Lots of badck and forth has transpired while I was sleeping. Most has been said repeatedly ande , from the lapses into briefer yet more strident statements, ande (probably) greater decibels. My position has been firmly in the anti-whaling camp .My position is based primarily on what Robert derisively calls the whales "planetary mascot status". I like that, and said simply, it does capture the passion that surrounds the anti-whaling movement. ALl reasons to stop whaling are (IMHO) valid and self-evident and are backed by strong data. Since whaling was part of the Japanese culture that was reserved for royalty, there was no strong ties to eating whales by the general population. Today it is more of a special food that , like Chilean Sea Bass or sharks fins, is resulting in a reduction of the main stock.
Several of the activists have, by virtue of their methods, drawn negative attention from the pro whaling folks. Theyve labeled Watson and others as "pirates" and "international criminals".
However, absent guys like Watson, the anti whale movement would be mostly toothless. He is able to (as was published from last years catch numbers) Save several thousand animals a year by placing himself and his volunteers in harms way down range of the whaling fleet. I think we need such activism because , left unmolested, the Japanese alone, with their targeted catch levels, will have an effect upon stocks just by removal of diversity . Each animal is a receptacle of diversity and , in many cases, some heretofore unknown genetic trait that may be useful if transmitted to progeny. Just like any species that is hunted, they adapt by several passive means , like selection for smaller animals (like swaordfish are now demonstrating) Ultimately hunting to determine a species sustainability is mad and maddening to science.
The Japanese are masters at nuanced language and even the term of "Research hunting" is a term that is probably a source of locker room humor at the fleets home port.
Im glad that, almost as a nation, the AUstralians are standing up to thir own government and pointing out that Mr Howard had , originally spoken up strongly to pledge support to stop this Paleolithic practise.
Sadly, I see too many of the "hair split" arguments here in the states where we , probably in an effort to not piss off an ally, boil up some really strange reasons for allowing whaling to continue. Where the only thing Robert could point at in response to Dadpads fair question "What does killing whales provide in the way to answers regarding this species", Robert, without cracking a smile stated that (I paraphrase)
"Killing whales has provided lots of good data on how to kill whales more effectively"
See, I dont find that , at alll funny or clever. I find it rather sad that anyone would even buy its logic.
I too have been otherwise occupied by this thread and am getting tired of repeating my statements in different forms to arguments that (at least to me) are lame and cynical , like that above.