Subject: IWC: Illegal Whale Trade Evidence F (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Fri, 15 May 1998 18:58:14 -0400 (EDT)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 13 May 98 12:10:00 GMT 
Subject: Illegal Whale Trade Evidence F

Illegal Whale Trade Evidence Found

   GLAND, Switzerland (AP) -- More than 18,000 whales have been
killed since an international moratorium on whaling took effect 12
years ago, the World Wildlife Fund said Tuesday.
   Continued whaling and an increase in other threats continue to
account for whale deaths despite the International Whaling
Commission moratorium, said the Swiss-based organization's 24-page
   The threats include drowning in fishing nets, collision with
ships, noise pollution and harassment by tour boats, the WWF said.
   "All whales face a wide range of new and increasing threats in
addition to being hunted directly," the report said.
   Co-author Elizabeth Kemf singled out Norway and Japan for the
harshest criticism. Japan's annual whale catch has increased from
300 to about 540 in the last three years, while Norway "has more
than doubled its catch," she said.
   Years of illegal slaughter and the threat of extinction of some
species led to the 1986 worldwide ban on commercial whaling, but
traditional hunters were allowed to keep killing whales for
   A legal loophole also allowed Japan and Norway to kill the
whales for scientific reasons. Iceland and South Korea have also
carried out whaling on this basis since the moratorium took effect.
   By last year, Japan had killed more than 3,600 minke whales and
Norway had caught 2,300, the report said.
   Six of the world's eleven species of great whale are classed as
endangered or vulnerable.
   The WWF encourages "carefully controlled whale-watching,"
which it said attracted seven million enthusiasts last year. The
industry is growing by 10 percent annually and in 1994 generated
revenue of more than $500 million, the WWF said.
   Successes in whale conservation include the declaration of the
Southern Ocean as a whale sanctuary in 1994.