George McCallum

George McCallum is a regular reader and sometimes commentator at this blog. He has been based in Berlin for the last 9 years, working as a freelance wildlife photographer, marine mammal observer, freelance field researcher, chief cook and bottle washer. He also runs his own one man company, Whalephoto.

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George has just returned from the Arctic and is working on the 20,000 or so digital images he has shot this year as well as preparing a poster/paper for the upcoming European Cetacean Society conference in San Sebastian, Spain. The conference is in early 2007 and George will be speaking on the use of flash equipment in low light and backlit conditions.

And George has found time to send us information about himself for the people category at this blog:

“I’ve been an ID photographer/observer on Norway´s whale population surveys since 1995, team leader on same last year, team leader/ID photographer of whale observers on some ecosystem surveys also last two years, also in arctic Norway, North and North East Atlantic areas.

Previous and concurrent to this, I have worked as a field researcher volunteer/ID photographer from both commercial whale watching boats and hired vessels off Andenes in Arctic Norway between 1995-2000, occasionally as a guide on one of the whale watching boats. Also worked as a field researcher/volunteer/ID photographer with T.Simila´s killer whale project in Arctic Norway from 1993 onwards. I also spent a number of winter seasons in Tysfjord working with and for various TV and film crews who had come to Tysfjord to film the local killer whale population as either vessel driver, local expert and once or twice as the subject being a prat for the cameras.

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Its a kittiwake on his head.

I’ve spent 6 months in the Canary islands off the north African coast as a research assistant on a boat studying Short-finned Pilot whales, basic ID work and collecting data on the effects of whale watching boats on the local Pilot whale population.

Prior to that, I studied in Scotland for 5-6 years at University as a mature student. I studying biology, but dropped out before my final year after a few field trips led me to the realization that the field researchers had most of the fun and aimed myself in that direction.

For the ten years before that, I worked as a marine mammal trainer (with dolphins, seals, sea lions, sea elephants, killer whales etc.) for around ten years in various marine parks and establishments throughout Europe.

I’ve also worked as a barman, driven a delivery truck, worked on a farm, trained Macaws, penguins and a herring gull (strange but true) as well as working in a commercial slaughterhouse for 6 months or so.

Other experience includes using pax arms (modified DNA sampling rifles used to take a plug of blubber from marine mammals) maintaining and operating high frequency sonar equipment, conning various sea vessels of various sizes, and trying to fix various bits of equipment in the field when it goes up the creek without a paddle.

I speak three languages fluently and get by in two others and I can stutter around in French.

Hobbies include hassling and being hassled by airport security/airline check-in folk whilst traveling with 25 kg or more of assorted photographic equipment and having a once fortnightly malt whisky tasting session in the best stocked Malt whisky bar in the world in Schoneberg. The bar has over 700 different malts so my journalist friends and I foresee a number of years further research before we can give a final opinion on which is best.

Best regards from sunny 28C Berlin.
George

PS. Have you seen this, Greenpeace taking a pasting again:

http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Home/29C5599A-FCD8-4E30-9AD5-5497999ABA1B.html

and this:
http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Home/ABC6DFDA-9DE9-4EA8-A269-65EAAB628676.html.

Thanks George for sharing this information about yourself with us … and for the great images!

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As a reader and/or commentator at this blog you may like to tell us something about yourself. Contributions encouraged please email to jennifermarohasy@jennifermarohasy.com. I’ve just also received some great photographs and information from Walter Starck which I will upload soon with a link to his paper from the recent AEF conference.

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More wildlife photographs at Whalephoto.com.

190 Responses to George McCallum

  1. Pinxi September 26, 2006 at 7:27 pm #

    thanks george. In spain have some patatas bravas or better if you can, some patatas canarias, for me.

  2. Ann Novek September 26, 2006 at 8:11 pm #

    George, nice post and photos, but why on earth this comment on Greenpeace in the end?

    Do you really hate us Greenpeacers that much?

    I mean you spend a lot of time up in the North, sure you must know by now that Greenpeace is the fishermens best friend, fighting against pirate fishing.

    You better check the poll on Greenpeace that was published in Fiskaren!( The main site for fishermen and whalers)

  3. George McC September 26, 2006 at 8:23 pm #

    Hi Anne,

    The GP thing at the end was a “personal” note to Jennifer at the end of an email, rather than a comment. I certainly do note “hate” GP´rs at all – I find that in some areas, GP do a lot of good – I do, however, question their methods and certainly disagree with them in many areas as you might well have noticed by now ;)

    Pinxi,

    I certainly will have some Papas Arogadas for you next time I´m in the Canaries – I still have a couple of jars of Mojo Verde and Mojo Picon ( Mana from heaven )left over from my last visit in March – you will need to prise them from my cold dead fingers tho ;)

  4. Pinxi September 26, 2006 at 9:13 pm #

    OMG, mojo picon, porfa! I would almost eat an entire whale to get at off you. With that you can make yr own papas arogadas anywhere in the world!

  5. George McC September 26, 2006 at 9:19 pm #

    Pinxi,

    Never tried theirs, but assuming you are in Oz, maybe worthwhile having a look here ..

    http://www.mojopicon.com.au/home.html

    Sorry for the commercial link Jennifer but Mojo Picon should not be denied to anybody by reason of geography ;)

  6. Pinxi September 26, 2006 at 10:02 pm #

    Thanks, I’m SOOOO gunna look for that in a luxury urban greenie deli somewhere! I thought I would stumble across some eventually. BTW if yr in to it, you can get the best fair-dink egyptian food outside of egypt in east berlin, Koshari & all, cheap as chips too, um near that fabby cocktail bar.. oh damn – can probably dig up address if you need it! See, we CAN put whaling issues aside for important matters. Now back to whaling, put up the fists..

  7. George McC September 26, 2006 at 10:18 pm #

    Pinxi ..

    this one?
    Koshari
    Lychener Straße 4
    10437 Berlin

    If thats the one then quite heartily agree with you – serious grub ;O) … quite a few others in Berlin these days as well ..

    Putting whaling aside? nahhh … I wonder if I can persuade them to buy minke ;op

    For gorgeous red wine and an enormous tapas plate .. try mar y sol Savignyplatz 5, just off KantStr ( I think ) … they also do a fair mojo verde ( the picon is so so )

    yum…

  8. Ann Novek September 27, 2006 at 2:21 am #

    George, You gonna work for an anti whaling NGO, the European Cetacean Society, that gives advice to Greenpeace and WWF?

    Dyrebeskyttelsen Norway supports this anti whaling organisation as well.

  9. George McC September 27, 2006 at 2:58 am #

    Anne,

    The ECS an anti whaling Organisation? – thats new to many of it´s members … ;O) It´s primarily a scientific society – even though it´s stated aims are

    ” to promote and co-ordinate the scientific study and conservation of cetaceans;

    to gather and disseminate information to members and the general public ”

    Conservation and hunting quite happily co-exist in the world anne…;) If the ECS declared that they were anti-whaling, I´d bet good money that their membership would drop a fair bit – I know quite a few marine mammal scientists who are ECS members and pro sustainable use

    and Anne, I´ll be presenting a poster ( if accepted that is ) not working for them …

    For the record anne, just because I´m pro sustainable use does not neccessarily mean I am pro-whaling irregardless … If unsustainable whaling on a truly endangered species was happening, I´d also be bitching about it…

  10. George McC September 27, 2006 at 3:10 am #

    And BTW Anne,

    Are you against experts advising organisations such as Greenpeace and WWF ? If I was a Greenpeace employee in Amsterdam, I´d get on my knees and kiss the feet of the experts advising me as up until now, Greenpeace´s record of giving factual information is abysmal to alamost non-existant ;op

  11. Travis September 27, 2006 at 6:02 am #

    >Greenpeace´s record of giving factual >information is abysmal to alamost non-existant

    Are you talking cetacean issues here George?

  12. George McC September 27, 2006 at 7:22 am #

    ” Are you talking cetacean issues here George? ”

    yes, mostly… though Brent Spar and PVC also pop to mind offhand Travis

  13. Travis September 27, 2006 at 8:26 am #

    There are a number oc cetacean researchers who regularly provide advice to Greenpeace. Can’t comment on the Brent Spar or PVC George.

  14. Ann Novek September 27, 2006 at 8:53 am #

    George, are talking about the Greenpeace websites again? Or what…

    From my personal point of view you got to realise how popular Greenpeace is among people in Sweden, OK not all of course, and as I have mentioned they who oppose us are not against Greenpeace’s ultimates goals but as you , against their methods.

    Hey, I’m not a cetacean researcher, far from that, but I give speeches representing Greenpeace in schools and other organisations, so I found your attack on Greenpeace a bit insulting…

    I give speeches mostly on Ocean issues, and my last speech on whaling was for a group of marine biologists students at Marina Läroverket( a high school for marine biologists).

    If you want to know and I hate to boast my speech was very well received and I got applaudes and the teacher asked me if I wanted to come back some other time…Actually my schedule is full of appointments with schools that want speeches on Greenpeace’s campaigns( I’m in GP’s info group).

    But as you mentioned much can be improved…

  15. Ann Novek September 27, 2006 at 11:04 am #

    George,
    I must tell you that both I and Greenpeace always are open and grateful for constructive criticism..

    However, I don’t know if I am especially keen on to be out in the blogosphere anymore…too much bullying…

  16. Libby September 27, 2006 at 11:35 am #

    Don’t let them get to you Ann. There are some nice folk out there, although not many!

  17. Pinxi September 27, 2006 at 11:42 am #

    Ann, it might be useful practice if you treat it lightly. Keeps you on yr toes – stops you falling back into greenie complacency. It’s the same in the real world where money talks & BS walks. Take the learning or even the fun you get from it, think of the rest as water off a duck’s back.

    When I 1st started on this blog I used to go to huge effort to research & provide evidence to back up the things I’d say but the commenters rarely engaged at the same level so I stopped making the effort. On many issues I had an open mind so was researching both sides of an issue to reach an informed view, but that kind of exchange wasn’t welcomed here. Often the commenters would make wild assumptions about what they expected me to say because it seems they’ve come across too many fixed opinions(?). Usually they just dove beneath the belt. Some really offensive behaviours went on before Jen cracked the whip & cleaned it up a bit.

    Just bear in mind a couple of things:
    - considering that yr a GP insider I’m really surprised how well you’ve been tolerated and treated on this blog. It could be that yr in a different part of the world so not directly effecting the commenters, plus you’ve probably surprised them because you’re open to challenges and criticism of your own position. Plus I think they like to battle with the girles.

    - Non-Australians often struggle to understand that Aussies slag people off as a form of endearment. If the guys here are hassling you, but not actually throwing punches ie not so badly that they’re being censored, then there’s a fair chance they actually like you. The French have eloquent speech, the Italians too like to quote poetry and masterpieces, the Japanese woo, the Swedish are quick to get their gear off, the Australians just insult your mother/father or call you a dingo, etc. It’s a harsh country so it might be a culturally ingrained test to see if you’re tough enough to survive – just like the Tibetans allegedly used to dunk their newborn babies in freezing cold streams. Bullying is such a national pasttime that the govt created taskforces to stop it in the workplace cos it effects GDP!

    - And are you learning anything/broadening your horizons? There are such strong egos here that the majority won’t admit to learning from these exchanges, but tell me, why do they persist? They’re certainty not achieving any tangible outcomes via this forum.

    - Do you have an active (romantic?) interest in Aust?

  18. david@tokyo September 27, 2006 at 12:09 pm #

    As you know Ann, I’m against unsustainable whaling as well, but the problem for the general public is knowing just what is unsustainable whaling?

    There’s just SO MUCH noise from anti-whaling groups and others with those tendencies about whaling that’s it’s actually very hard to know when their criticisms should be taken seriously. I do my best to find out information for myself by what is available on the net. It is possible to filter out a lot of the stuff that is said about the issue, but after reading through reels and reels of easily debunkable scientific nonsense (see the piece I did on my blog on EIA propaganda as a recent example), when the arguments get down to the real scientific nitty gritty (which one really needs specialised training in to claim to have an opinion worth listening too), it basically boils down to this:

    “this scientist says black, that scientist says white”.

    Who do we believe?

    I’m of the view that the “Green” camp have completely overplayed their hand on the whaling issue for years, potentially clouding genuine conservation concerns.

    For example, to me, layman that I am, I personally have a concern that there could be genuine conservation arguments regarding hunting humpbacks of the ‘E’ stock recognised by the IWC, in relation to theories about sub-structure in this stock, or mixing with other more depleted stocks on their Antarctic feeding grounds. To me it is not immediately obvious that this is nonsense like all the rest – but without having detailed knowledge about stock identification techniques, or any first hand experience, I honestly can’t tell whether I should accept the ICR’s interpretation of existing data or whether I should accept the arguments to the contrary from the others.

    Ultimately what happens is that I look at the other arguments the scientists have made, and I see that scientists making those seemingly plausible arguments (from my layman’s perspective) have
    a) also been reported in the media espousing very protectionist views towards whales;
    b) some are trying to develop non-lethal whale research techniques and in one recent example even admitted that the objective of this was political rather than practical (i.e., they ignore that besides scientific whaling, people ultimately hope one day to eat them as food anyway)

    These sorts of backgrounds bring into question their scientific objectivity (in my opinion, but I do not think this is unfair). The ultimate result is that I give the benefit of the doubt to the whaling researchers. This is potentially bad for conservation. But I’m not prepared to support arguments against whaling that are based on me being ignorant of subject matter by scientists who have illustrated their personal agendas. And this, is ultimately not beneficial for proper conservation. Yes, I know about the “precautionary principle”, and I think it is a good one, but I suspect do to their behaviour that the “anti” camp may be abusing it.

    I suggest to you that what would be better for conservation would be those of the “Green” camp cutting out all the populist crap and stick to what they truly believe are genuine arguments (in the conservationist sense) against instances of whaling. Of course, the trade off is that the issue becomes much much harder to follow for members of the general public, and they likely lose interest. This is of course in direct conflict with the fund-raising goals of these “Green” groups. That they continue to pursue the populist anti-whaling propaganda rather than sticking to their few plausible sounding arguments is the primary reason that I have no trust for them at all with regard to the whaling issue.

    I hope one day there can be a rational debate about these issues before further conservation mistakes are made.

    If you are interested, here is a paper that covers a similar kind of theme:
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=cache:D0LBSyNMIhIJ:www.cttmar.univali.br/~abarreto/Necton/Protecting%2520whales%2520by%2520distorting%2520uncertainty.pdf
    Apparently Sidney Holt, one of those criticised in this paper wrote a note in response once, but I’ve never been able to find it.

  19. Libby September 27, 2006 at 12:58 pm #

    Hi David,

    “For example, to me, layman that I am, I personally have a concern that there could be genuine conservation arguments regarding hunting humpbacks of the ‘E’ stock recognised by the IWC, in relation to theories about sub-structure in this stock, or mixing with other more depleted stocks on their Antarctic feeding grounds. To me it is not immediately obvious that this is nonsense like all the rest – but without having detailed knowledge about stock identification techniques, or any first hand experience, I honestly can’t tell whether I should accept the ICR’s interpretation of existing data or whether I should accept the arguments to the contrary from the others.”
    Speaking for my own research, I have used humpback song to demonstrate that there does appear to be interchange amongst the E stock. I am not sure how you are going to get “first hand experience”, but you are welcome to join me in the field or lab.

    “I suggest to you that what would be better for conservation would be those of the “Green” camp cutting out all the populist crap and stick to what they truly believe are genuine arguments (in the conservationist sense) against instances of whaling. Of course, the trade off is that the issue becomes much much harder to follow for members of the general public, and they likely lose interest. This is of course in direct conflict with the fund-raising goals of these “Green” groups. That they continue to pursue the populist anti-whaling propaganda rather than sticking to their few plausible sounding arguments is the primary reason that I have no trust for them at all with regard to the whaling issue.”
    Hmm…I can see you are referring to whale numbers and sustainability, but remember, one of the major arguments against whaling is the apparent cruelty of it. Without bring up the issue of activists in inflatables, look at the way these animals die. This is not hard for people to follow at all. Not many people like seeing animals suffer, and you can imagine the outcry if one of the prize research animals “Migaloo” (the white humpback) gets skewered.

  20. Ann Novek September 27, 2006 at 1:27 pm #

    Hi all, and a big hug and thanx to Libby and Pixie for your support.

    Yes, I know people here are friendly that’s why I’m here… maybe I just was feeling down and complicated…

    Hey, I was supposed to be in Estonia right now participating in a BIG ACTION that Greenpeace has there right now… they just asked me we need you here in three hours, be in the harbour Paldinski, but my passport wasn’t valid and I’m the one in Greenpeace that speaks Estonian so I let them down on this…

    Well, what is all this action about?

    You remember maybe the big toxic scandal in Ivory Coast some weeks ago, when a dozen of people died of the toxics that were dumped and tens of thousands people became sick of the toxic fumes, the toxic ships name is the Probo Koala.

    Well, the ship is just now in the Estonian port, Paldiski, and Greenpeace is demanding that the authorities will keep the toxic ship in the harbour and start a process against it owners…

    OK, thanks again for all support…

    Pixie, you maybe know that when I was a kid we were just about to move to Australia, my father had been offered a job in a hospital down under…
    however, don’t really know what happened…

  21. Luke September 27, 2006 at 2:14 pm #

    Well what a nice thread. I might just hole up here while the dingos and drongos on the other threads finish eating my leg they chewed off.

  22. Pinxi September 27, 2006 at 2:54 pm #

    Help help a dingo stole my limb! Or was it a drongo?

    you can’t hide behind our aprons for long Luke. You must confront the evil force, but wait, you’re not strong enough yet, they will turn your anger against you

  23. david@tokyo September 27, 2006 at 2:56 pm #

    > Speaking for my own research, I have used humpback song to demonstrate that there does appear to be interchange amongst the E stock.

    I’m interested – would you care to elaborate on the technique, or point me to a paper? I apologise in advance if I’ve passed over it previously.

    > I can see you are referring to whale numbers and sustainability,

    That’s right. For me, that’s what it all boils down to.
    I also believe that the notion that “whales are endangered” is the most common reason stated for opposing whaling, although I’ve not compiled any stats.

    > but remember, one of the major arguments against whaling is the apparent cruelty of it.

    Some certainly do use it as an argument against whaling (it’s Ann’s main issue with it). I don’t find it persuasive for reasons I guess I need not go into.

    > Without bring up the issue of activists in inflatables, look at the way these animals die.

    That’s one perspective – on the other hand those tolerant or in favour of whaling say “look at the way these animals live”.

    > This is not hard for people to follow at all.

    True, the cruelty argument is easy for all to understand, but I don’t think it is likely to result in a resolution in the whaling debate. People have different understanding of “cruelty” and relative levels of it.

    > Not many people like seeing animals suffer,

    Very few I imagine! But many people do accept that suffering is a fact of nature, whether humans exist or not. And we do quite a good job, it seems. I was reading some info about Orcas preying on Grey whales recently, and they apparently take a few hours or more to complete the job.

    > and you can imagine the outcry if one of the prize research animals “Migaloo” (the white humpback) gets skewered.

    Yes indeed. If Migaloo did happen to be one of the humpbacks sighted and selected for sampling from 2007/2008, the researchers would be wise to put aside their methodology in that case and note as much when presenting any results.

  24. George McC September 27, 2006 at 3:50 pm #

    Anne

    ” George,
    I must tell you that both I and Greenpeace always are open and grateful for constructive criticism..”

    Good to hear you are anne … as to GP, well, lets just say that their record on doing much on constructive criticsm leaves something to be desired IMO..

    “However, I don’t know if I am especially keen on to be out in the blogosphere anymore…too much bullying…”

    Anne, I would not dream of trying to bully you – I do however question some of the GP pap you repeat – I assure you it´s nothing personal, I´d do the same to Frizell, Fitzgerald or Rattenbury if any of them commented here with similar claims, so please do not take it personally..

    Pinxi,

    “Plus I think they like to battle with the girles.”

    LOL …. no thanks, I have enought of that with my better half…

  25. Pinxi September 27, 2006 at 4:14 pm #

    George unless you’ve made references to paedophiles or bullocky’s daughters or threatened physical bodily harm or recommended arson or repeatedly fabricated bushlaw threats or made childish rude plays on people’s names/labels or occupations or otherwise generally refused to engage in reasoned discussion but reverted to a variety of insults, vile language, derogatory terms for the finer sex, or vacuous one-liners instead, then feel free to exclude yourself from that general category of those who bully and carry on like jerks.

  26. Ann Novek September 27, 2006 at 4:24 pm #

    Ok George, let’s be friends again…

  27. Libby September 27, 2006 at 5:48 pm #

    Did someone mention a bullocky’s daughter?

    “I’m interested – would you care to elaborate on the technique, or point me to a paper? I apologise in advance if I’ve passed over it previously.”

    Paper in prep David. There are some other papers out there, although not all available online. Different stocks of humpbacks can have different songs, but when you get some taking up the songs of others, it suggests cultural exchange somewhere along the line. My work is looking at Tonga and east Australia, but I’ve looked at east and Western Australia and east Australia and New Caledonia before. Sometimes this sort if work can throw up more questions than it answers, but it can also provide some interesting insights.

  28. George McC September 27, 2006 at 6:09 pm #

    If somebody explained what a ” Bullocky´s daughter ” is, us europeans might know what you were talking about :) … Alas, both aussieslang com and Google failed miserably

  29. Ann Novek September 27, 2006 at 7:24 pm #

    Pixie:” – Do you have an active (romantic?) interest in Aust?”

    LOL Pixie, no, my last romantic interest was in a Norwegian whale meat eater – I’m still traumatized after that!!!

  30. david@tokyo September 27, 2006 at 10:00 pm #

    Heh, I’m a kiwi and I don’t remember hearing about a bullocky’s daughter either, but I guess it is some kind of tongue and check comment :-)

    Thanks for the briefing Libby. It would be a fine thing if this too could be used amongst the range of other techniques for improved stock identification. Good luck!

  31. George McC September 27, 2006 at 10:40 pm #

    Libby,

    Does any Humpy Photo ID catalogue confirm your speculations? Would be interesting to see if Photo ID work backed it up – I do realise that the areas involved are huge of course..

  32. Pinxi September 27, 2006 at 10:45 pm #

    well Aust is on a recruitment drive for skilled immigrants Ann. If you like what you see here…

  33. Ann Novek September 27, 2006 at 10:54 pm #

    Hey Pinxie, thanx very much for the offer, but I really live a very comfy life here…

    BTW, latest update from the Greenpeace action in Estonia… well, seems like Greenpeace is going to win a HUGE VICTORY over there, the ship is now arrested by the Estonian police and Coast Guard.

    I have just read the comments in the media… yesterday people called Greenpeacers a bunch of loonies but todat people call them heroes in Estonia!

    Bloody ship was going to release toxic waste into the harbour… and Greenpeace found out this…

  34. Libby September 28, 2006 at 7:12 am #

    Hi George,

    There are 2 major ID catalogue holders for the south-west Pacific. Unfortunately, there appears to be some elitism happening, and the one with the greatest geographic ID coverage was told by the IWC earlier this year to co-operate with the other, who had the greatest temporal ID coverage. There is s’posed to be a get-together in New Caledonia in a few weeks to compare east Australia with the rest of the SW Pacific, and hopefully all parties will be participating.

    So for east Australia and Tonga, I have no ID confirmation, but for Tonga and New Caledonia, and east Australia and New Caledonia, there are resights, albeit only a small number. There are also matches with New Caledonia and New Zealand. I have started my own catalogue for two of the island chains in Tonga to look for resights over the breeding season, but I have to admit that my song work is frustrated by the politics that have accompanied the larger catalogue comparisons.

    For the true, intended meaning of bullocky’s daughter, you would have to ask the eloquent Mr Ian Mott. Bullocks were cattle, which were hitched up in teams to pull heavy loads such as timber, supplies, people’s earthly possessions and so on. They were an integral part of the colonial Australian way of life. So a bullock driver would be unlikely to be a scholarly, soft-palmed individual, and his daughter was probably much the same. To me it conjours up a time of bushrangers, healthy and abundant Aboriginal communities and a much smaller extinction list for our flora and fauna, but somehow I don’t think Ian intended it as a term of endearment!

  35. david@tokyo September 28, 2006 at 8:14 am #

    Only male humpbacks sing, correct? Can this song work somehow be used to make inferences about female humpbacks as well?

    I seem to remember reading something about variations in breeding site fidelity amongst male and female humpback whales (I seem to remember it was something like females showing greater fidelity to their breeding grounds than males? I could be completely mistaken of course, as I was just skimming…).

  36. Libby September 28, 2006 at 8:49 am #

    Basically, yes, only males sing. It would be fair to say that the males do a lot of the travelling around, but recent satellite tagging work has shown that females do a fair bit of wandering as well. Subadults make the migration to the breeding grounds (probably wondering why on earth), but not all animals appear to migrate every year, so you have sexually immature animals making long journeys, and physically/sexually mature animals not always making the journey. Peter Corkeron did some early work on this in Australian waters. More satellite work would be good, but the current tags don’t last very long. Of course this is expensive (time and money) work too.

  37. Ian Mott September 28, 2006 at 10:01 am #

    Gosh guys, you can really get self indulgent when you get off by yourselves, can’t you. And Libby, I am very impressed that you are still lingering on the issue of a Bullocky’s Daughter. Next you’ll be quoting the diaries of Anais Nin.

    For the record, a Bullock train involved a large number of animals that did not always want to go where the driver wanted them, and did not always start or stop when needed. And all this while they were attached to a heavy wagon that relied on manual leverage for brakes, often on the side of some seriously dangerous hillsides. And consequently, they were renown for the depth, breadth and frequency of their use of the vernacular.

    If you think a “tinkers cuss” was rich then a bullocky’s cuss was something else altogether. So when it was pointed out that Libby “dished it out like a bullocky’s daughter” it was in reference to her own capacity to slip into this communication style when it suited.

    In hindsight it now seems clear that the minds of the rustically challenged have worked overtime in placing their own interpretation on this saying. Which is fairly standard procedure on this blog.

    But it is all just a bit fatuous, really. Ann belongs to an organisation that intimidates people in international waters. Others derive career benefits from organisations that are actively involved in dispossession through fraud, coersion and abuse of power. And we all have a little wallow in self pitty because someone dished 5% back to them in written form.

    Have a nice day, folks, we reap what we sow.

  38. david@tokyo September 28, 2006 at 10:43 am #

    I was just reading about Nan Hauser’s tagging work a week or so ago:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5348650.stm
    (for those who missed it).

    Sounds like very tough work.

  39. Libby September 28, 2006 at 12:04 pm #

    Dear Ian,

    It was not I who brought up your wonderful descriptive, but Pinxi, in reference to the rudeness of some who visit this blog (case in point).

    I don’t recall cussing Ian, I tend to leave that sort of recourse to you.

    Self pity? If you are talking about Ann, she brought up a valid point about the bullying tactics of some, and she is entitled to express her concern. If you are talking about me, now you really are deluding yourself. I find your school boy antics as amusing now as I did then!

    I would be interested who the “Others derive career benefits from organisations that are actively involved in dispossession through fraud, coersion and abuse of power” you are referring to.

    And what, by the way, is wrong with the diaries of Anais Nin? Still quite popular today Ian, but then she was woman, and an independent one, and I guess that loans some weight behind Pinxi’s other comment.

    As for reaping what you sow, if only Ian!

  40. Pinxi September 28, 2006 at 3:37 pm #

    yes there was quite some delicious irony in the bullocky’s daughter accusation given that it was directed, among many offensive names, by the abusive Motty toward the restrained and polite Libby! It was just one in a sequence of shockers (he called me a s–t for a while) leading to him being banned from the blog for some period to settle down. But take it with a grain of salt. See Ann, aussie guys like Ian do enjoy being as vulgar as they can and they love to insult you. It can be fun to a point, when it’s witty and not overly offensive or childish. I will confess to having made the odd remark about Motty’s mum at some point too. And enjoying it.

  41. Ann Novek September 28, 2006 at 3:43 pm #

    Hey Pinxie, not only Aussie guys love to insult me, George told me that he was eventually going to pour beer over my head when he met me!

  42. Ann Novek September 28, 2006 at 4:33 pm #

    … but Pixie who really cares as long as they don’t pop up in your garden…. and trust me I can handle both a horse and a shotgun…

  43. George McC September 28, 2006 at 5:03 pm #

    Now now anne kjaere …

    That was when you ( seemed to )”accused me of having my opinions bought and paid for remember? ” so ;op

    Thanks for the ” Bullocky´s daughter translation ” .. I´d thought it might be something similar – always best to make sure though ..LOL..

    Libby,
    Here where you are coming from RE: the catalogues – unfortunately, scientific politics can be a real PITA … I know from personal experience myself…
    Re : Sat tags, would be interesting to read about results and particularly methods as I´m involved with a project myself… which tags are you / they using? wildlife computers? – would also be interested in how they are attached .. Feel free to mail me privately if you have the time / inclination ( whalephotoATgmail.com … substitute the AT of course )

    One of the benefits of being freelance is that I own the images ID wise – I don´t accept assignments where the a project claims ownership to my ID images – I agree in advance to licence all ID images for scientific and personal use indefinitely only and a project recieves copies direct in the field… that way everybody´s happy – I occassionaly contribute to various projects if I happen to snag some ID´s of species I know they are working on – I had some blue whale ID´s a few weeks ago that I will pass on to some Icelandic and canadian researchers shortly…

    I´ve been thinking of a Tonga trip for a couple of years now but been frustrated by other work commitments – next year maybe – If you´re around at the time , a beer or seven is on me .. . Just a thought, an aussie colleague is just back from Tonga and has some gorgeous work from there, I think he´s been there quite a few times, maybe worth putting you in touch to see if he has anything you may be able to use? I can ask and see what says – let me know…

  44. Libby September 28, 2006 at 7:29 pm #

    Hi George,

    Will answer you properly shortly re the sat tags. Is your Australian colleague Kelvin Aitkin?

  45. George McC September 28, 2006 at 7:31 pm #

    thats him … ;)

  46. Ann Novek September 28, 2006 at 8:49 pm #

    The thread is quite funny now…

    Well, I have just had an interview with an Estonian newspaper on Greenpeace, we had this action on the toxic ship Probo Koala and this has been the main news for three days now.

    I did some PR job for Greenpeace speaking about our ships and campaigns. Many , many people have asked the recent days how to join Greenpeace.

    One question posed to me was really comic. The interviewer asked if we were millionaires( the activists)!!!

    OK, described as well our next action in the Southern Oceans but mostly pushing for a moratorium on high seas bottom trawling.

  47. Libby September 28, 2006 at 9:17 pm #

    Kelvin was in Tonga this year the same time as me, although I was on a different island. He is often there with a Singapore-based photographer Tony Wu. Mind you, I could put any fluke IDs to good use I’m sure.

    Ann, what’s this about toxic vessels named after placid marsupials? The cheek.

  48. George McC September 28, 2006 at 9:23 pm #

    Libby,

    mail me your email addy and I´ll put you in touch with him ..I´ve already had some contact with him about it this afternoon..

  49. Ann Novek September 28, 2006 at 9:55 pm #

    Libby,
    I don’t know what one toxic rust bucket has in common with a Koala, it is damn right insulting!

  50. Ann Novek September 29, 2006 at 12:16 am #

    I salute Australia’s support for protection of deep sea life from high seas bottom trawling.

    It seems like Australia now really is a champion for both the whales and deep sea life and will also take a leading role at the UNGA( UN General Assembly) negotiations this autumn to protect deep sea life.

    From 22 September:

    http://www.savethehighseas.org/display.cfm?ID=136

  51. Ann Novek September 29, 2006 at 12:34 am #

    George,

    If you want to complain about anti whaling NGOs , check out WDCS website . They write that” Norway is piling up a blubber mountain”, actually I am not 100% sure if this is correct.

  52. George McC September 29, 2006 at 1:01 am #

    Anne,

    I am 10O% sure it is incorrect and or you´ve been looking at an old news item on their website …. check the date above the article(s)..

  53. Ann Novek September 29, 2006 at 1:06 am #

    George,
    The article is from 11 September 2006:

    http://www.wdcs.org/dan/publishing.nsf/allweb/608F46DFB5C1189A802571E6005114E3

  54. George McC September 29, 2006 at 2:24 am #

    My apologies anne -

    First of all this :

    ” With blubber mountains piling up in Norway, the whaling industry will be quick to take advantage of a new market for whale oil and blubber products, including Spermaceti.”

    WDCs are contradicting themselves – according to WDCS, Norwegian whalers are dumping blubber at sea – here from a 2002 article http://www.wdcs.org/dan/publishing.nsf/allweb/A3CEB5312699ADE880256D03005180AB

    None of the whalers are keeping any blubber – there is no market or buyer for it – Ellingsen and others had their fingers burned speculating on export of blubber in the past.

    No anne, what you have there is once again another case of [FILL IN ALARMIST AND ARMAGEDDONIST FACTOID HERE]…..

    and anyway anne – If perchance whalers did start keeping blubber again for such a use,( fat chance ) I´m damn sure GP and other NGO´s will be out with a “SMEAR TOXIC DIOXINS ON YOUR FACE WHY DON´T YOU?” campaign real quick ;O)…

    Nope anne – if the blubber has to be incinerated in special incinerators, do you really think they are going to go to the lengths of “purifying” the blubber to get rid of any toxins?? .. I don´t think so …

    What you have here is yet another scare tactic – I´m surprised GP didn´t think of it first to be honest ;op

    Whaling industry my scottish butt – 30 odd boats that spend most of the year fishing- industrial whaling indeed …

  55. George McC September 29, 2006 at 2:26 am #

    ” Nope anne – if the blubber has to be incinerated in special incinerators ”

    should read : if the blubber HAD

  56. George McC September 29, 2006 at 2:33 am #

    Anne …

    here´s a quote from the email they have already written out for supporters to send :

    “Today, blubber is a waste product of Norway’s whaling – unwanted and dumped at sea.”

    Excuse me? did´nt they just claim :

    ” With blubber mountains piling up in Norway, the whaling industry will be quick to take advantage of a new market for whale oil and blubber products, including Spermaceti.”

    Fiendishly smart these scandinavian vikings – they dump the blubber at sea to stockpile it in Norway …..

    Looks like GP aren´t the only ones to have lousy web editors anne

    ;op

  57. Ann Novek September 29, 2006 at 8:29 am #

    George,
    yes, we have discussed some of these issues previously, or was it with your friend JM. Is it sure that you are not JM??

    It is also strange that the destruction of the blubber is not mentioned in any English version ( the Ellingsens etc.)..

    Regarding the blubber and if you can use it to something else , there are always speculations on that in Norway. But the possibilities to use it industrially seems minimal, actually there is no political will to use it.

    Actually, I believe there are a very small stockpile left somewhere in Northern Norway( 2005), but all official reports indicate there is no future for this blubber , anyway not in the very near future, so I really don’t know where from the WDCS has got this misinformation .

  58. Ann Novek September 29, 2006 at 8:39 am #

    George,
    Here is a not so funny article from Dagbladet on Greenpeace and the Olymic Games in Lillehammer 1994.

    http://www.dagbladet.no/sport/2006/09/14/476718.html

  59. Travis September 29, 2006 at 9:25 am #

    Yes, who is the mysterious JM???

  60. Ann Novek September 29, 2006 at 2:09 pm #

    “Whaling industry my scottish butt – 30 odd boats that spend most of the year fishing- industrial whaling indeed …”

    Well, well käre George, you really don’t want to discuss prewhaling minke numbers, do we ?

    Were there not about three times as much minkes as today ? About 265 000….

  61. david@tokyo September 29, 2006 at 2:54 pm #

    But Ann, the industry that depleted whales to those levels does not exist (you know, the dead whaling for oil industry)

  62. George McC September 29, 2006 at 5:33 pm #

    Morn´Anne ..

    Yes anne, I am sure, Travis, JM is a colleague and good friend of many years, currently on assignment in the far east.

    Anne, sure! lets talk about prewhaling minke whale population numbers ;O)

    The number you are referring to is of course the number proposed by Palumbi..and is based on genetic analysis of 87 North Atlantic minke whale samples .. Here´s what the IWC has to say about it

    http://www.iwcoffice.org/_documents/sci_com/SCRepFiles2004/56annexs.pdf#search=%22pre%20whaling%20minke%20whale%20population%20numbers%22

    What I have to say about it anne is, just think a wee bit, Palumbi also gives figures of as high as 240,000 humpbacks for the north Atlantic and as high as 1,500,000 humpbacks worldwide pre whaling – Figures of 360,000 fin whales and so on.

    So all in all, when you take all species ( which Palumbi and co have not analysed ) and extrapolate figures we are talking in the tens if not hundreds of millions of marine mammals happily frolocking around in the seas before man began whaling ….

    Tell me anne, what did they eat?

    Here is quote from a media article quoting Phil clapham

    “The idea that there were a quarter-million humpback whales in the Atlantic Ocean at any time in history is, frankly, inconceivable,” Clapham says. “The system simply couldn’t support that number.” If evenly distributed over the North Atlantic, the genetic results imply there were once 25,000 humpback whales and 39,000 fin whales living in the Gulf of Maine, he said. ”

    As Jennifer´s blog software tends to hold up any post that has two or more links, I´ll link to the media article in another post below this – it gives pro and con arguements by different folk to Palumbi´s theory …

    and I know that David might have something to say about Palumbi ;O)

  63. Ann Novek September 29, 2006 at 5:40 pm #

    LOL George, two hardline prowhaling guys offering me to drink beer in Tromsö, didn’t know that Greenpeace was so popular up there!!

  64. George McC September 29, 2006 at 5:55 pm #

    Here´s the media link anne

    http://www.nasw.org/users/hickeyh/whale_genetics.htm

    So Anne, did GP plan a whale bloodbath at the OL in lillehammer? If so, what´s not so funny? that they did or did not? or that Dagbladet published the story ( if it is accurate or fiction )

    Back to Minke whale population numbers anne ..

    If you look at historical minke whale catches by Norway in the North East atlantic from 1946 to 1983 , you will see that they were between 1600 to 4300 yearly ( the figures are available on the High north website. )

    Do some calculating – If the current population figures are correct ( and the IWC accepts these figures for the north east atlantic )we have a figure of around 100,000 for the north east atlantic alone ( I don´t have the exact figure here offhand – as far as I can remember it´s 107,000 with a 95% confidence interval or thereabouts) So if Norway was taking 2-3000 minkies a year for 40 years or so and the current population is 100K, it kind of points to a sustainable catch even if Palumbi´s figures are correct for the whole north Atlantic don´t you think?

    Just some rambling thoughts from me anne, I need another half liter of coffee before I face the day ;O)

    Anne Elskling, I will happily discuss north east atlantic minke population figures with you

  65. George McC September 29, 2006 at 6:01 pm #

    Anne,

    If you think that was because GP is popular and had nothing to do with the fact that you were a swedish female in Tromso, then I think you need to cut back on the wine yourself …LOL ..

    My better half got indecent proposals whilst sitting next to me up there …. occupational hazard going to the pub for the fairer sex in Tromso and most places up north

  66. Ann Novek September 29, 2006 at 6:39 pm #

    LOL George, no I don’t run on wine… I run on Red Bull and chocolate, this causes insomnia…

    OK, the north-east minke whale population…

    As you know anti whaling NGOs considered that the minke whale population was so seriously depleted that it was given total protection in 1985.

    Can’t recall the numbers right now, guess the population was estimated to about 65 000 and the annual catch was about 2000-3000 minkes???

    So is an annual catch of 1800 minkes sustainable?

    BTW, have you seen the Fiskeribladet article that I translated back in the old whaling thread???

  67. George McC September 29, 2006 at 7:13 pm #

    Anne,

    The moratorium was taken on by Norway under objection in 1985 – and lets not forget how the moratorium was introduced in the first place shall we? Vote buying anyone?

    When the moratorium was continued in the early 90´s and the scientific comittee was ignored, norway quite rightly made use of their objection and went back to commercial whaling.

    Go here for the catch stats anne :

    http://www.highnorth.no/statistik/norwaywhale.htm

    Anne, the anti whaling NGO´s would use ANY excuse to stop whaling as you well know ;O)

    Is a catch of 1800 sustainable? Probably if the population figures are correct .. the question you should be asking though is :

    Is there a market for the products of 1800 minkies in Norway?

    The answer of course is no, going by recent years

    Would there be a market for 1800 minkies if exports were allowed? the answer is yes,

    you would be amazed at the number of spanish tourists in Norway that buy/eat minke meat – I´m amazed at how many german tourists I see eating and buying minke as well in view of Germany´s anti whaling stance and GP membership

    Another aside anne going back to the minke that was taken in front of the whale watching boat off Andenes in the summer – I read a newspaper article when I was up in Norway that interviewed a bunch of german tourists on the boat – I don´t have the article here but I am trying to find it on the net – It quoted some German tourists who said ( roughly )

    ” how wonderful, a once in a lifetime experience – we got to see whales AND we got to see whaling as well – what a wonderfull trip ”

    ( I´ll try and find a link to the exact article )

    Which old whaling thread? there´s so many of them anne ..LOL ..

  68. david@tokyo September 29, 2006 at 7:14 pm #

    Right George :-)
    Palumbi basically searches for anything scientific sounding that he can use to justify an anti-whaling stance.

    The funny thing is that in this instance, even Phil Clapham has criticised him big time, but Phil Clapham is actually very anti-whaling himself (I think he is of the belief that the industry can’t be trusted).

    Clapham is also of the opinion that baleen whales are not as smart as others would have us believe.

    Clapham has also criticised the JARPA and JARPN research.

    At any rate, it looks like Palumbi can be safely ignored.

  69. Ann Novek September 29, 2006 at 7:15 pm #

    Well,George about the pubs in Tromsö, two of my Nordic beauty Greenpeace friends were a bit harrassed once in the bar…not especially welcomed at all…

  70. Ann Novek September 29, 2006 at 7:38 pm #

    Hey, regarding the tourists, it is only ONE reason why they bought the minke meat , it is because they think it is COOL to eat whale meat and see a hunt, to eat IUCN listed animals is HIGH FASHION right now in Paris.

  71. George McC September 29, 2006 at 7:55 pm #

    Anne,

    In Norway and anywhere else, I welcome the opportunity to chat with Greenpeace supporters on the Norwegian whaling issue – I most often find that they are woefully misinformed on the facts surrounding whaling in Norway and in general. If somebody has an anti whaling stance on ethical or animal rights / cruelty grounds then fair enough, I respect their position … albeit I agree to disagree … ;o)

  72. Ann Novek September 29, 2006 at 7:58 pm #

    George, check the article on the thread whaling con and pro, one of the last posts…

    I will be away for some hours , but if you have the time please comment the article!

  73. George McC September 29, 2006 at 8:00 pm #

    Anne,

    I disagree with you there, I have noticed that it is mainly older german and spanish folk who eat / buy whale meat in Norway from the tourists … I don´t think they give a monkey´s about Paris fashions ( I could of course be wrong )….

    and I sincerely doubt if being “cool” is high on their list of priorities either ;)

  74. George McC September 29, 2006 at 8:23 pm #

    Anne, read both the article and your translation of a small part of it -

    It´s Waaaaaaaay too long to translate word for word and anyway, we have covered most of it previously -

    ask me specifics about the article and I will try and reply …

    One comment though on this :

    “Already two young whalers have quit the whaling business.”

    What he actually said was that two whaling boats decided not to go whaling this year and instead chose another fishery – ( my translation )

    IMO that makes good economic sense to evaluate priorities according to economic circumstances in any year anne

    Vi har i møte med departementet før sesongen grundig redegjort for de økonomiske forholdene rundt fangsten og hvorfor flere av oss vurderte å gå på annet fiskeri, hvilket to av de 30 båtene til sist gjorde. Dilemmaet er jo at dette er unge fangere som vi mer enn gjerne skulle hatt inn i denne næringa, ikke ut.

  75. Ann Novek September 30, 2006 at 12:51 am #

    LOL George,first I got to ask you… are you one of those Norwegian womanizers?? LOL , I must make it clear to you that I know them too well LOL!!!

    But seriously, the question I want to ask you is

    1) what do you think of the whaler’s opinion to leave the IWC and only rely on Norwegian whaling scientists?

    And the tourist stuff… well, you are quite right that the German tourists have no idea that Norway is a whaling country. That has been a topic in Lofotsposten.

    PS. And this stuff in Fiskeribladet, that the herring and capelin grounds are full of too many Humpbacks and Fin whales, and that IUU-fishing and overfishing is too prioritized? Really, how can the whalers speak such nonsense?

    We know that IUU-fishing(pirate fishing) is the most dangerous threat to coastal Norway and the fisheries.

  76. Ann Novek September 30, 2006 at 1:07 am #

    Sorry George, I know that you mentioned that German tourists bought whale meat, but according to the Tourist Board in Lofoten, most Germans have no clue that they are whaling.

    Also check out Fiskaren today, they are talking about to enlarge the whale safari boats.

  77. david@tokyo September 30, 2006 at 1:16 am #

    > what do you think of the whaler’s opinion to leave the IWC and only rely on Norwegian whaling scientists?

    This is really a question for the politicians in anti-whaling nations.

    Just how much do they value conservation versus grandstanding?

  78. George McC September 30, 2006 at 1:17 am #

    Anne

    Me? A norwegian? nope, I´m scottish anne .. a womaniser? nah, I´m a lot more subtle than that anne ;op and anyway, my better half has a mean right hook ..LOL..

    What do I think Of Jan kristiansen´s opinion on leaving the IWC? that´s his opinion anne, and not neccessarily the opinion of all of the whaling boat owners – that´s point one.

    Next, Norway is pretty much following the RMP as if it was in force ( except they changed the tuning level of course ) so relying on Norwegian scientists would´nt change much anyway IMO. Peter may very well disagree but thats my opinion…

    Anne regarding IUU fishing and Jan K´s comments, I personally wonder if he made those comments – I tend not to rely on media articles for information – but if he did, then they once again are his comments and not neccessarily the comments of all whalers – I know a few personally who think illegal / overfishing fishing up in the Barents is a disgrace … so you cannot realy rely on a newspaper article to convey the opinion of the majority, regardless of Jan K´s position.

    Of course he is Pissed at the fisheries department – after the season they just had, I would be too if I was reliant on whaling for my summer income…. sounds like he was having a go at them – I can sympathise with that …

  79. Ann Novek September 30, 2006 at 1:59 am #

    So guys, the last question for today.

    Do we know what really happened at the annual Whaler’s union meeting( Småkvallaget)?

    Seems like they were going to have a hot debate… I mean Lars Walloe was not welcome!

  80. George McC September 30, 2006 at 2:16 am #

    Anne,

    The meeting is usually in November, so it hasn´t happened yet and I will bet you a beer Walloe is there … ;op

  81. Ann Novek September 30, 2006 at 1:37 pm #

    Haha George…OK!

    David ,
    All this argumentation of yours that” suffering is a fact of nature etc.” and “..Orcas preying on Gray whale ” is illogical and absurd to argument for whaling.

    Realize that whaling is inhumane .

    Even the fish is treated better during a tagging operation of consideration of animal welfare.

    In Iceland fish is rendered quit( sedation) or unconscious ( anaesthesia) if fish surgery is involved in the tagging procedure.

    So in this case it is not looked as “natural” to make the fish suffer or feel anxiety during the procedure… the same standards should be applied to whaling welfare issues.

  82. George McC September 30, 2006 at 5:35 pm #

    Anne,

    Whaling on minkies it´s no more inhumane than any other hunt and it´s a lot more humane than some hunts/culls on other species. Whats so special about whales compared with other animals hunted? To be frank, it´s absurd to single out whales using the animal welfare “inhumane” arguement, especially in view of the increased times to death caused by Greenpeace activists over the years..

  83. Ann Novek September 30, 2006 at 5:48 pm #

    George,
    I grew up with horses and every year we slaughtered some due to old age or illness. We never transported the horses to the slaughterhouse, we gave them a bucket of oats and then a stungun was used… nothing dramatic and I’m not too soft…that’s the way an animal should be killed or even better a clean shot in the forest.

    I know the Norwegian minke hunt is better than the Japanese but a time of death of many minutes is unacceptable. Some minutes doesn’t sound much however compared to how other animals are killed , a fraction of a second , this is too much.

    There is one good thing however with the minke hunt, they are free range animals and that is far better than factory farming IMO…

    Regarding Greenpeace in SOS I’m not too sure if it is correct that they prolonged the time of death, but if the whalers were unsure to get a clean shot , why did they harpoon at all, doesn’t make any sense…

  84. George McC September 30, 2006 at 6:09 pm #

    Anne,

    I´ve worked in a slaughterhouse.. ( albeit years ago ) stun guns do not aways work first time and then you always have those farmers who want a prize highland cow´s head for the taxidermist – I saw one taking over 10 shots once -

    The way an animal should be killed and how an animal IS killed are two different kettle of fish depending on the country and hunt / cull … get used to it – it´s not going to improve much in the future either as population and economic pressure rises.

    Regarding Greenpeace in the southern ocean sanctuary and in the North sea / norwegian sea in the past, their idiocy has been well documented anne – and claiming that gunners not take a shot because some well meaning idiot is in front of the harpoon is no excuse anne – if you try and spoil the gunner´s shot, you take DIRECT responsibility for any misjudgement by the gunner … it´s like stepping out in front of a bunch of cars on the motorway anne, would you blame the car drivers if you got hit? ( lousy anology but whatever )

  85. Ann Novek September 30, 2006 at 6:32 pm #

    Yes George, the Senet incident that you have quoted zillion times was quite brainless… but what other cases are documented?

    Is it like the collision between the Arctic Sunrise and the Japanese whaling ship in the last hunt?

    Well, we know that the Japanese didn’t dare to take up that argument in the IWC, because they were afraid of losing the case.

  86. Pinxi September 30, 2006 at 6:38 pm #

    re: ‘get used to it’ (inhumane killing)

    sad, but whilever we let masses of people go without safe water, sanitation, adequate nutrition, personal security, and while it’s ok to bomb people over resources for economic growth to sustain overfed pampered people, then we can’t expect better treatment for animals

    we can still encourage/demand decent and equitable treatment though

    in the case of whales the ends don’t seem to justify the means

  87. George McC September 30, 2006 at 6:55 pm #

    Anne,

    Google “kato” or ” Villduen ” or … wait for it … ” Senet ” ;op

    Grenpeace should remember Kato in particular Anne, after all, it cost them $130,000 in fines and equipment confistication … wasn´t that the last greenpeace action against Norwegian whaling? That must have been when the “won” the whaling war against Norway right? ;op ( sorry, couldn´t resist ;) )

    Nice to read that you admit that Greenpeace was quite brainless in their anti whaling action against Senet Anne …

  88. Ann Novek September 30, 2006 at 7:03 pm #

    Käre George, maybe we can continue the discussion later, maybe David will pop up?

    Have some things to do…

  89. George McC September 30, 2006 at 10:00 pm #

    Pinxi,

    Not sure of your meaning with

    ” in the case of whales the ends don’t seem to justify the means ”

    In what context?

  90. Ann Novek September 30, 2006 at 10:46 pm #

    George,
    Regarding the “whaling war”. Who has really won the war?

    Greenpeace claim they have, and the whalers in their turn claim that the victory is near or completed..

    Personally ( no, not because that I’m a Greenpeacer) I think the final victory will be Greenpeace’s, but it’s not a fast and visual victory…

    The opposite side has in advantage for example that they were able to close down the costly PR campaign in the States, where they can claim a little victory…

  91. George McC October 1, 2006 at 12:14 am #

    Anne,

    Let me inject some personal thoughts into the debate if I can…

    Norwegian whaling statistics since the moratorium in 1985 :

    1986 383 ( under SC permit )
    1987 375 ”
    1988 29 ”
    1989 17 ”
    1990 5 ”
    1991 0 ”
    1992 92 ”
    1993 217 open commercial hunt from 1993
    1994 273
    1995 217
    1996 388
    1997 503
    1998 625
    1999 589
    2000 487
    2001 550
    2002 634
    2003 646
    2004 541
    2005 639
    2006 530

    Despite all of the Greenpeace actions in the 1990´s they have failed miserably to do anything whatsover about stopping the norwegian minke whale hunt – not only have they failed miserably, they have tried misinformation, property damage, incited violence under the guise of “peaceful protest” and even today, blatantly misinform the public on the whaling debate.
    Throughout the years since the moratorium began, Norway has evaluated criticsm and responded if they felt it was necessary. Veterinary inspectors, DNA register, prosecuting infringers, rigid quotas etc etc etc … In other words, they are being pretty open and consequent about what they are doing .

    As you can see from the statistics, the average take is around 400-600 a year, and despite all of the bullcrap around NGO´s claiming there is no market in Norway, nobody eats whalemeat anymore blah blah blah, it will stay around that number – a couple of simple reasons why are weather and economics -

    Nobody is going to go to the Jan mayen zone unless bunkering costs drop – Nobody is going to sail possibly thousands of kilometers unless they have to and the numbers will remain roughly the same unless their are long periods of good weather, and even then, the might rise by 150-200 animals for that year only due to good weather – Of course, if average weather returns the next year, the total taken will drop.

    The current hunt the last 6 years or so has supplied basically the local market and will continue to do so unless a number of different factors occur ( I can list my thoughts on that if you wish – just let me know )

    So what do we have Anne? A minkie whale hunt that has pretty much gained acceptance everywhere – nobody really cares about the norwegian hunt anymore, despite what the NGO´s try and do about it – every year they come out with this or that condemnation and this or that revelation and Norway happily goes on hunting …

    Aside from all of the claims of victory and posturing by both sides, the hunt goes on and will continue to go on until it is no longer profitable for the individual Skippers / owners of the 30 or so boats to do so.

    Greenpeace claims that as a Victory??? what a load of old cobblers ….

    No anne, the reason Greenpeace has now concentrated their anti whaling efforts on Japan and ignores Norwegian whaling is not because they have “won any war” , it´s more likely to do with revenue, PR value and an easier target IMO…..

    you´ll have to excuse me anne, i´m off to watch ” Sa som i himmeln ” on my DVD player / TV … this will be the 6th time I´ve seen it and the second time in Swedish ;)

    Best film ever made IMHO …

  92. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 1:05 am #

    George,
    That’s a good video – but one of my favourites is Betty Blue 37,3 le matin . The film seems quite familiar…

  93. Travis October 1, 2006 at 3:04 am #

    re: ‘get used to it’ (inhumane killing)

    Get used to the women in Dhafur who are raped so badly they are now incontinent and shunned by the community. Get used to arsonists who knowingly cause loss of life and property and heartache. Get used to terrorists killing mourners at a funeral, or flying planes into buildings.

    Human beings are celebrated as being the pinnacle of life on earth, thanks to their intelligence and logic, their ability to feel compassion and empathy for others. To knowingly cause another pain and suffering does not, in my opinion, have any cause for celebration. To sit back and say get used to it George, is beyond description.

    Your analogy of stepping out on the freeway is pointless George. The Greenpeace activists do not just come out of nowhere, and the whalers know they are there and what their intentions are. If I know someone is playing on a busy road, I have the choice to continue as normal, slow down, or not proceed at all, and the coroner would be asking me why I knowingly decided to proceed should I hit that person.

    It is about choice George. You choose to make a living out of photgraphing wild cetaceans. I guess you find them visually attractive, and hope others will too. And yet you can find a place inside of you to get used to the idea of these animals suffering, and quite needlessly. Thanks for the insight.

  94. George McC October 1, 2006 at 6:03 am #

    Hi Travis,

    Well done in comparing Dhafur, al-Qaeda and their like and arsonists to whalers – what´s that called again? ummm contextomy I believe – might be wrong but whatever …

    Whalers set out to kill minkies as quickly and painlessly as possible Travis – GP activists try and stop this by spoiling the gunners aim and in doing so, take responsibilty for their actions – or do you deny this Travis? seems like you do but I cannot speak for you – tell us ..

    Yes, I did say it was a lousy anology / analogy Travis, but it served it´s purpose..

    Quite wrong in your analysis Travis, I choose to make a living out of photographing anything that moves and quite a lot that doesn´t. The fact that I happen to have good access to whales and that whales are reasonable stock sellers in a saturated wildlife photography market is neither here nor there .. I find women visually attractive but I don´t photograph them much ( if at all ) and certainly don´t make a living from photographing them either .. as to hoping that others will find them visually attractive, well, no actually, the more that find women visually unattractive, then the more there possibly ( statistically speaking ) are for me Travis -…

    And yes, Travis I have a place inside me that accepts the possibilty that a creature may suffer during a hunt – it´why I applaud Norwegian efforts to make the hunt as humane as possible …

    Tell em Travis, do kangaroos need to be hunted from helicopters? or at all? or lets see …Do we really need to hunt possums in NZ and more importantly, is there an average 80% instant death rate in these hunts? … don´t give me this needlessly rubbish please, it´s so passe these days .. but wait, do I hear the sound of an oncoming ” but possums and Kangaroos are not endangered ” train? quite possibly ..

    Choice, Travis, is correct – The norwegians choose to hunt minkies, the Aussies choose to hunt Kangaroos and the Kiwis choose to hunt possums – and some choose to utilise products from all of these animals, just as some choose not to.

    Your point being?? if you have one?

  95. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 8:41 am #

    OK guys, back to the Norwegian waters…

    George might disagree, but whaling and sealing industries are only symbols(symbolic) today…75 year old Trond, Morten or whoever take his ship out for the hunt…

    Regarding cruelty don’t know exactly how much is myth or not, according to a Norwegian Greenpeacer, who btw applied to the whales survey in the Barents Sea, stats show it’s not too bad…

    Norwegian animal welfare organisation Dyrebeskyttelsen has hardly no whale welfare agenda anymore, hey, they are focussing on homeless cats from Spain, the world is really upside down…

    A hunt of 600 minkes annually is quite accepted internationally, can’t understand why lusekofterne want to undermine that acceptance.

    But who really needs to eat that damn whale meat?

    Hey, in Sweden we ate whale meat from Norway until the moratorium, we still have them crazy stories on the Norwegian whale meat balls that you fried and they disappeared( almost only blubber).

  96. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 8:49 am #

    …and käre George, don’t be angry with me now, but don’t let the lusekofterne brainwash you LOL!!!

  97. Travis October 1, 2006 at 8:50 am #

    >Well done in comparing Dhafur, al-Qaeda and >their like and arsonists to whalers – what´s >that called again? ummm contextomy I believe – >might be wrong but whatever …

    No George, I am not comparing these to whalers, but rather your apparent flippancy regarding getting used to suffering and cruelty to an attitude that is all-too prevalant these days.

    If you can’t see the point George, it’s because your head is way too far up your nether regions.

  98. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 11:42 am #

    George:”The current hunt the last 6 years or so has supplied basically the local market and will continue to do so unless a number of different factors occur ( I can list my thoughts on that if you wish – just let me know )”

    OK George, fire off! ( Or whatever you English speaking persons say)

  99. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 2:32 pm #

    George ” Japan an easier target than Norway…”

    George, please explain if you find the time… that is not my opinion.

  100. david@tokyo October 1, 2006 at 3:02 pm #

    These humane arguments are really pathetic.

    The fact that people killing whales are able to live with themselves despite it (and indeed try to improve their efficiency), indicates to me that they are most certainly “humane” in their ways of going about it.

    Today even with genade tipped harpoons it’s not possible to guarantee an instantaneous death at all times, and particularly so in the southern ocean JARPA research where the gunners have other objectives in addition to achieving as fast a time to death as possible (avoiding the explosion of harpoons in some Greenpeace propaganda merchant fool’s body being one of them).

    The fact is that whales live free lives in the oceans, and to that extent whaling is unquestionably far more “humane” than many other methods of obtaining food, particularly those widely employed in western agriculture dependant nations (that coincidently are also prominent for their criticisms of whaling).

    I wonder how beef farmers can artificially inseminate animals can live with themselves knowing that there are abundant stocks of whales in the world that are going un-utilised? How humane is it to unnecessarily farm animals when there are plenty living naturally in the wild that are ripe for harvest and consumption? Why create life, keep it in captivity (in sub-optimal conditions, due to economic realities), then slaughter it, when you can limit your activities to just the slaughter by utilising natural wildlife?

    I admire the humaneness of the whalers in this respect. The Japanese in particular deserve kudos as they are prepared to spend time apart from their families while they sail all the way to the other side of the world to get their food, rather than import beef farmed in the USA and Australia.

    http://www.cowsarecool.com

    Yet, despite their clear superiority, we don’t see whaling nations trying to impose their betterness on those barbaric uncivilised cruel people of the west who eat beef burgers, quite unnecessarily.

  101. david@tokyo October 1, 2006 at 3:04 pm #

    Oh yeah, did I mention that these humane arguments are pathetic?

  102. david@tokyo October 1, 2006 at 3:05 pm #

    Oh, it looks like I did. Twice. They are pathetic. I’m so sick of the anti-whaling self-righteousness.

  103. david@tokyo October 1, 2006 at 3:12 pm #

    Ann,

    Japan does seem to be targetted more, despite the quotas set by Japan for whales not being significantly different.

    Japan does have some disadvantages:
    1) WWII history. Remnants of racism towards the Japanese still persist in the UK, Australia and New Zealand and to a lesser extent the USA. It just makes it easier for people in those countries to get more excited about Japan than Norway, Iceland, Russia, the Solomon Islands, the Phillipines, Indonesia, the Marshall Islands, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Greenland, Alaska, the Faroe Islands, hmm, did I miss any? Probably. Oh yeah, Canada. The WWII history fits in especially with the anti-whaling NGO desire to portray whaling as cruel and inhumane, even though people catching whales have nothing to do with WWII.

    2) Japan is a rich nation. Apparently people who live in rich countries aren’t allowed to carry on their cultural cuisine if that cuisine happens to include whales. It’s ok to eat whales if you live in a poorer place though, even in the US.

    3) Japanese people speak Japanese better than they speak English. When discussions are held on such issues, they are immediately at a disadvantage.

  104. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 3:19 pm #

    David:”Yet, despite their clear superiority, we don’t see whaling nations trying to impose their betterness on those barbaric uncivilised cruel people of the west who eat beef burgers, quite unnecessarily.”

    David, you are really a funny guy! Don’t you know that Norwegians and Icelanders are the biggest pizza and beef burger consumers in the world, and I don’t mean whale pizzas and whale burgers, so please give it a break…

  105. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 3:26 pm #

    David,
    I read that in major Norwegian paper Aftenposten and Icelandic Review.

  106. Pinxi October 1, 2006 at 4:26 pm #

    David, do you mind clarifying the following comment? It seems to rely on a new branch of reasoning that I’m not familiar with:

    “The fact that people killing whales are able to live with themselves . .. indicates to me that they are most certainly “humane” in their ways of going about it.”

    Perhaps you could illustrate your point by way of an illuminating comparison, for eg with homocide offenders, terrorist bombers and other perpetrators of genocide who manage to live with themselves. They could probably even explain to you how their personal cause was worth it. The unibomber lived with himself, and by himself, therefore his methods were humane? Illogical!

    That hardly supports an intelligent criticism of an allegedly pathetic inhumane argument against whaling.

    Further, on the ‘inhumane’ theme: it’s not a strong argument to use the relatively sanitised and carefully managed slaughter of domestic meat animals with their cultivated characteristics of neotony as a comparison to the more variable processes and conditions of killing intelligent independent animals in wild. Apples to oranges.

  107. Pinxi October 1, 2006 at 4:31 pm #

    David, it must have occurred to you that Japan gets more criticism because..

    In its whaling excuses and IWC ployes, it show less restraint and consideration to sustainable yields than does, say Norway and Iceland.

    Japan can’t show a history of whaling sustainably in its own waters as can other nations, hence it now has to travel half way around the world to whale.

    Japan pushes to whale species that are more vulneralbe than minke. No restraint.

    Its got a pretty big population to feed to, and pushes whale at school kids etc to stimulate demand. Much more gung-ho than other nations. Fire in its belly to support a nationalistic political agenda – post post-war legacy – to show its nationalistic vote that it’s economically successful AND can flex muscle on international issues of perceived (marketed) national identity /independence.

    Japan’s whaling activities are a whole different kettle of fish to the other whaling nations.

  108. George McC October 1, 2006 at 5:36 pm #

    ” No George, I am not comparing these to whalers, but rather your apparent flippancy regarding getting used to suffering and cruelty to an attitude that is all-too prevalant these days.”

    As I have already pointed out Travis, there is no 100% instant death rate in any hunt anywhere in the world, and I applaud Norwegian efforts to improve times to death in their minke whale hunt … you see any flippancy there? nope … must be somewhere in your own mind then huh?

    and

    “If you can’t see the point George, it’s because your head is way too far up your nether regions. ”

    Wow Travis… a good old fashioned ad hominem zing… still looking for your point are we dear?

  109. George McC October 1, 2006 at 5:44 pm #

    ” Further, on the ‘inhumane’ theme: it’s not a strong argument to use the relatively sanitised and carefully managed slaughter of domestic meat animals with their cultivated characteristics of neotony as a comparison to the more variable processes and conditions of killing intelligent independent animals in wild. Apples to oranges. ”

    Pinxi ..

    I suggest you visit a local slaughterhouse and conduct a long term study on times to death, making good note of the behavioural reactions of the animals slaughtered as they approach and enter the killing pen(s) and then compare that to times to death of minkie and other whales…

    As for ” killing intelligent independent animals in wild “..
    I await your quotes and cites from the lit. on the intelligence of whales and other animals with interest ..

  110. George McC October 1, 2006 at 5:50 pm #

    Anne

    “But who really needs to eat that damn whale meat?”

    Who really NEEDS to eat that damn cow, pig, sheep, elk, chicken, grouse, deer, kangaroo, crocodile, snake, whale Blah blah blah meat??

    more later ;)

  111. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 6:04 pm #

    David has written a ” too many beers on a Saturday night” comment, but I , god heaven!!! agree both with David and George that factory farming is much worse than whaling.

    Actually factory farming is the biggest threat to animal welfare around the world.

    I have seen the most awful scenes from farms, hell animals almost drowned in their own shit, really makes me pissed!!!

    And Pinxie, what’s this talk about independent and intelligent wild animals, actually pigs are one of the smartest animals in the world, it’s a CRIME to confine them to small, dirty pens.

    Problem is however, most nations are not lucky enough to have wildlife to eat.

    It is only countries like Sweden etc, who has enough of moose and reindeers to supply a whole population.

  112. david@tokyo October 1, 2006 at 6:09 pm #

    > David, you are really a funny guy!

    I take it you enjoyed my parodying of the ridiculous arguments made against whalers :-)

    > Don’t you know that Norwegians and Icelanders are the biggest pizza and beef burger consumers in the world, and I don’t mean whale pizzas and whale burgers

    I don’t care about nations, I care about people. If there are nasty cruel people in Iceland and Norway as well as the US and Australia (and indeed here in Japan) they ought to be stopped and made to eat whale meat like good civilised people do.

  113. david@tokyo October 1, 2006 at 6:18 pm #

    > David, do you mind clarifying the … comment?

    Sure. It’s very simple.

    Do you think that cavemen were inhumane for using their slow long drawn out clubbing techniques to kill animals?

    I don’t think the cavemen were inhumane, I think they were doing the best they could with what they had. I’m sure they took no pleasure in seeing the animals suffer.

    Just like today’s whalers.

    Of course, if you wish to declare that the cavemen were inhumane you are more than welcome to.

    > Perhaps you could illustrate your point by way of an illuminating comparison, for eg with homocide offenders,

    Ummmm, how would that be a comparison?

    We’re talking about humans killing animals to get food here.

    > Further, on the ‘inhumane’ theme: it’s not a strong argument to use the relatively sanitised and carefully managed slaughter of domestic meat animals with their cultivated characteristics of neotony as a comparison to the more variable processes and conditions of killing intelligent independent animals in wild. Apples to oranges.

    Ummmmm, that’s a strange bit of logic there. The Nazis were quite systematic in their use of the gas chambers, and if you think that beef farming is ok because it is systematic you think slaughter of the jews was OK too?

    Oh – maybe you get my point about ridiculous and plain stupid comparisons then.

    Come on – let’s face it. Farming cows and violating their person by artificially inseminating them is really filthy and disgusting – quite inhumane – unquestionably, and all the more so because there are so many fresh whales swimming around in the oceans, just waiting for humans to harvest them and eat them. The whales live better lives than the cows, at any rate. You really want to argue?

  114. david@tokyo October 1, 2006 at 6:18 pm #

    Oh, and what is “neotony”? I couldn’t find it in the dictionary either.

  115. david@tokyo October 1, 2006 at 6:31 pm #

    > In its whaling excuses and IWC ployes, it show less restraint and consideration to sustainable yields than does, say Norway and Iceland.

    I don’t understand what you are talking about. Seriously.

    > Japan can’t show a history of whaling sustainably in its own waters as can other nations,

    Ummm, yes it can.

    It did all the way up until the oil whalers from the west came in and started recklessly overhunting them for example, and today whaling in Japanese waters is sustainable. There’s two examples without even blinking.

    > hence it now has to travel half way around the world to whale.

    No, Japanese whalers would be prepared to travel half way around the world sacrificing time with their families to ensure that no more additional cows need to suffer in US and Australian meat farms to supply the people with their food.

    > Japan pushes to whale species that are more vulneralbe than minke. No restraint.

    What are you talking about? They are killing a tiny insignificant amount of whales. 10 Fin whales this year, 50 next year plus 50 humpbacks. Don’t you have any idea about how many additional recruits these species are seeing each year? They aren’t killing any blue whales either – your “no restraint” claim is totally irrational and bogus. Sorry.

    In the north pacific it’s the same story. Only 100 or so whales of each species being taken, max, and these represent values of well under 1% of the estimated abundance in each case.

    > Its got a pretty big population to feed to,

    A shrinking one, at least. Not as big as the populations of the anti-whaling nations combined either, which is why they need to continue their cruel and unethical cow AI practices. God it just makes me quiver at the thought of a cow being artificially inseminated. I’m going to get together with my Indian friends tonight to organize a protest and dump a dead cow foetus outside the Australian embassy here in Tokyo (watch this space).

    > and pushes whale at school kids etc to stimulate demand.

    What’s wrong with encouraging people to eat whale meat? It’s much better to eat a bit of whale meat than cruelly farmed US and Australian beef.

    > Fire in its belly to support a nationalistic political agenda

    Hmmmm, since when has the principle of sustainable use being applied to marine resources been regarded as “nationalistic”? Since when has trying to reduce one’s dependance on imported foods been anything other than simple common sense?

    > Japan’s whaling activities are a whole different kettle of fish to the other whaling nations.

    Evidently not, as those nations are lining up with Japan to support them, even despite threats of economic terrorism.

  116. Pinxi October 1, 2006 at 6:36 pm #

    I’ve been inside factory pigsheds – not nice. Pigs are the smart exception among meat animals, but as for low-fat factory breeds, I dunno! I grew up near some slaughterhouses – I gather standards are tigher these days then they were then. I hope. Oh I recall downcast looking bovines standing in mud over their fetlocks. I’ve also heard pigs scream the walls down approaching their demise, but pigs can scream at the drop of a hat, right?

    Ok you’re right Georgie, I’ll start protesting slaugherhouses now too. BUT now we have very high immediate kill rates in modern slaughterhouses. The whales by comparison, even without GP interference(!), have slower deaths, more near misses, more need for secondary measures.

    This data you invite me to debate (deathrates and anthropogenic judgements of animal intelligence, including broader views such as creative ability eg song variations) has already been debated til the cows came home so I’m not inclined to wade fetlock deep in it now. I’ll just declare my personal view that domestic cows, chooks and sheep are much dumber than whales (I’ve farmed, loved & eaten home-grown cows, sheep, pigs & chooks) so I’m no saintly vegan either! But I gather you don’t take time series pictures of whales in their final minutes (like those GP sickos do)?

    By the way, I think GP whale protesters are wimps and get too much airplay. I’m much more the sea shepherd kind of direct interventionist! I mean, why the hell not? They’re really prepared to put their bacon on the line.

  117. Pinxi October 1, 2006 at 6:45 pm #

    David you demonstrate a lack of logical thinking. Let me explain it for you: You declare whaling as humane because whalers can live with themselves. By extension, genocide & torture would also be “humane” (according to your definition) as long as the people committing those acts can live with themselves!

    Neotony, commonly observed in domesticated breeds, particularly animals we eat, refers to the retention of juvenile traits in adults. ie they become more docile & placid. Many meat breeds become pretty dumb & dependent. (therefore apples to apples or oranges to compare their slaughter?) Utilitarian/companion animals are often smarter eg horses. havta dash…

  118. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 6:54 pm #

    Dearest Pinxi,
    Actually I can’t really believe what I read here, do you think we can handle cows, sheep , hens etc. worse just because they are “dumber” than whales? Sorry, but I must use a hard word here, I find that argument disgusting.

  119. david@tokyo October 1, 2006 at 6:54 pm #

    > David has written a ” too many beers on a Saturday night” comment,

    I’m deadly serious, Ann.

    Honestly, I’m so sick of wasting my Sundays reading about stupid crap about how whaling is cruel, according to these stupid dopes in western lands which only exist because of their inhumane farming practices (I was having a discussion on another site with a particularly thickheaded westerner this morning).

    Why is it that there are so many people who are so utterly incapable of putting themselves in someone else’s shoes? Even in this day and age with the Internet, so many people remain so ignorant and intolerant of any ideas that are different to their own.

    > agree both with David and George that factory farming is much worse than whaling.

    I’m not talking about factory farming alone, Ann. Cow farming in general is just inhumane, when you think about it. But if you’d be so kind as to call the Greenpeace dogs off the whalers and seek them onto those filthy cow molesters instead, that would be appreciated anyway. I’ll donate you $25, or however much it’ll take to make Greenpeace do my bidding. That’s what they are selling, right? They can use my ideas about the cruelty of cow molestation too, free of charge, in their propaganda materials. Here’s an ALARMIST FACTOID too:

    “Free the cows, or the vulcans will come and destroy earth!”

    I’ll start a petition today and seek 1 million signators.

    > Actually factory farming is the biggest threat to animal welfare around the world.

    Right, I’d agree there. Farming in general is just not my thing. Lately I find myself eating more and more fish, even though it’s more expensive than many alternatives. I make the financial sacrifice for that and the odd bit of whale meat because I’m a moral human being and support such good humane methods of obtaining food.

    > I have seen the most awful scenes from farms, hell animals almost drowned in their own shit, really makes me pissed!!!

    Hey, I used to hose down the milking shed on my uncle’s dairy farm during my summer holidays. I know the filth they put up with first hand too. At least I had gumboots.

    > And Pinxie, what’s this talk about independent and intelligent wild animals,

    It’s worth noting that cows would be independant to if those filthy cow molestors would just LET them be free. Free Daisy, dammit.

    > actually pigs are one of the smartest animals in the world, it’s a CRIME to confine them to small, dirty pens.

    Well it’s cruel, certainly far more cruel than letting whales swim free in the oceans. Whether it is a crime or not depends on legislation of course.

    > It is only countries like Sweden etc, who has enough of moose and reindeers to supply a whole population.

    Lucky. Japan has food self sufficiency of around 40%. Then the US comes here peddling BSE beef, and complaining about humane whaling activities. It’s terrible.

  120. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 7:01 pm #

    Pixie, my friend,

    I have worked with horses in whole my life, I have had a licence to train race horses etc.

    Well, I love horses more than anything in this world, my best friends have not been humans, they have been horses, but I must make you disappointed, they are not as smart as a pig or a dog…

  121. david@tokyo October 1, 2006 at 7:08 pm #

    > I’ll just declare my personal view that domestic cows, chooks and sheep are much dumber than whales

    So in the interests of assessing the value of your opinion, could you tell us what sort of work you have done with whales?

    Even anti-whaling scientist Phil Clapham thinks baleen whales that Japan and Norway hunt are not particularly bright.

    > By the way, I think GP whale protesters are wimps and get too much airplay.

    We agree there.

    > I’m much more the sea shepherd kind of direct interventionist!

    Oh, a terrorist. Funny that you talked about people smashing airplanes in to buildings and then turn around and declare your allegiance to a group that rams vessels at sea and then has the gall to post videos of their acts on their website.

  122. George McC October 1, 2006 at 7:08 pm #

    Pinxi

    First hit on google – ´tho it´s PETA so throw in a kilo of salt ..

    http://www.peta.org/mc/factsheet_display.asp?ID=103

    I particularly find interesting :

    ” Pigs are transported through all weather extremes, often freezing to the sides of the trucks in top pig-slaughtering states like Iowa and Nebraska or dying from dehydration in states like North Carolina. According to the industry, more than 100,000 pigs die en route to slaughter each year, and more than 400,000 arrive crippled from the journey.(22)”

    or

    ” An estimated one out of every four cattle who enters a slaughterhouse may have E. coli.(29) A Consumer Reports study of nearly 500 supermarket chickens found campylobacter in 42 percent and salmonella in 12 percent, with up to 90 percent of the bacteria resistant to antibiotics.(30) Eggs pose a salmonella threat to one out of every 50 people each year.(31) In total, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are 76 million instances of foodborne illness each year, and more than 5,000 deaths.(32)”

    Toxins in whalemeat? anyone? no? pity ..

    or

    ” Cattle raised for beef may be born in one state, fattened in another, and slaughtered in yet another. They are fed an unnatural diet of high-bulk grains and other “fillers,” which can include expired dog and cat food, poultry feces, and leftover restaurant food.(12) They are castrated, their horns are ripped out of their heads, and they have third-degree burns inflicted on them (branding), all without any pain relief. During transportation, cattle are crowded into metal trucks where they suffer from trampling, temperature extremes, and lack of food, water, and veterinary care. At the slaughterhouse, cattle may be hoisted upside down by their hind legs and dismembered while fully conscious. The kill rate in a typical slaughterhouse is 400 animals per hour, and “the line is never stopped simply because an animal is alive,” says one worker”

    Hmmmm .. that kangaroo/ whale / croc / wildpig steak is looking better by the minute -

    No Pinxi – I have not taken any time series pics of a hunt – though I have seen a few minkies harpooned … I´ve yet to see a secondary killing shot but that may very well be because of the low numbers of hunted minkies I have observed – tell me though, why do you think GP use the longest and bloodiest piece of video that they can? because it is representative of all the minkies hunted? …. I don´t think so myself but I would be happy to review ALL GP footage from the SO from last year and do an analysis on average times to death observed by GP

    On an aside, I have had a couple of offers to go out with a whaling boat and observe / document photographically a hunt with a view to doing a magazine article – one of these days, I may very well take up one of those offers if I can find the time …

  123. david@tokyo October 1, 2006 at 7:10 pm #

    > David you demonstrate a lack of logical thinking.

    No no, it’s you who is not thinking logically. Trust me.

    > Let me explain it for you: You declare whaling as humane because whalers can live with themselves.

    Yes.

    > By extension, genocide & torture would also be “humane” (according to your definition) as long as the people committing those acts can live with themselves!

    No, you are confused. Whalers are killing whales for food. People committing genocde are not. Apples and oranges, remember?

  124. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 7:14 pm #

    David,
    Regarding Norwegian whaling, the expedition to SOS, I can tell you that in Greenpeace there are many opinions, sorry can’t make a statement here,it must be off the record…

  125. david@tokyo October 1, 2006 at 7:19 pm #

    That’s OK Ann. I know that Greenpeace is run by a board with the aim of increasing revenues anyway.

    Why aren’t you a member of WWF?

    They seem more respectable than Greenpeace to me.

  126. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 7:33 pm #

    David, I can tell you this much, the Nordic folks don’t think it’s worse to eat whale meat than cows or moose…

  127. david@tokyo October 1, 2006 at 7:51 pm #

    You know what Ann?

    I think we should all get together sometime and go whale watching or something :-)

  128. Pinxi October 1, 2006 at 8:08 pm #

    David you are a few entries short of a dictionary!

    Whether or not an animal is killed “humanely” now depends on whether or not the meat is eaten/intended for food?!? What does ingestion have to do with how humane the killing method is (which is where this all started)?

    By extension of your explanation then, cannibalistic murderers are humane killers!!? (Next you’ll probably suggest that particularly hungry cannibalistic murderers are even more humane. Do the German courts agree in their cannibal trials?). Is inhumane killing defined by an absence of eating the killed?

    Your definition of ‘humane’ is self-acceptance plus ingestion?

    HUMANE
    1. characterized by tenderness, compassion, and sympathy for people and animals, esp. for the suffering or distressed: humane treatment of horses.

    —Synonyms 1. merciful, kind, kindly, kindhearted, tender, compassionate, gentle, sympathetic; benevolent, benignant, charitable. See human.

    —Antonyms 1. brutal.

  129. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 8:09 pm #

    Yes David, why not? LOL! But what will happen now to the whaling discussions…

  130. George McC October 1, 2006 at 8:13 pm #

    Anne,

    Some thoughts on the whale meat market in Norway :

    I believe it´s relatively static for a number of reasons :

    Economics – it´s expensive relative to other cuts of meat – pork, lamb etc .. if the price was similar and or cheaper, I believe the market share would increase.

    Quality – All too often, if you buy a packet of whalemeat in a supermarket, you may not neccessarily be getting the best cuts. A better system of labelling what you are buying would go a long way towards improving perception of whalemeat ..ie.. back fillet etc etc .. I was recently onboard a whaling boat and ate some extremely tasty whalemeat in various forms … it was really some of the best whalemeat I have tasted in Norway. Perhaps a better system of labelling would also enable different price structures. I know of a couple of boats that are now packaging their own meat and cutting out the middlemen – they report good sales as well.
    It´s also important do deliver quality meat each time – I know of some areas where folk will only buy meat from particular boats that have a solid reputation for providing good quality meat reliably year after year – a general improvement to those quality standards would also improve sales.

    Marketing – there have been some attempts to improve the marketing of whalemeat products in Norway, they need to expand on that in conjunction with quality and price.

    Better recieving facilities – there are too few recieving facilities – it can and does lead to delays in good seasons – closing facilities for summer holidays also leads to pauses in the hunt which is kind of self destructive – these are working boats and they earn zilch sitting at a dock somewhere .. also, it regularly gives rise to all sorts of weird and wonderful claims by NGO´s each time they pause a hunt – why give them another reason to claim something outlandish yet again? .. Staggering summer holidays throughout the recieving facilities would be a smarter idea IMO ..

    So in summary, better marketing, more competitive pricing, better quality control throughout all of the boats themselves and by the proccessing facilities, a structured labelling system and better organisation of recieving facilities would go a long way to improving / increasing the market share of whalemeat products within Norway IMO …

    I think then that the market could eventually be stable to maybe 1000 animals yearly.. in other words, if the whole process was a bit more “industrialised” from catch to supermarket shelves, sales would improve .. as is stands, I would describe the norwegian hunt as more of a ” localised cottage industry ” at the moment for want of a better description …

    all of this is of course just speculation on my part

  131. Pinxi October 1, 2006 at 8:14 pm #

    In yet another demonstration of his inability to reason rationally or logically, David likens sea shepherd to terrorists eg 9/11.

    David, Sea Shepherd:
    a) have NEVER hurt a human being in their interventions (unlike terrorists – again yr dictionary is absent a few definitions it seems).
    b) activities have been upheld as lawful under UN convention in Canadian courts.

    But no doubt, if the Sea Shepherd’s activities DID actually hurt someone to the extent that caused their almost instant DEATH, and they ATE that same person, you’d deem them ‘HUMANE’! You’re priceless!

  132. George McC October 1, 2006 at 8:18 pm #

    “You know what Ann?

    I think we should all get together sometime and go whale watching or something :-)”

    Well, I know where there is a rubber ducky for hire relatively cheap and where to find the critters …. ;O)

    would be fun ….

  133. david@tokyo October 1, 2006 at 8:21 pm #

    > Whether or not an animal is killed “humanely” now depends on whether or not the meat is eaten/intended for food?!?

    Umm, you seem seriously confused. Killing for food is a criteria for comparing activities. You were comparing genocide with people killing animals for food, not people killing animals for food with people killing animals for food.

    Get it?

    Humans eating humans is not wrong itself (some cultures still have that) but deliberate murder for that purpose is against the law in most if not all places because it is murder. You know, humans killing humans? Not humans killing animals, which is what I’m talking about. You know that humans have different rules for our own species, right? You know why that is, don’t you?

    > 1. characterized by tenderness, compassion, and sympathy for people and animals, esp. for the suffering or distressed: humane treatment of horses.

    Exactly. Nothing is said there about not killing animals, but there is compassion, and sympathy which is something anyone who kills an animal for food as quickly as possible most probably has. This clearly goes for the cavemen as well as people hunting whales.

  134. david@tokyo October 1, 2006 at 8:26 pm #

    > In yet another demonstration of his inability to reason rationally or logically, David likens sea shepherd to terrorists

    TERRORISM:
    1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.

    So tell me how Sea Shepherd are not terrorists?

    Or whatever – tell yourself – you are the one who needs to sit down and have a wee think about it.

    > a) have NEVER hurt a human being in their interventions (unlike terrorists – again yr dictionary is absent a few definitions it seems).

    Really? See above, dopey.

    > b) activities have been upheld as lawful under UN convention in Canadian courts.

    So it is legal in Canadian courts to ram ships with a can cutter type of device attached to your hull?

  135. George McC October 1, 2006 at 8:29 pm #

    Pinxi,

    “Sea Shepherd:
    a) have NEVER hurt a human being in their interventions ”

    Bollocks, I personally have been on the recieving end of some intimidation by Seashepherd supporters .. I know of other people who have recieved same ..

    I suggest you look up what happened to Sea Shepherd germany a few years ago – the then “leader” of Seashepherd Germany pulled away from SS and formed a different NGO after questions about use of funds by Seashepherd .. this guy had death threats and all sorts of hassles…

    If a whaling boat was hit by lightning, Watson would claim responsibility for it … Seashepherd also had a certain Dr. Jerry Vlasak on their board who has endorsed assassination as a way of stopping animal abuse … only after a public outcry we was vlasak booted

    Methinks you may be a bit caught up with the romantic idea of swashbuckling pirates a bit Pinxi -

  136. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 8:43 pm #

    OK guys, I am dead serious, let ‘s plan something…well, life is too short you can sleep in the grave…up in Norway, what do you say David?

  137. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 9:03 pm #

    George,
    Some days ago I spoke with a guy from Trondheim and asked about whale meat… no, he never bought whale meat because it was too expensive…

  138. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 9:07 pm #

    … But we have to wait to next year…LOL!

  139. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 10:28 pm #

    Jeeez Pixie…personally I think Sea Shepherd folks are loonies, actually most Greenpeace folks refuse even to speak to them…

  140. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 10:30 pm #

    And saving whales SS, you got to be kidding, Watson is just out for money…

  141. Pinxi October 1, 2006 at 10:40 pm #

    George, pls don’t fall into David’s sloppy style. Feeling “intimidated” doesn’t amount to physical injurt. David compared sea shepherd’s tactics to fair dinkum mass-murdering terrorists. A far cry from intimidation. (You feel might get intimidated by other drivers in Germany if you tailgate them or overtake on the inside, but you wouldn’t claim you’d been physically hurt unless they got out & punched you, and even then, you wouldn’t compare it to an act of terrorism). I’ll admit to the swashbuckling charge though. I reckon Watson is a weirdo but gee, who’s got that much passion these days? Worth a king’s ransom! We should figure out how to bottle that stuff. If you’re going to be unfairly accused of being an eco-terrorist (as has happened on this blog just by asking some questions) then you may as well go the whole hog!

    David you introduced ‘food’ in your clarifation of your definition of humane. Now you’ve clarified further:
    it has to be a compassionate kill of an animal source of food for humans, by a human who can live with him/herself, then it’s humane.

    A leaking ship, that definition of ‘humane’. I reckon those whalers must get de-sensitized pretty quickly, even trigger happy perhaps? Paid by the quota? Do you think slaughterhouse workers feel compassion and sympathy all day long? Whalers? Must be an emotionally draining job! I feel compassion for them now!

  142. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 10:40 pm #

    I have a thread somewhere on Greenpeace’s discussions forum where old SS crew members speak up against Watson, oh not a very good thread , actually a nasty thread.

    Somewhere Watson also wanted to discuss with me about Greenpeace’s campaign in the Lofotens, he was pissed that we were not carrying out an anti whaling action but focussing on oil spills and marine reserves…

  143. Pinxi October 1, 2006 at 10:47 pm #

    Ann, GP is a self-righteous elitist bunch who sees SS as the competition. ;) Yep, it’s competition to the death for funds, but mostly for pride, esp given history re: GP startups. Apparently some GPers in the field secretly co-operated with SS against GP HQ instructions. I’m saying half of this tongue-in-cheek, but there are original hardcore GP activists who rail against the more commercialised, soft activities of GP of today.

    I did think Watson made a good point though when he accused GP of just waving banners and taking photos of the whaling (like tourists at a fun park!). Yeah I reckon watson is a wacko, but gee he comes out with some pearlers! Sometimes you need to look to the wackos for occasional nuggets of clarity admidst all the politicised & PC crap. I’d get to those bloody jap ships with a can opener if I could, not that my handheld jobbie would achieve much.

  144. Pinxi October 1, 2006 at 10:48 pm #

    btw Ann, you can talk – GP rammed the japs!! *) Any verdict from Lloyds yet?

  145. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 10:48 pm #

    Pixie,

    Much passion indeed… one of the accusations against him was that he had forced female crew members to sleep with him… as I said a nasty thread…

  146. Ann Novek October 1, 2006 at 10:55 pm #

    Pixie,

    I will be out for the rest of the day — I will give you more info tomorrow on this subject.

  147. Pinxi October 1, 2006 at 11:12 pm #

    euw!! nasty anecdotal rumours indeed! He *is* a bit pasty like an overly fattened factory pig who hasn’t seen daylight. Perhaps the japs will accidentally harpoon him. Oh bloody hell, look David & George, you’ve made me all blood thirsty!

  148. George McC October 1, 2006 at 11:57 pm #

    Pinxi,

    Pinxi, I suggest you look up “to terrorise” .. also ” to intimidate ”

    As I said previously .. Bollocks .. and no, I will not elaborate..

    ” who’s got that much passion these days? ”

    Pretty much most of the folk who work in the field, often without pay, often paying from their own pocket, often for the love of it .. I wouldn´t pee on Watson or his scum if they were on fire … how´s that for passion? ..

  149. david@tokyo October 2, 2006 at 8:14 am #

    Pinxi,

    TERRORISM:
    1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.

    What don’t you understand here? Sea Shepherd are clearly terrorists. That is my statement – deny it if you like.

    You’re thoroughly confused about the humaneness issue as well, but hey, if you think Watson is a great guy and not a terrorist then I don’t think I really need to address the rest of your comments.

  150. david@tokyo October 2, 2006 at 8:16 am #

    Ann,

    Norway? I was thinking Shikoku :-)
    Maybe not this year or the next, but let’s keep it on ice!

  151. david@tokyo October 2, 2006 at 8:19 am #

    The good thing about Sea Shepherd it is a personality cult. Once Watson is dead it’ll collapse. Let’s hope that Watson puts his body where his mouth is and takes an explosive harpoon to show that he really is prepared to die to save a whale (as he has stated in the media). Ann, I’d be interested in reading the dirt thread. Should be a useful discussion to point SS loonies too the next time I come across one. Only if you have time to fish it out though :-)

  152. Ann Novek October 2, 2006 at 10:09 am #

    David,
    The site seems closed down temporarily, but it was on the greenpeace forest guardians site, and just type in Paul Watson…

    Man is not worth all this band-width but he should be locked up in a maximal security institution and medicated with anti-psychotic injections…

    I’ll check later if I can get hold of the discussion…. remember as well that Watson somehow had tried to get hold of one sick crew members money( don’t recall the history right now). This had been a court case….

  153. Ann Novek October 2, 2006 at 12:51 pm #

    Pinxie,
    Softy speaking here… sorry ,not any commando…

    Re the incident with the Arctic Sunrise and the Nisshin Mahru.

    I have not watched the video, it would be useless in my case, no maritime expert and I think the video can be interpreted incorrectly depending on which position you support.

    Maybe only the captains know the whole truth.

    However, we know this much for sure.
    Both ships and captains had been involved in an exactly similar ramming incident some years ago,
    and Pixie, the verdict from Lloyd’s was that the Japanese captain was guilty.

    And Pinxie, why didn’t Japan launch the resolution we all expected, demanding that Greenpeace be banned from the IWC. Instead they took a watered down version.

    Regarding an Aussie friend who works with Shane Rattenbury, Greenpeace had such technical proof that it would be impossible to accuse the Arctic Sunrise for the ramming.

    This is what I have heard, maybe David has another version…

  154. Ann Novek October 2, 2006 at 1:05 pm #

    Apologies. Read:” According to…

  155. Libby October 2, 2006 at 2:49 pm #

    I found Arne one of the most experienced and cautious skippers I’ve worked with. That’s all I’m going to say about it.

  156. david@tokyo October 2, 2006 at 3:08 pm #

    Ultimately the Nisshin Maru didn’t suffer any loss of life, and having already won a vote in favour of resuming commercial whaling I can understand why they decided not to pursue matters with the ramming more assertively at the IWC. All it would have achieved in political terms would be to stir up even more emotions in anti-whaling nations, where Greenpeace are always regarded as “the good guys”. I don’t think that can be taken as an admission of guilt at all – they were mature about it basically.

    Of course, people need only review the videos to decide for themselves. To me it’s clear that the Greenpeace ship at least could have avoided the collision (even if they did have the right of way, which I’m no expert on) – there is no point in denying that, the video is clear.

    And again, why was the Nisshin Maru in the South Pacific? They are there to catch whales. Not to gain media attention by causing an incident. They’d love to be able to go about their business without anyone recognising them being there. On the other hand, we all know that getting media attention is the primary reason why Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd were there. Causing a collision is a great way of getting media attention, and then blaming the Japanese for it fits in with what anti-whaling supporters want to believe about the “illegal whalers in the Australian Antarctic and Southern Ocean whale sanctuaries”.

    Seriously, can you think of a single reason why the Nisshin Maru captain would want to ram a Greenpeace ship (ultimately resulting in a big dent on the Greenpeace ship’s nose, caused by the side of the extremely long Nisshin Maru vessel)?

    One might be against whaling, but I think even if I were myself I’d be able to admit that the skipper from the Greenpeace ship could have taken actions to avoid the collision.

  157. Pinxi October 2, 2006 at 7:11 pm #

    Guys I was stirring you over the ‘ramming’ incident (been debated to death already, let’s not get into it here) & SS, & in the context, the few entries short of a dictionary comment amused myself.

    David yes I acknowledge that the word terrorist has a broader meaning which would invalidate my recent (stir) point on SS above. However you first raised the term in the specific context of “people smashing airplanes in to buildings” (your words) and I responded to that context. But let’s put it to pasture, particularly as that word gets bandied around too much these days.

    No Anne I wasn’t excusing factory farming or eating animals on the basis of them being bred to be docile but it does factor into discussions about whaling because the concept of intelligence does rear its head. Perhaps you can clarify your position on whaling? ie (personally, not GP) which aspects of whaling do you disagree with and why?

    I’m curious that David feels for farmed domesticated animals and finds it a more humane proposition to eat whale (correct me if I’m wrong David). It’s possible to buy free-range meat. Is that humane enough? (Note that Australian beef gets to kick its heels up in big paddocks). Apparently you eat more fish now because it’s more humane (?). Are yuo sure that’s wild fish you’re eating? THey even grow fish in big cages at sea these days. And what of declining fish stocks (unsustainable yields), drops in some fish species and impacts of some fishing practices? How do you compare and make a more humane choice on that basis?

  158. Ann Novek October 2, 2006 at 8:11 pm #

    Hello Pixie,
    I don’t think that neither David or me have participated in the “ramming” thread , and a few new facts did pop up..

    OK, my very own and personal position on whaling.

    The long version.
    I grew up with the images of Norwegian and Faroe Island whaling and found it disgusting.. it was impossible for me to understand how you could kill such a big animal humanely. And I didn’t like what I saw and heard..

    Anyway, back then I wasn’t familiar with factory farming and when I compared them I found factory farming worse than whaling…

    I have always had a weak spot that animals should be as wild as free as possible…

    I worked as a wildlife rehabilitator and took care of all kinds of birds and small mammals..

    Well, our first rule was, ” all animals are equals, and feel the same pain and anxiety , be they smart or “dumb”.

    I have taken care of , yes crows! as well as endangered white tailed eagles, so this argument that whales shouldn’t be hunted just because they are more intelligent than other animals didn’t suit my ideology.

    So yes Pinxie, I have changed my position on whaling a bit.

    I wish killing methods should be even more improved, and I’m not glad to read that whalers believe they are good enough, and don’t want to spend more money on science of improving killing methods.

    Finally, I think a very limited hunt of minkes is acceptable if properly carried out.

    And I strongly oppose that new species should be added to the whale hunt.

  159. George McC October 2, 2006 at 8:13 pm #

    Pinxi,
    No Anne I wasn’t excusing factory farming or eating animals on the basis of them being bred to be docile but it does factor into discussions about whaling because the concept of intelligence does rear its head

    Yet again, I await your proof / cites of the intellegence of whales and domestic cattle etc. … I´m all ears ..

    It does not factor into the discussion at all unless you can demonstrate that whales are inherently more intellegent than domestic cattle, and even then, are you really suggesting that animals should be hunted or not based on their intelligence level?

    Novel concept … that cow is smarter than most – lets not eat her .. but that whale is as thick as two short planks .. BOOM …

    yeah right ..

  160. George McC October 2, 2006 at 8:16 pm #

    Anne,

    Thanks for your personal opinion – I for one appreciate it .. one question for you though, if it is scientificly shown that say Fin whales in the North Atlantic could sustain a “properly carried out” hunt, would you still oppose that hunt? if so, why?

  161. George McC October 2, 2006 at 8:18 pm #

    Crivens … my spelling is getting worse every day … I need to get some reading glasses I think – must make an appointment at the opticians today …

  162. Ann Novek October 2, 2006 at 9:39 pm #

    George, you still have a long way to go to be as bad as me re spelling…

    Well, this hypothetical question from you.

    According to Lars Walloe, legally he believes it may be difficult to start whaling of Finn whales as Norway has not reserved themselves against the moratorium for this species.

    And I can give you some inside information from Iceland.

    Some weeks ago they did want to start up commercial whaling of Finn whales. They did plan to hunt 40 Fin whales. However, the season must be closed now and nothing happened, so both Norway and Iceland seem to have a good reason why they don’t hunt Fin whales.

  163. George McC October 2, 2006 at 9:44 pm #

    Nicely avoided question anne ;O)

    the question was ..

    ” one question for you though, if it is scientificly shown that say Fin whales in the North Atlantic could sustain a “properly carried out” hunt, would you still oppose that hunt? if so, why? ”

    ;op

  164. david@tokyo October 2, 2006 at 10:07 pm #

    > However you first raised the term in the specific context of “people smashing airplanes in to buildings” (your words) and I responded to that context.

    Well, to be fair you did bring “terrorist bombers” into the discussion. Sounds like 9/11 to me, no? But hey, don’t get the wrong idea. I don’t think SS are any where near as bad as the 9/11 guys.

    But we SHOULD NOT be fooled into thinking that just because the 9/11 bombers were so extreme that SS’s terrorist activities are “mellow”. They are not. They are terrorist activities, just not as extreme.

    > But let’s put it to pasture, particularly as that word gets bandied around too much these days.

    Sure. You take the lead :-)

    > I’m curious that David feels for farmed domesticated animals and finds it a more humane proposition to eat whale (correct me if I’m wrong David).

    Yes, I think it’s more humane and ethical to eat whales than farmed animals. But I’m happy with either providing that the animal suffering is minimised as much as possible. That’s a fairly loose restriction, but it’s easy to see when something isn’t being done appropriately.

    > Are yuo sure that’s wild fish you’re eating?

    I noted elsewhere that I prefer free range fish to the stuff farmed in Australia.

    > And what of declining fish stocks (unsustainable yields), drops in some fish species and impacts of some fishing practices?

    They need to be managed better, to balance maximum productivity within the scope of conservative use.

    > How do you compare and make a more humane choice on that basis?

    Humane choices are about animal welfare, not about sustainability (an environmental concern)

  165. david@tokyo October 2, 2006 at 10:10 pm #

    > I strongly oppose that new species should be added to the whale hunt.

    Ann, I’d be happy to see less minke whales taken in exchange for catches of some of the larger cousins.

    Say, save 2 minke whale lives and sacrifice one humpback? Less animal suffering, same amount of meat (although I guess you might be taking this position based on the possibility that it would take more time for a humpback to be killed on average than a minke?)

  166. david@tokyo October 2, 2006 at 10:19 pm #

    Re the objection procedure:

    Japan also only has an objection to the SOS with regard to minkes, as I remember.

    Looking at the behavior of the IWC, we see how ridiculous this is. Obviously the objection back in 1994 was because everyone knew that the SC had set that safe catch limits could be set for the species, starting at levels of 2,000 a year. So of course Japan was going to object to a sanctuary that would deny them or anyone else the right to take any.

    But they didn’t object to it with regard to humpbacks. In hindsight, they should have. It’s not because minkes were known to be abundant that they really objected, it’s because a sanctuary is a prohibitive measure that denies IWC member nations the right to harvest abundant species. Minkes were the only one back in 1994, but today in 2006 the situation is changing rapidly, yet it’s “bad luck” to Japan because the IWC continues to fail to meet it’s dual purpose.

    So why should any nation not just lodge an objection to every decision that the IWC makes? This is the situation that the IWC is in, and it’s ridiculous really.

    I guess in practice once the moratorium is lifted there will possibly be 75% support to abolish the sanctuary as well, although perhaps not – anti-whaling nations are more likely to only agree to allow “exceptions” to the moratorium, rather than let the RMP set quotas unfettered.

  167. Ann Novek October 2, 2006 at 10:36 pm #

    George,
    Principally I don’t eat endangered IUCN-listed animal meat.

    Käre George I would promote reindeer meat trade.

  168. Ann Novek October 2, 2006 at 10:48 pm #

    And a question to you guys.

    According to Iceland’s IWC Commissioner, Iceland has no plans to continue its scientific hunt.

    Can you tell me what this really means?

    Why does Japan continue its scientific hunt and not Iceland?

  169. Ann Novek October 2, 2006 at 11:01 pm #

    Pixie,
    Don’t want to be nasty against Aussies, the same thing happens in Europe.

    But I have heard that your( and European) live transports of sheep to the Middle East is an extremely cruel practise.

  170. Ann Novek October 2, 2006 at 11:18 pm #

    Yes, everything seems very complicated, no easy answers…

  171. david@tokyo October 3, 2006 at 1:32 am #

    Indeed, why isn’t Iceland continuing their scientific hunt? Have they been able to answer all their questions? What’s next?

  172. david@tokyo October 3, 2006 at 1:35 am #

    Humpbacks are listed as only vulnerable these days I believe, and Bryde’s whales aren’t listed as endangered either :-) And while Sei whales are right now listed as endangered, the IUCN page says “a change in classification to Vulnerable may be appropriate”.

    Give it a few years :-)

  173. Pinxi October 3, 2006 at 12:02 pm #

    David, if you want to be pedantic pls get yr facts right and in the correct context. I didn’t introduce terrorists into the discussion on SS. I did mention ‘bombers’ earlier without using the word terrorist, and in a different specific context. You compared SS to “smashing airplanes in to buildings ” at October 1, 2006 07:08 PM and accordingly I followed that specific discussion in that frame.

    I’m still curious about the ways in which you frame the concept of humane. I expect that your whaling position puts quite some limitation on the concept. eg on the topic of preserving viable species you say “Humane choices are about animal welfare, not about sustainability (an environmental concern)”

    If sustainability includes biodiversity, as it does, then you dismiss it as inhumane. However evolution, competition and co-operation has at its core the continuation of genes. It seems to be central to humane choices of which species to cull. Your definition of humane only extends to killing methods and not species choice? I’m sure you must consider it a factor.

    George I only said that intelligent factors in to the discussion and you ask me to prove intelligence claims!?! Silly! Which specific claim would you like me to prove? I said it does come into discussions and it does. I said above that I’m not going to get inot that discussion on this thread and it’s been debated on this blog long before, to death. However you can’t deny that cognition and sentience, with size as a proxy(!!?), weigh in to these kind of debates. Otherwise why isn’t Greenpeace out compaigning for the humane treatment of bugs? Think of the inhumane, cruel methods by which flies and mosquitos are killed!

    Ann if you want animals to be as free in the wild as possible then shouldnt you stop eating them?

  174. david@tokyo October 3, 2006 at 12:20 pm #

    > if you want to be pedantic pls get yr facts right

    hmmmmm…

    > I did mention ‘bombers’ earlier without using the word terrorist,

    Was it a different Pinxi that said “terrorist bombers and other perpetrators of genocide” in the post at October 1, 2006 04:26 PM???

    By the way, I’m sure the whalers can live with themselves just as easily as you can inspite of your support for the terrorist organization, SS. I’d rather be a whale killer than support such a group, that’s for certain.

    > If sustainability includes biodiversity, as it does, then you dismiss it as inhumane.

    You seem thoroughly confused… Two issues:
    1) Sustainability and conservation of biological diversity
    2) Humaneness and killing methods

    > Your definition of humane only extends to killing methods and not species choice?

    I don’t know of *any* widely known and accepted definition of humane that extends to species choice. Do you?
    Certainly with regards to the IWC, I’ve seen no argument that different definitions of “humane” should be used for different species. The goal is the same for all species – quick death with the goal being instantaneous insensibility. Whether it’s a blue whale or a minke whale or a sperm whale, the goal of quick death is the same for each.

    > I’m sure you must consider it a factor.

    Why should species be a factor?

    > Otherwise why isn’t Greenpeace out compaigning for the humane treatment of bugs?

    Umm, I wouldn’t try to use Greenpeace’s actions as a basis of any logical argument.

    > Ann if you want animals to be as free in the wild as possible then shouldnt you stop eating them?

    Most people, including the majority of those who oppose whaling, are not opposed to humans consuming animal flesh. They do take a pragmatic stance that animals that are consumed should be treated as “humanely” as possible, rather than cruelly.

  175. Ann Novek October 3, 2006 at 12:32 pm #

    Pixie:”Ann if you want animals to be as free in the wild as possible then shouldnt you stop eating them?”

    Dearest Pinxie, I have been a vegetarian and don’t eat hardly any meat or fish at all, I eat mostly pasta and other junk food…not healthy at all…and I’m not a saint.

    Do you really want to know why I’m not a vegetarian anymore?

    After a speech in a school me and another Greenpeacer were offered lunch, I said I was a vegetarian and the other guy said he was vegan.

    When we told them this I saw that they didn’t take us seriously anymore.

    Same thing happened among the horse people. I said I was a vegetarian, they told me , hell we aren’t, we eat freeranging meat.

  176. Ann Novek October 3, 2006 at 1:36 pm #

    Pixie, you are my favourite person on this blog…

    Why Greenpeace is not campaigning against humane treatment of bugs?

    Actually, we are not campaigning animal cruelty issues at all… yes guys, not even in the whaling issue, surprised now George and David and Pixie.

    Greenpeace has footage from the whale hunt and have exposed the cruelty, but the main focus is opposition of the resumption of commercial whaling.

    The video footage from SOS has been forwarded to IFAW for example to evaluation.

  177. Ann Novek October 3, 2006 at 1:41 pm #

    Sorry. Why Greenpeace is not campaigning for …

  178. Ann Novek October 3, 2006 at 2:01 pm #

    David, they have now catched the stipulated minke quota of about 200 minkes .

    It is extremely difficult to get any information from Iceland.

    Sometimes info is leaking out from politicians and from some fisheries meeting but they keep most information secret , for example you only get the information on quotas in the last minute.

  179. Ann Novek October 3, 2006 at 2:04 pm #

    David, they have now catched the stipulated minke quota of about 200 minkes .

    It is extremely difficult to get any information from Iceland.

    Sometimes info is leaking out from politicians and from some fisheries meeting but they keep most information secret , for example you only get the information on quotas in the last minute.

  180. david@tokyo October 3, 2006 at 3:03 pm #

    I think that is wise on their part. Reducing transparency is a smart tactic when you are targetted in this manner, less media coverage, less fuss. Not really desirable in terms of conservation though, but what can you do when you are maligned no matter what you do?

    Every time the Japanese government or ICR releases figures about whaling activities, the anti-whaling groups seek to use that information to criticise. Why should they bother releasing the information at all if they are just feeding the propaganda machines? EIA’s recent nonsense in particular was atrocious.

    Of course, the GoJ decided to stop providing information about small cetacean hunting several years ago in response to such mischief.

    I did find an article about possible commercial whaling in Iceland (http://www.grapevine.is/?show=paper&part=fullstory&id=1436), it seems they’ll only start if they can find an export market. On the other hand, commercial operations in Iceland should be able to provide whale meat cheaper than the by-products from the JARPA/JARPN programmes, were they to export it to Japan. I don’t think the GoJ would be keen to allow imports while commercial whaling by Japanese nationals is also prohibited though.

    Be sure to visit my blog in the next couple of days – I have been examing the frozen marine product stockpile figures from the MAFF further, and comparing the stockpile for whale products versus other items is quite illuminating ;-)

  181. Pinxi October 3, 2006 at 4:38 pm #

    hey guys, a genuine thanks for the exchange.

    Yes David I do understand the points you’ve made about humane being typically applied to killing methods, and yes, it does make sense. But I equally think you can consider (if you will try) it in the context of species vulnerability to extinction. Given all the survival struggles animals face to thrive, reproduce and continue their lineage, (all to ensure the survival of their (selfish) genes according to popular scientific thought) then shouldn’t we show compassion and sympathy *if* our activities are likely to put a species at risk of extinction? (Note the *if* – this is not a debate of whether or not we ARE putting whales at risk of extinction)

    btw David, seeing we’re both pedantic, I did bring up terrorist bombers but not in relation to SS as I said above. But phew, it’s not fruitful. Yep SS fit in the general definition of terrorists, but social structures and rules always get broken down and reinvented eventually don’t they? Some previous ‘interference’ of theirs was actually upheld in court under UN obligations, you can read about it on their website somewhere. It’s quite interesting.

    Ann – I’m just having fun over your GreenPeas! I’m partial to people dressed up in animal suits. Ever seen the Flaming Lips in concert?

  182. Ann Novek October 3, 2006 at 5:09 pm #

    Dressed up in animal suits, me?? Oh no…

    GreenPeas? Maybe…

    Pea brain? Absolutely…

  183. david@tokyo October 3, 2006 at 5:21 pm #

    > But I equally think you can consider (if you will try) it in the context of species vulnerability to extinction.

    Any species is vulnerable to extinction if it is preyed upon hard enough and reduced below it’s critical dispensation level.

    I don’t understand how one can apply the “humane” concept to an entire species in the first place. A “species” does not experience pain, a species is just a collection of individuals.

    > Yep SS fit in the general definition of terrorists, but social structures and rules always get broken down and reinvented eventually don’t they?

    Yeah, I guess one day Al Qaeda groups will be just your run-of-the-mill friendly neighbours as well.

    > Some previous ‘interference’ of theirs was actually upheld in court under UN obligations, you can read about it on their website somewhere. It’s quite interesting.

    So they got lucky?
    http://www.icrwhale.org/eng/history.pdf
    http://david-in-tokyo.blogspot.com/2006/05/iwc-2006-sea-shepherd-extremism-4.html
    http://david-in-tokyo.blogspot.com/2006/05/iwc-2006-sea-shepherd-extremism-3.html
    http://david-in-tokyo.blogspot.com/2006/05/iwc-2006-sea-shepherd-extremism-2.html
    http://david-in-tokyo.blogspot.com/2006/05/iwc-2006-sea-shepherd-extremism.html

  184. George McC October 3, 2006 at 6:01 pm #

    “Otherwise why isn’t Greenpeace out compaigning for the humane treatment of bugs?”

    `Cos ´nobody would give their hard earned woolah for a ” save the endangered Drosphila ” campaign Pinxi – that´s why ;op

  185. Ann Novek October 5, 2006 at 4:21 pm #

    Well Pinxie, it’s hardly some news that NGOs use sea mammals as poster girls or boys, I believe professional journalists say that they have high
    panda factor.

  186. George McC October 6, 2006 at 7:14 pm #

    Anne,

    If you are still following this thread, here´s a link for you to the results of this years okosystemtokt .. (pa Norsk )

    http://www.imr.no/aktuelt/pressemeldinger/2006/barentshavet_er_varmt_mye_yngel

  187. Ann Novek October 6, 2006 at 8:17 pm #

    Thanks George,
    Interesting article and also interesting to know that white-beaked dolphins were mostly sighted.

    BTW, thumbs up for Norway, seems like they will support a moratorium on high seas bottom trawling!

  188. Ann Novek October 7, 2006 at 1:42 am #

    To George,
    Maybe Greenpeace wants to raise your and your friends salary!!

    Excerpt from Fiskaren:

    Greenpeace synes også at havforskerne får for lite penger.

  189. George McC October 7, 2006 at 1:46 am #

    LOL…

    they mean for research …

    Already read it anne … ;o)

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