From: Phil Clapham (phillip.clapham@noaa.gov)
Date: Thu Oct 11 2001 - 08:06:24 EDT


Thanks for the question. this is a coimplex issue, but I'll try to give
you at least brief answers.

> 1. What are the non- government organisations involved in whaling and what
> are their views?
There are many NGOs and their views vary, though all are opposed to
whaling. The largest NGOs are World Widllife Fund, The International
Fund for Animal Welfare, the Humane Society and Greenpeace. Plus lots
of smaller ones such as the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.
Their views vary from complete opposition to any whaling in any form to
a recognition that some compromise may eventually be quietly necessary
on at least minke whale hunts. It's a much broader issue than it
appears because it's tied into several treaties or other international
forums (e.g. the Convention of International Trade In Endangered

> 2. Explain the position of the Australian government on this issue.
Completely opposed. Australia has gone from being one of the leading
whaling nations - they killed thousands of humpback whales in the 50's
and 60's - to one of the leading opponents of commercial whaling.

> 3. What are the causes of whaling?
Not sure what you mean by "causes". Profit is the ultimate motive of
course. Whale meat is an expensive delicacy in Japan and certainly the
primary motive; but many other products come from whales also.

> 4. How could I make a difference in relation to this issue?
Figure out which NGO has a philosophy closest to yours (although that's
not always easy because their published views are sometimes a bit
different from their private line), and support them. The problem now
is that no major action is likely on whaling - Japan has finally figured
out that it can do whatever it wants without fear of significant
sanction; and with Japan being major partners in the anti-terrorist
coalition the Bush administration is presumably not about to beat them
up over the whaling issue.

> Your help is once again greatly appreciated. Thankyou.

The Society for Marine Mammalogy will be holding its 14th Biennial
Conference from 28 November to 3 December 2001, in Vancouver, BC.  Visit
the conference Web site at www.smmconference.org for full details of
this important meeting.

Phillip J. Clapham, Ph.D. Large Whale Biology Program Protected Species Branch Northeast Fisheries Science Center 166 Water Street Woods Hole, MA 02543, U.S.A.

tel. 508 495-2316 fax 508 495-2066 email: phillip.clapham@noaa.gov

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