Monday, 10 March 2008

Shots Fired In Whale War and Japanese "Research"

Unashamedly I can say I loath these despicable little fucks and their goddamn whale hunting.

At 1545 hours (0445 GMT), a clash between the crew of the Sea Shepherd vessel Steve Irwin and the Japanese whaling ship Nisshin Maru turned violent when the Japanese Coast Guard began to throw flash grenades at the crew of the Steve Irwin.

Captain Paul Watson was struck by a bullet in the chest. Fortunately, the bullet was stopped by his Kevlar vest. The bullet struck just above the heart and mangled Captain Watson’s anti-poaching badge, which was worn on his sweater underneath the Kevlar vest.

Dr. David Page was videotaped prying the bullet from Captain Watson’s Kevlar vest. “You have been hit by a bullet,” he said.more Sea Shepherd

And how inane is this bullshit masquerading as research?

A review of the controversial scientific research conducted by Japan and its whalers has uncovered a list of "bizarre" and useless experiments, including how to cross breed cows with whales.

Scientists have analysed 43 research papers produced by Japan over 18 years, finding most were useless or esoteric.

The scientific research included injecting minke whale sperm into cows eggs, and attempts to produce test-tube whale babies, News Limited newspapers report.

For years Japan has continued its whaling program under the guise of scientific research, to the disgust of anti-whaling nations such as Australia.more

But the bitterest of ironies is that whale meat is not all together popular with the general population and the hunting lobby are trying to push it's revival.

For all of Japan's success in winning support from other countries for its campaign to ease the restrictions on whaling - especially smaller countries which receive Japanese aid - the Japanese people are losing interest.

Whale meat is only served in a few specialist restaurants, and occasionally appears on supermarket shelves. Younger people almost never eat it.

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.more

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