Thursday, June 3, 2010

Japan Admits Mistake - With Provisos...

We are velly velly solly! Really! Honestly! But let's talk about the REAL issue...!Japan made an interesting admission this week: its fishing expert Masayuki Komatsu says it made a mistake on bluefin tuna, and it should have been listed as endangered by CITES back in March:
"I wish to stress importance of making decisions based on scientific data. In that sense, the decision concerning the bluefin tuna was regrettable. We rejected a proposal to ban international trade of the Atlantic bluefin tuna. Japan should have co-operated to strengthen the regulation. Banning the bluefin tuna trade may appear disadvantageous to Japan in the short term but, if we develop policy based on scientific grounds, we can win trust of the international community. The principle of sustainable use also applies to abundant whales."
Ahhh-ha, there's the twist: this admission is really a defence of whaling... but wait: there's more! He says whale meat quality is poor because it's a by-product of 'scientific research' whaling:
"The meat does not sell because it is expensive and poor quality, because cell membranes are broken when the meat is frozen... the temperature can only be lowered on whaling ships to 30 degrees below zero. Since tuna is quick-frozen to minus 70 degrees, cell membranes remain intact. New whaling ships should be built so the meat can be quick-frozen for better quality. I am sure it would drastically change the awareness of consumers. Whale meat could be used as a sushi ingredient in place of tuna." Would YOU wanna eat minke whale sushi?
Komatsu is suggesting replacing bluefin tuna with minke whale meat in sushi bars!
Forget the 'scientific' smokescreen - he wants full-on commercial whaling, a new factory ship, the whole fleet modernised, and an increase in whale kills to over 2,000 in the Southern Ocean: "When the catch is increased, costs can be lowered and tasty whale meat can be supplied at lower prices." Yippee, fun for all!
So, somehow, Japan's admission of bluefin tuna strip-mining justifies the expansion / modernisation / commercialisation of its whaling fleet!!
The question to Mr.Komatsu is: now you've admitted Japan's culpability in the tuna destruction, will you use your influence to ban the sale of bluefin tuna in Japan? Or is this just a prelude to the escalation of Southern Ocean whaling?

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