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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 2006: "World Opinion"

17 anti-whaling countries sent a message of protest to Japan today.

So much for "world opinion". There are 66 member nations in the IWC these days - the anti-whaling camp has a simple majority there - but even still only 17 countries participated in this protest.

Is this supposed to be the "world opinion" against whaling? If so, why is it so sparse and seemingly disorganized?

The 17 nations were:

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom

Looking at the list of nations we can see that:
- There are 3 Central / South American nations
- There are 2 Australasian nations
- There are 12 West European nations

- There are no North-american nations
- There are no Asian nations
- There are no African nations
- There are no Pacific Island nations

"World Opinion"?

If you believe that the world consists of predominately white european nations and their colonies, maybe, otherwise this really does look like a "our culture versus your culture" kind of list.

Interesting to note that Luxembourg doesn't even has a coastline. Indeed, there are 8 nations at the IWC that do not have a coastline. 7 of them vote against whaling. Were those nations not members of the IWC, the anti-whaling bloc at the IWC would be reduced to a minority.

'Interesting to note that Luxembourg doesn't even has a coastline. '

If Luxembourg was voting for whaling, rather than against it, this lack of coastline would not bother David in the slightest.

17 countries protested.

'Only' three countries are engaged in non-'aborigional' whaling.

There is a democratic moratorium.

Those are the facts.

If David's only interest is the 'sustainable' use of whales as an international resource, then culture and coastline are irrelevant.
A bit like David's disingenuous argument that countries that do not approve of industrialised whaling should leave the IWC! :-)
lamna nasus

17 countries does not represent even a majority of the IWC, let alone the majority of "world opinion". That is the title of this post.

The moratorium has nothing to do with the research whaling, and if you understood the ICRW you'd know it. As I have pointed out to you (although you plugged your ears and covered your eyes to it) even New Zealand's law experts are publicly stating that Japan's whaling is legal.

Accept it.

Move on.

"A bit like David's disingenuous argument that countries that do not approve of industrialised whaling should leave the IWC"

On the contrary, countries that believe that there should be no whaling find their position contrary to the goals of the ICRW, an international agreement. What is disingenuous and dishonourable is those nations' yearly decision to remain party to the convention, which they clearly do not agree with the content of. The only honourable action for those nations is to leave the IWC, rather than attempt to subvert it's purpose.
Since when was the IWC or the ICRW, 'world opionion'!!?

While Daivd was fulminating against Luxembourg, he forgot to mention Mongolia doesn't have a coastline but regularly votes for Pro-whaling measures.

Virtually every international convention has signatories who wish to change it.

It is just as reasonable to ask why Japan has not left the IWC and why Iceland did leave and then came back.

There is a democratic moratorium.

Accept it.

Move on.
I think Mongolia's belonging to the IWC is as ridiculous as the 7 landlocked European countries belonging to the IWC.

The anti-whaling nations don't just want to "change" the ICRW, they want to dismantle it, skuttle it. They don't want the goals of the ICRW fulfilled. Their goal is neither conservation nor whaling, but blanket protectionism, which is the epitome of anti-environmentalism.

It's common knowledge to anyone who knows the issue why Iceland left, and it's for similar reasons that Japan has suggested in the past that it too might leave.

If the ship you set sail on for Whaling City has turned around and is going in the wrong direction (i.e., hijacked), you certainly can't be blamed for wanting to get off.

You talk of a "democratic" moratorium, and I'm glad you raise the issue.

As you know, the moratorium was only adopted after a Greenpeace recruitment campaign bolstered numbers of anti-whaling nations at the IWC, including placing fake commissioners in the place of true representatives from Caribbean nations. Not that I imagine this bothers you - you only find it disagreeable if the other side plays dirty too. Or am I wrong?

Another interesting facet of IWC "democracy" is that groups that you appear to support are against secret ballots. This measure would ensure small nations could vote freely at the IWC - without fear of reprisal from both nations such as Australia & New Zealand and NGO groups such as Greenpeace, as well any alledged pressure from Japan.

Yet Greenpeace and the core anti-whaling countries oppose the measures in the name of "transparency"!

Secret ballots are the cornerstone of any democratic process. Go and ask the people of Iraq about it. It's very clear that small nations are pressured by larger nations such as Australia to vote as Australia sees fit with regards to the whaling issue. The very real threat of tourism boycotts levelled against these countries undermines their sovereignity.

One example from last year was when the Solomons, who had supposedly been "bought" by the Japanese, turned around and agreed to vote with Australia after just a single meeting with Australia's Senator Campbell. One wonders what could be said at a single meeting to make a "bought" nation change their stance?

Tuvalu also indicated clearly that they too had been subjected to such pressure but resisted.


And more on the issue, this time regarding Nauru. Campbell questions why Nauru, a small island nation dependent on marine resources, would join the IWC, yet questions not the reasons for landlocked Luxembourg and co joining the IWC!

Decisions at the IWC regarding the highly politicised issue that is whaling will never be democractic until the ballots are secret. Only then will there be certainty that nations are voting freely without external pressure. Of course, it's subverting the purpose of the ICRW that the anti-whaling camp are aiming for, not respected democratic process. The stakes are politically too high for anti-whaling nations to allow for smaller vulnerable nations to vote as they see fit. Any resumption in commercial whaling will be a political nightmare for the "environment ministers" in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Until those politicians take it upon themselves to act in accordance with principle, this situation will remain unchanged.
'you certainly can't be blamed for wanting to get off.' -

Then why dont they? They have certainly had long enough.

Interesting to see you are know linking to your own blog as a reference, guess that must be because you are a computer 'scientist'.
> Then why dont they? They have certainly had long enough.

Iceland did, or did you forget already?

> Interesting to see you are know linking to your own blog as a reference, guess that must be because you are a computer 'scientist'.

All blogger's reference their own blog.

You can't use a browser properly, don't understand what a blog is, nor anything about the ICRW - what else can teach you? do you know how to make french fries?
Would that be the same Iceland that rejoined after getting off? Indeed was so desperate to get back on the 'hijacked ship' that it broke IWC rules and procedures to do so or did you forget already?
Well David,

you are a piece of work, take the ODA from Japan how much of a conclusive opinion do you have except yours that the world supports whaling in the manner you propose.

If the regulations are so well adhered to perhaps you should take a look at the activities in St.Vincent, get a cald, mother will follow. I understand that is not in the rules as it were.


> how much of a conclusive opinion do you have except yours that the world supports whaling in the manner you propose.

One of the most interesting things about the IWC is that it is a forum where the world gets to know exactly who believes in consistent application of agreed principles, and who does not.

The people of those 17 nations should be embarassed that their nations demonstrably hold irrational exceptions to the globally accepted principle of sustainable use.

The rest of the world's people can be proud that their countries believe in consistent application of this principle, even when it does not directly effect their own people.

This is true leadership.
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