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David @ Tokyo

Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics



IWC 2005: Sorry, but it's not in the hands of the politicians...

The poor western media really is confused...

"The Australian Government is determined to defeat the proposal, which will be put before the International Whaling Commission (IWC) next month."

Too bad for the Australian Government - they can't defeat it because the proposal by the Japanese isn't something that the politicians get a vote on - this is what the IWC has scientists (who actually know something useful) for. The proposal for a permit goes to the IWC's Scientific Committee, which remains less influenced by petty politics than the IWC itself. The Scientific Commitee will consider the merits of the Japanese plan, and potentially give it the go ahead. And this is of course all perfectly legal under Article VIII of the ICRW - that document which Australia, New Zealand, and other anti-whaling nations remain signatory to, despite their purported opposition to it.

The Australian Government doesn't stand a chance of influencing Japan on the issue. The Japanese know that the Australian politicians are just grandstanding. If Australians (New Zealanders / Brits / Yanks) really were against whaling they'd not be giving legitimacy to it by remaining signatory to the ICRW. The anti-whaling nations are more than welcome to quit the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling at any time.

Given that the Japanese have been issued research permits for minke whales for 2 decades now, I'd say it's odds on that they have done their homework on the proposal and the Scientific Committee will likely give permission.

One final bit of food for thought - the anti-whalers are always complaining about how whale meat ends up on sushi plates in Tokyo (this is again a requirement of the ICRW... but anyway). This isn't science they say - it's commercial whaling in disguise.

Who reading this thinks a hunt of 10 humpback whales would be a commercially successful venture? Who would invest in such a business and expect to get their money back? Sounds like a total loser to me. But apparently the anti-whalers think otherwise. Next time you come up with a total crack pot business plan, you know who you can attempt to fleece...

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