.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

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: Anti-whaling nation disregard for science

Anti-whaling delegates to the IWC have shown what little regard they have for making whale management decisions based on science (and indeed their fear of it) by instructing their members on the IWC's Scientific Commitee to refuse to even review the Japanese research programmes.

Isn't it remarkable how often we see in the western media statements that Japan's research is just a front for commercial whaling, and yet Japan fronts up at the IWC Scientific Committee with their research, and the anti-whaling camp chooses to ignore it?

Science is indeed the enemy of the anti-whaling nations.

With better scientific knowledge of whale populations, the argument for a return to sustainable whaling is strengthened. The anti-whaling tactic to prevent this is to denounce without due consideration, and feed the information to the western media, who buy it harpoon, line and sinker:

The boycott by 16 of the 30 national delegations in the IWC scientific committee, including Australia's, is a serious blow to the credibility of Japan's whaling program,

This is a typically backwards western media statement.

Ask yourself: How is the credibility of Japan's whaling program damaged by scientists promoted to the IWC's Scientific Committee by anti-whaling nations refusing to even review the research?

On the contrary, what would be a blow to the credibility of the research was if the Scientific Committee did review it and found it to be seriously flawed. Japan's research programme doesn't suffer at all from this childish move.

Given that these anti-whaling scientists have been sent all the way to Korea just to say "we aren't going to do any work", it's clear that the only reason for the anti-whaling nations standing their people on the Scientific Commitee is just to grab a headline. What other purpose does it serve if your scientists show up, but then do nothing?

The article also states that:

Because the boycott left pro-whaling scientists in control of the JARPA II review, the scientific committee is expected to endorse Japan's plans.

More misinformation. Only a number of the scientists on the Scientific Committee are nominated by IWC member nations, both pro and anti. The nominated scientists from the 16 nations who choose to throw a hissyfit would likely represent a minority of the 200 or so members of the committee. Throughout the years, leading scientists on the commitee have been from nations that stand against whaling - for example Dr Phillip Hammond of the U.K. (see more below) and Dr Doug Butterworth from South Africa. Pro-whaling nations certainly have no "control" over the scientific committee. Scientists of the committee have their reputations at stake.

On the other hand, the anti-whaling nations can't win the scientific arguments at the IWC's Scientific Committee, so they have given up and used this action to generate a headline. And the anti-whaling "scientists" won't even front up:

A senior scientist, who asked not to be named, told The Australian the 16 delegations had decided, for scientific reasons, not to be involved with JARPA II.

How about that. A "scientist" who is too embarassed to put his name to his actions.

Their basic objection was that there has been no independent review of the original JARPA, which ran in the Antarctic waters for 18 years and finished last summer.

Japan wants to have secret ballots introduced at the IWC to remove foreign political pressure from member nations' voting decisions. Yet here we have an anti-whaling "scientist" refusing to have his name put against his "scientific reasons" for not reviewing Japan's research, which apparently amounts to nothing more than "we haven't seen an independant review".

Why does a alledged "scientist" need an independent review?
Shouldn't he be capable enough himself to examine the research presented?
If a "scientist" can't figure this out, why should we believe anything other than my hypothesis above - that the anti-whaling nations are employing these people as political tools to get headlines?

As I alluded to at the top, this is all yet another example of anti-whaling nations' utter disregard for making whale management decisions based on scientific information, as required by the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.

Indeed, there have been numerous occurances of this through the IWC's history.

In May 1993, the Dr Phillip Hammond of the U.K., and Chairman of the Scientific Committee handed in his resignation in protest at anti-whaling nation disregard for the scientific work done by the committee. Despite the committee's unanimous recommendation to the IWC of the "Revised Management Procedure" - a mechanism for the safe management of commercial whaling, the anti-whaling nations at the IWC blocked moves to put this into practice.

Hammond noted:

Of course, the reasons for this were nothing to do with science. Although, despite the unanimity of the Scientific Committee's recommendation, some Commissioners used selective quotations out of context from the Committee's report to justify not adopting the RMP on "scientific" grounds.

He continued, lammenting:

what is the point of having a Scientific Committee if its unanimous recommendations on a matter of primary importance are treated with such contempt?

And with this latest news from the IWC, it's clear that the situation hasn't improved.

Labels: , ,

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home


June 2004   July 2004   August 2004   September 2004   October 2004   November 2004   December 2004   January 2005   March 2005   April 2005   May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   December 2005   January 2006   February 2006   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   April 2008   May 2008   June 2008   July 2008   August 2008   September 2008   October 2008   November 2008   December 2008   January 2009   February 2009   March 2009   April 2009   May 2009   June 2009   July 2009   August 2009   September 2009   October 2009   November 2009   January 2010   February 2010   April 2010   May 2010   June 2010   July 2010   August 2010   September 2010   February 2011   March 2011   May 2013   June 2013  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?