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Japanese whaling fleet endures rising tide of opposition

A minke whale is processed aboard a Japanese factory whaling ship in 1995.

Could it be karma, bad luck, or merely unfortunate circumstances that have victimized the Japanese whaling fleet in the Antarctic region?

The three-vessel fleet, which has been hounded relentlessly by a crew aboard a Sea Shepherd Society ship, has already lost a crewman, who fell overboard and is presumed drowned.

More recently, one of its damaged ships, the Yushin Maru #2, has been ordered to leave the Port of Surabaya, East Java, in Indonesia before making repairs to its propeller. Australia and New Zealand do not allow the ships in their ports because large-scale commercial whaling has been condemned internationally.

Now, it seems, neither will Indonesia, which received communiques from Australia asking that it deny the whaling ships any services.

Among them, according to Sea Shepherd, was this one from Mayor Peter Tagliaferri of Fremantle, to Port officials and Mayor Banbang Dwi Hartono of Surabaya:

"The city of Fremantle does not support the illegal slaughter of whales and has constantly conveyed this through diplomatic processes to the Japanese government.

"I believe the Yushin Maru #2 is seeking propeller repairs in your port as a result of ice damage.

"The city of Fremantle would not support this vessel to enter our fishing boat harbour to seek repairs to continue an illegal activity.

"I, as Mayor of the City of Fremantle, urge you to also not allow this vessel to be repaired in your port and as a result the Yushin Maru #2 will not be able to rejoin the illegal whaling."

So for now there are only two viable whaling ships pursuing a seasonal quota of 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales. The way things are going, it appears they'll fall substantially short.

-- Pete Thomas

A minke roams the Southern California coast.

Photo, top: A minke whale is processed aboard a Japanese factory whaling ship in 1995. Credit: Greenpeace. Bottom: A minke roams the Southern California coast. Credit: Eric Martin / For the Los Angeles Times

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Comments (36)

these whales are contaminated with high levels of mercury, methylmercury, DDT, PCBs and other TOXIC chemicals, and are unfit for human consumption, 10 to 100 times the legal "safe" limit.
MOST of the meat is dumped overboard, and only the "prime cuts" are brought back to port where (how much) of the whale bacon goes to the black market.
Even worse, the Japanese school system is pushing Toxic meat on its schoolchildren, who are even more susceptible to the brain killing chemicals!
WE have turned the worlds oceans into a toxic waste dump, and now are killing everything in it, haven't we done enough yet???

If the Japanese cannot do it responsibly or legally, it's about time someone stepped in!!!
YAY Indonesia!!!!

It is amazing the amount of information just contained in these posts. I have linked all the sites provided, read and re-read all the information, and I have seen the footage from Sea Shepard [on the web and on TV]. I am not stupid, I realize they are holding back, and the other side of that I realize that there are things going on in Japan that stay in Japan. I guess we should all be asking what is best for the animals.

Research shows [from Japan and other nations] that the minke whale in particular is growing in population to a point that the whales are unable to find sufficient food; then the course of natural selection for that species should be allowed to continue, without intervention. If it hadn't been for human intervention in the first place there'd be no shortage of fish to feed the whales. Their populations will meet capacity and even out. A whale with insufficinet blubber or that is not strong enough to evade predation [natural predation] will not survive, its genes will not contribute to the next generation, it will not be a part of the evolution of the species.

I think that the Japanese quota is high if they are truly killing for research. As with deer and other game animals if they are hunting for commercial use they should consider leaving the calves and mother whales alone, but if they are actually conducting research then they should kill no calves and breeding animals. If an animal is able to survive to the point that the energy to reproduce is available, it is clearly not in danger of being left behind by natural selection. It should be allowed to live as long as possible before being given over to the next stage of its existance. What happens to the other life forms that depend on that whale dying of natural causes? When do we start seeing that by killing whales, or any animals, that we are endangering the existance of everything that comes after that death?

Overall, I agree with the vision of the Sea Shepards. Their techniques are what they feel is needed to make us take notice to the problem created by over-fishing, over-whaling, and over-consumption on a global scale. Not one culture or counrty is right or better than the other, we all are responsible and need to step up to fix the destruction we've created.

It is hard to see who's right and wrong in this. Japan is killing too many whales and cruely, along with the other whaling countries. But even though I am against whaling. I do believe there is a diplomatic way to stop it. It should not result in us (conservationists) throwing rotten butter, slime, and stink bombs on ships. Their is a solution to this: we just need to find it.
Maybe by eliminating the demand for whale meat. Thus it would hinder the whaling industry's income. Secondly, using dipomacy heal the gap of pro and anti whaling countries. Third and last, enforce international law and create stricter rules.


Why don't you identify yourself? Why not admit that you are most likely a shill for the whaling industry? Why not face the fact that whales are not fish, and are more intelligent and worthy of heightened respect? Larger animals do not reproduce as quickly and are inherently more susceptible to being harmed by hunting. Don't give us your "well you eat other animals so why not whales" straw man argument. Do two wrongs make a right? The slaughter of wild animals for human profit has a historical and atavistic curve toward our own oblivion. The seas are in under a man made assault on their riches, whaling is just one of the more egregious insults to a nature we hardly understand. The Japanese can survive without their seven whaling ships. I've already given up my red meat, how about you give something up?

I find it funny that the Sea Sheapard "interferred" with the rescue efforts of Japanees whalers... when in fact they had called them in both english and japaneese ASKING them if they needed HELP and they refused help from "eco-terrrorists"

And oddly enough I don't remember any life saving efforts by the japaneese whalers last year... I remember a hostage situation.

thanks Indonesia. lets save something

i don't believe in whaling because whales when they die naturally? they support over 300 species in the ocean because they are a part of the whale fall community. Also on one hand it is true why do we eat beef or fish? well do you see any beef or fish or chicken being endangered? no . they most likely will in the near future but killin a whale is wrong because they are beautiful creatures so if you think about these" fishermen 's lives" or what will they eat? think again they have fish still chicken anything whales aren't important to eat. please go look@ that woman eating a whale burger honestly i do not believe for a moment that Japan is doing this for scientific purposes , i wish they had some dignity and admitted that it's for commercial purposes. even if whaling isn't illegal its right down to it because more or less 18 countires oppose whaling and want an international whaling ban on Japan and Iceland.

:) no offense to anyone who loves to eat endangered whales. <3,

Jon K.
Whale doesn't have greater intelligence. A-, let me see, what is the definition of "intelligence"? Please define and show the evidence. It is connected to the conclusion.

Just in case, anyway, I can show the fact of whale's brain partly.
The book "Embracing the earth's wild resorces" which has written by Eugene Lapointe, chairman, IWMC World Conservation Trust, and former secretary-general to CITES.
Quote)A sperm whale has the biggest brain in mammals. The weight is around 9kg. But intelligence is not unproportional to the weight of brain. Mainly, a toothed whale is same intelligence level as a weasel, a baleen whale is same intelligence level as a chicken. There are two reasons that whale's intelligens level is low in contrast to their weight of brain. First, their brain cortex is not developed so much. Second, the REM(repid eye movement) sleep and the eye movement can't be find that is unique feature found in most of animals which live on land.(Unquote

I'm sorry to say, yes, I owned a ford in the 90's. It would over-heat in the summer and the engine would shut off. It was a piece of ..... Last time I buy an American car. (Unless it is a Japanese car made in the US)

Where is the research that says whales are intelligent? I agree they are majestic, but intelligent? Please, go hug a tree, don't smoke them.

Let the Japanese do their "research" in peace. We have bigger fish to fry... like our economy.

I'm Dave Walsh, from Greenpeace. Just to let you know, the whaling fleet has seven vessels:

Nishin Maru - factory ship
3xharpoon vessels
2x spotter vessels
1xrefuelling/transport ship (Hiyo Maru)


Jon K.

It's religeon.
Not sience.

Who are your majesty?


Part of being civilized is that you don't eat EVERYTHING.

We have compassion for animals of greater intelligence.

Whales are remarkably intelligent animals; therefore we don't eat them.

As for 3., Have you ever seen killing animal? It's not unique for this whaling problem.The 3. is a emotionally-charged argument.
Therefore 3. is not supportted to ban Japan's the research whaling.

As for 4., aren't you deny yourself? Why are you there? Because you ate other animals and plants. right? So we can't admit to give the right for all of animals to decide their life. We should eat them to live.The 4. is a emotionally-charged argument.
Therefore 4. is not supportted to ban Japan's the research whaling.

As for 5., the instruction doesn't have power to obey Japan. As I said, sanctuary has applied to commercial whaling not the research whaling. Cross apply up above. Moreover, the evidence source you showed does not mean the IWC instructed to Japan. http://www.iwcoffice.org/conservation/sanctuaries.htm
Therefore 5. is not supportted to ban Japan's the research whaling.

Seeing is believing. Please show the evidence to ban the Japan's whaling.

As for 1. ,Japan is admitted to whaling even in the sanctuary. Because the reseach whaling is not prohibitted but commercial whaling.
Quote)At the 46th (1994) Annual Meeting the IWC adopted the Southern Ocean Sanctuary as another area in which commercial whaling is prohibited.(Unquote

Of course the research whaling is not commercial whaling. That is admitted on the IWC.
Quote)Notwithstanding anything contained in this Convention any Contracting Government may grant to any of its nationals a special permit authorizing that national to kill, take and treat whales for purposes of scientific research subject to such restrictions as to number and subject to such other conditions as the Contracting Government thinks fit, and the killing, taking, and treating of whales in accordance with the provisions of this Article shall be exempt from the operation of this Convention.(Unquote
Therefore, 1. is not support to ban Japan's the research whaling.

As for 2. , the Minke whale which is whaling in Antarcitic ocean is not endangered. Turn around, they are increaseing.
Quote)Generally, it is well known that the overexploitation by commercial whaling in Southern Hemisphere diminished the population of large baleen whales (Laws 1977). Finally, the composition of whale species in abundance was totally changed when the commercial whaling was suspended in 1987, comparing to that in pre-whaling period. The Antarctic minke whale, on the other hand, was not targeted in commercial whaling till 1971, and its population was not affected largely by the whaling. Thus, the minke whale population started to grow after the harvest of large baleen whale was started, and then it continued until recently. This was probably due to the favourable food availability caused by the decline of other large baleen whale populations, so called “krill surplus” hypothesis (Laws 1977).(Unquote

The increased abundance in Minke whales causes food competition with other whales. And their brubber is getting thin.
Quote)The coefficients of Year were -0.024(±0.003SE) in the both runs, indicated the blubber thickness significantly decreased with years (Fig. 3).(Unquote
please check the Fig.3. at URL.
Therefore 2. is not supportted to ban Japan's the research whaling.

Why do you disagree to whaling?
Followings are summary of your arguments.
1. The Antarcic ocean is the sanctuary for whales, therefore don't whaling.
2. Whales are endangered, therefore don't whaling.
3. Whaling is extremely cruel, therefore don't whaling.
4. All of animals has the right how to live and to enjoy the wildlife, therefore don't whaling.
5. The IWC has instructed Japan to stop killing whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary, therefore don't whaling.

Is that all? If you had another reason, please submit. And if I misunderstood, please teach me.

Most Americans are not even aware of the fact that USA is also whaling in Alaska.
In fact, it was Americans who came to Japan in 1953 to have Japan unfair treaty.
Americans were interested in Japanese ports for the purpose of whaling.

The picture that Japan vs. the rest of the world is planted to the general public by mass media, with back-up from non-whaling countries, most notably Australia and New Zealand, which themselves where whaling to massive extent.

In short, Indonesia is a servant of Australia in the under.
Moreover, the number of one nations of squalid has increased.
If such an attitude is taken, I want you to return ODA.

species come and go... a tiny little unknown fish ok, but whales...?
please stop the killing !
you and i decide how to live with and enjoy the wildlife !

The more we are aware the more we are responsible...
therefore i allways will act.
The time of discussion should be ended, the whalers should look for alternatives and those who still kill, should be enforced to stop !
The whales are nor mine or yours and should (in this minority) be protected and not be killed, is my vision of living together with wildlife as whales !

A japanese supporting whalefisher should think twice those days, because he will always loose... one way or the other !
They make me (you and the iwc) stupid by painting research on thier vessels (each catching 10 whales a day !)...
I always thought that the Japenese was a great Nation in respecting.

Are those strange fisherman aware they are fooling you end me by killing so much of so less under the title of research???
Let's not forget Japan is not the only Nation... Norway, Iceland should also be, or even more ashamed of thier wild life vision.

So thumbs up for Indonesia not to bow for the Japanese pressures and RESPECT for Seashepherd acting in stopping the killing.

The IWC has instructed Japan to stop killing whales in the
Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary
As stated in Resolution 2007-1


Because whales are remarkably intelligent, unique mammals and, well, fish are fish.

Paul Watson is too cool. I was all for smoke bombs and ship ramming.

Anyhow, the only way whales should meet their death is like so:


Most, if not all, the people disagreeing here are clearly the ones in on the profit of the Japanese whaling.

As for the argument about Americans killing cows and other animals to eat- we are not killing them within another countries sanctuary, of which that countries own judges have banned them from. We are not ignoring international law and public opinion and lying all along. We are not killing endangered animals to eat. We are not defending extremely cruel killing practice. I am a vegetarian so I do not eat cows or whales- however, the argument that Japanese whaling is the same as killing cows is ridiculous. Yes indeed- it is the same in the sense killing is killing- but that is where it ends and I do not see any of these sad excuses for people who are making that argument going vegetarian. And those who make this argument have one thing in mind- making money off the backs of the whales and forcing people to do what they want even when it means destroying something that belongs to us all and is illegal. The tide is turning against them thanks to Sea Shepherd and as such, they will become more desperate in their lies and "arguments" to rationalize what they are doing.

I am glad to see the whalers and their PR reps here trying to feed Americans their lies. We are not the idiots they think we are, therefore anyone who reads what they have to say will easily see the bs for what it is.

Sea Shepherd is the ONLY group down there fighting the Japanese who are whaling endangered whales within an established sanctuary, that is owned by Australia, despite Australia's courts insisting they stop.

I don't care what Japan thinks of Americans, I know what I am seeing from Japan and it is disgusting. Please, don't think you can fool us with your lies and manipulations.

Sea Shepherd offered assistance to the whaling boats when their crew member went overboard, only then to be accused of interfering which was a complete joke. And Japan's whaling boats did not save the Sea Shepherd members who were momentarily lost- that is an even bigger joke. I mean seriously, who does the Japanese Whalers think we are that we would buy what they are trying to feed us?

I call for our government to do more to stop the Japanese and any other country so blatantly disregarding international law and decency for their own greed. We can stop this if the public wills it to be stopped.

Support Sea Shepherd- they are the ones in the right- fighting for something we should all be fighting for.

Confucius, you know nothing about cars. Or maybe you haven't driven an American car made in the last decade?

Boycott Toyota? Why Toyota and not Honda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and others? Do you want everyone to buy Europeans? Wait, they hunt whales too. So we are left with only one choice, American. Wait, US cars are inferior products which are made by obese, over paid, lazy, greedy union members. And Alaskans also hunt whales, and they are also Americans. Then we have to bike. Wait... the bikes are made in China. Do they eat whales? Maybe we should all just walk. Or we can all eat whales while we drive our prius and talk on the cell phone without a bluetooth.

This article does not show that the Sea Sheperd interferred with the Japanese rescue effort. Do you have a source for this event occuring? Mainly, because I don't believe it. That's not the way of the sea.

They hampered Japanese rescue efforts
even though Japanese whaling ship saved two Sea Shepherd menber's life last year.
They are very ungrateful.



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