Subject: Japan puts 300 tonnes of whale (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Fri, 24 Oct 1997 14:18:35 -0400 (EDT)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 97 12:36:00 GMT 
Subject: Japan puts 300 tonnes of whale

Japan puts 300 tonnes of whale meat on sale

    TOKYO, Oct 24 (Reuters) - A Japanese research institute put
298 tonnes of minke whale meat on sale on Friday just as an
international conference on whaling ended its annual meeting in
Monte Carlo.
     Anti-whaling groups in Japan called the timing insensitive,
but the Institute of Cetacean Research said it was coincidental.
     The government-funded operation which engages in so-called
"research whaling" in the Antarctic and northwestern Pacific
Oceans put on sale the meat from 100 minke whales caught between
May and July.
     This week in Monte Carlo, the International Whaling
Commission (IWC) came up with a compromise proposal which would
allow limited coastal whaling of abundant species but only for
local consumption and would ban whaling on the high seas.
     It would also phase out scientific whaling, carried out by
Japanese hunters who kill over 400 whales a year for research.
     The Japanese institute which sold the whale meat said it had
nothing to be ashamed of because effective utilisation of whales
caught for scientific purposes has been approved by the
International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.
     "I'm amazed at the insensitivity of the Japanese
government," said Sanae Shida of the Japanese branch of
international environmental group Greenpeace.
     "Japan started selling whale meat in the middle of the
Monte Carlo conference where they have come up with compromises
this time...they must have done it on purpose, aiming for a
reverse effect," Shida said.
     Japan gave up commercial whaling in compliance with an
international moratorium that went into effect in 1986 but has
been carrying out "scientific research" whaling since 1987.
     Up for sale on Friday were 31 tonnes of meat for school
lunches, 156 tonnes for canning and 111 tonnes direct to the
markets. The wholesale price for the raw sliced meat was at
3,267 yen ($26) per kg.