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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: Eugene Lapointe tells it like it is

Former Secretary-General of CITES (1982-1990) Eugene Lapointe writes a letter to the Ottawa Citizen:

Dear Sir:

Mark Anderson struggles to identify a reason why abundant whales shouldn’t be harvested on a sustainable basis (“Saving the whales is simply the right thing to do”, 2 June 2005).

His personal feeling that killing whales is wrong is a reasonable justification for him not to go whaling. However, it is not sufficient ethical reasoning to justify trying to impose those convictions on fishermen in other countries who have very different feelings.

It is important that we consider how and why wildlife is utilized before we make ethical judgments on others. Japanese people have eaten whale meat for centuries, Japan only hunts abundant whales, it does so on a sustainable basis, its harvests are carried out lawfully, the whales are fully utilized, and Japanese scientists study whale populations to improve understanding of sustainable yields.

From an environmental point of view, consumers of seafood should be encouraged to choose meat from well-managed fisheries. This is the case with Japan’s whaling program and it provides sufficient justification for the harvests.

It is surely a moral imperative that we rely on more than just our feelings when trying to influence others on how to utilize wildlife or other natural resources.

Kind regards
Eugene Lapointe

There is an interesting story behind Eugene Lapointe's dismissal from CITES in 1990:

Lapointe left his post at CITES dramatically on November 2, 1990, when he was dismissed by UNEP executive director Mostapha Tolba. The campaign to remove him was led by a handful of U.S. officials and 28 major NGOs, who, according to Lapointe, “claimed I had become the worst criminal on the planet.” His crime was advocating a sustainable-use philosophy that allowed for scientifically directed hunting of whales, elephants, and other animals, especially in situations that respect local cultural values.

Thirty months later, a Panel of Judges at the United Nations described Lapointe’s dismissal as “capricious and arbitrary,” resulting from “the worst case of character assassination in the history of the United Nations.” In a unanimous decision, the judges vindicated Lapointe, awarded him financial compensation, ordered his reinstatement, and forced the U.N. secretary general to write a letter stating that Lapointe "had fulfilled his duties and responsibilities in every way and in a highly satisfactory manner.”

This sort of business that the anti-whaling, anti-sustainable-use NGOs indulge in should have been their downfall long ago. One hopes that one day the MSM can see this bunch of fraudsters for what they are.

I find your comment that NGO's are fraudsters offensive at the very least. As I am sure you have heard the "we have the responsibility as a species of reason to ensure the survival of all species" argument already I will spare you. However the fact remains that countries like Japan, or organisations that reap great rewards from hunting species like elephants and whales and I suppose even the little animals like seabirds will always put the money first - at the cost of the species or not. NGO's work on a pittance and have no self-interest other than actually saving what little species we have left in this world of greed and overconsumption. If it weren't for their creation i wonder if any country would have taken a stand against greed and actually been selfless, open-minded and insightful enough to put a stop something like overwhaling. Read some historic scientific literature before making brash comments. And in addition Eugene Lapointe was forced to resign from CITES because of his suspicious involvement in his capacity as secretary general with ivory traders- as well as making very idiotic decisions like allowing legalizations of hundreds of tonnes of poached ivory which in turn caused many illegal traders to become greatly rich and continue to use the loopholes of the control systems to their advantage. In his tenure 1 000 000 million elephants (out of 1.5 mil) died, most of which I can assure you were slaughered for their ivory - which, lets face it - no one needs. So why cause genocide to a species because of something that looks pretty. If you want more information on this I wrote a disseration for my environmental degree entitled: "The efficacy of down-listing the African Elephant under CITES". Google it. As a Namibian I witness greed and corruption regularly - as a scientist I sadly agree that sustainable use, especially in Africa is inevitably the only solution to saving african species, but as a person with more than an ounce of humanity I pray that the concept of morality gets into some people's thick skulls. Most of the time the only people who reap the rewards of animal and plant use are the rich and powerful and the greater population in my country live on the breadline. And to bring me back to my argument about NGO's - whose only goals are to actually ensure the survival of life on earth - what do you think the private corporations or sovereigns actually care about?
Anonymous - Eugene Lapointe being forced from his position was subsequently found to have been "arbitrary and capricious".

As this post is from 2005, and few are likely to read it, I will refrain from responding further to your comment.
Well I just read the comment six year later, and not only do I agree with anonymous I find his or her remarks unsettlingly prophetic.
You are clearly aligned with the mentality that we can continue to slaughter species and mine the planet until the bitter end. We will continue to experience the repercussions of Mr. Lapoint'e tenure at CITES for many years to come; case in point, his decision to allow the sale of poached ivory has fueled the market that continues to this day, which is attributed to the slaying of over 400 elephants in Cameroon. "It is reported that elephants have been slaughtered by groups from Chad and the Sudan during the last weeks, taking advantage of the dry season. The poached ivory is believed to be exchanged against money, weapons and ammunition to support conflicts in neighbouring countries. A collaborative and coordinated enforcement response is needed." (CITES concern over Cameroon elephant poaching, 28 February 2012 http://www.davidshepherd.org/news-events/news/cites-concern-over-cameroon-elephant-poaching/ .
His claim that “extremist NGOs …real quest is the greenback” is absurd and laughable as is your profound worshipping of this little man. And the claims by the IWMC and its ilk (people like you) that whale meat can be used as a food supply aid to Africa is a bandaid at best to the growing world food crisis. To truly return to a sustainable food culture (i.e. one that does not entail harvesting of NON TRADITIONAL resources, middlemen, lengthy transport and associated costs, etc.) we must promote and revitalize local and traditional cultural knowledge and understanding of native resources. That doesn’t include increasing quotas of Pacific herring in Alaska year after year to supply the growing demand of roe to the Japanese market, or allow them to stockpile resources for later sale on the world market. The motivation for the Japanese to overharvest fish and marine mammals from boundary waters, as well as ILLEGALLY hunt whales in the southern marine sanctuary, is testimony to the fact that they are only looking to future profit as a world food bank (e.g. their stockpile of cetacean meat, as well as timber, etc.) for sale on the world market as resources dwindle away. This has nothing to do with aid or sustainability.
I think you didn’t formulate a response because you couldn’t come up with one. You are part of a greedy, dumbed down society that believes that emotional intellect is a weakness, I can only guess that because you have “Tokyo” in your moniker that you are part of that soulless consumptive monster that is japan. You cow tow to idiots like Lapointe because you believe that power lies in a printed piece of linen. You are a coward, Dave @ Tokyo, and there is nothing straight about your blog.
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