Sunday, April 19, 2009

Japan's Whaling Ways and Woes

When Greenpeace activists revealed exposed that meat left over from "scientific research whaling" was being illegally smuggled off as ship for sale on the black market, it was yet another outcry over Japanese whaling practices. Meanwhile the two Japanese Greenpeace activists have been charged with theft themselves and are awaiting trial.

The lead of Japan's whaling fleet, the Nisshin Maru might be familiar to some of you as the site of Matthew Barney's film Drawing Restraint 9, where he and Bjork carve each other up with knives while making-out. The trailer gives you a sense, if you haven't seen it.

Sea Shepherds and other groups have been in direct - and often quite violent - confrontation with the Japanese whiling fleet. Last week the fleet returned to Japan after 5 months at sea reporting a smaller than expected catch due to harrassment by Sea Shepherds and Greenpeace.

Japan claims that international regulation and protest of their whaling practices is nothing less than an interference with their traditional culture and long established food practices. Some counter that cultures adapt and evolve - and what better reason to changes ones practices but in the face the extinction of species.

It continues to be a touchy subject all around.....

1 comment:

  1. Also interesting is that the anti-whaling vessel mentioned in the Sea Shepherds article happens to be named "the Steve Irwin..." perhaps a fitting enough namesake for the ship of not-entirely-gentle X-treme animal activists.