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Posts Tagged ‘endangered species’

Western Pacific Gray Whale

January 18, 2011 Leave a comment

There are only around 130 of them left. Imagine if there were only 65 members of the opposite sex left in your species. Not a very deep genetic pool. I don’t think this bodes well for the western Pacific gray whale. Good luck friends. Sorry about the fishing nets, oil drilling, all that noise, and oh yeah- the folks from my side of the water that tried to species-cide you.

Dropping Links

July 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Some stuff I want to keep track of, and you might like to peruse, listen to, or watch…

  • NPR : Debate Over Whale Hunt Focuses On Japan – It looks like the whole idea of defending a ridiculous practice just for the principle is losing traction. Aired June 21, 2010.
  • NY Times Magazine: Tuna’s End by Paul Greenberg – Maybe the best summary I’ve seen on the plight of Bluefin, especially in recent times. Covers the CITES failure, the oil spill, and some great visuals that make the animal seem more real, and how they are caught. Published June 21, 2010.
  • On Point (NPR): Killer Whales: Tanks and Tensions with Tom Ashbrook. – A 47-minute radio program exploring whales in captivity, including Tilikum in Orlando.
  • Plants & Animals Denver – www.plantsanimals.org – the vegan advocacy group I help organize. We are currently working on a local Bluefin tuna campaign, and putting on vegan community dinners every month.

CITES trying to save Tuna

March 12, 2010 Leave a comment

NPR reported on the planned proposal to ban the trade of bluefin tuna in this year’s meeting to determine the new CITES treaty (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). Bluefin populations are estimated to be 10-15% of what they once were. Japan has said they will ignore the ban, should it be passed.

Also on the CITES table is a possible one-time legal ivory sale.

Click here for the story

Ban Japan

February 25, 2010 2 comments

Big Fish. AP photo

That’s it. I’ve had it up to here with Japan. And I’m going to do something about it. I have decided to stop buying Japanese products of any sort until their government decides to stop whaling, respect conservationist fishing guidelines, and show some respect to the international community who are getting increasingly fed up with their arrogance.

This may sound misguided and possibly xenophobic, but it seems rational to me. As long as this country’s government decides to openly reject pleas from other countries to stop treating our oceans and seas like their own god-given playground, I will avoid their national products like the plague. Luckily, I’m not into anime and I don’t play video games anymore. But this means I will probably never buy a Toyota again (I currently own a ’94 Corolla), and it has nothing to do with unintended acceleration. No more cell phones made in Japan; luckily Blackberry (Canada), Samsung (Korea), Nokia (Finland), and several others are still game. Let’s see, what else to avoid… Here’s a list:

Nintendo, Honda, Sony, Hitachi, Panasonic, Toshiba, Fujifilm, Mitsubishi, Sanyo, A Bathing Ape, Bridgestone, Canon, Capcom, Isuzu, Kenwood, Kyocera, Konami, Mazda, Nissan, Olympus, Sanrio, Sega, Seiko, Shimano, Square Enix, Subaru, Suzuki, TDK, Toshiba, Yamaha

Some of those might hurt someday, but mostly I think I can easily live without those companies. This also means I may have to give up on a lifelong dream of someday visiting Tokyo, and possibly some things I have not thought about yet. But just like going vegan, this feels right.

I know, these companies have nothing to do with whaling, overfishing, capturing dolphins for captivity or slaughter, or any of that (other than making the fishing equipment perhaps), so why punish them? Hear me out. This is something I can do. I can consciously avoid Japanese products, and be vocal about it, as a way to economically punish a sophisticated modern nation which has repeatedly shown itself to be arrogant and completely disrespectful of non-human life. Every time a new story pops up about Japan accusing Sea Shepherd of endangering their poor “scientist” whalers, or Japan says they will ignore a ban on the Bluefin tuna trade, or Japan says that we Westerners are threatening their culture and way of life, I see how they just do not give a shit. Not only that, it seems they think the rest of the world are a bunch of idiots. If you saw The Cove, you may remember footage of Japan’s delegate to the International Whaling Commission telling the other delegates about how whales are supposedly depleting fish stocks (it couldn’t be humans!), and how they have reduced the “time-to-death” in their “scientific” whaling “research” (according to them). He says these ridiculous things with a straight face to people who understand and oppose whaling. It’s a slap in the face.

So. I don’t feel I am being xenophobic in declaring that I will not buy Japanese products. I feel the Japanese are the villains in all of this. They see their cultural values as being above everybody else’s, and seem willing to stick to those values at the risk of fishing endangered species to extinction, brutally killing as many majestic whales as possible, and pissing off conservationists. Their approach to foreign policy in regards to these matters is basically: “Screw you. I do what I want.”

So, other than going vegan and saying no to Japanese products, what can you do to try to get Japan to take it down a notch? I would recommend:

  • Do not visit Sea World or aquariums that keep dolphins or whales in captivity. Most captive dolphins are caught on the shores of Japan, and by supporting that captivity you would be justifying the horrific dolphin slaughter in Taiji. If you love ocean life, do not support their capture and exploitation. I believe aquariums also perpetuate the widespread delusion that animals are below us, and that we have the right to exploit them however we want.
  • Support the Sea Shepherd Conservationist Society. They are on the front lines of the war against Japanese whaling. Maybe their tactics seem juvenile and ineffective at times, but they are bringing this issue to light, and risking their lives to spare every whale life they can.
  • Put this widget on your Facebook and write a letter. See The Cove. Support filmmaking that exposes those who try to hide.
  • Tell your friends about overfishing and how Bluefin tuna may soon be added to the endangered species list. *Whaa-whaaaa…. Debbie Downer*- I know, but people gotta learn somehow.

This Sounds Familiar

November 21, 2009 Leave a comment

 Consumer campaigns don’t save endangered fish

These stories will become more and more common. The media is waking up. Are you?

From the article:

More than a third of fish caught worldwide is used to feed factory-farmed animals, they said. “Currently, 30 million tonnes of fish (36 percent of world fisheries catch) are ground up each year into fishmeal and oil, mostly to feed farmed fish, chicken and pigs.”

“Decreasing the amount of fish used for the production of animal feed should be a top priority of the sustainable-seafood movement,” said the report. “Pigs and chickens alone consume six and two times the amount of seafood as US and Japanese consumers.”

Just being vegan isn’t enough. That’s why I wrote this letter.

Endangered Sushi

November 21, 2009 Leave a comment

         

You like sushi? You might be eating an endangered species. Why not finish your meal off with a panda-burger?

From the article:

Some genetic detective work by scientists has shown that bluefin tuna, an endangered fish, regularly gets put on the plates of sushi eaters in New York and Colorado.

(I bolded Colorado because that is my home)

Bluefin are three species of large, fast-moving, high-energy tuna that can cover enormous distances in the ocean. All three-northern, southern, and Pacific bluefin tuna-are highly sought by fishermen because a single fish can garner tens of thousands of dollars. But over-fishing has brought populations into sharp decline, and western stocks of northern bluefin tuna are estimated as 10 percent of pre-exploitation numbers, and eastern stocks are following suit because of rampant illegal fishing.

10 percent.