"Why shouldn't they eat whales?"
To all those defending the Japanese's "right" to eat whales (and especially, to those claiming that this is a race issue) I say, please consider this in terms of more than "Japanese vs Non-Japanese humans".
Whales are not the same as "pigs, sheep, cows, goats, ducks, pheasents, and well lots of other animals". Whales take immensely longer to reproduce than any of the above. Their global numbers are also lower (well, maybe not lower than pheasants, I'd have to check that...) and they do not reproduce well in captivity so "proper farming" is not really feasible.
And to those who who, like Tony Barnes, say "If we do get to the real point of extinction, and someone who controls the waters deems it illegal, then yes, they need to stop" - two points. First, no-one controls International Waters. Are you saying that all's fair on the high seas? If so, can I start dumping nuclear waste there tomorrow? After all, no-one controls the waters to tell me otherwise... And second - fin whales are endangered already, and the Japs are hunting them now.
I do, however, agree those who accuse Greanpeace et al. of using blatantly emotive language to get their point across - but have you seen teh Japanese media's take on the situation? Two can play the play-on-their-emotions-not-their-reason game.
And I agree Sea Shepheard are a bunch of nuts who do their cause more harm than good, and that the boarders got exactly what they deserved - and they could well have got a lot worse. I can see the headlines - "a terrible accident while attempting to illegally board another vessel caused the tragic loss of two lives today"...