Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics
Every year the script is the same. "This year the Japanese may gain the numbers to over turn the whaling moratorium!"
And then the whales will be for it, or so the gist of it goes.
We see these reports
from anti-whaling politicians. We also see them from anti-whaling "NPOs" such as IFAW
They tell us that the Japanese are out there buying votes. First it was the Caribbean nations. The Caribbean nations sold their votes to the Japanese, is the story that we hear. Never mind the fact that the Caribbean nations are home to active whaling communities (see this
for some background). The fact that they are recipients of an ODA package from Japan is hardly evidence, as Japan is perhaps the worlds largest donator of overseas aid, with around 150 beneficiary nations - including anti-whaling as well as pro-whaling nations. The Caribbean nations are clearly going to vote in favour of whaling because the Caribbean is home to whaling peoples.
What is most offensive about such allegations is that the anti-whaling groups themselves were originally responsible for the recruitment of these nations into the IWC. They appointed phony representatives who were affiliated with anti-whaling groups, with the intention of using the Caribbean votes in order to put the existing Commercial Moratorium in place. This press release
details how "the islands evicted and replaced the false commissioners with Caribbean people when they discovered they were not acting in the national interests of the islands nor adhering to the principles of sustainable utilization."
This year the complaint is about Tuvalu - an island in the middle of the sea that obviously would have great interest in sustainable resource use.
One wonders if the same people complain about the presence of certain landlocked European nations at the IWC - voting against the whalers despite having no coastline.
The young man from IFAW also spouts off
about how Japan wants to introduce secret ballots at the IWC. This would make it impossible to track "vote buying", he complains. His groups needs to be able to identify pro-whaling nations for what purpose? Attack them with threats of boycotts (see the Iceland case last year), and propaganda campaigns. In any normal democratic system, secret voting is commonplace. But the IFAW would rather run the IWC like Saddam ran Iraqi "elections".
The reasons behind these silly reports is the same every year: Politics and greed. The politicians in anti-whaling nations love to talk up the chances of the pro-whalers before the meeting, so that when they anti-whaling nations block the lifting of the Commercial Moratorium for another year, they can hold it up as a victory, and suck up some green votes. And the "environmentalists" like IFAW will talk about it forever, because donations for their anti-whaling campaigns are an incredible cash cow. What better way to keep the coffers filled than by continuing on with the "save the whales" campaign if they can get away with it?
At the end of the day, it's all a big charade. Everyone knows that the pro-whalers won't have the numbers this year either.
UPDATE 15/07: The Highnorth alliance has a Survival Kit
that summarises of all the nonsense that is to be expected this year. There is a good bit on the South Pacific Whale Sanctuary that almost sounds like I could have written it :-)
"Without any chance of attaining the required 75% support to be adopted, Australia and New Zealand will once again propose a South Pacific whale sanctuary, and Brazil and Argentina will propose a South Atlantic sanctuary. It appears that these governments continue with their posturing to “save” super-abundant whales in order to attain a green image. Whether their domestic constituencies still wish to be fooled, remains to be seen."
Well, the politicians can hardly be blamed if the public (or at least, those few who actually give a crap about whaling) are happy to be treated as fools. Good Politicians aren't about principles, they are about getting votes to save their butts each election.