Subject: Japanese Research Whaling 1998 (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Fri, 20 Nov 1998 14:17:07 -0500 (EST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 22:17:11 +1100
From: Graham Clarke <>
Reply-To: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Subject: Japanese Research Whaling 1998

Dear Member's,

Here is the latest on Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.

New whale kill cloaked as science
Date: 11/11/98
By ANTHONY HOY - Sydney Morning Herald

Japan has launched a concerted assault on Southern Ocean whale stocks with
the dispatch from its main whaling port of an upgraded "scientific
research" whaling fleet headed by a new $20 million chase ship.

Nisshin Maru, Japan's first new whaling vessel launched in 26 years, is
steaming at full power from the port of Shimonoseki towards the Antarctic's
Ross Sea, to be in position in time to intercept the pods of whales
completing their northern migration via Australia's coastline.

Owned jointly by three of Japan's largest fishing corporations - Maruha,
Kyoku and Nippon Suisan - Nisshin Maru spearheads an unabashed Japanese
campaign to reopen the Antarctic whale sanctuary to commercial whaling.

Operating under a cloak of science, it will deliver an estimated 500 whales
weighing in total around 2,000 tonnes and valued at more than $80 million
to Tokyo's fish market in the spring of 1999.

According to the Japanese Government, the Yushin Maru is a "scientific
vessel". But according to the Japanese press, the huge ship is "a symbol
for the reopening of whaling" - a claim borne out by the emotional farewell
by 500 flag-waving whaling industry workers and supporters as the ship
powered out of Japanese waters.

Japan's "scientific" whaling program began in 1987, immediately it was
forced by the United States to withdraw its objection to a 1985-86
moratorium on commercial whaling.

Australia's Minister for the Environment, Senator Hill, said: "We believe
the killing of whales is unjustifiable.

"It is time the international community stopped talking about a moratorium
on commercial whaling and instead adopted a permanent international ban on
commercial whaling."

By 1996-97, according to official Japanese data, the catch of 1,995 tonnes
from the Antarctic was wholesaled through Tokyo for 3.5 billion yen, with a
retail value three times as high.

In Japan, DNA testing of whale meat on sale in fish markets has proved that
some of this meat is not from minke whales taken as part of Japan's
"scientific" catch and subsequently offered for human consumption but comes
from entirely protected species.

An International Whaling Commission scientific review of Japan's Antarctic
whaling research has concluded that the results of the whaling program are
not required for management, that science is being used as an excuse to
catch whales for the commercial market and that the program makes a mockery
of science.

In February, Japan once again shrugged off attempts to bring its whaling
under international control, claiming "a unique social and cultural
significance not found in commercial whaling operations elsewhere,
especially for a number of coastal towns".

By rejecting Irish proposals to allow Japan's coastal towns to start
whaling on a limited scale while banning whaling on the high seas, Japan
has signalled its true intentions and resolve to resume high seas
industrial whaling using factory ships, according to conservationists.

Graham_J._Clarke - "WHALES IN DANGER"
WWW Home Page -
Sydney - AUSTRALIA - email:
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