Commentary by Paul Watson
Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Japan has argued for years that their whaling industry is really research and that some twenty thousand whales have died since 1986 not for profit, but for science.
What is this research?
I'm sure there has been plenty of product development research and certainly plenty of projects dealing with marketing research such as coming up with schemes to make whale meat more attractive to the Japanese consumer.
But what about real, valid, peer-reviewed scientific research?
Finally, after two decades of lethal research Japan has released a scientific report that has shocked the world!
Based on a recent slaughter of 60 piked (Minke) whales in the North Pacific, Japan has determined and has proven beyond all doubts that whales eat fish.
Who would have thunk it?
Inquiring minds need to know these things. Many scientists have long speculated that whales eat fish. Now thanks to Japanese research whaling, this is now a fact and no longer just a theory.
However, Japanese research will continue because there needs to be a scientific model constructed to prove that this fish-eating behaviour is permanent. Japanese scientists need to be sure that this fish diet is not just an aberration. More whales will need to be taken every year to establish that eating fish is something whales do all the time and not just during leap years. Is global warming a factor? Does it have something to do with the position of the stars? We won't know unless whales are killed every year for further study.
Clearly it is a question as to how many more whales Japan must kill to discover what we already know they eat.
This recent announcement has raised questions. How come the Japanese did not discover this exciting revelation about fish eating whales until this year? Surely after a half century of whaling, at least one Japanese scientist would have noticed that whales eat fish.
Japan intends to present their scientific findings at the IWC meeting to be held in St. Kitts in June.
The Japanese Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry said the research program had found that the whales feed on sand eels and sardines.
As much as 106kg of fish was found in one whale's stomach, the ministry reported.
This is exciting stuff. That's some stomach those whales have. Imagine eating 106 kilos of sushi at a single setting. Some Japanese scientists who are also sushi eaters were astounded at the whales' appetite.
"We can no longer say we are as hungry as a horse," said one scientist. "Because of this amazing discovery we can now say, we are as hungry as a whale."
Japan claims that all whaling activities in Antarctica and in the North Pacific are conducted for research purposes and it is unfair to accuse the program of being commercial. Japan claims that the only reason the whale meat is sold is so that it will not be wasted.
Last year, the sale of this whale meat brought in more than $500 million dollars which Japan claims is used to fund the research. Expanding the number of whales killed next year will increase profits but this is not the goal of the program according to the Japanese government.
This research whaling is, of course, totally bogus and is nothing more than a lie - and not a very good one at that.
No serious marine biologist would consider this to be valid research unless they are on the payroll of the whaling industry. Unfortunately, there are plenty of biostitutes willing to justify bogus science for money.
This recent announcement by Japan is a lame attempt to demonstrate that the mass slaughter of whales is producing real discoveries.
However, if the Japanese are only realizing that whales eat fish this year, one has to ask just what the hell have they been doing with their so-called scientific research program for the last two decades?
Below is a list of the 10 most important scientific discoveries that Japanese research whaling has revealed:
1. Whales are bigger than people. Yes it's true. Bigger brains also, although that is not surprising. According to Japanese scientists, the large brains of whales means little and they maintain that cows are smarter animals.
2. Whales eat fish. Incredible new discovery by top Japanese experts. Finally verification of what non-Japanese scientists have known for years.
3. Killing whales is very profitable although that is secondary to their research.
4. Whales do not taste good so we force feed it to school children so they will acquire the taste. Eat it and shut up kid.
5. Whale meat is expensive at sushi bars in Tokyo.
6. Whale meat can be quick frozen for transport to Japan.
7. Endangered whales like humpbacks and fins can be killed without invoking sanctions against Japan.
8. Killing whales really pisses off non-Japanese people - Banzai you whale-loving devils.
9. Japan can do whatever it wants, so bugger off you Aussie and Kiwi bastards.
10. Anyone who interferes with Japanese research whaling is a racist and an enemy of science.
Perhaps this approach to science by Japan is the real reason that no Japanese scientist has ever won a Nobel Prize for whaling research.
This year Japan has targeted another 1000 whales in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary and this new quota will include 50 humpbacks and 50 fin whales.
Sea Shepherd is organizing our own scientific research program: Our objective is to see if international conservation law has any validity and we intend to document illegal activities by Japanese whalers. We also intend to enforce against violations committed by bogus research whalers.
The Sea Shepherd research project has only one question that needs to be answered: Can we stop the illegal activities of the Japanese whalers?
Our objective is to demonstrate that the whale killers can be stopped and whales can be saved.