Subject: JAPAN MOVES TO ABOLISH ANTARCTIC WHALE SANCTUARY (fwd)

mike williamson (williams@www1.wheelock.edu)
Sat, 10 Apr 1999 07:59:39 -0400 (EDT)

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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 9 Apr 1999 13:48:54 EDT
From: USABreach@aol.com
To: USABreach@aol.com
Subject: JAPAN MOVES TO ABOLISH ANTARCTIC WHALE SANCTUARY

 JAPAN MOVES TO ABOLISH ANTARCTIC WHALE SANCTUARY

A Message from Breach Marine Protection Headquarters

In anticipation of the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission 
in Grenada next month, Japan has prepared a motion to abolish a whale 
sanctuary in the Southern Ocean.
 
The Southern Ocean Sanctuary was set aside in 1994 as an area where 
commercial whaling is prohibited. The sanctuary is home to, among others, 
minke whales of the Southern Hemisphere -- the only remaining population of 
great whales in the Antarctic still at a level close to their natural 
abundance. Japan, under a loophole in the International Convention of the 
Regulation of Whaling (ICRW), cannot be stopped by the IWC from hunting 
between 300-400 minke whales annually in the 'sanctuary' ; it operates under 
a clause allowing lethal, long-term, 'scientific' research programs.  Japan 
argues these programs are important to estimate the biological parameters 
which could be used for management, in particular natural mortality, and the 
elucidation of the role of whales in the Antarctic ecosystem. It is common 
knowledge that all this information, and more, can be collected by non-lethal 
methods.
 
Environmentalists say Japan's research is actually a commercial hunt in the 
guise of science. After a few samples are taken, the whale meat is sold to 
Japan's expensive sushi bars. This in itself is a commercial transaction, 
therefore Japans whaling is commercial -- and not purely scientific as it 
claims, said David Smith, Breach Marine Protection's Campaign Director.
 
"Japan is at last showing its true colours.  This move exposes to everyone 
Japan's efforts to restart commercial whaling, which almost eliminated some 
whale species prior to 1986 when the world-wide moratorium on commercial 
whaling was brought into effect. Japan is preparing to clear the way for its 
evil intent, and with this move, plus its investment in a new whale killer 
ship, all is plain to see," said Smith.
 
Japan catches whales in the Antarctic in the name of "scientific research," 
despite repeated calls by the IWC for it to stop. All meat from the operation 
is sold on the commercial market and serves to keep the market alive. Last 
year, the whaling industry built its first new whale catcher in 26 years, 
calling it "a symbol of hope for the reopening of whaling."
 
The IWC has now reached near unanimous agreement (with only Japan dissenting) 
on the objectives for the current sanctuary. The objectives are 1) the 
recovery and monitoring of whale populations; 2) study of the effects of not 
whaling on whales; and 3) research on the effects of environmental change on 
whale populations. 
 
There was euphoria amongst the media and some environment groups in 1994 who 
proclaimed the establishment of the Antarctica Sanctuary as the answer to all 
whaling problems, with comments like "now the whales are safe."   At that 
time, BMP warned that this was no more than a misleading of the world's 
peoples, and called this interpretation "self serving."  BMP also warned that 
unless the IWC backed up the Sanctuary with enforcement, it would be treated 
as no more than a breeding ground for whales to be farmed.  It also said that 
unless the so-called 'scientific' whaling loophole was closed by the IWC, and 
the "ridiculous objection to IWC decisions procedure,"  the Sanctuary would 
mean nothing to the welfare of Cetaceans. Japan has used both these to whales 
'legally' within the Antarctic Sanctuary. "Unfortunately, the many thousands 
of whales killed in the Sanctuary since its establishment has verified all 
our predictions," Smith said.
 
 ACTION
 
For information on how you can protest to Japanese Embassies and Trade 
Missions world-wide, please see the 'READ & REACT'  [JAPAN] page on Breach 
Marine Protection's website.
 
Breach Marine Protection, US
Email: USA Breach@aol.com
PO Box 532
Woodbury, CT 06798 
USA
 
BMP Headquarters, UK
Email: BreachEnv@aol.com
BMP Homepage:

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HREF="http://members.aol.com/breachenv/home.htm">http://members.aol.com/breach
env/home.htm</A>
     
Peoples Resolution on Abolition of Inhumane Commercial Slaughter of Whales:

<A 
HREF="http://members.aol.com/breachenv/popreslt.htm">http://members.aol.com/br
eachenv/popreslt.htm</A>
 
Rapid Env. Disaster - Response. & Rescue
(R.E.'D.R.Res) Hotline: 0973 898282 (UK only)

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achenv/redrres.htm</A>
 
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