Info: Int'l Whaling Commission Meeting Preview

Michael Williamson (
Mon, 10 May 1995 14:27:08

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From: Michael Williamson <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG>
Subject: Info: Int'l Whaling Commission Meeting Preview
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Subject:      I.W.C. Preview 1995
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International Whaling Commission Preview 1995
The 47th Annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission will take
place in Dublin, Ireland, from the 29th of May to the 2nd of June.  The major
issues expected to arise this year include the continuation of the
development of the Revised Management System, the first report on the
Southern Ocean Sanctuary, preliminary results from Japan and Norway's
scientific permits, reports on small cetacean populations and the Scientific
Committee's report on whale stock assessments for all Southern Hemisphere
baleen whales and minke whales in the North Pacific and North Atlantic.
Australia and the "like minded" nations will continue the most conservative,
loophole-proof set of whaling management criteria possible, in order to
ensure maximum humaneness, integrity and transparency of any future
commercial whaling operations should the whaling nations ever gain the
numbers in the IWC to end the moratorium. The Revised Management Scheme or
RMS as it is called has been constantly delayed by the procrastinations of
the pro-whaling countries over such stringent management conditions.
The Scientific Committee is required to monitor a range of issues with regard
to the Sanctuary, including feeding and breeding grounds; migration; species
interaction and competition and environmental factors. The Committee will
present it's first report on the Sanctuary at this meeting.
Both Japan and Norway are required to present their preliminary results from
their scientific research and detail their plans for the coming season. There
are concerns that Japan is set to attempt to justify an increase in its minke
whale kill in the Sanctuary since it is expected to raise what it refers to
as "outstanding issues" regarding the establishment of the Sanctuary.
The workshop on Humane Killing Methods is expected to highlight the electric
lance, the contentious method of secondary killing, because of growing
concerns that the present electrocution methods increase the whale's
suffering rather than relieving it. The workshop includes issues on existing
killing methods and those under development; killing efficiency; times to
death; improving whale killing humaneness and crew safety. Of special
interest this year will be a report by, the Danish Government about the Pilot
whale hunt in the Faros Islands. Whether Denmark complies, and how candidly,
will be interesting to see.
Because of revalations about the availability of and trade in protected whale
species, each IWC member nation is required, from this year, to report
annually on the availability of whale products on it's domestic market, and
the specific source of those items. Each nation must report any shipments of
whale meat and products intercepted in international commerse and what
measures the Government has taken in response.
This year member nations have been asked to provide information about small
cetacean populations, takes and threats in their waters. This is a positive
move by the IWC to incorporate small cetaceans into its activities and
considerations. Many member nations have long opposed the move on the grounds
that the IWC does not have the "competence" to deal with such matters. Some
are fearful of having to admit to and account for their shameful direct and
incidental small cetacean kill records.
The Scientific Committee will submit reports on the development of the
Revised Management Procedure (RMP) and on progress towards assessments of all
Southern Hemisphere baleen whales as well as minkes in the North Pacific and
North Atlantic. Assessments will begin from this year of North Pacific
Bryde's whales.
Other reports include a discussion paper on various aspects of non-lethal
research of Blue whales, a progress report on chemical pollution and
cetaceans and an intrim paper on whale watching.
All in all this meeting will show a positive conservation trend and most
member nations will continue to support this move. However, Japan's continued
thrust towards increased lethal whale research and it's so called
"outstanding issues" do give rise to a number of grave concerns.
Graham_Clarke  -  "WHALES IN DANGER" Information Service
Sydney  - AUSTRALIA -
- sent via an evaluation copy of BulkRate (unregistered).