That’s not a calf

Earlier Minke whales caught by Japanese ‘research ship’this morning I read that the Australian government released (graphic) pictures of the Japanese whale hunt in the Antartic seas. I thought this was quite unique: normally, I expect these pictures to come from organizations like Greenpeace (they released images of the hunt a week ago, actually). Then I read that Australia’s new Environmental minister is no one else than Peter Garrett: if you remember the band ‘Midnight Oil’, everything should fall in place (for completion sake, here’s the video of their hit song, ‘Beds are burning’). I assume that the previous Australian (conservative) government was also against the whale hunt, but I’m pretty certain not as public and openly as it did today. Australian papers were outraged about the (shocking) images of the hunt: for example, the Daily Telegraph is encouraging Australians to sign an online petition which they hope to present to Japanese authorities later this month.

So, what do the Japanese think of all this publicity? Well: the Institute for Cetacean Research claims that the Australian government is using emotional propaganda to get their message through: these two whales on that photo, they’re not a mother and her calf:

“The photographs taken by the Oceanic Viking and which major Australian newspapers published today shows two minke whales, but they are not a mother and her calf as claimed by the media. Our research program requires random sampling of the Antarctic population, and therefore there will be a range of sizes.”

Oh. Really.

Sarcasm aside, this reminds me of a game I played a couple of weeks ago: ‘Harpooned (‘Japanese cetacean research simulator’)’. It’s a shoot-em-up game which allows you to pretend that you’re in charge of whale research and use your harpoons to collect scientific data and, as an extra, produce whale burgers too. If you don’t think that whale hunting is mindless yet, maybe this game will change your mind.

Update: Oh yes, and this for the Trekkies among us.

1 The Australian Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts has an excellent website about marine life and endangered whale species..

This entry was posted in We-reflect-news and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.