The following is a quote from the Taiji Whaling Association:
'Japanese fishermen working in Taiji’s traditional drive fishery were yet again harassed earlier this month by representatives of an eco-terrorist organization. And yet again these interlopers have substantially misrepresented to the media both the facts about this centuries-old fishery and about their own actions-presumably seeking to enhance their organization’s fund-raising opportunities. Archaeologists have shown that Japan began to utilise dolphins and whales as food at least 9000 years ago. Coastal dwellers first used beached whales and organized small-scale hunting operations for dolphins. Then in 1606 records show Taiji organized larger-scale whaling operations thus making Taiji the birthplace of Japan’s traditional whaling industry. Taiji has a proud history of 400 years of whaling. From Taiji traditional whaling operations spread and adapted throughout Japan. In modern times the community-based whalers in Taiji have taken several species of small whales dolphins and porpoises. The dolphin drive fishery is a fishery that the Government of Japan manages sustainably pursuant both to applicable international and domestic law. In 1946 whaling nations signed the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling establishing the International Whaling Commission (IWC) “to provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry.” The IWC manages the 13 species of large whales. On the other hand management of small cetaceans dolphins among them remains the responsibility of the coastal state in whose waters these are found. The Government of Japan sets a sustainable quota for each species based on scientific abundance estimates. During the drive fisheries season government-appointed inspectors are in Taiji to oversee the fisheries and take samples for scientific analyses from every animal caught. For Japan the fisheries for whales and small cetaceans have for thousands of years been important food sources. However after the IWC imposed a moratorium on the taking of all large whales endangered or not Japan’s community-based whalers have only been able to take the small cetaceans for which Japan has management responsibility. Thus the community of Taiji is alert when interlopers whose agendas are based neither on international law nor on science but rather on emotion for economic self-interest continue willfully to distort the facts about this fishery. The dolphin fishery represents an important part of the tradition through which generations of Taiji fishermen have supplied their community with food. They will continue to do so.'
From Oceanic Defense:
Here are a few things to consider regarding the statement above.
メチル水銀 = Methyl Mercury.
水俣を思いだせ - Remember Mitamata
- Nowhere did the Association mention the DANGERS of eating whale or dolphin meat which is proven to have upwards of 500 times more mercury than permitted by Japanese health ministries.
- With respect to tradition it was not mentioned that the eating of whale and dolphin meat laced with methyl mercury and PCB's. That would lead us to believe that tradition involves poisoning their own families - 子供達を殺すな！ (do not kill your children)
- Demand for whale and dolphin meat has continually decreased as people become more aware of the dangers of consumption.
- we are NOT ECO-TERRORISTS - we are concerned citizens. Brothers and sisters to the Japanese people, the same people that have a right to know what you have kept secret for far too many years. These brothers and sisters also have the right to know what they are feeding their families.
(knowledge is power)