.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

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: Response from Chris Carter on Norway statements

Today I received an email from NZ Minister of Conservation, Chris Carter's secretary with a response to correspondence I sent concerning a recent press release.

Minister Carter says he stands by his comments:
"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.


Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home


June 2004   July 2004   August 2004   September 2004   October 2004   November 2004   December 2004   January 2005   March 2005   April 2005   May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   December 2005   January 2006   February 2006   March 2006   April 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   April 2008   May 2008   June 2008   July 2008   August 2008   September 2008   October 2008   November 2008   December 2008   January 2009   February 2009   March 2009   April 2009   May 2009   June 2009   July 2009   August 2009   September 2009   October 2009   November 2009   January 2010   February 2010   April 2010   May 2010   June 2010   July 2010   August 2010   September 2010   February 2011   March 2011   May 2013   June 2013  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?