Kiribati Fisheries Minister Tetabo Nakara confirmed Senator Campbell's reading of his country's position.
"We support scientific whaling to continue," Mr Nakara said.
"We have a neutral position on the moratorium on the commercial whaling."
Mr Nakara denied Kiribati was receiving financial aid from Japan in return for its vote.
"Kiribati paid its contribution to the IWC and we will continue to pay the fares of our participation," he said.
The Best Report – IWC decisions taken over by politics
The INTERNATIONAL Whaling Commission, the body set up more than 50 years ago to manage the world's whale stocks, has lost its way and isn't carrying out its key role.
And so, Ray Gambell who headed the IWC's secretariat for at least two decades has concluded that the global organisation which is due to meet in St Kitts-Nevis next month has become largely dysfunctional.
"That is true to the extent that it was established in 1946 to regulate commercial whaling and it is not doing that," he said in an interview from his home in England. "It is not carrying out its primary function."
Gambell, a British marine scientist who stepped down as IWC secretary about five years ago, said that unfortunately politics rather than science has hobbled the commission, preventing many of its members from harvesting some whale stocks which were in abundance, according to the findings of the commission's own Scientific Committee.
"The original people and nations were trying to regulate a high-seas fishery but in more recent times the attitude in the world has been not too much to the utilisation of a natural resource, but the preservation of it," he complained. "So, they are using a piece of fisheries legislation to prohibit capture of stocks of whales, some of which are capable of being utilised on a sustainable basis."
Gambell – who, like commissioners from Caribbean member-states Antigua, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent, supports sustainable utilisation of the world's marine resources – was awarded a British national honour, membership in the Order of the British Empire, OBE, by Queen Elizabeth for his work with the Commission.
He charged that some nations backed by strong NGOs had wrongfully changed the use of the fisheries legislation "from regulating and catching to prohibition of catching".
It's an approach he opposed on scientific grounds.
Little wonder, then, that Gambell said he was enjoying his retirement while not missing the IWC.
"I am having a very nice time in retirement and I don't miss the International Whaling Commission at all," he said. "It was very hard work and, particularly towards the end, there was very little movement or very little action in what the Commission was doing in the last few years, which was very frustrating."
Interestingly, when the IWC held its first meeting in the Caribbean, Gambell was head of the Secretariat; now that it is returning to the region, he would follow its proceedings from afar.
If Gambell has a major regret, it is the drift away from science-based decisions to actions which are prompted by politics, particularly when it comes to preventing any stocks from being utilised as food.
"As I understand the current estimates of certain stocks, the numbers and their capacities to sustain catches, it is true that there are stocks which could support a regulated catch at a level which could ensure that there is no depletion of the stock," he said. "I think there is a great deal of politics involved. A country which has a powerful economic position is able to use that strength to encourage other people to think the same way."
The IWC's annual plenary meeting is to be held June 15 to 20 in Basseterre, St Kitts.
Amusing to see the anti-whaling parties bickering amongst themselves for media attention - who is the greenest!?
Conservation Minister Chris Carter is defending New Zealand's signing of a WTO agreement which allows for trading of whale products.
The group Australians for Animals, says WTO tariff schedules, which both Australia and New Zealand have signed, allow the import and export of whale products, despite the global ban on commercial whaling.
Sue Arnold, from the Australians for Animals group, says both countires have allowed the WTO schedules to override environmental treaties they have signed up to. She says ministers are not telling people Australia and New Zealand are "held hostage" by the WTO.
"When we sit down and weigh up which is more important - trade or whales - trade is going to win," she says.
But, Carter says that despite the WTO agreement, trading in whale products in New Zealand is banned under two pieces of legislation. He says it is useful having those products on a schedule so Customs can require they be declared therefore protecting and conserving whales.
Carter says he is a little surprised New Zealand has been criticised for doing something which is protecting whales.
Labels: Chris Carter
Japan to Murder 260 Whales in the North Pacific this Summer(1) Misuse of the word "murder": "the unlawful killing of one human by another". Whales are not humans. One may subscribe to an animal rights philosophy that tries to equate the two, but trying to redefine the English language to help meet that aim is silly, as well as futile - just ask the non-English speakers of the world about it.
The outlaw whalers of Japan are ignoring world opinion and have announced they will target 260 whales in the North Pacific this summer.(2) Misuse of the word "outlaw": "A habitual criminal". Legal opinion in both the most ferocious of anti-whaling nations, New Zealand and Australia acknowledges that there is nothing at all illegal about Japan's research programmes. Sea Shepherd needs to move on and accept reality.
“This level of imperialist exploitation has not been seen since the Japanese army swept in and slaughtered the Chinese people and invaded their lands,” said Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Captain Paul Watson.(4) Misuse of the word "imperialist": "The policy of extending a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations." Japan's actions are completely in line with the International Convention for the Regulation of whaling, and quite legal as is now universally recognised, and noted above.
Although the Japanese claim research as their motivation, the only research they are undertaking is product development and marketing of whale meat.(7) Outright lies. Anyone who cares to look can find and learn about the objectives of the JARPA and JARPN research programmes. Rather than spreading misinformation about the objectives of these programmes, Sea Shepherd should simply state their disagreement to the aims of these programmes and the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.
Sea Shepherd is concentrating on securing a fast ship to oppose the plan by Japan to kill over one thousand whales in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary in December 2006.(8) Even more outright lies. There is no plan to kill over one thousand whales in the Antarctic in December this year (or indeed the entire austral summer), the numbers are 850 minke whales plus +/- 10%, and 10 fin whales.
Labels: Sea Shepherd
Illegal whaling is an issue all should work against
It is futile to argue with people like Nan Rice.
Look at the facts: Japan kills in excess of 1 000 whales a year in protected waters, and has now dropped the lame excuse of doing "research". This is a commercially driven attack on an endangered species in a sanctuary. It is not consistent with the International Whaling Commission's moratorium on whaling.
It is illegal to have a whaling factory ship in a sanctuary. Japan is in violation of the UN Resolution A/Res.37/7 and Sea Shepherd upholds the UN World Charter for Nature by stopping this butchery for profit.
The world at large, Rice included, will happily set aside their responsibilities to confront an economic giant by hiding behind fabricated excuses, and pretend to be concerned - but not concerned enough to try to stop the rot.
Horst Kleinschmidt, with his impeccable track record, has long realised this. The reason he did not join Nan Rice but Sea Shepherd instead is that Rice has still to save a single whale.
The detention order on the Farley Mowat has yet to be withdrawn. Maybe Rice's impeccable sources failed to disclose this to her.
However, we will comply with Samsa's requirements and take the ship out of port once our negotiations with neighbouring countries concerning patrol duties have been finalised, which we expect within this month.
If only all people of goodwill would work towards safeguarding our natural resources and protecting our fellow creatures rather than posturing and crying foul.
Dr Herbert Henrich
Sea Shepherd Conservation Trust South Africa
Labels: Sea Shepherd
Sea Shepherd has told lies about its whaling activitiesWell, that sure is a breath of fresh air. A anti-whaling group that displays at least some semblance of honesty!
May 22, 2006
Over the past months supporters of the Canadian-based organisation Sea Shepherd, now with a presence in South Africa, have criticised government departments and the media, and have fed people with misinformation.
The latest false statement was made by their newly-appointed South African director, Horst Kleinschmidt, who said in the Cape Argus of May 12: "At the moment there's nobody else making this (anti-whaling) their business" (in South Africa).
One wonders what my organisation has been doing for the past 28 years. In reply to Dr Herbert Henrich ("Give Sea Shepherd due", Brief Points, May 17), I regret to inform him that Sea Shepherd is considered internationally to be radical and violent.
It was for this reason that it lost its status as an observer at the International Whaling Commission in 1986.
In 1994 all the commission's member countries condemned Sea Shepherd's acts of "terrorism".
No whale conservation society approves of Japan's lethal research programme in Antarctica and the North East Pacific. However, it is essential that the facts be given.
Sea Shepherd has claimed it went to Antarctica to stop Japan's "illegal" research whaling.
What Japan is doing is not inconsistent with the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, and Japan has a special permit to carry out research.
In relation to Sea Shepherd's vessel, Farley Mowat, Henrich and others insist that the vessel is detained in Cape Town harbour at the bidding of nations who rape our seas.
We have it on good authority that the vessel can sail at any time provided it conforms with South Africa's safety regulations. Why then is it still there?
Save the Whales Campaign Fish Hoek
Labels: Sea Shepherd
Give Sea Shepherd due
Why is it that any article on the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society ("Surprise recruit for whaling watchdog", May 12) has to carry the worn-out words "violent" and "radical"?
Is it not about time the media informed people of other, more relevant, aspects of Sea Shepherd?
It would be marvellous if, for once, we had some support in trying the stop the illegal killing of whales.
Does nobody realise that Japan's ulterior intention is to have an absolutely free hand on the oceans of this world - to deplete them until no whale, dolphin or tuna is left?
Is it not about time the lone fight of Sea Shepherd receives some recognition and support, in particular from countries that claim to understand the necessity of protecting our oceans and all its creatures?
Do we deserve to have our ships kept in South Africa's detention at the bidding of nations who rape our seas?
Dr Herbert Henrich
Sea Shepherd Conservation Trust South Africa
Herbert Henrich seems upset that his organization is described as "violent" and "radical" (Brief points - May 17, 2006)Hopefully they will publish it. This guy seems to be completely off his rocker. The suggestion that Japan has "ulterior intentions" to deplete the world's marine resources is about as ridiculous as you could get. No wonder no one takes them seriously.
What does he suggest would be a more appropriate description of Sea Shepherd actions, including attempts to inflict damage on other vessels at sea through use a "can opener" device attached to the hull of the Sea Shepherd ship the Farley Mowat?
He bemoans that his group finds little support in opposing the "illegal killing of whales". Perhaps he should consider that this may be because even law experts of vociferous anti-whaling nations such as New Zealand and Australia now recognise that Japan's whaling is perfectly legal.
He also claims that Japan's motives are to completely exhaust marine resources, despite Japan's clearly enunciated position of support for the principle of sustainable use. Furthermore, common sense tells us that depleting marine resources is totally contrary to the interests of such a nation with a long cultural heritage of reliance on the sea for food.
Indeed, "violent" and "radical" are quite apt descriptions for the group he represents, but "extremist eco-terrorists" would be even more appropriate.
Labels: Sea Shepherd
Diplomats Reprimanded Over Whaling Protest11:32 AM, 17 May 2006
Norway's foreign ministry has summoned diplomats from 12 countries, including New Zealand, to protest against what it called "unfounded attacks" on Norway's whaling practice.
In April, 12 anti-whaling nations handed over a letter of protest to Norway accusing it of endangering minke whales by raising its annual hunting quota.
This year, Norway authorised its whalers to take 1,052 minke whales, up from 796 in 2005.
The total minke population is estimated at more than 100,000 in the North Atlantic.
The 12 protesting countries also accused Norway of pressuring its researchers to justify large-scale destruction of the species.
The foreign ministry called the diplomats to a meeting yesterday to inform them that their allegations were "unfounded".
Amanda HodgeAll those confrontations, for what? What did Australian Pacific Greenpeace supporters get for their money?May 13, 2006
CONSERVATION giant Greenpeace Australia Pacific has posted its third operating loss in as many years and culled staff numbers.
Greenpeace chief executive Steve Shallhorn admitted yesterday the organisation had been forced to make 12 full-time staff members out of 80 redundant this year in a belt-tightening exercise aimed at balancing the budget.
The organisation's financial report for 2005 shows it raised more than $17 million last year from supporters - almost $4million more than in 2004 - but recorded a net loss of $907,000.
In 2004, Greenpeace Australia was $1.2 million in the red.
According to the audited financial statement, the losses were a result of "additional investment in fundraising" - an investment which Greenpeace believes has stemmed the decline in new supporter numbers over recent years.
Mr Shallhorn defended the losses, saying they were planned as the organisation drew down and spent cash reserves of almost $4million.
"Over three years we had the ability to spend more money on campaigns than we earned because we were drawing down reserves," he said.
"This year we're moving to a balanced budget."
He admitted that Greenpeace had also wound down some campaigns and shifted others overseas under a new agreement with Greenpeace International that would see 25per cent of all the Australia Pacific arm's fundraising go offshore.
Greenpeace Australia already contributes 18 per cent of its revenues to Greenpeace International each year.
From next year, that contribution will rise by an additional 7 per cent in order to fund new Greenpeace offices in countries such as China, India, Thailand, Indonesia and China.
"Greenpeace offices have agreed to a phenomenon known as the Global Resource Allocation where the larger offices set aside a proportion of their fundraising to be spent on campaigns in the developing world," Mr Shallhorn said.
As a result, more money would be diverted to campaigning against the rapid deforestation of Melanesia, Papua New Guinea and The Amazon as well as unsustainable fishing practices in the Pacific.
He said no further redundancies would be required to fund those projects.
"The last year or so has been very good for Greenpeace and we have grown the number of supporters and as 2005 financial statements show, we're raising more money each year," Mr Shallhorn said.
"If anything we're finding the current climate relatively easy to get Australians to support our work and attracted an additional 1500 supporters in the last six months."
About one million euros were spent on Greenpeace's anti-whaling campaign in January this year that saw numerous high-seas confrontations with Japanese whaling boats, but that money came from the Greenpeace International budget, a Greenpeace Australia Pacific spokeswoman said last night.
From December last year through January for the period of a month, Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd, working in concert together, relentlessly and repeatedly carried out acts of obstruction against our research vessels. These vessels were conducting just research whaling activities in accordance with the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling in the Antarctic ocean.The bottom of the letter has a place holder for members of the public who wish to sign their name in support of the protest to do so. I sent my name off to the ICR this morning, of course, as well as a few words of encouragement.
These same groups repeatedly attempted to entangle rope in the propellers of research vessels, manouvered abnormally close to our ships, amongst various other dangerous acts, and in one instance caused a collision with a part of one of our research vessels. This behaviour ignored international agreements that are designed to ensure the safety of marine navigation and that prohibit acts of piracy. In no way could these acts be considered as peaceful protest action. These were unforgivable terrorist acts that put the precious lives of the research vessel staff at risk in the harsh Antarctic environment. We strongly demand of both these groups that they do not carry out these kinds of terrorist acts again in future.
News that the Tuvaluan Government said it was grateful for aid from Australia and New Zealand but wanted to act in the best interests of its people has been met with disappointment.
The decision comes before a crucial International Whaling Commission meeting at which Japan may take control of the 66-nation body.
New Zealand's whaling commissioner, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, said Tuvalu's stance was bad news.
"It's going to be exceedingly close and therefore every vote counts."
A senior Tuvaluan Government official was quoted as saying: "Our position has never changed since we joined the International Whaling Commission. We are for the sustainable use of whatever resources we have, be it whales, fish, forestry, land.
"Whilst we appreciate assistance from both countries, Tuvalu should be allowed as a sovereign nation to make its independent decision on what is best for its people."
Mr Carter was not available for comment yesterday but a spokesman said despite relationship-building between the two countries "it was never expected the meeting would produce an overnight change in Tuvalu's position".
The diplomatic failure for Mr Carter comes as nations lined up with Japan meet in Tokyo today to plan their strategy for the IWC meeting from June 16 to 20 in the Caribbean nation of St Kitts and Nevis.
On paper Japan has a majority of the 66 member nations in the IWC. To overturn the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling would require a three-quarters majority. This is considered unlikely, but a simple majority vote would amount to a big win for Japan and fellow whaling nations Norway and Iceland.
Mr Carter is to visit the Solomons, Kiribati and Nauru before the IWC meeting. Sir Geoffrey said the lobbying was important "as the Pacific has been turning against us in the International Whaling Commission".
"When the RMP was adopted by the IWC in 1994, the Commission chose to set the "tuning levels" between 54 percent (below which a stock would be fully protected) and 72 percent (at which the maximum quota levels, to take the full replacement yield, would be set). Norway announced at the annual meeting of the IWC in June 2005 that for its commercial whaling operations, it would be reducing the tuning level from 72 percent to 60 percent ... I understand that Norway will be formally presenting the position to the IWC Scientific Committee at this month's meeting of the IWC Scientific Committee, at which it will be peer reviewed."I responded to the Minister's secretary as follows, taking the opportunity to also suggest a policy change:
Thank you very much for your response.
I understand that the Minister has been flying to places such as Tuvalu in search of support for New Zealand's position at the IWC in recent days, so I do appreciate his taking the time to reply at what must be a particularly busy time.
As for content of his response, I'm still left uncertain regarding the Minister's comments.
The Minister states that the Commission chose to use tuning levels between 0.54 and 0.72. It's my understanding that tests of the RMP by the Scientific Committee during it's development have already shown these values to ensure that the IWC's management objectives are met.
Norway's selection of 0.60 is of course within the range of 0.54 and 0.72.
Additionally, the tuning level change from 0.72 to 0.60 has been gradual, not sudden. Norway used 0.66 in 2001, and 0.62 in 2003.
It is for these reasons that I expect that the Scientific Committee will refer the Minister to their earlier work on the matter.
I understand that the Norwegians are of the opinion that under ecosystem-based management the catch limits would be somewhat higher than under the highly conservative RMP.
As Norway lodged a formal objection to Para 10 (e) of the IWC Schedule, there is of course no legal reason for Norway to employ the conservative RMP at all, instead of independant approaches yielding larger quotas. There is nothing stopping them from declaring "open season", other than their own good sense.
However, there is no guarantee that this will continue to be the case. If New Zealand's position is to "save whales", the best way to ensure that as few whales as possible are removed over the long term is to work constructively to complete an RMS agreeable to Norway (and indeed other nations following the principle of sustainable use) sooner, rather than later (or indeed never).
Failing to do this leaves open the possibility that Norway may indeed continue to increase it's quotas to levels that do prove to be unsustainable, although that doesn't appear to be a realistic concern at present.
I think the time has come for New Zealand to recognise that dreams of 21st century where there is no whaling is fanciful, and that compromise is necessary at the IWC to ensure that the best conservation outcomes do come to pass. Furthermore, it's important for New Zealand's position to reflect the reality that whaling is entirely consistent with the concept of ecosystem-based management of marine resources, as noted in Agenda 21 and recent FAO documentation on fisheries.
I notice that (http://www.mfe.govt.nz/issues
/susdev/wssd/) New Zealand wishes to position itself as "a champion of sustainable development, at home and internationally, committed to following and developing best practice". If indeed New Zealand wishes to consistently champion such principles, changes to our anti-whaling policy are evidently required.
I'll be following proceedings at St Kitts with interest.
Labels: Chris Carter
Ambassador Liverpool is adamant that Antigua & Barbuda’s participation in the International Whaling Commission is necessary to build and sustain international alliances with countries that are similarly committed to the sustainable utilisation approach in the management of oceanic resources.
Senator Massiah has also rationalised the Caribbean’s position as one rooted in a number of factors.
“The position taken by Caribbean countries within the IWC remains rooted in respect for cultural diversity, traditions of coastal peoples as well as coastal state rights, relevant national and international laws, the need for science based management, the contribution of marine resources to our respective economies, poverty reduction and food security,” Senator Massiah stated.
Indeed, it's remarkable that the anti-whaling nations continue to fail to recognise this position.Not only that, they choose to bully Antigua & Barbuda and other Caribbean nations on these issues, as well as insult their integrity. From 2005:
ULSAN, South Korea (AFP): Western governments and environmental groups have threatened and intimidated other states because of their opposition to a ban on commercial whaling, delegates from two Caribbean countries alleged Sunday.
"Dominica... is a country that has been threatened," delegate Lloyd Pascal told reporters in the former South Korean whaling port of Ulsan. "They think they can intimidate us.
"It's not only the NGOs (non-governmental organisations). Governments are sending their envoys to the Caribbean and intimidate our government to tell them that if you don't change your position you're going to risk how much aid... you get from us."
"The islands of the Caribbean have been under tremendous pressure from NGOs because they do not follow the dictates of their instructions at the IWC," he added.Fisheries Minister Joanne Massiah of Antigua and Barbuda said only that those behind the threats were "governments of the developed world".
"The agenda and the emotive sentiment that are being expressed by the NGOs and the anti-whaling camp are colonialist in nature and patronising in the extreme," she told journalists.
"What we have seen is an effort to stymie our tourism product by a misinformation campaign," she alleged, saying that NGOs were leading the campaign.
Many of Japan's supporters among the small island-developing nation group deeply resent what they claim is bullying and interference in their economic self-determination by wealthy countries.Various other Caribbean perspectives are covered in this article on a symposium on sustainable use of regional marine resources held in St Kitts. Briefer coverage of the symposium is here.
"It's a privilege of being economically well-off, this failure to understand and accept the cultures of traditional peoples," says Antigua and Barbuda Agriculture and Resources Minister Joanne Massiah. "We forget that 50 million people are starving every day while we look at this issue so flippantly and that marine resources are a critical source of protein."
Posted at 03:28 on 09 May, 2006 UTC
Tuvalu says it will maintain its policy of sustainable whaling despite a New Zealand effort to have it change its stance.
The news agency, Pacnews, quotes an unnamed Tuvalu official as saying that it has maintained the policy since joining the International Whaling Commission.
The comment comes after New Zealand’s conservation minister, Chris Carter, visited Funafuti.
The Tuvalu official described the visit as an apparent bid by New Zealand and Australia to get Tuvalu to vote against pro-whaling nations like Japan and Norway.
Mr Carter says Tuvalu has voted with the pro-whaling nations before, but Tuvalu is also a member of the Pacific community where whale conservation and eco-tourism offers considerable economic opportunities.
New Zealand has agreed to spend 112,000 US dollars to conduct a training and survey programme in Tuvalu to get information about whales and dolphins in its waters.
WDCS was shocked to find a website selling whale meat for pets and claiming the products are ‘fished freshly out of the water’, ‘organic’, ‘safe and healthy’ and ‘made in factories where whale meat is processed for human consumption’.Again, if one checks the facts, one comes off with a very different impression than that given by the WDCS.
"We have heard many arguments from Japan over the years about why whaling is necessary to them but they have never stated that they needed to kill whales to feed their dogs!”
Furthermore, humans don’t eat whale parts such as the small intestines, so it’s both natural and environmentally friendly for these parts to be processed as pet food if they can, rather than simply thrown out in the trash.
Mark Simmonds, Director of Science at WDCS tries to give the impression that juicy steaks of whale meat from the antarctic research programmes is being turned into pet food. As we can see, he is simply put, a liar.
The existence of the commercial website site itself is also another example that there is demand in Japan for "kujira" products.
Tuvalu has voted with the pro-whaling nations in the past, but Mr Carter hopes he can persuade it to abstain on some critical issues.A disgrace. Tuvalu is a sovereign nation, and it's people are quite capable of understanding whaling issues and making a decision by themselves, without Chris Carter's guidance. Then again, perhaps Carter may learn a thing or two out of the discussion, so it may be a useful exercise afterall.
Tuvalu has made its position on the issue quite clear.
As a supposedly responsible Minister, Chris Carter should rightfully have heeded this request.
Prime Minister Maatia Toafa has called on Australia and New Zealand to allow Tuvalu to be able to make a decision on its own, without pressure.
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