Whaling in Japan - Lies and Truths

It is very common for news to come out on the internet about whaling in Japan. and among the comments, many ignorant people utter hateful words without even wanting to know what really happens. Why do the Japanese hunt whales?

Let's also understand why you shouldn't act like an idiot criticizing an entire country because of a paltry 0.000000000000000001% of Japanese whaling workers.

Before we talk about why the Japanese hunt whales, what is involved, what controversies this generates in the country, we need to understand the whole history, curiosity and culture surrounding this very controversial system.

Hongei - Catching Whales

Honge [捕鯨] is the Japanese word for whales and dolphins. Currently the hogei it can refer to three different types of catch: commercial catch, research catch and surviving native whales that are rescued.

In Japan, whaling has been practiced since prehistoric times, own techniques have been developed that are different from western ones. During the Edo period, systematic whaling was carried out by a large group called Hogeishudan [捕鯨集団].

There is a long history of catching whales in Japan and the West. We do not want to enter or give credit to the practices of honor, but if you're curious, just read the Japanese wiki or search for hogei [捕鯨] or nihon no hogei [日本の捕鯨].

The history of whale hunting

Ruins have been discovered since BC that are presumed to have been whaling. In Japan, whale bones were found in the remains of the Jomon Period, and whale fishing was also found in the Korean version of prehistoric sculpture. Bangamedaiiwa.

In Europe, Basque whaling became popular in the 11th century. In the past, it was mainly used to collect whale meat and oil. Over time different weapons were created to catch whales.

In Japan, a unique whaling technology developed in the Nara era of the 8th century. The word “Isanatori“, Which means whale fishing, appeared in the literature. In the beginning, it was a method of whale hunting that used a sword called “push-type“.

In the 16th century, a sword was used to kill whales. In the second half of the 17th century, a technique involving net capture was developed. Whales were difficult to catch because they swim fast and sink into the water when they die.

The group of whale hunters has become a large organization with thousands of people, from capture to dismantling, extraction of whale oil, salted whale meat and others. Japan is believed to have captured more than 21,000 whales throughout history.

A unique culture was born with workers involved in whale fishing. In Japan, a culture of prayer for great safe fishing, gratitude and mourning for whales was born in several places, especially among whaling workers.

How was whaling in recent decades?

In 1974, IWC adopted the “New Management Method (NMP)”. After that, commercial capture of Nagas whales and sardines was banned one after the other. In 1982, the IWC decided to suspend commercial whales. Japan also accepted it in 1985.

In 1987, Japan began catching mink whales for research in Antarctic waters. In 1988, Japan stopped the trade in whales and mackerel in the North Pacific. In 1994, IWC adopted the “Revised management method (RMP)”.

In 1997, Norway officially admitted that there was a commercial catch of mink whales in the North Atlantic. In 2006, Iceland declared the resumption of commercial mink whale catching in the North Atlantic (resumed the following year).

In 2010, the Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs announced that it would increase the quota for commercial whales to 1286, the highest number ever. In 2018, Japan announced it would withdraw from the IWC and withdrew on June 30, 2019.

Hongeimondai - The Japanese fight against whale hunting

It is not just the West that recognizes the problem of hunting whales and dolphins. There is a Japanese word called hongeimondai [捕鯨問題] which literally means whale catching problem.

Why do Japanese Capture Whales?

Formerly like everyone else, the Japanese captured whales for food and to obtain materials. Whale oil was produced from captured whales and distributed throughout the country as agricultural material and kerosene.

Mustaches were also used as material for various handicrafts. In addition, whale meat was also used as food and, among them, highly preserved tallow and salted fins were widely distributed.

Nowadays whale meat is practically extinct in the country. Currently, some private organizations get permission from the government to hunt whales for scientific purposes, but we believe this is a lame excuse.

Is Japan the only country that hunts whales today?

Whaling or fishing, also known as whaling, has a long history and several reasons. Not only Japan, but Brazil, Portugal and several countries hunted whales until each country banned hunting around 1985.

Currently, in addition to Japan, Iceland and Norway hunt whales for "scientific purposes". Arctic indigenous peoples in the United States, Russia and Denmark continue to capture whales under the “Aboriginal Survival Quota”.

In South Korea, about 2,000 whales have been caught through sporadic fishing, making it a whaling nation. This also led to accusations of "poaching under pretenses". In other words, Japan is not the only country currently hunting whales.

The Philippines and Indonesia continue to catch some species of whales, even Canada leads whales to indigenous people. In addition, 71 types of dolphins and whales are beyond the control of the International Whale Commission, subject to the laws of each country.

It is believed that since the international ban, between 1986 and 2008 more than 31,000 whales have been killed by whale hunting. In other words, the hypocritical Western media accuses Japan of killing whales, when they themselves end up doing the same thing.

Do the Japanese eat whale meat?

Whaling for the sale of meat was banned worldwide in 1982 by the International Whaling Commission (CBI). Since then, Japan has not hunted whales to trade its meat, just for studies.

Even so, these scientific organizations end up being accused of selling meat. More than 300 whales are hunted each year, and despite criticism, it is tourists who visit these countries who end up consuming the leftover meat that is traded.

They justify that the meat should be used after the studies, so the meat ends up being sold at absurd prices, mainly to other countries. Today it is almost impossible to find whale meat in Japan.

Japan already consumed many tons of whale meat as well as the rest of the world between the 50s and 60s, but that consumption ended dramatically. Consumption still happens only because government bureaucrats allow whale hunting for scientific studies.

Japan is one of the countries that ends up exporting meat to other countries, while less than 0.1% of the population of Japan has had the chance to try this meat. Even with the return of commercialization, whale meat is not going to be easy to find.

Whales are endangered?

Currently it is estimated that there are about 100,000 dwarf whales in the wild, making this species far from extinction. However, common whales are at risk of extinction due to their high consumption in the last century.

The big problem with whale hunting is that they take a long time to reproduce (about two years). Despite this, there are hundreds of different species of whales, some endangered, others far from extinction.

Whale hunting

Did the Japanese hunt whales again?

The restrictions imposed by the IWC caused Japan to withdraw in 2019, ending the restrictions imposed on the hunting of many whales in the Sea of Japan. Did this make Japan turn to catch whales for commercial sale?

Yes, in 2019 Japan returned to commercial hunting, but the government is not crazy enough to put whales into extinction, even though hunting itself is painful. There is a catch quota, similar to the time whales were caught for research.

There are specific whales to be caught, there is a limit of a maximum of 300 whales per year. The government has authorized hunting that does not affect extinction for the next 100 years. Understandable, since the human being can easily destroy the land until then.

Of course, this does not justify anything, it still ends up being a painful practice for whales, to be stabbed to death, but nothing so different from what happens with other animals around the world. If you eat meat, you have no right to question anything ...

Don’t be a hypocritical idiot

I, like you, am very sad to know that whales are killed for scientific purposes or recently to the surprise of many, consumption. Is this really a reason for so many hate speech and comments against Japanese people on the internet?

The people think that the fact that some idiots catch whales, indicates that the meat is consumed by the general population. I believe it is 1000x more unusual to eat whale meat in Japan than to eat rabbit meat in Brazil.

Remember that it is only a small, insignificant number of people who approve of this whaling. Japan has 127 million inhabitants, and many Japanese protest and detest these events. But like any country, the law is flawed and ends up letting these atrocities pass!

Are you really going to judge an entire nation because of a dozen stupid scientists and wealthy bureaucrats who use loopholes in the laws? What do the 127 million Japanese have to do with it? Why do they only criticize Japan and not the other countries that consume meat or catch whales?

Widespread, sensationalist and no-detail news, created just to generate hits, end up increasing this people's hatred. The same thing happens with respect to the number of suicides, it's the prejudice in Japan. Something small that ends up being generalized.

Remember that saying: First remove the beam from your eye, and then you will take care to remove the speck from your brother's eye. Before leaving criticizing a country for contributing to the destruction of nature and the extinction of animals, stop and think: My country does not do the same thing? Haven't you done worse things to end nature? Who am I to criticize a country because of some people?

And then they complain about their country having a bad reputation just because of a few. Aren't you doing the same thing? Unfortunately we live in a world full of ignorance, misinformation and hypocrisy, don't let that spread! We are against whaling, but we are also against hatred and the creation of unnecessary polemics.

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20 thoughts on “Caça às baleias no Japão – Mentiras e Verdades”

  1. Há um livro chamado “A lógica do Cisne Negro” que ilustra perfeitamente isso. Na verdade essa falta de tato na interpretação dos fatos é algo biológico em nós. Tem haver com falhas na abstração e generalização de padrão. Se falamos que a “a maioria dos caçadores de baleia é japonesa”, o cérebro automaticamente atribui também que “a maioria dos japoneses caça baleia”, isso é um problema que o autor do livro chama de a falha de “ida e volta” (dada uma afirmação, achamos que a recíproca é verdadeira). É mais ou menos o mesmo que acontece com o terrorismo. Se a afirmação “a maioria dos terroristas é muçulmana” estivesse correta, achar que a maioria dos muçulmanos são terroristas é um caminho natural para nosso cérebro, mas causa o mesmo erro, já que o % de terroristas dentro de um grupo é extremamente pequeno, entende? Segundo o autor, isso ocorre porque a complexidade que vivemos hoje está além daquela que o cérebro humano foi nativamente criado (a afirmação que “os animais que nos matam são selvagem” nos tempos primitivos poderia ser generalizada para “todos animais selvagem matam”). Discorro sobre isso porque acredito que estamos em um momento de entendermos que há muitos fatores (inclusive biológicos) para esses deslizes… Então convido a todos para um reflexão, tolerância e seguir “apesar de”… É apenas um convite, sintam-se a vontade de aceitá-los ou não… 😉

  2. Há a book called “The logic of the Black Swan” which perfectly illustrates this. In fact, this lack of tact in interpreting the facts is something biological in us. It has to do with flaws in pattern abstraction and generalization. If we say that “most whale hunters é Japanese”, the brain automatically attributes also that “most Japanese people hunt whale”, thaté a problem that the author of the book calls the “round trip” (Given a statement, we think the query is true). É more or less the same as with terrorism. If the statement çãthe majority of terroristsé Muslim” were correct, to think that most Muslims are terrorists é a natural way for our brain, but it causes the same error, already that the % of terrorists within a group é extremely small, you know? According to the author, this is because the complexity we live today is beyond that that the human brain was natively created (the claim that "the animals that kill us are wild" in primitive times could be generalized to “all wild animals kill”). I talk about this because I believe that we are in a moment of understanding that there are á many factors (including biological) for these slips… So I invite everyone for a reflection, tolerance and follow “despite”… É just an invitation, feel free to accept them or not; 😉

  3. Caro autor,creio que esse é um tema muito complexo para podermos definir em poucos parágrafos….
    Não consumo carne de baleia,não tenho posição definida sobre o assunto,mas a decisão de comer é de cada pessoa,li sobre o assunto e questiono os que criticam a baleação.
    O objetivo principal citado pelo governo Japonês é a sustentabilidade,então independente do ciclo de reprodução e de vida da espécie a baleação não traria danos drásticos na fauna e flora marítima.(se realmente cumprir com a sustentabilidade)A própia CBI estuda e define as espécies que estão fora de perigo de extinção,por acaso são os os mais apropriados para a baleação.
    Falando de sustentabilidade acaba com todo debate sobre o assunto,pois o que mais se reclama?
    Coitado?matança?e outros alimentos?não se cria em fazenda?cultura atrazada?retrocesso?
    Vamos analizar então:
    A matança de vida para nos alimentar é rotineiro,nem temos dó quando vemos uma bandeja de carne(imaginou o animal?),ultimamente muitos nem agradeçe a vida
    que tiramos para podermos na maioria das vezes saciar nossa gula,pois estudos dizem que comemos mais que o necessário para sobreviver.
    Outra que dói pra todos,uma vaca consome quanto de água?ração?elimina o quanto de gases em quanto está engordando para abate?
    e a vida de uma vaca alimenta quantas pessoas?a vida de uma baleia alimentaria quantos?matemática simples…
    Japão não precisa comer baleia sem tem outros alimentos;sim,por regra,mas com o aumento da população mundial a diversidades alimentar é a única solução para amenizar a falta de alimentos e a procura por um certo tipo de carne.
    “Não temos fazendas de baleias”….impossível a criação em cativeiro de muitas espécies de cetáceos,isso é fato.
    Mas a caça é no habitat deles,nasceram e cresceram livremente,só se for abatido nesse mar gigante vai ir nas prateleiras…então qual a difença de pescar atum?
    Bem diferente de fazenda industrial, na qual selecionam e até mudam geneticamente quem nasce,fora que crescem e engordam forçadamente e tem o cilclo de vida mais curto apenas por ser de abate.
    Se ambos são para nossa alimentação qual é mais cruel?
    Se não me engane poucos países aproveitavam tanto a vida tirada,faziam artefatos com ossos e dentes,comiam partes que muitos nem imaginavam,enquanto que outros países só matavam para obter a gordura como combustível e jogavam no mar,sabia?
    Essa é a diferença cultural,se foi num Yakiniku sabe que japas comem o aparelho digestivo dos animais…eles sempre tiveram dificuldades com alimentos,então aproveitavam no máximo e agradecem (itadakimasu),reflita mais sobre isso.
    Retrocesso;Será que nosso costume de consumir carne bovina que na India é considerada sagrada,suína que religião islãmica não consomem é considereada retrocesso para eles?

    Então qual a diferença de comer carne bovina, suína ou de baleia? religião que não permite comer porco não reclama do nosso torresmo,mas reclamamos de baleias?qual seria o motivo?(lembrando os dados da CBI e baleação sustentável)
    O que nos alimenta é a vida de outros animais e vegetais, não somos movidos a energia elétrica.

    • Seu comentário foi, na minha opinião, a melhor reflexão/argumentação que já li até agora sobre o tema. Parabéns!

  4. Dear author, I believe that this é a topic that is too complex to be defined in a few paragraphs.
    I don't eat whale meat, I don't have a defined position on the subject, but the decision to eat it is. of each person, I have read on the subject and question those who criticize the whaling.
    The main objective cited by the Japanese government is é sustainability, so independent of the reproduction cycle and life of the species, the whale would not bring severe damage. (if it really complies with sustainability) The CBI itself studies and defines the species that are out of danger of extinction. #227;perhaps they are the most suitable for whaling.
    Falando de sustentabilidade acaba com todo debate sobre o assunto,pois o que mais se reclama?
    Poor thing?killing?and other foods?can't be raised on a farm?backward culture?regression?
    Let's analyze it then:
    The killing of life to feed us é routine, we don't even have dó when we see a tray of meat (can you imagine the animal?), lately many don't even thank life
    that we take so that we can, most of the time, satisfy our gluttony, because studies say that we eat more than necessary to survive.
    Outra que dói pra todos,uma vaca consome quanto de água?ração?elimina o quanto de gases em quanto está engordando para abate?
    and the life of a cow feeds how many people?the life of a whale would feed how many?simple mathematics…
    Japan does not need to eat whale without having other foods; yes, as a rule, but with the increase in the world population, food diversities é the only solution to alleviate the lack of food and the demand for a certain type of meat.
    We do not have whale farms. It is impossible to raise many cetacean species in captivity. ceos, this é fact.
    But the hunt is in their habitat, they were born and grew up freely, onlyó if it is shot down in that giant sea it will go on the shelves, so what's the difference in fishing tuna?
    Quite different from an industrial farm, in which they select and evené they genetically change who is born, outside of which they grow and gain weight forcefully and have a shorter life cycle just because they are slaughtered.
    If both are for our nourishment, which é more cruel?
    If I am not deceived, few countries took advantage of the life taken so much, made artifacts with bones and teeth, ate parts that many did not even imagine, while other countries alone; they killed to get the fat as fuel and threw it into the sea, you know?
    This é the cultural difference, if it was in a Yakiniku, you know that japs eat the digestive system of animals…they always had difficulties with food, so they made the most of it and thank you (itadakimasu), reflect more about it.
    Backspace;Será that our custom of consuming beef which in India é considered sacred, swine who do not consume Islamic religion é considered a setback for them?

    So what's the difference between eating beef, pork or whale meat? religion that doesn't allow us to eat pork doesn't complain about our pork rinds, but we complain about whales? sustainable)
    What feeds us é the life of other animals and plants, we are not powered by electrical energy.

    • Your comment was, in my opinion, the best reflection/argument I have ever had. read up to é now on the topic. Congratulations!

  5. Po camarada, um cara tão inteligente como você, se deixa cair nessa justificativa de “estudo científico” é muito bizarro.
    Concordo com a parte que não podemos julgar um país todo por atos de “poucas” pessoas, que na verdade tbm não são poucas pessoas, é um Governo que lucra com a venda de carne, pq esse é o real motivo das matanças.
    Pesquise mais sobre a Sea Shepherd e verá a verdade, e é cruel meu amigo.

    • Eu não caio nessa, é a justificativa deles… É obvio que eles devem exportar as carnes pra fora… Mas sim, se for contar o número de envolvidos nesse trafico da menos de 0,0000000000000000000000000000000001% da população japonesa, a critica é com respeito as pessoas mostrarem ódio pelos japoneses apenas porque isso acontece no país… Se fosse algo envolvendo uma boa % da população tudo bem, mas o número de envolvidos é tão insignificante pra gerar ódio contra uma nação. Até o número de suicídios que pessoas clamam ser alto e usam isso para criticar e dizer que japoneses são infeliz é algo insignificante (falo proporcionalmente, qualquer número envolvendo mortes é algo lamentável e triste)… Tipo 15 a cada 100.000 pessoas cometem suicídio, então vamos falar que japoneses são frios, insensíveis e que la o povo não é feliz por causa dessse numero… O que eu tento deixar claro aqui é a relatividade… O povo generaliza demais e eu tento diminuir isso.

  6. Well, buddy, a guy as smart as you, falls for this "scientific study" justification. é very bizarre.
    I agree with the part that we can't judge a whole country for the acts of a “few” people, who in fact are not just a few people either, é a Government that profits from the sale of meat, because this é the real reason for the killings.
    Research more about Sea Shepherd and seeá the truth, and é cruel my friend.

    • Eu não caio nessa, é a justificativa deles… É obvio que eles devem exportar as carnes pra fora… Mas sim, se for contar o número de envolvidos nesse trafico da menos de 0,0000000000000000000000000000000001% da população japonesa, a critica é com respeito as pessoas mostrarem ódio pelos japoneses apenas porque isso acontece no país… Se fosse algo envolvendo uma boa % da população tudo bem, mas o número de envolvidos é tão insignificante pra gerar ódio contra uma nação. Até o número de suicídios que pessoas clamam ser alto e usam isso para criticar e dizer que japoneses são infeliz é algo insignificante (falo proporcionalmente, qualquer número envolvendo mortes é algo lamentável e triste)… Tipo 15 a cada 100.000 pessoas cometem suicídio, então vamos falar que japoneses são frios, insensíveis e que la o povo não é feliz por causa dessse numero… O que eu tento deixar claro aqui é a relatividade… O povo generaliza demais e eu tento diminuir isso.

  7. Mas é lógico todo mal-feitor tenta corrigir seu erro, mas me explique uma coisa que merda de pesquisa é essa Em 24 de março uma frota de quatro barcos japoneses chegou a terra depois de uma travessia de mais de cem dias nos mares da Antártida. Voltaram depois de terem caçado 333 exemplares de baleias minke, 230 das quais eram fêmeas e 90% estavam prenhes. A missão foi alvo de fortes críticas por parte da comunidade internacional, mas o país asiático resiste a renunciar à ela, alegando “razões científicas”. …haaa me poupe tanta arrogância e prepotência de um povo que que diz milenar.

    • Quem sou eu pra defender tais atrocidades… Mas o que eu detesto é ver expressões como povo, nação, japoneses… Me poupe! O ser humano de todo país faz merda, condenar, ter ódio ou jugar uma nação inteira por causa de cientistas loucos ou contrabandistas de carne… isso sim é arrogância e prepotência… Sim! Temos que punir esses malfeitores! Mas apenas eles! Agora eu já vi tanto ódio contra japoneses em artigos sobre baleia e vejo a maior hipocrisia.

      Quem dera fossem apenas os baleeiros japoneses o problema desse planeta… Estão cheio de piratas do mundo todo navegando e destruindo os mares, a mesma coisa na terra acabando com animais e florestas… A solução para a terra é uma limpeza! Disseminar ódio não vai mudar absolutamente nada!

  8. But é Of course every wrongdoer tries to correct his mistake, but explain something to me that shit research é this On March 24, a fleet of four Japanese ships reached land after a crossing of more than a hundred days in the seas of Antarctica. They returned after having hunted 333 specimens of minke whales, 230 of which were females and 90% were pregnant. The mission was the target of strong criticism from the international community, but the Asian country resists resigning à her, claiming “scientific reasons”. …haaa spare me so much arrogance and arrogance from a people who say they are millennial.

    • Quem sou eu pra defender tais atrocidades… Mas o que eu detesto é ver expressões como povo, nação, japoneses… Me poupe! O ser humano de todo país faz merda, condenar, ter ódio ou jugar uma nação inteira por causa de cientistas loucos ou contrabandistas de carne… isso sim é arrogância e prepotência… Sim! Temos que punir esses malfeitores! Mas apenas eles! Agora eu já vi tanto ódio contra japoneses em artigos sobre baleia e vejo a maior hipocrisia.

      wish only Japanese whalers were the problem on this planet… It's full of pirates from all over the world sailing and destroying the seas, the same thing on land killing animals and forests. The solution for the earth is a cleaning! Spreading ódio won't change anything at all!

    • Se for criticar os japoneses que fazem isso, ou até o governo falho… Tem meu total apoio! Agora se for pra criticar o país e a população como um todo, você que está sendo idiota. Não estou defendendo esse ato repugnante, sou apenas contra o ódio, preconceito, xenofobia e racismo contra pessoas que não tem nada haver com ocorrido.

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