Subject: IWC: Japanese Whaling bid rejected (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Fri, 24 Oct 1997 14:17:55 -0400 (EDT)


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Date: Fri, 24 Oct 97 12:35:00 GMT 
Subject: Japanese Whaling bid rejected

Japanese Whaling bid rejected

  By Amanda Brown, Environment Correspondent, PA News
   A Japanese bid to restart commercial whaling in coastal waters was
thrown out today at international talks in Monaco.
   A majority of countries rejected Japan's claim that the slaughter
should be seen in the same light as locals hunting for food.
   The IWC has banned the commercial killing of whales since 1986,
despite repeated attempts by the Japanese to overturn it.
   They are allowed to catch "scientific" quotas of Minke whales, but
critics claim that is merely a guise for hunting. DNA tests have also
shown that the Japanese have continued to catch endangered species to
meet demand for whale steaks in expensive restaurants.
   Naoko Funahashi, the Japanese representative of the International
Fund for Animal Welfare said: "Many countries spoke out against this
proposal and were not fooled by Japan's attempt to disguise commercial
coastal whaling as aboriginal subsistence whaling.
   "Therewas also an extensive discussion at the IWC Scientific
Committee of the level of `by-catch', such as whales caught in fishing
nets, off Japan and Korea. There are no mechanics in place to track
the sale of whale meat from such animals.
   "In addition the Commission was informed that 11 hand harpoons were
found in a highly endangered Western Pacific Grey whale that was
washed up on the Hokkaido coast on May 16 1996."
   He said: "The lack of any prosecutions to date show that Japan is
not able to control the present situation let alone be allowed to
embark on any additional commercial coastal hunt."

   A decision by Japan to phase out use of the electric lance to kill
whales was welcomed by the RSPCA.
   Considered cruel and ineffective as a killing weapon, Britain and
other countries have long been opposed to its use and the RSPCA has
been campaigning for a ban on it for the last five years.
   Helen McLachlan, Senior Scientific Officer for the RSPCA, said:
"While the RSPCA is opposed to all whaling and would like to see it
banned completely, we are very pleased that Japan has made this major
step forward in reducing the cruelty to the whales which they kill.
   "The lance is notoriously cruel but Japan has pledged to use the
rifle as the main secondary killing method instead. Japan's own data
shows that using the rifle reduces the time that the whale suffers
before dying."