~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Fri, 24 Oct 97 12:36:00 GMT From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com 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.