heard this report and the conservationist and conservative in me just cried out in pain. How on earth can this waste just go on?
According to Greenpeace, in Tokyo, Japan, 85 tons of whale meat may soon have to be discarded. Likely the meat of young mothers like the one I saw in the video; killed needlessly, it seems. Because of bureaucratic bungling, which makes the whole thing even more sordid. According to Greenpeace, the Japanese Government has not received the proper application for import of the meat and this means it’s going rancid in the mean time and will have to be tossed. In my opinion, this is among the worst anti-life violations I find in the world around me. Mom was killed for nothing and her pups probably died, too.
Of course, I do not know for sure that this whale I saw was among the actual meat they are discarding but the balance is the same. One less whale is one less whale. And the importing company responsible for the whale meat claimed it was “helping out our friends in Iceland” when questioned by Greenpeace in June. The company was a new version of an older one, having started operating again in May, with three new directors being appointed in order to import the whale meat in question. On August 26, when Greenpeace asked why no request for the appropriate import procedures had yet been submitted over two and-a-half months later, the company refused to answer. Again, I say, bureaucratic bungling.
Japanese customs law, like any civilized country, limits the storage time of goods in bonded warehouses. The whale meat in question had been in storage for well over two months. This huge load consists of between 60 and 80 tons (imagine that) of fine whale meat from Iceland and an additional 5 tons of Minke Whale meat from Norway. In Japan, overseas goods are stored until permission for import is received from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Import (METI). Goods that can spoil may be discarded if they are stored for more than three months. Since there is a halt in the paperwork, it has been that by now.
“This pointless import only serves to increase criticism of Japan,” said Wakao Hanaoka, Greenpeace Japan’s oceans campaigner. “The whale meat should be returned to its senders at their own expense.”
When asked by Greenpeace Japan about the possible scrapping of the whale meat, the Fisheries Agency of Japan stated there was nothing it could do if the paperwork is not received. With the time limit for storage of the whale meat now passed, it is still not clear what has happened to the meat. In fact, it should be assumed it was or will be soon discarded, considering it must be rancid. Otherwise, lots of Japanese people are going to be sick this winter.
“Whales, as living organisms at the top of the marine ecosystem, are extremely important for protecting the ocean environment, and we should therefore pay close attention to how they are treated,” concluded Hanaoka. “The Fisheries Agency also needs to strive in future to protect the marine ecosystem by revising its own lethal research program – which has led to the deaths of almost 8,700 whales in whale sanctuaries across the Southern Oceans – and move on to non-lethal means of conducting research on whales.”
Although this is a press release given by Greenpeace I have no reason to doubt it’s veracity. I will check on this for further updates and post it here on the seed. If you have a desire to help with the movement to put a stop to whaling, please visit the IFAW at: Stop Whaling. You can sign petitions, donate money or take action from there.