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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: Another thing Chris doesn't seem to get

Here's Chris Carter again:
“Most of the global community accepts that killing whales is not necessary to study whale populations. Yet Japan continues to do so.
Leaving aside his baseless statement about what "most of the global community" thinks, Carter needs to grasp the reality of Japan's programmes.

The Japanese have been at this for 18 years now. This isn't just a flash in the pan. Japan's research programmes are part of a long term strategy to enable Japan to kill whales for all eternity. Killing whales is what whaling is all about.
The scientific studies themselves are not the end, they are one of the means. Japan believes that without scientific research, good management decisions regarding whaling can not be made.

Management here means - not what Chris Carter would have us do - that is to do absolutely nothing - but to adjust whale catch quotas in a way that can achieve favourable outcomes for both the people who wish to utilise those resources, but also the environment as a whole.

The anti-whaling nations make much about their whale watching industries and talk as if whaling activities will drive them out of business. They talk about "reasserting the rights" of their coastal communities "to benefit from the non-lethal use of whales". It should be noted that the IWC's function is the regulation of whaling - to ensure stocks are conserved and whaling industry is made possible - but this goal is not at all incompatible with the goals of those who wish to benefit from non-lethal uses of whales.

Clearly the reference is to whale watching activites. It doesn't take a whale scientist to figure out that sustainable whaling activities implies sustainable numbers of whales - and thus the needs of both groups can be met. This is not just an ideal, but a reality in whaling regions such as Iceland.

All that is required for this to be acheived is for the anti-whaling bloc in particular to genuinely accept that the whaling peoples of the world have a right to exist, and to work constructively to achieve the goal for the common good.

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