Subject: Whale Info, Whaling Things to Know / Remember (fwd)

mike williamson (
Sat, 17 Jul 1999 14:30:00 -0400 (EDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 10:29:03 EDT
Subject: Things to Know / Remember



Thursday, July 8, 1999

Foul weather and summer vacation plans in Norway have sent almost the entire 
whale hunting fleet back to port, according to the High North Alliance. This 
is happening despite the fact that about 250 whales have yet to be caught in 
order to fulfill Norway's annual quota of 753.

This year marks the seventh whale-hunting season in Norway after ordinary 
whaling resumed in 1993. The catch has increased steadily, from 226 in 1993 
to 625 in 1998.

"The real reason they have stopped the hunt was that they found no buyers for 
their meat," said Greenpeace Oceans Coordinator Gerry Leape. "There is not a 
big enough market to support the size of their hunt ... the warehouses are 
full and (the Norwegians) are stockpiling the meat."

Leape said the Norwegians have political motivations. Currently no 
international trade is allowed for minke whales and he says the Norwegians 
would like to see that change. "Japan is the real market because blubber is a 
delicacy there. Japan and Norway are trying to make a case that the whales 
should be downlisted," said Leape.

Most of the hunt takes place in the northeast Atlantic minke whale stock, 
which has been estimated to number 112,000 animals by the Scientific 
Committee of the International Whaling Commission. Worldwide there are about 
1 million minke whales.

Why and how would the three-week summer holiday in Norway effect the number 
of whales caught? "The whales are first caught by the whalers. Then the 
whales are sold first hand to the whale meat buyers," said High North 
Alliance spokesperson Rune Frovik. "In the meat processing plants the big 
chunks of meat are cut into customer size pieces, and then distributed in 
various ways into the market. When these plants are closed for holiday, or 
running with only a few people left, it is limited how much meat they can 

Fearing that they will be unable to sell their catch to the processing 
plants, Norges Raafisklag, the largest first hand dealer of marine sales in 
Norway, decided to stop the hunt on Wednesday.

Calm weather is necessary for a successful hunt, the High North Alliance 
says. They claim stormy weather on the whaling grounds earlier this year 
prevented an efficient hunt as whalers spent many days in port or waiting out 
at sea. Only 77 minke whales were hunted during the while 274 were taken 
during the same month last year.

"As the hunt has been delayed, so has the delivery of the meat at the landing
stations. This in turn has meant that the processing plants have been delayed 
in processing the meat to consumer size steaks. The approaching holiday break 
will impose heavy limitations on whale meat production capacity", High North 
Alliance said in a press release.

A minke whale yields approximately 1,500 kilos of meat and 500 kilos of 
blubber. According to High North Alliance, the meat is consumed domestically 
as pizza toppings, steak and meatballs and for barbecuing.

The whalers are not allowed to sell directly to customers, but those whalers 
that have their own plants with processing facilities have been allowed to 
continue the hunt. According to High North Alliance, recent developments have 
led to more and more whalers outfitting their own processing facilities, 
making them independent of the buyers. This year's events will likely 
accelerate these independent processing facilities, High North Alliance said.

But Greenpeace insists the warehouses are full. "We have boats out there 
too," Leape said. The whalers are being sent messages not to bring the whales 
in and they are dumping blubber overboard."

The whaling season in Norway is scheduled to end Aug. 1.

Scientists urge halt to Mexican saltworks plan July 12, 1999  Web posted at: 
5:31 PM EDT (2131 GMT)  MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Thirty-three international 
scientists launched a campaign on Monday to press the Mexican government to 
discard plans to build the world's biggest saltworks on theedge of a delicate 
whale-breeding lagoon.  Nobel prize laureates Mario Molina, Murray Gell-Mann, 
Andrew Huxley and other world famous scientists signed a double page 
advertisement titled "Anunacceptable risk ..." published in Mexico's Reforma 
daily, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times on Monday.  They are 
protesting plans by the ESSA saltworks, 49percent owned by Japan's Mitsubishi 
Corp. and 51 percent by the Mexican government, to build a huge new salt 
evaporation plant on the edge of theSan Ignacio whale-breeding lagoon in 
Mexico's northwestern Baja California
Sur state.  The warm water lagoon is one of only four in the world where gray 
whales come to mate and calve after migrating 6,200 miles from the Bering 
Straits down the Pacific coast each year.  ESSA's existing saltworks already 
spans two of the other lagoons and the fourth lagoon lies outside the 
protection of the region's nature reserve.  "Mexican and international 
scientists of international renown insist that Mitsubishi abandons plans to 
build a saltworks plant at the San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja California," the 
scientists said in their protest.  The company argues that its saltworks -- 
in which lagoon water is drained into shallow canals to evaporate and produce 
salt -- is safe for gray whales, whose populations have rebounded under the 
protection of the world whaling ban.  It also says its operations
are clean and environmentally friendly. While some residents favor the plan, 
saying it will help the sparsely-populated state's economic development, 
local fishermen and eco-tourism operators oppose it.  The San Ignacio lagoon 
is located in the heart of the Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, the largest 
wildlife sanctuary in Latin America, which the United Nations declared a 
World Heritage Site in 1993.  The scientists said the plans to build a 
116-square-mile saltworks -- bigger than the surface area of the lagoon 
itself -- plus 17 pumps, evaporation tanks and a 1.25 mile jetty, run against 
the principles for which wildlife sanctuaries are created, and would set a 
dangerous worldwide precedent because estuaries and coastal ecosystems are 
increasingly under threat.  "It is the last virgin area in the world where 
the gray whale gives birth and breeds, and for that reason could be of
singular importance for the survival of this species," they added.  Homero 
Aridjis, president of Mexico's Group of 100 environmental body, told Reuters 
that ESSA was about to present a second technical study of the plan's 
environmental impact to the Mexican Environment Ministry.  "We are afraid 
there will be political and economic pressure from other sectors of the 
government on the Environment Ministry's decision," he said.  "We want that 
decision to be based on the environmental laws of Mexico and the arguments of 
the scientists who have signed here."  In 1995, the Mexican government cited 
environmental and legal concerns in rejecting a request by ESSA to start work 
on the project. ESSA has commissioned a second study and the government will 
have to rule on it in coming weeks.  Other scientists to sign the 
advertisement included Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould, Edward O. Wilson, 
Paul Ehrlich, Sidney Holt, Roger Payne and Rene Drucker-Colin.  

Copyright 1999 Reuters 
) 1999 Cable News Network. 
~From the Tokitae Foundation~

The last message to this list was the 6/22 bulletin about the discovery of 
1969 documents that show that the tank is only 10' deep (not 12' as claimed 
by the USDA) on the shallow end, and only 18' deep (not 20') in the main 
pool. This means that the 10' deep part cannot be included in the overall 
measurements according to a letter from the USDA, which appears to make the 
entire tank illegal. The USDA now says they used an engineer to take the 
measurements, but they won't tell us the name of the engineer without a 
Freedom of Information Act request. So we are requesting.  Of course you'll 
know as soon as there is any news. Meantime, please contact:

W. Ron DeHaven
Deputy Administrator, APHIS
US Dept. of Agriculture
4700 River Road, Unit 84
Riverdale, MD 20737-1234
Tel:  (301) 734-4980, Fax:  (301) 734-4328

Please ask Mr. DeHaven (politely) to produce a document that shows that 
someone has actually measured the depth of the whale pool and the medical 
pool, or if no such document can be produced, measure the tank depth to see 
if the medical pool is really only 10' deep as the architect's drawings show. 
Over 15,000 letters and coupons have arrived at the National Enquirer to ask 
Florida Senator Bob Graham to intervene on Lolita's behalf.  Sen. Graham is 
from Miami and his record shows he may help, if sufficient public pressure is 
applied. Sen. Graham can be reached at:

Senator Bob Graham
44 W. Flagler St.
Miami FL 33130
Ph: (305) 536-7293 
The above was forwarded from:
Howard Garrett
Tokitae Foundation
Lolita Campaign Coordinator
(305) 672-4039

For more on Lolita, and to hear her family and see a video of Lolita in her 
tank, check out the Free Lolita web site at: 

and for a campaign overview, see the Lolita Come Home Page at:, especially the NEW science page, at:

A project of The Humane Society of the United States
and The Fund for Animals
(202) 955-3663

July 15, 1999


In a precedent-setting and sweeping victory for animals, the U.S. House of 
Representatives voted 259-166 to stop federal funding of recreational and 
commercial trapping with steel-jawed leghold and neck-snare traps on National
Wildlife Refuges.  The debate on the House floor included excellent 
statements by its author, Representative Sam Farr (D-17th/CA), as well as 
Reps. Ed Whitfield (R-1st/KY), James Moran (D-8th/VA), Connie Morella 
(R-8th/MD), and George Miller (D-7th/CA) regarding the terrible cruelty of 

The Senate is expected to take up the same issue when it votes on the 
"Torricelli Amendment to the Interior Appropriations Bill" next week.  We 
must use the wonderful momentum we have from this victory to reach every U.S. 
Senator with the message to vote for the Torricelli Amendment to Interior 
Appropriations and to put the "refuge" back in these lands.  Thank you all 
for your excellent work -- congratulations to every one of you who worked so 
hard.  One down, one to go!


Senate side: FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT, please call both of your Senators 
immediately and urge their support for the Torricelli Amendment to the 
Interior Appropriations Bill. If you need help finding your Senators, please 
go to and use the Search button or call us at 
202-955-3668.  See talking points below.

House side: SECOND, check for how your Representative voted by going to and clicking on "Roll Call 291." 
 Please thank your Representative if he/she voted for the Farr Amendment. 
Please also send a special thanks to Representative Sam Farr for authoring 
the amendment and the other Reps. who spoke up for the animals so eloquently. 
 You can phone/email them at the following: 

Rep. Sam Farr: 202-225-2861, 
Rep. Edward Whitfield:202-225-3115, 
Rep. Jim Moran: 202-225-4376,  
Rep. Connie Morella:  202-225-5341,
Rep.George Miller: 202-225-2095, 

Here are "talking points" (for calling, faxing, or e-mailing your Senators 
re: Torricelli Amendment):

-- Steel-jawed leghold traps are brutally inhumane. These traps are designed 
to slam closed on the leg or body part of the animal. Lacerations, broken 
bones, joint dislocations, and gangrene can result. Some animals chew off 
their own leg in a desperate attempt to escape.

-- Steel-jawed leghold traps are indiscriminate. Any animal unlucky enough to 
step in the trap will be victimized by it. In addition to catching target 
animals, traps catch
non-target, or trash, animals, such as family pets, eagles, or other 
protected species.

-- National Wildlife Refuges should not allow commercial or recreational 
trapping with inhumane traps. Refuges are the only category of lands that are 
set aside for the protection and benefit of wildlife. It is unacceptable that 
there is recreational and commercial killing of wildlife on refuges with 
inhumane traps.

-- Steel traps are so inhumane that they have been outlawed in 88 countries. 
In addition, voters in four states -- Arizona, California, Colorado, and 
Massachusetts -- have recently approved ballot measures to ban the leghold 
trap. New Jersey and Florida have also banned the use of this trap, and many 
other states have severe restrictions on its use.

Please forward this alert to other activists for their help.

For more information on legislation, how to find your legislators, 
and past HUMANElines, visit or
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