Costing a Whale

LAST week the International Whaling Commission (IWC) met on the Portuguese island of Madeira and agreed that climate change is a threat to whales.   A decision on the Danish proposal for Greenland to hunt 10 humpback whales a year was postponed.  Australia’s Environment Minister was there and told the meeting that whale-watching is a growing industry worth more than whale hunting.  Ian Mott disagrees:

“THE claim, by Australian Environment Minister Peter Garrett, that whales are worth more alive than dead betrays a breathtaking level of economic ignorance and a dangerous penchant for simplistic, “Cargo Cult” panaceas.

 Garrett’s message,  “That whale-watching is an industry which is growing right around the world and that the potential for communities to generate sustainable livelihood from watching whales – not killing them, but watching them – is significant.”
 
For central to his claim is an assumption that whale watching and whale harvesting are mutually exclusive activities. As if the entire whale watching industry would disappear if a single humpback whale was hunted for food. Clearly, the 1000 Minke whales already taken each year, for a decade or two, have had no adverse impact on the whale molesting industry. Indeed, the industry has a very obvious inclination to maximise the flow-on effects of the media attention provided by the anti-whaling protesters. If the Japanese were not involved in whaling then the whale watching industry would be much smaller than it is today.
 
We need to be very careful about lending credibility to people who are incapable of incorporating any sort of “grey” in their consideration of “black and white”.  There are between 50,000 and 100,000 humpback whales world wide and more than 1 million Minke’s and any suggestion that the further expansion of the whale watching industry is being constrained by inadequate whale numbers, or infrequent sightings, is pure bollocks. As with all tourist related industries, the limit to growth is defined by the supply of customers willing to pay, not by the number of boats, not by the number of operators, and not by the number of whales. Just double the number of operators and we will soon find out how relevant actual whale numbers really are to the viability of the industry.
 
In fact, we have the curious circumstance where the key ingredient in the product mix (the whale population) is in robust good health and expanding while a key element of the marketing message is the claimed threat posed to whales and their supposed rarity. It is marketing of a product using messages that are in direct variance with the facts. Funny, I thought we had a Trade Practices Act that specifically outlawed this kind of marketing.
 
And one really must take a very hard critical look at this $3 billion that is being bandied about as the annual value of the industry. The standard MO of the industry advocate is to throw in the accommodation, meals and all other activities that the whale watcher might engage in during the visit in which they also spent a morning watching whales. So a whole weeks worth of accommodation and entertainment is claimed under the whale watching banner even though it might only occupy a small fraction of the tourists vacation time. If the operators pulled that sort of stunt in a share prospectus they would cop a good long stretch in jail.
 
But these claims also betray a woeful grasp of business costing on the part of Garrett and the industry. Even if we accept the bogus $3 billion value of the whale watching industry world wide we must still spread that value over the entire world population of whales. They cannot have it both ways. The industry does not watch many Minke Whales at all but they insist that the harvesting of Minke’s poses a threat to their industry.  So if this industry is claiming that the survival of every whale on the planet is a prerequisite for the survival of their industry then they must include the capital value of every whale in their costing and pay a commensurate economic rent for their exclusive use of that resource.
 
That economic rent must be determined from existing markets. And in Japan, whale meat retails at 2060 yen/kg or AU $27/kg. So a typical 7.0 tonne Minke whale might produce 3.7 tonnes of dressed meat at $27,000/tonne or $99,900 each.  A 45 tonne Humpback might produce 23 tonnes of dressed meat worth $620,000 each. So if we ignore all the other whale species we can see that the 1 million Minke whales, that the whale watching industry demands exclusive use of, has a capital value of $100 billion. And the 100,000 Humpbacks has a capital value of $62 billion. Add in the other species like Fin whales etc and a total value of the whale resource is easily in the order of $200 billion. And in that light, the $3 billion whale watching industry represents a rate of return of only 1.5% per annum.
 
Or to put it another way, $3 billion divided by 1.5 million whales amounts to only $2000 per whale. It is akin to taking the whole 7 tonne whale and only using 74kg of it.
 
But wait, the whale watching industry currently makes no payment for its current shared use of the whale resource and it has given no indication of a willingness to pay any premium for exclusive use. And to be fair, the whale hunting nations have also given no indication of a willingness to pay for the portion that they use. But unlike the whale watchers, they certainly don’t demand exclusive use of the entire resource either.
 
So where does that leave us? Well, one thing is certain, if the whale watching industry had to pay the full annual cost for each whale that it “uses” based on a normal rate of return on the capital value of the whale then they would very quickly work out exactly how many whales they really needed each year. A modest 5% annual interest on a $620,000 Humpback would amount to $31,000 each year, for each animal they engage with. They could view each whale on its way north and again on its way back south. And they might even spread these costs between other whale watching businesses along the coast who could also view the same whale.  Add some standard tracking devices and the entire industry could offer a guarantee of sightings while actually engaging with a very small number of animals. But the price of a viewing would be unlikely to drop below $3,000 a pop.
 
But no. As is so often the case, the whale watching industry demonstrates how a natural resource that has no value attached to it will ensure the grossest inefficient use of that resource. They seriously believe that they need exclusive use of every whale on the planet to satisfy a market comprised of people who, in all probability, will only pay for the experience once, or maybe twice, in their whole life.
 
The fact is that neither the whale watching industry or the whale eating industry are operating in a way that will optimise this natural resource. One of the two seeks only to use a sustainable portion of the resource while the other demands exclusive use of the entire resource for which it has no intention, nor capacity to pay for.

Ian Mott
Byron Hinterland, NSW, Australia

***********************
 
Notes and Links

MSM mention of Environment Minister at the meeting
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/06/24/2607050.htm?section=australia

USA hijacks IWC in an unprecedented move: Denmark’s humpback proposal postponed to special meeting
http://www.wdcs.org/news_stop.php?select=402

Ian Mott is a third generation native forest owner, miller and regenerator from the Byron hinterland.  A former Sydney and Brisbane Executive Recruiter with his own agency, his interest in the family property has seen him evolve, over the past decade, into a property rights activist and consultant. He is secretary of the Landholders Institute Inc and has held a number of positions on national, state and regional level policy and planning bodies.  Mr Mott has a blog at http://ianmott.blogspot.com/

The photograph shows a reader of this blog, known as David, and Jennifer Marohasy eating whale in a restaurant in Tokyo in September 2008.  More here:  http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2008/09/eating-whale-in-tokyo/

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49 Responses to Costing a Whale

  1. sod July 1, 2009 at 12:01 am #

    i have seriously rarely read a more stupid article.

    and i have been following this blog for quite some time.

  2. Henry chance July 1, 2009 at 1:44 am #

    It looks like the whale huggers should visit their local aquarium. Most have at least 1 whale. I enjoy watching them off Alaska’s coast. I don’t have a problem with whale hunting for the natives. Personally, I prefer halibut. Great article on whales.
    It is political and it seems some group decides they can rule what others hunt for food and livelyhood.

  3. sod July 1, 2009 at 2:07 am #

    i love the way you place a cost on seeing a whale. let us look at the past, shall we?

    the hunting industry basically denied that view to a lot of people, while they were being the sole users of the whales…

    i guess the whale watching industry will be definitely willing to pay, when the whale hunters have paied their debts..

    oh, and just in case you are interested in science:

    http://www.appstate.edu/~whiteheadjc/eco3620/mocktrial/pdf/loomisandwhite-ee-1996.pdf

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/g808240434l58847/

  4. IceClass July 1, 2009 at 3:22 am #

    Interesting to see the WDCS flogging climate change as “one of the biggest threats” to whales (Greenpeace Australia is now saying that half the world’s animals could “be wiped out” by climate change.
    The animal protest industry is desperately trying to take us back to the 80s with some very expensive media saturation composed of an almost total inversion of the facts.
    Most of the world’s whales are being harvested and eaten sustainably outside the IWC.
    The IWC exists as nothing more than an annual promotional fair for the animal protest industry.
    It should be shut down and the whale eaters should just walk away.

    The anti-whaling food fascist mob has long stopped having anything constructive do say or do with whales and are merely exploiting middle class neurosis for cash and influence.

    Bon appetit.

  5. Paula July 1, 2009 at 3:48 am #

    The whale watching Industry is just starting up here in Brazil and as a Tourist Guide I can say that people are most difinitely interested in seeing whales and do not mind paying for it. Make no mistake the amount of people in this world who are in favour of killing whales is insignificant! I find your view very simplistic.

  6. janama July 1, 2009 at 8:14 am #

    Japan has a total land area slightly less than South Australia or California. Yet it is home to a population of 127 million compared to Sth Australia’s 1.5mil or California’s 36 million.

    To feed 127 million with such a small landmass Japan has always been a seafaring nation and at it’s current rate it is the world’s largest consumer of seafood per capita almost twice the consumption of the next largest consumer, Europe. Japan consumes 36% of all tuna and is the world’s largest consumer of Prawns(shrimp). Whilst it’s aquaculture has increased it still only accounts for 22% of total seafood production so the remaining 78% must come from the wild yet there is only so much wild seafood to go around.

    So if Japan can supplement it’s wild seafood catch by catching minke whales then it’s to everyone’s advantage as the less it takes from the wild the more there is for everyone else and as Ian said, no one is watching minke Whales.

  7. Ian Mott July 1, 2009 at 9:56 am #

    You seem a bit confused, Paula, when you say people don’t mind paying to see whales. That may be so but the whale watching industry, the operators, are in no hurry to pass on any part of that payment for their claimed exclusive use of the resource.

    It is the same mentality as the late, unlamented, Steve Irwin who spent part of the fortune he gained from operating a wildlife “dude ranch” to campaign against sustainable farming of wildlife. It had all the outer appearance of concern for wildlife but the underlying motivation was the selfish preservation of the uniqueness of his own circus. He was just another market oligarch doing his utmost to deny market access to potential competitors.

    And Sod, it is all a bit fatuous for folks like Schneider and Pearce to do an econometric analysis of the whaling industry when the current market is so manifestly distorted by IWC regulation. What may have been true in respect of the late 1900’s whale oil industry is no guide to the market for food in a post oil peak 21st century.

    But even you should be reassured by economists who advise that the whale meat market has now declined to a point where it, supposedly, is no longer a threat to whale populations. If so, then what is all the fuss about? Do you seriously think the whaling nations are stupid enough to create a Euro-scale whale meat mountain that will take decades to shift?

    You cannot have it both ways, Sod. You oppose whaling out of concern for the survival of the species but you provide a link to economic analysis that suggests that consumer demand has declined to a point where it is no longer a threat at all. So, again I ask, what is all the fuss about?

    IceClass is right. The IWC is a very sick joke, a forum for narcissistic posturing by the delusional. Whaling nations, and potential new whaling nations, should have nothing to do with it. Their presence there gives it a credibility that it squandered years ago. And if the UN FAO had an ounce of concern for feeding humanity it would be promoting the controlled expansion of both the whale herd and its markets.

  8. Green Davey July 1, 2009 at 11:52 am #

    As those who have tried to rescue beached whales will know, whales produce awe inspiring farts. These must contain methane, a potent greenhouse gas. So whales contribute to global warming. Has anybody done the arithmetic on how whales stack up against cattle, or termites, or rice fields, as methane producers? As a mathematical enthusiast, Sod might take on this task, and report back. Depending on his findings, whale culling might help us out of the climate crisis. Perhaps Professor Garnaut can help with an analysis of the economic benefits of whale hunting and eating.

  9. Ian Mott July 1, 2009 at 1:47 pm #

    Very interesting point, Davey. One must assume that the task of digesting Krill exoskeleton is even more demanding than a cow digesting grass so the methane emissions from whales may be quite significant.

    It would be interesting to hear IPCC head, Pachauri, on the this issue. This is the dude who claims that not eating beef would be good for the planet. So we’ll just let our cattle herd breed up to the kind of numbers found in India where they are also not eaten. And we’ll just let the whale herd breed up to the point where they are all just barely getting by too.

    If the IPCC was being consistent, it should rule that any increase in whale methane emissions since 1990 must be brought into the cap and trade system, preferably funded by the EPA’s budget allocation.

  10. Green Davey July 1, 2009 at 4:21 pm #

    I have just consulted the Wiki biography of Dr. Dr. Rajendra Pauchari. He is a strict vegetarian – I wince at the result of all those mung beans passing through his alimentary canal. I give him the title ‘Dr. Dr.’ because it seems he has two PhDs, although the dates and titles are, oddly, unavailable.

    He seems to be an engineer by background. His employment history is intriguing. Although elected as chairman of the IPCC (who elected him?) in 2002, he was, up to 2003, employed by ‘Big Oil’ in the form of the Indian Oil Corporation. Up to 2004 he worked for GAIL, India’s largest natural gas transport company, and up to 2005 for the National Thermal Power Company. So he seems to have done his share to promote the use of fossil fuels. Strange – maybe he visited Damascus after 2005.

  11. Jimmy Nightingale July 1, 2009 at 4:49 pm #

    Forgot to add that Jen doesn’t look like she is particularly enjoying that whale meat.

  12. janama July 2, 2009 at 7:34 am #

    Thankyou Jen for getting rid of the “show all” 🙂

  13. Peter Smith July 2, 2009 at 10:45 am #

    “i have seriously rarely read a more stupid article.”

    I have to agree with you Sod. Obviously Jennifer doesn’t rely on people with knowledge to post threads here. It all seems like a lot of uniformed froth and bubble.

    “whale molesting industry”

    As opposed to the whale murdering one? Very funny!

    “If the Japanese were not involved in whaling then the whale watching industry would be much smaller than it is today.”

    Please provide evidence to support this. I mean facts Ian.

    “and not by the number of whales.”

    Not by the number of whales? So if there are too few whales to watch as they move past a point and customers are unhappy because they did not see a whale this will not affect the industry?

    “In fact, we have the curious circumstance where the key ingredient in the product mix (the whale population) is in robust good health and expanding while a key element of the marketing message is the claimed threat posed to whales and their supposed rarity.”

    Obviously you have not gone out on a whale watching boat recently Ian. There is no such message about rarity of humpbacks. You are spinning to suit your argument.

    “So a whole weeks worth of accommodation and entertainment is claimed under the whale watching banner even though it might only occupy a small fraction of the tourists vacation time. If the operators pulled that sort of stunt in a share prospectus they would cop a good long stretch in jail.”

    Yawn…

    “The industry does not watch many Minke Whales at all but they insist that the harvesting of Minke’s poses a threat to their industry. ”

    More ignorance. There is minke watching and whale swimming in QLD. Many Northern Hemisphere countries watch minke whales, including Iceland! There is minke watching in Antarctica.

    “So if this industry is claiming that the survival of every whale on the planet is a prerequisite for the survival of their industry then they must include the capital value of every whale in their costing and pay a commensurate economic rent for their exclusive use of that resource.”

    Oh plureease! Keep trying!

    “But wait, the whale watching industry currently makes no payment for its current shared use of the whale resource and it has given no indication of a willingness to pay any premium for exclusive use.”

    And how do you propose the whale watching industry uses dead whales Ian? Very funny! The animals are migratory, something you ignore, and as such they travel through waters where they are protected. If everyone is to share this ‘resource’ then how are they going to watch whale steak?

    “But unlike the whale watchers, they certainly don’t demand exclusive use of the entire resource either.”

    Giggle. Now you are being silly. They tried to have exclusive use and stuffed it up.

    “As is so often the case, the whale watching industry demonstrates how a natural resource that has no value attached to it will ensure the grossest inefficient use of that resource.”

    Please provide facts that this will happen Ian. As you seems pretty clueless about whale watching, I hardly think you are qualified to make a comment it uses its resource inefficiently. Perhaps you should experience it before ranting about it?

    “They seriously believe that they need exclusive use of every whale on the planet to satisfy a market comprised of people who, in all probability, will only pay for the experience once, or maybe twice, in their whole life.”

    You have no idea do you? You have decided to rant and rave here and put up your couch statistics but have really not done much background research at all, let alone experience what you are talking about! Seems to be standard procedure for you, but disappointing Jennifer. Very disappointing.

    “It is marketing of a product using messages that are in direct variance with the facts.”

    You’ve summed up your own post better than anyone else! Excellent! Couldn’t have described this twaddle better myself!

    “Most of the world’s whales are being harvested and eaten sustainably outside the IWC.”

    That’s right. Where there’s no accountability.

    “The anti-whaling food fascist mob has long stopped having anything constructive do say or do with whales and are merely exploiting middle class neurosis for cash and influence.”

    Middle class neurosis eh whateveryournameis? Is that worse then being a westerner pretending to be an Inuit? Very funny!

    “So if Japan can supplement it’s wild seafood catch by catching minke whales then it’s to everyone’s advantage as the less it takes from the wild the more there is for everyone else and as Ian said, no one is watching minke Whales.”

    Everyone’ advantage? Please don’t speak for me Janama. As for no one watching minke whales, you seem to be another ignorant poster. Perhaps you should try and learn about the issue yourself and not rely on folk like Ian

    “Do you seriously think the whaling nations are stupid enough to create a Euro-scale whale meat mountain that will take decades to shift?”

    Gee, that sounds familiar! It is laughable how these issues have all been discussed here before but some folk just don’t learn.

    “Whaling nations, and potential new whaling nations, should have nothing to do with it. Their presence there gives it a credibility that it squandered years ago. And if the UN FAO had an ounce of concern for feeding humanity it would be promoting the controlled expansion of both the whale herd and its markets.”

    I thought you were saying whaling posed no threat to whale populations? Now you want to feed the world with them. Yes, we’ll get rid of that pesky IWC or leave it altogether (hey, why DON’T they leave it? They don’t have to abide by it) and they can have their own rules and self-regulation. Worked in the past and no doubt it will work in the future. Seems learning by mistakes is something folk here abide by!

    “Very interesting point, Davey. One must assume that the task of digesting Krill exoskeleton is even more demanding than a cow digesting grass so the methane emissions from whales may be quite significant.”

    It keeps getting better. Is this blog a joke site?? No, really, I’m being serious? Davey makes a joke about whales farting when beaching. It is obviously a joke. Ian takes it seriously! I can accept that Davey hasn’t a clue about whales. For Ian to start a thread here he is surely knowledgeable on such things? Cows are ruminants Ian. Part of the process of digestion in their chambered stomach involves eructation. Whales are carnivores. Whales are not cows and they do not travel in “herds” Ian, but you being a man of the land and all, you would know that wouldn’t you? Very funny!

    So the point of this was simply an opinion piece by Ian Mott.

    May the Micheal Jackson blog continue to beat this sorry try-hard site well into the future. More facts there any day!

  14. Peter Smith July 2, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

    “i have seriously rarely read a more stupid article.”

    I have to agree with you Sod. Obviously Jennifer doesn’t rely on people
    with knowledge to post threads here. It all seems like a lot of
    uniformed froth and bubble.

    “whale molesting industry”

    As opposed to the whale murdering one? Very funny!

    “If the Japanese were not involved in whaling then the whale watching
    industry would be much smaller than it is today.”

    Please provide evidence to support this. I mean facts.

    “and not by the number of whales.”

    Not by the number of whales? So if there are too few whales to watch as
    they move past a point and customers are unhappy because they did not
    see a whale this will not affect the industry?

    “In fact, we have the curious circumstance where the key ingredient in
    the product mix (the whale population) is in robust good health and
    expanding while a key element of the marketing message is the claimed
    threat posed to whales and their supposed rarity.”

    Obviously you have not gone out on a whale watching boat recently Ian.
    There is no such message about rarity of humpbacks. You are spinning to
    suit your argument.

    “So a whole weeks worth of accommodation and entertainment is claimed
    under the whale watching banner even though it might only occupy a small
    fraction of the tourists vacation time. If the operators pulled that
    sort of stunt in a share prospectus they would cop a good long stretch
    in jail.”

    Yawn…

    “The industry does not watch many Minke Whales at all but they insist
    that the harvesting of Minke’s poses a threat to their industry. ”

    More ignorance. There is minke watching and whale swimming in QLD. Many
    Northern Hemisphere countries watch minke whales, including Iceland!
    There is minke watching in Antarctica.

    “So if this industry is claiming that the survival of every whale on
    the planet is a prerequisite for the survival of their industry then
    they must include the capital value of every whale in their costing and
    pay a commensurate economic rent for their exclusive use of that
    resource.”

    Oh plureease! Keep trying!

    “But wait, the whale watching industry currently makes no payment for
    its current shared use of the whale resource and it has given no
    indication of a willingness to pay any premium for exclusive use.”

    And how do you propose the whale watching industry uses dead whales
    Ian? Very funny! The animals are migratory, something you ignore, and as
    such they travel through waters where they are protected. If everyone is
    to share this ‘resource’ then how are they going to watch whale steak?

    “But unlike the whale watchers, they certainly don’t demand exclusive
    use of the entire resource either.”

    Giggle. Now you are being silly. They tried to have exclusive use and
    stuffed it up.

    “As is so often the case, the whale watching industry demonstrates how
    a natural resource that has no value attached to it will ensure the
    grossest inefficient use of that resource.”

    Please provide facts that this will happen Ian. As you seems pretty
    clueless about whale watching, I hardly think you are qualified to make
    a comment it uses its resource inefficiently. Perhaps you should
    experience it before ranting about it?

    “They seriously believe that they need exclusive use of every whale on
    the planet to satisfy a market comprised of people who, in all
    probability, will only pay for the experience once, or maybe twice, in
    their whole life.”

    You have no idea do you? You have decided to rant and rave here and put
    up your couch statistics but have really not done much background
    research at all, let alone experience what you are talking about! Seems
    to be standard procedure for you, but disappointing Jennifer. Very
    disappointing.

    “It is marketing of a product using messages that are in direct
    variance with the facts.”

    You’ve summed up your own post better than anyone else! Excellent!
    Couldn’t have described this twaddle better myself!

    “Most of the world’s whales are being harvested and eaten sustainably
    outside the IWC.”

    That’s right. Where there’s no accountability.

    “The anti-whaling food fascist mob has long stopped having anything
    constructive do say or do with whales and are merely exploiting middle
    class neurosis for cash and influence.”

    Middle class neurosis eh whateveryournameis? Is that worse then being a
    westerner pretending to be an Inuit? Very funny!

    “So if Japan can supplement it’s wild seafood catch by catching minke
    whales then it’s to everyone’s advantage as the less it takes from
    the wild the more there is for everyone else and as Ian said, no one is
    watching minke Whales.”

    Everyone’ advantage? Please don’t speak for me Janama. As for no one
    watching minke whales, you seem to be another ignorant poster. Perhaps
    you should try and learn about the issue yourself and not rely on folk
    like Ian

    “Do you seriously think the whaling nations are stupid enough to create
    a Euro-scale whale meat mountain that will take decades to shift?”

    Gee, that sounds familiar! It is laughable how these issues have all
    been discussed here before but some folk just don’t learn.

    “Whaling nations, and potential new whaling nations, should have
    nothing to do with it. Their presence there gives it a credibility that
    it squandered years ago. And if the UN FAO had an ounce of concern for
    feeding humanity it would be promoting the controlled expansion of both
    the whale herd and its markets.”

    I thought you were saying whaling posed no threat to whale populations?
    Now you want to feed the world with them. Yes, we’ll get rid of that
    pesky IWC or leave it altogether (hey, why DON’T they leave it? They
    don’t have to abide by it) and they can have their own rules and
    self-regulation. Worked in the past and no doubt it will work in the
    future. Seems learning by mistakes is something folk here abide by!

    “Very interesting point, Davey. One must assume that the task of
    digesting Krill exoskeleton is even more demanding than a cow digesting
    grass so the methane emissions from whales may be quite significant.”

    It keeps getting better. Is this blog a joke site?? No, really, I’m
    being serious? Davey makes a joke about whales farting when beaching. It
    is obviously a joke. Ian takes it seriously! I can accept that Davey
    hasn’t a clue about whales. For Ian to start a thread here he is surely
    knowledgeable on such things? Cows are ruminants Ian. Part of the
    process of digestion in their chambered stomach involves eructation.
    Whales are carnivores. Whales are not cows and they do not travel in
    “herds” Ian, but you being a man of the land and all, you would know
    that wouldn’t you? Very funny!

    So the point of this was simply an opinion piece by Ian Mott.

    May the Micheal Jackson blog continue to beat this sorry try-hard site
    well into the future. More facts there any day! Although not as entertaining.

  15. Peter Smith July 2, 2009 at 4:20 pm #

    oops sorry for the double post. First one didn’t appear on screen. Sorry folks.

  16. IceClass July 3, 2009 at 4:19 am #

    Whale eaters can, have and do co-exist quite nicely.
    No one has the right to tell a person what species of critter they can sustainably consume.
    Period!
    The wider variety of animals sustainably consumed the better.
    It continually beats me why people would think pork somehow “better” than whale.

  17. sod July 3, 2009 at 6:15 am #

    The wider variety of animals sustainably consumed the better.
    It continually beats me why people would think pork somehow “better” than whale.

    tigers jump to mind. i ll have my siberian one slowly roasted please.

    now that you mentioned it, that whole list of endangered species is nothing more than a MENU card!

    i ll have my tiger stuffed with panda brain and orang utan liver. please cook some rare salamanders for the sauce.

    some days i really wonder, how many of those writing comments are are using an asylum computer…

  18. janama July 3, 2009 at 7:49 am #

    what a pathetic reply sod – almost as pathetic as Peter Smith’s who attempts to ridicule everyone but adds nothing in return.

  19. Birdie July 3, 2009 at 8:57 am #

    11 minke whales is equal to 30 000 Norwegian dinners , and probably more Japanese dinners as they utilise a whale more.

    Can whales supply a larger worlds population. Hardly, there are other ways to increase food supplies , as to not waste so much food etc.

    Is whaling a problem for whale watching? In Norway no , as the sperm whale watching takes place farther off shore than minke whaling.

    In Iceland however whaling seems like a problem for minke whale watching.

    My own whaling solution is like the IWC Commissioner Hogarth’s , a solution that is rejected by anti and pro whalers , but as he said this week that lifting the moratorium will probably result that fewer whales are killed. See BBC article.

    I make no fuss over a few minkes killed by the local Norwegian and Icelandic whalers.

    I’m, old fashioned , actually I want to live in another century so don’t like this saying ” modern food” , like factory farming.

    I have talked to the whalers they say that killing methods are improved all the time. Killing methods are far from perfect , but the whales live a far better life than most livestock.

  20. Ann Novek July 3, 2009 at 9:54 am #

    ” Middleclass neurosis” – IceClass

    Give it a break Iceman, all educated people know that the bigger a middle class population in a country is , the bigger wealth the country has….

  21. Ian Mott July 3, 2009 at 10:06 am #

    An entirely predictable response from Peter Smith. He seems to be under the impression that taking each paragraph in turn and then adding an unsubstantiated sneer might somehow be construed as a comprehensive rebuttal. Pathetic.

    The rest is a classic example of the second rate plodder who seriously thinks terms like “yawn”, “giggle”, or LOL, are some sort of magic words that can not only substitute for substantive argument but actually overwhelm it.

    And even when he strays from his standard sneer the best he can do is an extrapolation to an opposite extreme in a vain hope of making a valid point. He said “I thought you were saying whaling posed no threat to whale populations? Now you want to feed the world with them.” No matey, I merely indicated that more could be eaten.

    But this is more of the same old green same old. The portrayal of any small increase in the whale harvest as synonymous with hunting to extinction is so dishonest as to completely squander any trace of credibility the whale wankers might have had.

    And by the way, it is illegal to swim with whales in Queensland. There is a loophole being exploited by the research community who have specific permission to get close to animals but who take along paying customers for the ride. It is totally at variance with the spirit of the regulations but such inconsistencies are nothing new with the Qld EPA.

    But I am sure our sane and reasonable readers will appreciate the way you have demonstrated your complete lack of logic, substantive argument or even rudimentary grasp of the facts. And thank you for repeating my statements another two times and allowing readers to contrast my logic with your ideological blather.

  22. Green Davey July 3, 2009 at 10:28 am #

    Yes, Peter Smith,
    And whale farts are a very serious matter indeed. I cannot believe that you take them so lightly, when they are putting the whole planet in danger. We responsible people care about this.

  23. Ann Novek July 3, 2009 at 10:36 am #

    ” Poor Joe, he was diving behind a whale and the whale fart caused him to surface too quickly and get him an embolism” –Scubadiving

  24. Jimmy Nightingale July 3, 2009 at 1:12 pm #

    Ian,

    I find your costing assumptions a little on the strange side.

    The value of the whaling industry is the value of annual trade, not the capital value of the whales.

    According to Asian Trading, one of the big Japanese importers of whale meat, consumption is around 4,000 tonnes per year. Assuming your $27/kg figure is correct, this equates to $108 million per year. Even assuming that Innuit comsumption matches this, it is still at best around $220 million per year. This compares very poorly to the whale watching industry.

  25. Ann Novek July 3, 2009 at 1:36 pm #

    Ian has missed the subsidies to the whaling industry despite that he links to the WDCS:

    http://www.wdcs.org/story_details.php?select=418

    The Japanese have been funded with about 1 billion NOK ( about 100 million Euro) since 1992 and the Norwegians with about 100million NOK.

    The Norwegians deny that they got subsidies but it is a fact that whaling is funded by regional authorities.

  26. Rob July 3, 2009 at 1:43 pm #

    “what a pathetic reply sod – almost as pathetic as Peter Smith’s who attempts to ridicule everyone but adds nothing in return.” – Janama

    And you have added what Janama? Hypocrisy I’d say.

    “And by the way, it is illegal to swim with whales in Queensland. There is a loophole being exploited by the research community who have specific permission to get close to animals but who take along paying customers for the ride. It is totally at variance with the spirit of the regulations but such inconsistencies are nothing new with the Qld EPA.” – Ian Mott

    What a complete crock of shit! Your crap never ceases to amaze me. It is perfectly above board, but you have been caught out pretending to know something about whales when in reality you are a complete boofhead.

    Answer some of Peter Smith’s queries instead of replying with your usual tantrums and spit and of course sneer. More hypocrisy. Your response is so predictable and to form I could have written it myself. You’ve demonstarted nothing here except that you know jack all about whale watching and can’t bear anyone showing you up as the fool you are.

    Good points Jimmy. Ian’s back of the envelope calculations are so very tiring, except for his brain dead fan club.

  27. Ian Mott July 3, 2009 at 2:43 pm #

    So Rob thinks it is OK to swim with whales in Qld. Then what is this, moron, a f@#$%&g pork chop? http://www.epa.qld.gov.au/publications/p00524aa.pdf/Conservation_and_management_of_whales_and_dolphins_in_Queensland_19972001.pdf

    Note the full list of relevant legislation at the front and then go to;

    Sec 6 (1) A person in control of a boat must not, without reasonable excuse,
    (a) bring the boat any closer than 100m to the whale. Or:

    Sec 6 (3) A person in water must not, without reasonable excuse, move any closer than 300m to a whale or 100m to a dolphin.

    This is a clear indication of the letter and the spirit of the regulations. And if there is any quasi tourist operation masquerading as “research” that is at variance with this then it is contrary to both the letter and the spirit of the regulations. So why don’t you crawl back into your own backside again where your eyes are accustomed to the light. Or do you, in any way, have a vested interest in, or association with, such a rort?

    And as for Jimmy’s little effort, matey, I was talking about the capitalised value of all whales. The dullest bogan would understand that the annual harvest value is a great deal less than the capital value. It is the same as for trees in a forest. The fact that 500 trees might be harvested each year does not mean that all the other trees in the forest have no value. We value all the trees and it is entirely appropriate to value all the whales.

    And to continue that analogy, the fact that 500 trees might be harvested from one part of the forest does not preclude people from trecking in the rest of the forest. So your apparent belief that whale hunting should stop because it does not generate as much revenue as whale wanking is based on the false assumption that only one can continue.

    As I said in the article, this is clearly not a valid assumption because both have taken place over the past two decades. And there is zero evidence that hunting has even slowed down the whale wanking industry.

    So off you go now boys, don’t you have some genitalia to play with?

  28. Ann Novek July 3, 2009 at 3:25 pm #

    I think this business with Ian’s attempt to value a whale is crap.
    Actually methinks that the whaling business not has much to do with economics, it’s more about principles and traditions and opposing NGOs.

    1) According to Greenpeace , Asian Trading has said that the whale meat market is declining in Japan. Now Loftsson , the Icelandic whaling mogul says this is a GP stunt.

    Personally methinks it will be very hard for Iceland to sell 150 Fin whales to Japan.

    2) Ian has not mentioned that Iceland is near bancrupsy and is divided re the whaling issue. Whalers say that whale meat trade will ” save” Iceland. Again methinks this is not correct and the Japanese won’t buy Nordic whale meat.

    3) In Norway the whaling industry is on the decline. It seems it’s more about traditions and not caving in for international protests. Norwegians do support whaling but they seem not to buy that very much whale meat theirselves except for the northern communities.

  29. Ann Novek July 3, 2009 at 3:47 pm #

    Re the financial situation again. Norway hardly needs whaling for economical reasons.
    I have heard that the Norwegian State owns so much money that they don’t know where on the international market to invest all that money;))))!Fish and oil.

  30. bellamy July 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm #

    “methinks”

    What is it with Nordics?
    It’s not a substitute for ” I think”!

  31. Green Davey July 3, 2009 at 6:14 pm #

    Dear Ann,
    Tell those Norskis to send their money to me, for investment in the Green Davey Futures Fund. The money will be used to set up an industry bottling whale fa… cetaceous eructions, for use as cooking fuel in the third world (wherever that is). After all, it’s organic. I will be inviting Sod, SJT, and Peter Smith to be directors.
    P.S. I don’t actually like whales much. They are smelly, and have a big opinion of themselves. Also, they were really mean to my great-great-great-grandpa, Captain Ahab.

  32. Rob July 3, 2009 at 7:22 pm #

    “So Rob thinks it is OK to swim with whales in Qld. Then what is this, moron, a f@#$%&g pork chop? ” – Ian Mott

    That’s the best you can muster? Had you done any research into the QLD whale swimming imbecile you would be aware that the swimmers do not approach the whales. Nor do the boats. The swimmers hold on to a line from the boat and wait for any curious minkes to come to them. So it’s illegal? Then the QLD agenices would have no trouble whatsoever prosecuting scores of tourists each year as it would be an easy industry to police. So your stupid comment only shows how stupid you really are (like you haven’t been demonstrating that for us for years), and how you constantly make shit up because you are ignorant (like you haven’t been demonstrating that to us for years).

    The only ILLEGAL exploitation of a LOOPHOLE attached to RESEARCH comes from nations like Japan. You almost got that one right Ian, but as usual got all confused. Der.

    “So off you go now boys, don’t you have some genitalia to play with?” – Ian Mott

    Yeah, my wife’s. Much more pleasurable than reading your crap! Obviously your wife doesn’t let you play with hers. Aww, poor Ian.

    Green Davey has the right idea – treat this thread like the joke that it is.

  33. Ann Novek July 3, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    ” “methinks”

    What is it with Nordics?
    It’s not a substitute for ” I think”!-bellamy

    Oops, sorry! I have already told you my English is loosy:))) Actually the only reason why I visit this blog is to practise English( I’m not too found of blogs).

    I see now that all my old pals like Libby, Travis , Tokyo David, Rune and George have disappeared so it’s not funny anymore;)

  34. Ann Novek July 3, 2009 at 8:31 pm #

    Of course Green Davey is funny with his odd comments. I’m off to the North Atlantic for the weekend now!

    Have a nice holiday all !

  35. Ian Mott July 3, 2009 at 9:55 pm #

    Rob advises, “the swimmers do not approach the whales. Nor do the boats. The swimmers hold on to a line from the boat and wait for any curious minkes to come to them.”

    Yet, we have,

    “Sec 6 (1) A person in control of a boat must not, without reasonable excuse,

    (c) bring the boat to a position that would cause the whale to come closer than 100m to the boat if the whale continued on its direction of travel.”

    So the whale wankers are getting around this provision by keeping the boat more than 100m out of the way but stringing the punters along behind them so the whale comes closer than 100m to them, not the boat. They have exploited the fact that there is no equivalent to Sec 6 (1) (c) in Sec 6 (3), which states that, “A person in water must not, without reasonable excuse, move any closer than 300m to a whale or 100m to a dolphin.”

    The unambiguous intent of the regulation is that people in the water should not be any closer than 300m but the boat operators are, most certainly, abusing the spirit of the regulation by dragging swimmers through the water in a way that will “cause the whale to come closer than 100m to the swimmers if the whale continued on its direction of travel.”

    Thank you for advising us of what appears to be a serious breach of the intention of the regulations, Rob. I will be taking this up with the relevant authorities in due course.

  36. janama July 4, 2009 at 12:08 am #

    Whales eat whales – killer whales in Eden used to herd humpbacks close the harbour at Eden, their leader (old jack) would swim into the bay and put on a show for the whalers who would jump into their boats and head out after the humpback.

    They’d spear the humpback with a strong rope and as it took off they’d hang on for the ride. Eventually the humpback would tire and they’d move in for the kill and harpoon old humpy to it’s end. The killer whales got the tongue and genitals and we got the lighting oil and perfumes.

    no one thought to eat them.

  37. Ian Mott July 4, 2009 at 2:25 am #

    Yes Janama, one of the main items on Orca menu is baby humpbacks and baby minkes.
    Orcas are obviously very intelligent, the most intelligent of all whales. And if eating whale meat is OK by them then it is OK for us too.

  38. Rob July 4, 2009 at 7:07 am #

    “So the whale wankers are getting around this provision by keeping the boat more than 100m out of the way but stringing the punters along behind them so the whale comes closer than 100m to them, not the boat.”

    Really??? Truly???? You really are so very stupid Ian! Keep trying. You convince your lame fan club of Janama and Green Davey, but most casual visitors to this blog know how you pull every purile trick in the book to perpetuate your delusions. (I say casual visitors because those with any intelligence and better use of their time would flit here once in a while to laugh at Ms Marohasy and her clown side kicks.)

    If you knew anything Ian, instead of making shit up, you would realise this is (yet again) incorrect. Have you ever seen a whale Ian? The swimmers are not in the way of the whale should it continue on its “direction of travel”, but why believe this point? It is fascinating how you ignore truths that contradict your viewpoint but will seize on anything that may add support to it and twist it around to make sure that square peg does indeed go in the round hole. Duh, which way did he go, which way did he go?

    I’ll tell you what Ian. You go and contact the QLD Parks and alert them to this illegal whale swimming activity that exists in teh vacuous morase between your ears. You owe it to your loyal legion of boot lickers and Jennifer. Of course you wont take it up with any authorities but the need to chest beat is simply genetic for you. Ooga booga.

    And please Janama, we have laughed through the orcas and baby whales tripe over and over again. Ann mentioned Travis, who had great sport with Ian’s obsession with whales being cows and bad orcas eating baby whales. As orcas also indulge in rape and incest, I would imagine Janama and Ian support humans doing that too.

    Have a nice North Atlantic weekend Ann. I notice Ian has obsessed about whale swimming fantasies and conveniently ignored any of your points. Oh how very boring and predictable.

  39. sod July 4, 2009 at 7:42 am #

    i9t is slightly absurd, that the people who love top shoot explaosive harppon sinto the back of rather rare whales, think that whale swimming is hurting their species and contradicting law.

    #
    of course, blowing up those whales is only for scientific purpose…

  40. Peter Smith July 4, 2009 at 1:11 pm #

    Congratulations Ian Mott, you and your sheep have ably demonstrated my points exactly. “Simplistic” sums you up so succinctly. Ha ha! But you are so very good for a laugh.

  41. janama July 4, 2009 at 1:55 pm #

    Rob – I suggest you visit the Museum at Eden on the south coast and read about the interplay that went on between the whalers and the Orcas. It’s defined in the Book “the Killers of Eden” if you are interested.

  42. janama July 4, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    http://www.killersofeden.com/

  43. Ian Mott July 4, 2009 at 5:45 pm #

    Gosh, it looks like the Greenpimp rent-a-crowd has arrived in force for a spleen vent and a bit of distraction, as usual.

    Meanwhile, back to the point. No-one has contested the fact that there is a functioning market for whale meat, or rather, there are a number of functioning markets. And no-one has contested the fact that at the retail part of this value chain the price of whale meat in Japan is Y2060/kg or about AU$27/kg. And no-one has contested the fact that the corporate supplied part of the human consumption portion of this trade is in the order of 5,000 tonnes each year.

    We also know that there is another portion of the industry supplied by local Japanese fishermen, and Koreans, that is not well documented. And we also know that an almost equal volume to the corporate trade, consisting of offal, bone etc goes to other uses such as pet food, fertiliser and aquaculture. I have no information on prices for this trade. But we can say for certain that the corporate supplied part of the industry is a value chain in excess of $135 million even before the by-products are included.

    So we do have a very valid, market based, means for determining the net realisable value of any whale, based on its live weight. It is the same method used all over the world to calculate the value of a standing tree. One does not need to cut each tree down, or every tree, to assess its value because there is a functioning market for some of the trees from which a valid assessment can be made.

    And in case our little mouth frothing whale wanker mates might still retain doubts due to their likely latent tree molesting tendencies, we should also note that this is also the basis on which shares and bonds are valued as well.

    So when the learned gentlemen from whale wally world seek exclusive use of the entire whale population we have very long established, and legally accepted means with which to assess the value of the whales they are seeking to appropriate for their sole use.

    This also allows us to calculate the total value of this captured natural capital and determine whether the claimed benefits of the whale watching industry represent an appropriate return on this natural capital. As my article highlighted above, this is clearly not the case.

    If the total world value of this resource is in the order of $200 billion then an acceptable return for the exclusive use of it would be 5% per annum or $10 billion a year. And as this resource is primarily in international waters it would follow that the $10 billion rightfully belongs to all of humanity, not just Greenpimp and the whale wallies.

    Yes, this is the amount that the whale watching industry should be distibuting to every other person on the planet as the economic rent for their exclusive use. And only after they have paid that rent should they be charging additional money from their customers for the cost of boat, crew etc.

    It is worth noting that Japan’s population of 127 million people is 2.11% of the worlds 6 Billion people which would mean that their 2.11% share of the global economic rent on the whale resource would be $211 million a year. So at present it seems clear that, to date, they taking less than their fair share of this resource.

    And one can only wonder how long it will take before India, China, Pakistan and Indonesia start asking the OECD whale wally nations where their share of this dividend has been hidden.

  44. Rob July 5, 2009 at 7:14 am #

    Janama, I am fully aware of the association between whalers and killer whales at Eden, having spoken on many occassions to the last remaining whaler who died recently. What whales eating other whales has to do with humans eating whales has always baffled me, but those wantng to grasp at straws will find anything to hold up to support their dopey ideas. I only wish they would keep them to themselves and spare the rest of us.

    It is always a source of amusement that Ian accuses others of his own faults and bad behaviour. Now anyone who questions or opposes his ranting is a rentacrowd, but of course only after his own fan club has been noted. Give it a break Ian. No one cares about your silly fantasies or simplistic calculations, let alone youu inability to ever rely on facts. Don’t you ever get tired of repeating the same shit over and over agan? It is funny for while, but the joke has run thin. No one cares Ian. Get out the razor blades.

  45. Ian Mott July 6, 2009 at 9:31 pm #

    If no-one really cares, Rob, why have you gone to such lengths to defame me? Indeed, why are you here at all?

    And if my numbers are “silly” then a clever person like you should be able to find errors in them. But the record shows that you have not addressed any of the issues raised nor any of the costings. And one can only conclude from this conspicuous omission of yours that,
    a. you lack the intellectual traction to deal with the issue, and or
    b. you understand the importance of proper valuation of natural resources but have gone out of your way to avoid discussion of the implications.

    Our readers are not simpletons, Rob, they understand that the more merit my arguments have the more vicious and spiteful your responses will become. But thats OK, I understand how emotional plodders can latch on to an animal like whales and deify them beyond any link with reality. I am sure that it is a mental condition that can be treated but with someone like you, why bother?

  46. Rob July 7, 2009 at 6:55 am #

    LOL! Posts becoming more vicious an dspiteful? Yes, Ian, like your little tantrum you just posted! I write with humour Ian. Can’t help it when dealing with you. Why am I here? I get a kick out of it. You make me laugh. I certainly dodn’t need to go to any lengths to defame you. You do that all by yourself with your moronic rantings. You have only yourself to blame dear Ian.

    As for your BOTE numbers, who can be bothered? Honestly? You resort to simplictic “calculations” all the time. You’ve never even seen a whale. Numerous folk here have questioned you on your magical numbers and a multitude of other issues and you have skirted around them like one of the ruddy-faced elephants in Fantasia! Your numbers and Wiki facts and biased opinion pieces provide nothing more than entertainment. When you treat readers with respect, regardless of their views and responses to what our post, then maybe some sort of debate will occur, but you just can’t do it, so no one takes you seriously (that and the fact you make shit up). Conclude all you want Ian. That is what you do best. It leads to making shit up and then being an obnoxious dickhead having a dummy spit. I hope you can see just how funny it is.

    If the readers are not simpletons Ian, why do you insist on continually treating them thus? It is because you have zip respect for people, especially those with differing opinions to yours. It is because you can’t stand being told you are wrong and can’t take back chat. As for mental conditions, I believe you have been told on numerous occasions on this blog that you have a number of them. Aww, poor Ian. Go bash your wife, rape your daughter, have a wank, take your pills and then pick up those razor blades. You can blame it on the killer whales! Gotta have someone to blame eh?

  47. Ian Mott July 7, 2009 at 10:43 am #

    And right on cue, Rob dishes up another spleen vent. Zero substance from a dude who claims to speak on behalf of all the other posters and finishes off with accusations of domestic abuse, incest and any other demonisation tool to hand.

    And what, exactly are the numbers that get so far up his nose?

    Well, 2060 yen = AU$27/kg of whale meat seems to have got him started.
    And 7 tonnes of Minke whale = 3.7 tonnes of whale meat seemed to work him up a bit.
    And then multiplying 3,700kg by $27/kg to = $99,900 per minke whale wound him up more.

    But what sent him ballistic was the suggestion that if the whale watching industry claims to need every single one of a million untouched minke whales to guarantee the viability of their humpback watching industry then they might like pay a reasonable 5% annual rental on that $100 billion resource.

    And what sent him into low earth orbit was the suggestion that as the whale watching industry also wanted exclusive use of every other whale species then they might like to pay a reasonable 5% annual rental on a second $100 billion resource.

    You see folks, the implication that this so-called $3 billion whale watching industry was demanding more than $10 billion a year in free and exclusive access to a resource that belongs to everyone, including the Japanese, Norwegians, Icelanders, Greenlanders, Innuit and many others, is the kind of number that whale wallies really do not like to see. So they go out of their way to cover it in bile and spittle, as can be seen above.

    So please tell us, whoever you really are, Rob, did you also happen to have a syphilitic grandfather like Travis? Are you one of the folks who put the “pimp” in Greenpimp?

  48. Rob July 7, 2009 at 4:11 pm #

    Oooo-aaahh! Nasty little man! Really Ian, are you still bleating on? The only Busta Bloodvessel here is you. My spleen plays little part in my laughing my butt of at you. You’ve just gone off again on another rant, having a conversation with yourself about what may have got up my nose, may have wound me up, may have sent me ballistic, may have sent me into low earth orbit. You can’t stop yourself from making shit up – you’re still doing it and convincing yourself of it. And you are still wildly flailing your soggy envelope in the air, begging for someone to take your calculations seriously. Aww, poor Ian.

    Whoever I really am? I don’t need to make shit up like you. You really do suffer from a few mental conditions don’t you? I’d say you may have a dose of syphillis yourself old man. Would account for a number of things and no doubt the wife would agree. I certainly don’t speak for others Ian. There are no others here. They’ve all gone and left you. Hee hee hee! Maybe you should crank up your fan club again?

  49. Ian Mott July 8, 2009 at 2:33 am #

    Anything to avoid the implications of the long established concept of opportunity cost. The whale wallies are demanding exclusive use of someone else’s whales but are unwilling to pay any rent, let alone a fair rent, for them.

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