Subject: Case Study: Sanctuary and Whaling

Michael Williamson (whe_william)
Mon, 8 Dec 1994 21:00:44

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Date: Thu, 08 Dec 1994 20:52:17 -0500 (EST)
From: Michael Williamson <>
Subject: Case Study: Sanctuary and Whaling
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Subj:	Japan Mars Sanctuary Celebration
Date:         Wed, 7 Dec 1994 14:33:31 -0800
Reply-To:     Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
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From:         The Antarctica Project <>
Subject:      Japan Mars Sanctuary Celebration
To:           Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
THE ANTARCTICA PROJECT              For more information:
PRESS RELEASE                       Charles Webb
                                    ph: +1-202-544-0236
                                    fax: +1-202-544-8483
WASHINGTON, D.C. DECEMBER 7, 1994--The Southern Ocean Whale
Sanctuary formally enters into force today, protecting the primary
feeding grounds for over 90% of the world's great whale populations
in the waters surrounding Antarctica.
Ironically, December 7 could also be the day that the Japanese
whaling fleet,  operating in the name of "science", harpoons its
first minke whale of the season within the Sanctuary area.  The
fleet, comprised of the 7440-ton factory vessel Nisshin Maru and
three catcher boats, is currently proceeding to the Southern Ocean
to kill approximately 300 minke whales, the only species left in
the Antarctic in relatively healthy numbers.
Under International Whaling Commission (IWC) rules, Japan can still
conduct so-called "scientific whaling" within the Sanctuary despite
the global moratorium on commercial whaling.  Japan was the only
nation to vote against the Sanctuary at the IWC's May 1994 meeting,
and remains internationally isolated in its opposition to the
agreement since it filed a formal objection to the Sanctuary
decision in August.
Environmental groups are urging Japan to stop their scientific
whaling program, and support the Sanctuary by withdrawing their
formal objection.  "Japan's current actions represent a dramatic
affront to the 23 nations which voted for the Sanctuary, and the
growing international recognition of the vital need to preserve the
Antarctic region," stated Beth Marks, Director of the Washington
based Antarctica Project, an organization which lobbied on behalf
of the Sanctuary.  "The IWC's decision to establish the Sanctuary
was a bold and farsighted step forward for the global community,
and we urge Japan to end its isolation and support the agreement."
The boundary of the Sanctuary, ranging between 40 degrees and 60
degrees south latitudes, joins with the existing Indian Ocean Whale
Sanctuary.  The two Sanctuaries together now constitute one-third
of the world's oceans.