In an announcement that has taken the world by surprise, the Japanese Fisheries Agency has announced that after killing 59 Minke whales they have discovered they eat krill.
The Associated Press reports that the annual expedition off the Japanese port city of Kushiro harvested 59 whales under a research programme authorised by the International Whaling Commission.
The annual research expedition off the Northern Island of Hokkaido is "aimed at studying whales' feeding patterns and their effect on fish stocks".
There are a number of questions I have about this latest research expedition. I am hoping someone can assist me with some answers.
1. The Japanese are considered a smart race of people. So it goes without saying that their scientists must be top notch. So, why did it take them 59 whales before their clever scientists worked out that there was a pattern forming in the stomach contents of the Minke whales they were catching?
2. Why did they need to kill the whales to find out what they ate when every web site I visited after googling Minke Whales told me what they ate? (I admit I gave up when I reached double figures)
3. In this supposedly enlightened age, why - when everyone knows that 'research' programmes are the only way that whaling nations can hunt whales now - doesn't everyone be adult and admit that the catches are commercial whaling and have nothing much to do with science?
4. The hunt caught 36 male and 23 female Minke whales. Does this mean that female Minke whales are smarter than males and better at avoiding the harpoons of the 'scientists'?
5. Why did they stop at 59 whales when the research programme allowed them to take 60? Is it bad karma or something to take the maximum allowed?
6. Why be concerned with the whales' "effect on fish stocks"? Surely we don't have to be a Japanese scientists to conclude that if all these 'research' programmes carry on then, no whales equals minimal effect on fish stocks.
7. If we turn all the whales' into research then won't all the ships go extra slow plowing through all that extra krill that is swimming around in the ocean?
8. Why is International Whaling Commission member - Mongolia - so passionate about whaling? Are we lucky that whales would have become extinct centuries ago if the Mongol hordes went in the other direction, travelled thousands of mile to the sea and took to boats slaughtering the whales?
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