Whaler failure: social media is rubbish

So, my old blog post about the Japan’s chief of whaling is just plain wrong. And it took you arsehats two and half years to notice! There’s a big pat on the back for social media, eh?

Here’s what happened. My original post quoted Japan’s commissioner to the International Whaling Commission and director-general of the Institute of Cetacean Research in Tokyo, Minoru Morimoto. And that’s who’s pictured in the original post.

But I confused his surname with Hideki Moronuki, director of the Far Seas Fishery Division of Japan’s Fisheries Agency, who’s pictured here courtesy of a photo by Boyd Harnell.

Completely different people.

But hey, they’re both in favour of whaling and all look the same, right?

Thanks to credible Japan-based journalist David McNeill for politely pointing out the difference.

My new hero: Hideki Moronuki

[Update 15 July 2010: There is identity confusion in this post. See my update.]

Photograph of Hideki Moronuki

Hideki Moronuki Minoru Morimoto (pictured) is the Japanese Fisheries Agency’s chief of whaling. While I’m reasonably sure I’m not in favour of whaling, and certainly not if people are fibbing about its true purpose, you’ve got to admire his ballsy, direct language.

In a lengthy opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald last Monday, Moronuki Morimoto defends Japan’s “scientific whaling” with the observation that to commercially manage forests, fisheries and other “natural living resources” but not whales makes no sense. He dismisses as a “fallacy” that there must be one commercial activity (whale watching) to the exclusion of the other (whaling).

There are enough whales for both those that want to watch them and those who want to eat them.

I fully respect the right of Australians to oppose whaling for some “cuddly” reasons, but this does not give them the right to coerce others to end a perfectly legal and culturally significant activity that poses no threat to the species concerned.

And on Wednesday, with two of Sea Shepherd‘s unruly wankers aboard his ship, he said the pair would be given an opportunity to try whale meat while aboard the ship.

Hat-tip on that last quote to The Road to Surfdom.