Return-Path: <WHE_WILLIAM@flo.org> Received: from flo.org by VMSVAX.SIMMONS.EDU (MX V3.1C) with SMTP; Mon, 30 May 1994 18:58:15 EDT Date: Mon, 30 May 1994 19:03:21 -0400 (EDT) From: WHE_WILLIAM@flo.org To: email@example.com Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Bowhead & minke quotas-IWC From: SMTP%"MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET" 30-MAY-1994 12:49:27.72 To: WHE_WILLIAM CC: Subj: IWC Raises Alaskan Quota, Date: Mon, 30 May 1994 09:19:29 PDT Reply-To: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET> Sender: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET> From: email@example.com Subject: IWC Raises Alaskan Quota, To: Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET> IWC RAISES ALASKAN QUOTA, TURNS DOWN JAPANESE By Christine Tierney PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico, May 27 (Reuter) - The International Whaling Commission (IWC) Friday increased the number of bowhead whales that north Alaskan natives may kill under a clause that permits whaling by aboriginal groups. But it turned down a request from Japan to allow three Japanese coastal communities affected by a six-year IWC moratorium on commercial whaling to catch 50 minke whales a year. The Japanese, stung by the commission's decision Thursday to establish an Antarctic sanctuary in their hunting grounds, said the decisions were inconsistent. ``It's all problems of people, and both the United States and Japan are developed countries,'' Japan's chief delegate Kazuo Shima said, drawing the parallels between the two cases. ``What's the difference between Japanese coastal communities that depend on whaling and aboriginal communities?'' asked Alan Macnow, a spokesman for the Japanese Whaling Association. The Inupiaq of Alaska were allotted 51 catches a year or 68 strikes, which include killed whales that could not be retrieved by the hunters -- whichever occurs first. The increase in the quota, up from 41 catches or 54 strikes, reflects the rapid growth in the population of the area's 10 hunting communities since the mid-1980s, said George Ahmaogak, the mayor of the North Slope Borough of Alaska. ``It's what we needed. We're very happy,'' Ahmaogak said. The IWC imposed a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1982, fearing too many baleen species were depleted, but it allows exceptions for aboriginal whale hunters and sets quotas. Bowhead whales, which live in the northern seas, are a depleted species of baleen, or large toothless whale. Environmentalists estimate there are only about 10,000 bowhead whales, but IWC scientists approved the Inupiaqs' request. The increase was granted because the population of the Inupiaq communities has grown about four percent a year over the past decade to around 6,500, Ahmaogak said. The Inupiaq eat the bowhead whale meat, a staple in their diet, and use the fat as a food preservative. The Japanese request was voted down overwhelmingly on the last day of the IWC conference, even though minke whales are plentiful numbering nearly 800,000. Japan has been widely accused of hunting whales for commercial purposes under the guise of conducting research on Antarctic minke whales. Japanese whalers may catch up to 330 minke whales annually under a 12-year programme, and the whale meat is sold in fish markets. Shima denied the accusations, saying Japan's research was welcomed and accepted by the IWC's scientific committee. He told a news conference at the close of the meeting that he strongly believed the research -- both lethal and non-lethal to whales -- should continue despite the creation of the sanctuary.