Subject: Case Study: Scientific Whaling (IWC and Japan)

Michael Williamson (whe_william)
Mon, 8 Jun 1995 10:15:38

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From: Michael Williamson <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG>
Subject: Case Study: Scientific Whaling (IWC and Japan)
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Subj:	JAPAN HARPOONS BAN ON ``RESEARCH'' WHALING
 
Date:         Tue, 6 Jun 1995 21:06:51 +1200
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Subject:      JAPAN HARPOONS BAN ON ``RESEARCH'' WHALING
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05-Jun-95 09:52 pm Regular  International
 
JAPAN HARPOONS BAN ON ``RESEARCH'' WHALING
 
 
   Tokyo, June 5 AFP - Japan vowed today to pursue ``research''
whaling and rejected a series of anti-hunting resolutions by the
International Whaling Commission (IWC) last week.
   ``It is emotional and not based on objective facts,'' a state
fisheries agency official said of the resolutions after the Japanese
delegation returned from the IWC annual session in Dublin.
   ``We don't think about halting research operations,'' added Mineo
Yamamoto, a whaling specialist at the agency. ``We will prudently
consider how to cope after hearing a report from the delegation.''
   Japan, whose 400-year-old whaling industry has been badly hit
since the IWC enforced a moratorium on commercial whaling in 1985,
is particularly angered by a resolution tightening up on hunting for
research purposes.
   The resolution adopted by 23 of the 30 IWC member nations
declared that whaling for scientific purposes must now be limited to
``non-lethal'' methods. The IWC highlighted the Antarctic whaling
sanctuary set up last year.
   Japan, which claims there is a robust population of minke whales,
has caught up to 330 minke annually since 1987 for supposed research
on the reproduction and development of the species -- with a view to
resume commercial whaling.
   ``It is necessary to cut up whales to gather data on age, the
rate of pregnancy, ocean pollution and other factors,'' Yamamoto
said.
   The resolutions are legally unbinding as they have not been
transformed into amendments to the International Whaling Convention.
   But Japan, which also ignores the Antarctic sanctuary, could risk
sanctions from leading anti-whaling nations such as the United
States and Australia which can ban Japanese fishermen from their
waters.
   The conservative Sankei newspaper charged today that anti-whaling
campaigns had been manipulated by ``radical ecologist organisations
which have virtually hijacked the IWC''.
   ``Anti-whaling groups may be a majority in the west. But there
are quite a few sympathisers for Japan among rational academics,
journalists and opinion leaders,'' the newspaper said.
   The Tokyo branch of the worldwide environment watchdog Greenpeace
vowed to campaign against Japan's whaling.
   Greenpeace activist Junko Sakurai said there were price spirals
in meat from the minke whales caught in the ``research'' operations.
``We have information, which is hard to be confirmed, that gangsters
are involved in the sales of whale meat,'' she said.
 
 
AFP sje