Subject: IWC: Japan and Norway `Defying Whal (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Thu, 23 Oct 1997 15:27:28 -0400 (EDT)

Date: Thu, 23 Oct 97 02:49:00 GMT 
Subject: Japan and Norway `Defying Whal

Japan and Norway `Defying Whale Killing Ban' - Greenpeace

  By Amanda Brown, Environment Correspondent, PA News
   Greenpeace tonight claimed that Japan and Norway have killed more
than 1,000 whales this year, despite a worldwide ban on commercial
   The group warned that the death rate of Minke whales and other
endangered species would continue -- as Prince Rainier opened
international talks on the future of the species in Monaco.
   Greenpeace whale campaigner John Frizell said: "The figures show
they are increasing their take from year to year, tripling since the
start of the decade. This meeting must take action to stop them."
   The 43 nation International Whaling Commission meeting has already
sparked fury among animal welfare campaigners, trying to halt the
cruel killing methods of whaling ships.
   A row looms this week over an Irish proposal to allow Japan and
Norway to carry out limited coastal whaling, in return for halting its
"scientific" whale quotas andestablishing a global whale sanctuary.
   Critics say Japan and Norway continue to hunt whales under the
guise of "scientific" catches, merely to meet demand for whale meat in
expensive restaurants.
   Britain has deep misgivings about the Irish plan and Agriculture
Minister Elliot Morley is to attend the talks later this week to voice
his concerns.
   Environmental groups describe the Irish proposal as "disastrous,"
because they say nearly all whales visit the coastal areas at some
time in their lives.

   Mr Morley threw his weight behind aspects of Irish proposals to
bring in a global whale sanctuary.
   During a visit to the conference, he said it would mean "a
permanent moratorium, an international ban on the trade in whale meat
and products".
   It would also end the loophole that allows Norway and Japan to
whale for "scientific reasons".
   He criticised the compromise proposals to allow Norway and Japan to
continue whaling for local use, warning that they could leavean even
bigger loophole.
   "We will consider these proposals, but we are not committed to
support all aspects of them," he said. "There are still issues such as
cruelty which are unresolved, as well as concerns about evidence of a
black market in whale meat.
   "Our objectives are to achieve a significant and permanent
reduction in the number of whales currently killed each year, and to
maintain and enhance the long-term role of the International Whaling
Conference in agreeing measures to conserve whales.
   "I am not convinced that regulating coastal whaling as proposed
would be a desirable option. Aspects of the current proposals, such as
the definition of coastal whaling as 200 miles, are not acceptable and
would be opposed by the UK."