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Whale harpooned, hauled in by Japanese boat in front of whale-watching tourists


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SAPPORO -- Eco-tourists on a whale-watching vessel, looking forward to observing the mighty creatures in their natural habitat, were instead greeted by the sight of a harpooned whale being dragged in by a Japanese whaling vessel on Friday.

At about 10:44 a.m. on Friday, a whale was spotted spraying water from its blowhole near a whaling boat, about 3.5 kilometers away from the whale-watching vessel off the coast of Hokkaido's Shiretoko Peninsula. But when the vessel approached, the passengers on board found that the whalers had harpooned the Baird's beaked whale, and it was hauled in by the whaling boat about 20 minutes later.

About 20 passengers on the whale-watching vessel looked on, voicing their pity as the whale was captured. A French woman who was on the vessel with her husband reportedly said the experience made her feel ill.

There were two other whale-watching boats nearby, but one of them left after a child started crying.

The 46-year-old captain of the passenger vessel was disappointed by the incident, which took place about 14 kilometers east of Rausu Port in Hokkaido.

"It's my job to show people whales and it's the whalers' job to catch them, but I wonder how this can be avoided," he said.

One of the two whaling companies operating the whaling ship, meanwhile, filed a protest against the whale watching vessel with the Rausu town government.

"The passenger boat approached us, which was extremely dangerous. We think this could be considered dangerous sailing, and we want you to issue a warning," the protest said. (Mainichi)


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Guest drlogic

it isn't they are killing them for sport. IT doesnt say they are endangered so why not.

Seems logical to me. Not that I would wanna watch that.

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Guest endymion

it isn't they are killing them for sport. IT doesnt say they are endangered so why not.

Whaling is not sustainable, that's why. They can't reproduce fast enough to replenish their populations after humans take them.

Saying that they aren't endangered, so why not, is a little like saying that you're no bankrupt yet, so why not spend $100,000 a day at auctions buying up baseball memorabilia. That would be a dangerous habit because it will put you into bankruptcy, and saying, "I'm not in bankruptcy yet so why not?", would be short-sighted.

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Guest endymion

The Japanese sense that they are entitled to rape the sea because they think that they own it is definitely part of the problem.

The infestation of Nomura's jellyfish is direct karmic retribution, IMHO. Not the least of which because Japanese fishermen slice them up into little pieces and throw them overboard by the thousands when they catch them in nets. When you cut up a jellyfish it releases all of its sperm or eggs into the water in a last-ditch, hail-mary reproduction attempt. The Japanese can't seem to understand that they're directly causing the Nomura population to explode, as well as indirectly enabling the infestation by overfishing other species. If they don't realize how dumb it is to slice up Nomura, then they will never accept that whaling is unsustainable.

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