back to article Japanese sat tech sinks Sea Shepherd anti-whaling activists' hopes

The anti-whaling organization Sea Shepherd Global has said it won't be going after the Japanese fleet of cetacean "research vessels" in their annual pilgrimage to the Southern Pacific – because satellite technology has made the job impossible. For the past 12 years, the group, set up by former Greenpeace activist Paul Watson, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't get it...

    You can buy whale meat in Tokyo, and I'll admit I've tried it. But I don't know why the Japanese go to such extra-ordinary lengths to acquire it. It's not even tasty.

    1. corestore

      Re: I don't get it...

      I tried it in Iceland. Wasn't bad at all; would definitely eat again. Tasted oddly exactly as you might expect - bit like a cow that had lived in the sea!

    2. Rattus Rattus

      Re: I don't get it...

      Apparently it's not even popular, and a very large proportion of the harvest simply ends up being processed into pet food. I think Japan's continued insistence on whaling has more to do with resistance to being told what to do by "the west" than for any genuine desire to continue the industry.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I don't get it...

        Apparently it's not even popular, and a very large proportion of the harvest simply ends up being processed into pet food. I think Japan's continued insistence on whaling has more to do with resistance to being told what to do by "the west" than for any genuine desire to continue the industry.

        Yes, the Japanese whaling industry was basically on its knees and coming to an end, and then the whaling ban came in in 1982. That stoked national pride, tradition, etc. And it's was always seen as a poor man's meat, still is. Why eat whale when you can eat pork or beef?

        Arguably the Sea Shepherd's campaign has delayed the decline of the Japanese whaling industry. Looks good on TV, causes the opposite of the intended effect. Leave them to it and the Japanese government won't then have any reason to support it and economic reality will likely kill it off.

        In other ways the Japanese are actually quite far thinking. They're pretty close to being able to farm Tuna, which will save having to catch them in the wild. They have a way of harvesting caviar that doesn't kill the fish, so that can be sustainable instead of wastefully destructive. They developed pearl farming, which ironically has made pearls not very valuable but has meant that oysters are no longer over fished and discarded.

        As for the technology being used; AIS? ESM (C and R)? A submarine tailing a ship? There's many ways of finding out where ships are that don't necessarily require satellites. Satellite coverage is either expensive or patchy or taken from 36,000km.

        1. gandalfcn

          Re: I don't get it...

          "Arguably the Sea Shepherd's campaign has delayed the decline of the Japanese whaling industry" Arguably it hasn't.

          "There's many ways of finding out where ships are that don't necessarily require satellites" Such as?

          Anyway, satellite AIS is now quite cheap and widely used by merchant vessels. No military needed.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I don't get it...

            "Anyway, satellite AIS is now quite cheap and widely used by merchant vessels. No military needed"

            Or one of the Sea Shepherd crew has the "where's my shiny " app switched on

            I would be more inclined to support these people if they were not trying to justify their terrorist style tactics as "legal means" to stop the whaling, like someone said, the indusry would have died a natural death if they didnt highlight it and similar to the national outrage in the UK when the EU they were going to outlaw Lb's and Oz weights, we had been using imperial and metric together for years, but threaten our beloved measures?

          2. Yes Me Silver badge

            AIS

            > satellite AIS is now quite cheap and widely used by merchant vessels

            Actually many of them switch off the public access to it when in waters at risk from pirates. No doubt the Japanese whalers switch it off when in waters at risk from Sea Shepherd, and vice versa. So I see no reason to doubt what Sea Shepherd says: that the Japanese are using military technology instead.

        2. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: Re: I don't get it...

          This was my thinking. They're bleating about "military satellite spy technology!!11!" essentially because they're being unsuccessful and can't figure out why.

          I'd have thought any competent sailor would have immediately thought of AIS, though I don't know what flag of convenience Sea Shepherd's flotilla is registered under or what its rules are on keeping ADS-B turned on. Even then, if you're trying to stay out of visual range, civilian maritime radars are plenty good enough to keep you over the horizon. Or, for that matter, a straightforward radar receiver to detect another ship's emissions long before you're in radar return range.

          1. gandalfcn

            Re: I don't get it...

            Do you know what ADS-B is? Do you know the difference between ships and aircraft?

            wrt AIS. Ships fitted with AIS must keep AIS in operation at all times, except where international agreements, rules or standards provide for the protection of navigational information. OK?

            "a straightforward radar receiver to detect another ship's emissions long before you're in radar return range." Please explain

            1. SkippyBing Silver badge

              Re: I don't get it...

              'wrt AIS. Ships fitted with AIS must keep AIS in operation at all times, except where international agreements, rules or standards provide for the protection of navigational information. OK?'

              It would be a shame if the circuit breaker popped and you didn't notice though right? Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men, which are Sea Shepard?

              1. gandalfcn

                Re: I don't get it...

                "It would be a shame if the circuit breaker popped and you didn't notice though right?"

                Wrong. You don't know much about AIS do you? Or shipboard electrics

                "Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men" So you think SOLAS etc. are for the obedience of fools? The opposite is true. SOLAS is to combat the actions of fools. or don't you know anything about SOLAS and the sad history of safety at sea?

                "which are Sea Shepard?" I suggest you are an idiot for even contemplating that post in the context you made it.

                Fools rush in springs to mind.

                1. DaLo

                  @gandalfcn

                  You seem like you could bring some useful information to the thread but being so aggressive in tone just makes you out to be a tetchy idiot.

                  Calm down, it's just an IT forum.

                  1. gandalfcn

                    Re: @gandalfcn

                    Fairy Nuff. but when people make inane comments it does tend to annoy.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: @gandalfcn

                      > when people make inane comments it does tend to annoy.

                      Yes it does, I was starting to think you would never get the hint from all those downvotes.

                2. SkippyBing Silver badge

                  Re: I don't get it...

                  'Wrong. You don't know much about AIS do you? Or shipboard electrics'

                  I know most things have an on/off switch, even if you have to disconnect them from a supply bus to do it.

                  'So you think SOLAS etc. are for the obedience of fools?'

                  Yes, or do you think they should be ignoring it?

                  My point remains, if you're trying to sneak up on a whaling fleet at sea you may want to take a greater risk in order to achieve your aim. Turning off AIS increases your collision risk, marginally in the areas of ocean they're likely to be hunting whales, but greatly increases your ability to sneak up on them. So it's a question of what risk are you willing to take to achieve your aim, personally I would have thought it a risk worth taking, while looking for what other mitigations I could put in place, such as extra lookouts etc.

                  1. gandalfcn

                    Re: I don't get it...

                    "'So you think SOLAS etc. are for the obedience of fools?'" Wrong.

                    The point yo now make is not what you were saying.

                    It is however a very sensible point. You should have made it earlier.

                    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

                      Re: I don't get it...

                      'It is however a very sensible point. You should have made it earlier.'

                      It's exactly the same point. I just laboured it more.

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: I don't get it...

                    > Turning off AIS increases your collision risk, marginally in the areas of ocean they're likely to be hunting whales, but greatly increases your ability to sneak up on them.

                    Alternatively you can send a minimal set of messages, excluding ship ident and other stuff, although unless you fake your MMSI I would imagine it would not take long for the rest of the world to google you up, assuming they don't already have a post-in on the bridge with your MMSIs on it.

                    It may also be that AIS is not mandatory on their boats. I have no idea what they use or what the current rules are.

                3. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: I don't get it...

                  > Wrong. You don't know much about AIS do you? Or shipboard electrics

                  I would tend to think he rather does (and so I used to, though it's been a while now).

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: I don't get it...

                > Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men, which are Sea Shepard?

                Brilliant and rather greedy marketers, and mediocre seamen (though you probably already knew that).

            2. SkippyBing Silver badge

              Re: I don't get it...

              '"a straightforward radar receiver to detect another ship's emissions long before you're in radar return range." Please explain'

              All things being equal you can detect a transmitted radar signal over twice as far away as the transmitting antenna will get a usable return. I mean you seem to know a lot about maritime electronics so I would have thought that was obvious...

              1. gandalfcn

                Re: I don't get it...

                "All things being equal you can detect a transmitted radar signal over twice as far away as the transmitting antenna will get a usable return."

                It would therefore appear the military have wasted rather a lot of money on developing radar warning receivers.

                1. WolfFan Silver badge

                  Re: I don't get it...

                  "All things being equal you can detect a transmitted radar signal over twice as far away as the transmitting antenna will get a usable return."

                  It would therefore appear the military have wasted rather a lot of money on developing radar warning receivers.

                  Errr... no. Radar works by sending a signal to the target. The signal bounces back and is received by the radar set. If the target has a receiver, on the right frequency, and as good as the receiver on the ship sending the signal, and the radio signal is of a type which can be picked up over the horizon (many can't) then yes, the target can pick up a signal at twice the range of the radar set. If the radio signal tends to bounce around due to atmospheric or other conditions, then the signal can be picked up at quite a long way, much further than twice the range, if the target is in the correct convergence zone https://books.google.com/books?id=bs-9BwAAQBAJ&pg=PA89&lpg=PA89&dq=radar+convergence+zone&source=bl&ots=8F67rWAWWq&sig=Mqi__ja-zRx-YTW9BL-1MG1JIoA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwijjJT0i__VAhXGJCYKHQWtD3kQ6AEISzAG#v=onepage&q=radar%20convergence%20zone&f=false

                  I'm afraid that the OP was perfectly correct: you can pick up radar signals at better than twice the range that the senders can see you.

                  This is old tech; during the Second World War, the RAF developed the Monica tail-warning system for its night bombers. The Luftwaffe responded with the FuG 227, which detected Monica at long range, and used the RAF's own systems to home in. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monica_(radar)

                  Modern military radar warning receivers use exactly this principle: they pick up inbound radar signals, just like the FuG 227, at a range beyond which the radar system can track whatever is carrying the radar warning system. And it's not even military tech, as nice civilian radar detectors, as fitted to cars around the world, including mine, use the same principle. (Note: this doesn't work with lasers. Some car and some military systems detect inbound lidar and sounds a warning. In cars, this is to tell you that you're about to get a ticket. http://l7.alamy.com/zooms/4f9fd9d85c1d484aabf8eda06a46cecb/traffic-police-officer-using-speed-trap-laser-gun-united-kingdom-cechjd.jpg In military systems, this is to tell you that a supersonic missile is on the way. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGM-114_Hellfire)

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: I don't get it...

                    > In cars, this is to tell you that you're about to get a ticket.

                    Why not just slow down then? I never understood people's obsession with speeding (and I drove my own car at 270 kph, once, but on a private track). Only ever got a speeding ticket once, doing 62 kph (39 mph) on a 50 kph zone, which was my mistake.

                2. SkippyBing Silver badge

                  Re: I don't get it...

                  '"All things being equal you can detect a transmitted radar signal over twice as far away as the transmitting antenna will get a usable return."

                  It would therefore appear the military have wasted rather a lot of money on developing radar warning receivers.'

                  That's literally what the military ones do.

                  1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                    Re: I don't get it...

                    "That's literally what the military ones do."

                    Or for a more prosaic example, it's what radar detectors do and why they can sound a warning at a useful distance from the speed trap.

              2. Yes Me Silver badge

                Re: I don't get it...

                > you can detect a transmitted radar signal over twice as far away as the transmitting antenna will get a usable return.

                I think that the inverse square law applies, so it's going to be a lot more than twice as far in fact. But it seems irrelevant since this will help equally well or badly for both sides. I have no doubt that Sea Shepherd know more about this than the commentards here assembled, myself included.

                1. SkippyBing Silver badge

                  Re: I don't get it...

                  'But it seems irrelevant since this will help equally well or badly for both sides.'

                  The trick is for the the platform using the radar warning receiver to turn its own radar off and passively track the other one*. You could then just follow the bearing until you saw the other vessels, although obviously they'll get a return at some point.

                  *Yes this does break a few rules about using your navigation radar, again there's a risk/reward pay-off to consider.

            3. Yes Me Silver badge

              AIS

              > Ships fitted with AIS must keep AIS in operation at all times

              Sure, but they are free to switch off public access to their position at any time.

            4. gazthejourno

              Re: I don't get it...

              I write about both floaty things and flying things. Sometimes I get the "oi, world, I'm here, don't crash into me" system names mixed up, as I once did while at a Royal Aeronautical Society event - they couldn't figure out why someone would put an automated Aerodrome Information Service broadcast system on a drone, but were polite enough not to press the point. You know (and clearly understood) what I meant.

              As for questioning radar warning receivers, you are aware that the principles of operation of RWR systems are precisely those that I mention in abstract and SkippyBing explains in detail, aren't you?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I don't get it...

            > I'd have thought any competent sailor would have immediately thought of AIS,

            They may not have it, or not switch it on, or send only basic info (position, course, speed, and the vessel's "licence plate").

            > though I don't know what flag of convenience Sea Shepherd's flotilla is registered under or what its rules are on keeping ADS-B turned on.

            ADS is an airborne system, thought loosely inspired by AIS. The rules are set, IIRC, by the IMO so do not depend on which register you're on.

            > Even then, if you're trying to stay out of visual range, civilian maritime radars are plenty good enough to keep you over the horizon.

            More to the point, marine radars work out the targets' velocity vectors and (if fed with your own vector from a GPS) calculate and display something called the CPA (closest point of approach). They get all whingy if the CPA goes below a certain threshold, and it tends to be pretty fucking obvious when someone is actively aiming at you because a) they will ignore your calls and signals and b) the CPA will stay close to zero even as you take evasive action, unless your vessel is faster than the attacker.

            > Or, for that matter, a straightforward radar receiver to detect another ship's emissions long before you're in radar return range.

            That doesn't tell you much apart from the fact that there is another vessel somewhere out there, which of course there will be (the ocean is far from being a lonely place), and a general direction.

        3. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: I don't get it...

          "As for the technology being used; AIS? ESM (C and R)? A submarine tailing a ship? "

          Sea Shepherd claim to have evidence of Japanese whaling in Australian economic zone waters where whaling is banned. One of their complaints is that the Australians won't send out observation aircraft to verify - remember that a P8 has more than enough range to do this and they're supposed to be patrolling the areas anyway.

    3. cdilla

      Re: I don't get it...

      After WWII there were food shortages and whale meat was one solution (as was imported US wheat) which changed Japanese tastes. As a result it, and bread and wheat noodles, were widely used in state school dinners. That means there is nostalgia value for many Japanse of that generation. Demand would probably fall off naturally were it not for the other factor, mentioned elsewhere, of no-one liking to be told what they can and can't do.

    4. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: I don't get it...

      > I don't know why the Japanese go to such extra-ordinary lengths to acquire it.

      "Tradition" and "we're not going to be told what to do by bloody foreigners"

      Never mind that widespread eating of whale meat only dates from the immediate post-ww2 era when there wasn't much else to eat (UK consumers were having whale meat foisted on them at the same time and had similar distaste for it)

      > It's not even tasty.

      Younger japanese refuse to eat it. Japanese authorities have been trying to push different ways of making it acceptable for a few decades but it's made little impact on consumer resistance.

      This is about governmental bloodymindedness, not about consumer desires.

  2. corestore

    De gustibus non est disputandum

    Not sure why some people obsess over the diets of others. I'd sooner eat wild caught sustainably hunted *anything* than most 'products' of modern intensive farming. And it *does* appear that whale hunting at current levels of currently hunted species is sustainable.

    I probably won't win many friends with this comment but it is what it is!

    1. Haku

      Re: De gustibus non est disputandum

      I don't think it's necessarily the diet they're concerned about, moreover they're concerned about what'll happen if the whale population number is detrimentally reduced or becomes extinct and what effect that'll have to the food chain in the ocean.

    2. Eric Olson

      Re: De gustibus non est disputandum

      Beginning to think it's more of an issue to go after intelligent, even sentient species for food and/or sport. It's a grey area for sure, but cetaceans in general seem no-go.

      And to be fair, the appetite for (some) seafood is driving other species to the brink of extinction, such a blue tuna. The tragedy of the commons and all that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: De gustibus non est disputandum

        "Beginning to think it's more of an issue to go after intelligent, even sentient species"

        Not this whale! He lost all his money playing scratch off lottery tickets!

        1. PNGuinn
          Childcatcher

          Re: De gustibus non est disputandum

          "Beginning to think it's more of an issue to go after intelligent, even sentient species"

          Won't anyone think of the petunias?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: De gustibus non est disputandum

      Not sure why some people obsess over the diets of others. I'd sooner eat wild caught sustainably hunted *anything* than most 'products' of modern intensive farming

      With 6billion+ people on the planet, we'd starve if we relied on wild caught / harvested everything. All farming is "intensive", every farmer throughout history has used every trick they know to maximise their harvest. We just know more tricks these days.

      For a fixed population size, more "intensive" farming reduces the amount of land required for food production. Unfortunately as a species we're not very good at population growth control... Population size tends to stagnate only when economic and food security has been established. Japan (declining birth rate), Singapore (declining birth rate), etc. The European birth rate isn't that great...

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Re: De gustibus non est disputandum

        "For a fixed population size, more "intensive" farming reduces the amount of land required for food production."

        Spot on. World population is around 7bn and expected to peak at 9bn. It is estimated that if farmers around the world had continued with traditional farming methods rather than modern, intensive ones, we would have needed an area the size of the Amazon forest in extra farmland to feed the world 'organically'. In the next 20-30 years the world will not only have to feed 2bn more people, but to feed much better the 3bn or so of the current 7bn who are undernourished.

        The tragedy is that there are many GMO strains that increase yields, increase nutritional content, are pest-resistant (so less pesticides are needed) and fix their own nitrogen (so less fertilizer is needed). Unfortunately GMO got a bad rap* and is generally banned or highly disapproved of in many areas, which is a pity. 'Good' GMOs would allow feeding the world with increased population without increasing farmland. In other words, GMOs can be good for the environment... but try explaining that to some environmentalists!!

        * Mainly from the Monsanto GMOs that were pesticide-resistant (rather than pest-resistant), so they got sprayed more rather than less (and with Roundup = glyphosate which was thought to be less harmful when introduced but now is classified as 'probable carcinogen by WHO). I think a lot of anti-GMO feeling come from Monsanto's business practices rather than teh product itself.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. PTW

            Re: Glyphosate and Monsanto

            Nothing to do with the lies that it's only active for 2-3 days after spraying, rather than the fact it can remain active for up to 30 years in real life?

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: De gustibus non est disputandum

            The WHO said Glyphosate is safe. Monsanto said "Roundup contains Glyphosate therefore Roundup is safe". But Roundup contains a lot more than just Glyphosate and nobody said Roundup is safe, especially in the 10x-100x doses allowed by GMO Roundup tolerant versions.

            It's like saying Agent Orange is safe, it is perfectly safe and was used here in Canada into the 1980s. The batches (coincidentally made by Monsanto) for use in Vietname which had very high levels of dioxin contamination on the other hand....

            1. PTW

              Re: De gustibus non est disputandum

              OK my error, I was talking about Roundup rather than simply glyphosate.

              Real point is Monsanto are CNUTS of the highest order, and the red mist descended that anyone would try to defend them. You know, that company that sues small farmers into oblivion because Monsanto GMOs drift uninvited onto their land. :rage:

    4. jmch Silver badge

      Re: De gustibus non est disputandum

      "Not sure why some people obsess over the diets of others..."

      The point isn't (just) the sustainability, it's the fact that you're hunting highly intelligent creatures pretty much for sport, since I doubt the meat would be missed if no more was ever caught. It's basically like hunting elephants

      1. PNGuinn
        Coffee/keyboard

        It's basically like hunting elephants

        Underwater?

    5. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: De gustibus non est disputandum

      Depends what you mean by sustainable..

      Whale numbers (across majority of species, for some species not enough data to know) are a tiny fraction of what they were centuries ago (as far as best estimates go, ironically lots of the information comes from records of whaling vessels).

      So, given that the whale population is much, much less than it should be then many people would disagree with any concept of sustainable hunting.

  3. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Pirate

    a matter of pride?

    perhaps it's just a matter of pride, NOT being told what to do by a bunch of eco-terrorists. Essentially.

    I've seen the 'whale wars' show, and although it was interesting at first [with the presumption that the whaling was being done against international treaties or something] I think that it's in such small quantity now, and not EVEN close to endangering the species, that most people should just ignore it... and maybe that's their point?

    If the whale species really DO become endangered, as bluefin tuna is close to becoming, they'll need to modify their quotas again. Otherwise, why not let them do what they want?

    pirate icon because a pirate lives by his OWN rules

    1. corestore

      Re: a matter of pride?

      Big DING there. Nail, head, BANG.

      A large part of the reason Japan is so determined to continue whaling is - IMHO - precisely because most people are pushing them so hard to stop! No-one likes being told what not to eat! Especially not in such a bullying judgmental way. Ignore them, leave them alone, and they'll probably give it a rest within a few years. Keep pushing them and they'll only get more stubborn.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Joke

        Re: a matter of pride?

        I believe it may be crypto-veganism that's driving the anti-whalers, now that the whales are no longer endangered. If they are allowed to get their way outlawing whale meat, they won't stop with whales. Our whole carnivorous lifestyle could be at risk!

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: Our whole carnivorous lifestyle could be at risk!

          You're a carnivore? Really? You don't eat any plant matter and manage to survive purely off the flesh of animals? No Chilli? No Chocolate? Sounds fun......

      2. Drew 11

        Re: a matter of pride?

        Japan is full of Donald Trump's?

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: a matter of pride?

      The thing is, the Japanese quota is only "sustainable" because they're the only country doing it at a significant scale. If a couple of dozen other countries took up whaling on a proportionally similar scale, most whale species would be all but extinct before you know it.

      So they're kinda freeloading off everyone else's restraint. They're like the anti-vaxxer parent who relies on the herd immunity of everyone else's kids. Or the tax dodger, or the guy who parks in the disabled space, or the one who picks flowers from the beds in the public park, or... you get the picture. It's just - antisocial, on an international scale.

      1. MondoMan

        Re: a matter of pride?

        @veti

        Your analogies are flawed.

        You might as well worry about Scotland's caber toss being "...only "sustainable" because they're the only country doing it at a significant scale." If other countries took it up at similar scale, whole forests would have to be mown down.

        Better analogies are the descendants of traditional whaling-based societies continuing their traditions, or people collecting mushrooms on public lands (e.g. national forests).

        1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

          Re: a matter of pride?

          I think you'll actually find that it is your response that is flawed by conveniently(?) missing out a few obvious points of consideration.

      2. jmch Silver badge

        Re: a matter of pride?

        Bit off topic, but I've always been a bit perplexed by this:

        "like the anti-vaxxer parent who relies on the herd immunity of everyone else's kids"

        Why do people who vaccinate their kids care about people who don't? If my kids are vaccinated and I believe the vaccination works, then surely it doesn't matter how many kids are unvaccinated. My kids would still be protected even if they are the only ones vaccinated and everyone else isn't.

        The tax dodger, able guy in disabled parking space etc are taking stuff away from others to which they are not entitled. It's been repeatedly shown that vaccinated people can be carriers, so unvaccinated people aren't harming anyone else.

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: a matter of pride?

          Bit off topic, but I've always been a bit perplexed by this:

          "like the anti-vaxxer parent who relies on the herd immunity of everyone else's kids"

          Why do people who vaccinate their kids care about people who don't? If my kids are vaccinated and I believe the vaccination works, then surely it doesn't matter how many kids are unvaccinated. My kids would still be protected even if they are the only ones vaccinated and everyone else isn't.

          Because there are people who have conditions that do not allow them to be vaccinated, some of these conditions are often to do with already compromised immunity. Or maybe due to something else that causes a suppression of immunity. Those people are relying on herd immunity to keep their kids or themselves alive, and so the anti vaccine lot who are happily allowing things like measles and whooping cough to flourish thinking they are minor diseases anyway (waiting to see when polios downgraded) when they are not, are basically plague rabbits for them. Also not all vaccines are 100% certain AFAIK.

          1. jmch Silver badge

            Re: a matter of pride?

            "Because there are people who have conditions that do not allow them to be vaccinated..."

            Yes, I understand that, but as I said, it's been demonstrated that vaccinated people can act as carriers just as much as unvaccinated people. For example:

            https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/6/5/00-0512_article

            My kids are vaccinated, but I completely disagree with what is basically forced vaccination in some countries or states (eg California) with the excuse of "it's protecting everyone else", when that is not so clear-cut.

            "Those people are relying on herd immunity to keep their kids or themselves alive..."

            Bit of a push. Thanks to improved hygiene and modern medicine, death rates from measles, whooping cough etc were already close to nil in the 1950s before widespread vaccinations.

            "allowing things like measles and whooping cough to flourish thinking they are minor diseases..."

            It is certain that these are not minor diseases, but let's not over-exaggerate their danger either. This isn't ebola we're talking about. When I was young we weren't routinely given a measles vaccination. I caught it in my early teens, was home for a few days and was back on my feet without a problem. Most of my peers had it at one point or another and we just enjoyed the days out of school, got ourselves teh immunity and that was that.

            1. Tom 38 Silver badge
              Stop

              Re: a matter of pride?

              My kids are vaccinated, but I completely disagree with what is basically forced vaccination in some countries or states (eg California) with the excuse of "it's protecting everyone else", when that is not so clear-cut.

              ...

              When I was young we weren't routinely given a measles vaccination. I caught it in my early teens, was home for a few days and was back on my feet without a problem. Most of my peers had it at one point or another and we just enjoyed the days out of school, got ourselves teh immunity and that was that.

              This is why forced vaccination is required; even seemingly intelligent people have stupid reactions to things which are not in their area of expertise. Measles is an horrific disease which we have fought and beaten, solely due to vaccination - there is no cure for measles, and approximately 1 in 10,000 infections leads to a usually fatal form of the infection. Because of its extreme virulence, you need >95% of the population to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity.

              In the modern world, particularly the Americas, we'd managed to basically eradicate measles. In 1990, there were 218,000 cases in the Americas. This reduced to 1,700 in 2000, and only 66 cases in 2005. However, due to vaccination rates in newborns falling below 95%, in 2014 there were almost 20,000 cases. In 2015 globally there were over 134,000 measles deaths, with vaccinations preventing another estimated million deaths. Prior to vaccinations being introduced, it is estimated that 7-8 million children died from measles each year.

              In 2014, there was an outbreak in the US traced to Disney theme parks in California, infecting 258 people. Of those people, 48% were not vaccinated, and 38% did not know if they were vaccinated.

              Don't be a dick, get your kids vaccinated.

              1. jmch Silver badge

                Re: a matter of pride?

                "Don't be a dick, get your kids vaccinated."

                "My kids are vaccinated"

                "This is why forced vaccination is required"

                However bad measles, or any other disease is, there is something extremely disturbing about that sentence. As I think should be clear from my posts I am not against vaccinations. But injecting someone with a substance that they do not want to be injected with is assault. If it's done by the government, that's still assault. And just because there are understandable societal reasons for vaccination does not make forced vaccinations any more palatable.

                1. Tom 38 Silver badge

                  Re: a matter of pride?

                  But injecting someone with a substance that they do not want to be injected with is assault. If it's done by the government, that's still assault.

                  This is really not that tricky a concept; in society, it is a dick move to endanger other people. Not vaccinating your spawn endangers other people. Don't be a dick.

                  1. Triggerfish

                    Re: a matter of pride? @JMCH

                    Yes, I understand that, but as I said, it's been demonstrated that vaccinated people can act as carriers just as much as unvaccinated people. For example:

                    Ah yes but some is considerably less than all.

                    "Those people are relying on herd immunity to keep their kids or themselves alive..."

                    Bit of a push. Thanks to improved hygiene and modern medicine, death rates from measles, whooping cough etc were already close to nil in the 1950s before widespread vaccinations.

                    "allowing things like measles and whooping cough to flourish thinking they are minor diseases..."

                    It is certain that these are not minor diseases, but let's not over-exaggerate their danger either. This isn't ebola we're talking about. When I was young we weren't routinely given a measles vaccination. I caught it in my early teens, was home for a few days and was back on my feet without a problem. Most of my peers had it at one point or another and we just enjoyed the days out of school, got ourselves teh immunity and that was that.

                    1. People with suppressed immune systems don’t tend to get the minor touch from diseases, it hits them full on, there was recently a viral post about a girl who after a kidney transplant got whooping cough, that was full on intensive care and almost dying.

                    2. They are both dangerous enough and they have been downgraded a lot due to modern medicine fair enough, however the argument these diseases are lesser now due to modern medicine and practices would to me be a good argument for using modern practices like vaccinations to prevent them. Also that’s a certain casualness about something that could change / adapt over time if allowed to flourish, this is why I made the slight dig about polio, people start going well measles only caused a few deaths and a little blindness it can’t be that bad, when it used to be a big enough killer.

                    Also if someone doesn't vaccinate their little darling and then they cause some other kid to get ill is that not assault also? You deliberately allowed your child to carry a preventable disease with no care of the consequences of what happens to some other poor sod who can't fight it. Seems pretty heinous to me.

            2. patrickstar

              Re: a matter of pride?

              A single study about a single vaccine does not prove your point for vaccines in general in any way.

              Regarding forced vaccinations - this should probably be solved at a contractual level. If you want your kids to go to school, having them vaccinated would be part of the contractual obligations to enroll them.

        2. patrickstar

          Re: a matter of pride?

          Vaccines are often not 100% effective, so yes, your vaccinated kid can end up infected by the unvaccinated neighbor. Plus many vaccines aren't effective for all eternity but need to be renewed, which may or may not take place, etc.

          That's why you have the whole concept of herd immunity - once the vaccination level in a population reaches a certain threshold, it doesn't matter that the protection isn't 100% protected because a disease won't be able to spread through it.

        3. Adam 1 Silver badge

          Re: a matter of pride?

          > Why do people who vaccinate their kids care about people who don't?

          1. Vaccines work really well to boost your kids'immune systems to fight of some pretty horrible diseases. Really well, but not 100%. You can be vaccinated against say whooping cough but still catch it. Your odds of catching it are much much lower but not zero.

          So...

          2. Herd immunity means that if less your 'herd' is carrying the virus then you are even less likely to catch it, so that's nice.

          3. A very small percentage of the population cannot be immunised. Consider cancer sufferers on medications that suppress the immune system. Also newborns under 6 weeks fall into this category. Their only protection really is herd immunity (newborns might get something via breast milk but it isn't enough). Some people may also be allergic to some ingredients used in the vaccine or as stabilisers or as preservatives, so take them away as well.

          4. Treating the disease is massively expensive. Doctors, medications and hospital beds are a financial burden on society and it is frustrating when the majority of cases were cheaply avoidable.

          5. Many of these diseases cause long term disability in the survivors and society must pick up the tab on that too. Think polio and even things like rubella can easily kill an unborn child or otherwise cause deafness and heart issues if contacted by a pregnant woman (see point 3, you can't get vaccinated whilst you are pregnant)

          6. If you choose to not vaccinate and heaven forbid find yourself watching your child struggle for breath plugged into a million machines or worse, you will have to live with your decisions.

        4. verno

          Re: a matter of pride?

          Apart from the argument that they're harming their own children (I'm going to leave that one alone) some people can't be vaccinated due to other medical conditions, if you've got a swathe of the population that is not vaccinated either then that child is more likely to pick up the disease from another non-vaccinated child.

          Matt

        5. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: a matter of pride?

          @jmch

          What triggerfish just said. Not all people CAN get vaccinated due to various reasons. Not vaccinating has allowed diseases like measles or pertussis that would otherwise have been extremely rare or even extinct to make a comeback and become much more common than they should be, proving dangerous to people who are often already compromised to begin with. Especially the recent pertussis outbreaks can be blamed solely on parents not vaccinating their children when the could have. And many children had at best a miserable time because of it, some might have incurred permanent damage.

        6. This post has been deleted by its author

        7. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: a matter of pride?

          > Why do people who vaccinate their kids care about people who don't?

          Because kinds younger than N age can't be vaccinated and are therefore at greater risk.

          I had measles (both types) as a baby thanks to an asshole antivaxxer and spent quite a while in hospital as a result. Some aftereffects are still there 50 years later.

          There are also the immunocompromised to consider and those on whom vaccination doesn't "take" for whatever reason (it took three attempts before my Hep A vaccinations worked).

    3. Triggerfish

      Re: a matter of pride?

      If the whale species really DO become endangered, as bluefin tuna is close to becoming

      I am not sure what species of whale are being hunted but I believe* some species are still near enough to endangered that it shouldn't be done with those species.

      Bluefin is definitely endangered it's one of the reasons they bring such high price, the rarer it becomes the more valuable it is, and they stock up on it for that reason. Taking out a keystone species for the cachet of saying you ate something rare is not the most laudable practice....but then again Nobu restaurants in London didn't give a crap either.

      *As in what I remember may be out of date

  4. The Axe

    Environmentalists acting as pirates

    Sea Shepard is basically a pirate ship.

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Environmentalists acting as pirates

      Those that want to can read up on the history of Sea Shepherd here:

      http://m.greenpeace.org/international/en/high/about/history/paul-watson/

      If you get all your information from this article (and other Reg articles on the subject) then you'll be somewhat misinformed.

      1. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: Environmentalists acting as pirates

        If you get all your information from this article (and other Reg articles on the subject) then you'll be somewhat misinformed.

        The same if you get your information from Greenpeace!

        About Sea Shepherd, fighting evil with evil is always a bad idea.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: The same if you get your information from Greenpeace!

          You missed the "all" out. You're replying to a post about getting ALL your information from the anti-greenpeace side.

  5. tiggity Silver badge

    Get Kim on it

    The Sea Shepherd folk need to have a word with mad NORK Kim, get him to track the Japanese whalers and use their coordinates as target for another test missile firing.

    NB This post not to be taken with any degree of seriousness!

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. ukgnome Silver badge
    Trollface

    Fake News

    If I were an ocean going hippy fleet then this is the sort of press release I would issue. I mean look at the way the press has picked it up.

  8. davenewman

    Sea Shepherd submarine

    Sea Shepherd should buy a submarine to shadow the whaling boats. Disguise it as a whale.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Pirate

      Re: Sea Shepherd submarine

      Or build drone-whales and fill them with TNT. Then use their ships to drive the whaling fleet away from them, and herd them towards the area already seeded with the exploding drone-whales.

      it's just possible that this plan may be slightly illegal though. Not to mention the dubious morality and vast expense.

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge

        Re: Sea Shepherd submarine

        Explosives ? No, shit ? Yes ... fill drone whales with Korean sewage and a device that opens the bowels when out of water ... something like that ... they'll soon give up when they have to clean the deck every day ;-)

        1. PNGuinn
          Holmes

          Re: Sea Shepherd submarine @ Hans 1

          Er - is there something 'specially 'orrid about specifically Korean sewage?

          Enquiring minds etc ...

          1. Adam 52 Silver badge

            Re: Sea Shepherd submarine @ Hans 1

            The majority of Japanese hold anti-Korean views. It would be considered more offensive than generic sewage.

  9. abubasim
    Trollface

    Brainstorming

    Combine these two from separate posters and you have the solution:

    - "Beginning to think it's more of an issue to go after intelligent, even sentient species for food and/or sport."

    - "Unfortunately as a species we're not very good at population growth control..."

  10. Hans 1 Silver badge

    Hunting whales and dolphins is like hunting Tigers and Elephants ... Japanese authorities are being dicks, here, and need mental help.

    1. TigerWhaleHunter

      Japanese sat tech sinks Sea Shepherd anti-whaling activists' hopes

      "Hunting whales and dolphins is like hunting Tigers and Elephants ... Japanese authorities are being dicks, here, and need mental help."

      Ahh yes...many a time I've spent hunting whales and dolphins in the ocean and considered how similar it is to stalking tigers and elephants in India.

  11. DougS Silver badge

    They should pay those Somolian pirates to stop the whalers

    That would keep the pirates from messing with other ships, and they'd probably do a much better job of harassing the Japanese whalers.

  12. JJKing Bronze badge
    Devil

    Two faced japanese whale murders.

    Read an article about two years ago that stated there was 7,000 tonnes of Japanese research stored in refrigerated warehouses because the japanese public weren't buying it (just like the rest of the world; scientific research, PAH! )

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Devil

      Re: Two faced japanese whale murders.

      They're scientifically researching just exactly how tasty whale is.

      So far the results are, "not very". But no good scientist reaches their conclusion too quickly. So the correct answer is, "more research needed".

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    two solutions in one

    I expect you could get the whaling to stop completely if you could convince the ISIS-types and the rest of their ilk that whaling was "an offense to Allah". The terrorists would be off in the Antartic freezing their butts off and drowning after suicidally ramming whaling ships rather that terrorizing our shores. Eventually the whaling would die off as too dangerous and unprofitable.

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