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.

Sea Shepherd whaling discussion kicks off

Needless to say, since I posted yesterday about the collision between Sea Shepherd’s Ady Gil and Japanese security ship Shonen Maru 2, the hard of thinking have confused me being anti-Sea Shepherd with being pro-whaling. Just to make it abundantly clear, I’ve written a long comment over on my original post.

[Update 11am: Simon Rumble has complained about me turning off comments on this post. Sorry, I should have said that comments are open over at my January 2008 post. I wanted to keep all the comments related to Sea Shepherd in one place.]

Sea Shepherd? Gave my opinion 2 years ago

Self-appointed whale-defender media whores Sea Shepherd always provide great photos of their “direct action”, so it’s no surprise that when their boat Ady Gil was damaged by Japanese security ship Shonan Maru 2 yesterday it looked spectacular.

Sea Shepherd of course claim it was a deliberate attack. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. Thing is though, guys, if you don’t want to be involved in a collision at sea, don’t fucking well deliberately put your boat so close to another.

I won’t say any more about this specific incident today. I have other things to do, and I’ve already written about my opinion of Sea Shepherd two years ago — along with plenty of references to material which points out that things are all much murkier than Sea Shepherd makes out.

If you’d like to comment on this issue, do please do so after reading the material over at my original post. I’m very interested in separating out the emotion-laden rhetoric and the zealotry surrounding whaling from the practical environmental and legal issues, and I think Sea Shepherd are a noisy distraction.

So, I’ll close comments on this post, and you can comment over there.

As an aside, the life and beliefs of Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson make for an interesting read too.

[Update 8 January 2010: To clarify, yes, comments are closed on this post — not to limit the discussion, but to ensure that all comments relating to Sea Shepherd are collected over on my January 2008 post. Sorry if there’s been any confusion.]

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.

Maybe the government knows more than you do

Photograph of Oceanic Viking

The various whinges from the commentariat about the MV Oceanic Viking‘s “late” departure amuse me. One, it shows how shallow their “analysis” is. Two, it shows how poorly Australia’s defences have been managed.

The Oceanic Viking is going to monitor Japanese whaling off Australia. But it hadn’t left port by early January, and the civilian charter aircraft also tasked to this surveillance role hadn’t yet received regulatory approval. Newspapers started saying it’s all talk and no action from the Rudd government.

Perhaps. But there are other possibilities.

Continue reading “Maybe the government knows more than you do”