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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: How the times have changed

The High North Alliance report that the next Chairman of the IWC's Scientific Committee will be Norwegian Arne Bjorge.

They note that the only other Norwegian Chairman Johan Ruud
"resigned in protest because the Commission refused to listen to scientific advice to reduce catch quotas, and continued to set Antarctic whaling quotas that were too high."

Contrast that with the resignation of Dr Phillip Hammond in the early 1990's. In the 30 years between, the Greenpeace movement turned the whale into a semi-divine super intelligent and highly endangered being, and whaling for oil died out completely.

So even 40 years ago the politicians at the IWC were ignoring the scientific committee. That didn't change, and the politicians are still ignoring them today.

But what has changed is the message. The Scientific Committee is no longer saying, "wait this may not be safe", they're saying "we've done our work and sustainable whaling is now possible for abundant species".

With politicians from countries which have made it clear that they don't even agree with the Convention which they have signed participating at the IWC, it's clear that this situation can't be remedied.

The loophole of intolerant nations being allowed to join the IWC must be closed if progress is ever to be made - either that or those nations themselves showing that they have some international honour, and voluntaraly withdrawing

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