Case Study: Scientific Whaling

Michael Williamson (
Mon, 16 Dec 1994 13:43:53

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From: Michael Williamson <>
Subject: Case Study: Scientific Whaling
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From:         Alan Macnow <>
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
                                  FROM: Alan Macnow
                                        Tele-Press Associates,Inc.
                                        321 East 53 Street
                                        New York, N.Y., 10022
                                           Tel: (212) 688-5580
                                           Fax: (212) 688-5857
                                    FOR: Japan Whaling Association
                Is the slaughter of chickens in the United States the
        moral equivalent of the Holocaust?  It is, according to the fa-
        natical animal rights group PETA.  Is the taking for research of
        300 whales from a population exceeding three quarters of a mil-
        lion animals equivalent to the bombing of Pearl Harbor?  It is,
        according to the most recent pronouncement of a coalition of ex-
        tremist whale protection groups calling itself the Antarctica
                Notwithstanding the fact that gross exaggeration seems
        to be the stock in trade of fund-raising appeals, or that the
        strategy of animal rights groups is to blur the distinction be-
        tween people and animals, such comparisons are odious and
        demeaning to the human victims of oppression and war.
                In a further attempt to inflame emotions against Japan,
        the Antarctica Project and Greenpeace, in a flurry of press
        releases, accused Japan of violating the sanctity of the
        Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary by continuing its research there.
                Japan's Antarctic whale research project, begun in 1988,
        takes a random sampling of 300 Antarctic minke whales each year
        from a population that numbers over 760,000 animals.  The
        species is unendangered and no other types of whales are
        touched.  The research is authorized by the International Con-
        vention for the Regulation of Whaling.  The small number taken
        is well below annual replacements through reproduction.
                The Sanctuary, a contrivance devised by a handful of
        anti-whaling countries to be a hallowed haven for their sacred
        cow of the sea, occupies 19 million square miles of ocean
        northward of Antarctica.  If applied to the Northern Hemisphere
        it would encompass everything from the North Pole down to Lis-
        bon's latitude.  The Sanctuary specifically bans commercial
        whaling, but encourages research.
                Designation of the Sanctuary represents the attempted
        expropriation of international waters by only 23 of the IWC's 41
        members.  They represent a very small share of the almost 200
        countries of the world, most of whom were never consulted. It
        also was done without the approval of the International Whaling
        Commission's Scientific Committee, the Commission for the Con-
        servation of Antarctic Living Marine Resources, or the scores of
        countries dependent upon ocean resources.
                In fact, the designation of the Sanctuary violated the
        principles and provisions of the International Convention for
        the Regulation of Whaling, which requires the IWC to: "provide
        for the conservation, development, and utilization of the whale
        resources."  The major provision of the United Nations Confer-
        ence on Environment and Development, calling for sustainable use
        of renewable natural resources, was trashed as well.
                The IWC's Scientific Committee, with the exception of a
        few scientists employed by anti-whaling groups, saw no value in
        the Sanctuary because use of its revised management procedures
        would safeguard and rebuild all of the depleted stocks in the
        Southern Ocean while providing for limited use of such abundant
        species as the minkes.  Moreover, establishment of a Sanctuary
        would be an abdication of the IWC's duty to manage whale stocks
        as required by the International Convention for the Regulation
        of Whaling.
                Although Japan opposed establishment of a Sanctuary and
        considers it illegal in terms of the whaling Convention, it will
        not resume commercial whaling until the IWC ends its whaling
                Isn't it time for a moratorium on the dishonest and un-
        principled attempts to inflame emotions against Japan?