.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: Live blogging - Day 3

[21:25 JST] Hello all! Thank you for visiting again today. As I have to go to the office tomorrow, I won't be blogging the meeting proceedings throughout the third day, but by all means, feel free to congregate here, and post comments as events unfold. It will help me get up to speed quickly in the morning :-)

As you would expect, the media is now awash with news of events at the IWC. Ian Campbell is reported to have described whaling as "absolutely inhumane and quite disgusting". Joji Morishita responded that whaling was done in "the most humane way, it is proved by science." Another Japanese official, Akira Nakamae, later said that Campbell's comments were "ungentlemanly" and were damaging Australia's international reputation.

Most certainly, I found the venom in the words of Ian Campbell and Chris Carter of New Zealand quite inappropriate for an international forum such as the IWC. This goes to further reinforce my belief that these nations are merely interested in putting up a strong show, to grab some headlines back in their home countries.

Elsewhere, the IWC homepage now includes the press-release for the first day, and also the report of the Scientific Committee is available as well. There is much interesting reading in there, but more on that at a later point in time. Of particular interest though was the information on minke whale abundance in the Antarctic:

(From 10.1.1. "Estimate abundance of Antarctic minke whales")
SC/58/IA11 reported preliminary analyses of Antarctic minke whale abundance within the ice field using sightings data from the icebreaker, Shirase. The survey area was defined as the area south of the ice edge that was less than 90% ice concentration. In a region where both the icebreaker and the IDCR/SOWER vessels were surveying, estimated whale densities were 0.0324 n.miles–2 (CV=37.1%) within the ice field and 0.0230 n.miles-2 (CV=40.9%) in open water (a ratio of 1.41); these are not significantly different.

The Committee welcomed the presentation of these results. It was suggested that in the future, only open areas of water within the pack ice be considered as the survey area rather than assuming that density is constant across 0-90% ice cover. The Committee recommends that the authors continue these analyses and established an intersessional group to assist in this work (Annex R17). Pending further data collection and analyses, the Committee agrees that the study indicates that there are substantial densities of whales within the pack ice for the area covered, and demonstrates the importance of accounting for whales within the ice field when estimating the absolute abundance of minke whales.
This appears like it will explain the observed decrease in abundance between the second and third circumpolar abundance surveys. Biologically, it was not realistic for the population estimated at 761,000 whales to have reduced as much as the surveys indicated. Anti-whaling scientists leaped on the finding, but now it appears clear that the difference is due to deficiencies in the survey methods used.

In other documents, the Small Cetacean workshop (which Japan refuses to participate in), the Government of New Zealand was urged to do more to properly conserve it's marine resources:
The Committee agrees that there appears to be a significant impact from whalewatching and vessel traffic on this critically small bottlenose dolphin population. It recommends that the Government of New Zealand increases protection for this population and other bottlenose dolphin populations in Fiordland as a matter of urgency.
Shame on the Government of New Zealand.

Elsewhere, regarding Japan's small cetacean hunts, which it regulates independently of the IWC, as it believes only 13 large whale species are within it's competence:
The annual quota for the Dall’s porpoise handheld harpoon hunt issued by Japan remained set at 17,700 for the thirteenth consecutive year, apparently based on an abundance estimate for the exploited populations from surveys in 1989/90. The Committee repeats previous concerns over the sustainability of the hunt and in light of the large and prolonged nature of the directed takes, the Committee reiterates its previous recommendation that directed takes be reduced to sustainable levels as soon as possible. Moreover, the Committee emphasises that current estimates of abundance are essential to assess whether the catch quota is within the limits of sustainability for the affected population(s).
Some very contradictory information there. First the SC paper illustrates that it is unaware upon what information the Dall's porpoise hunt is regulated, using the word "apparently". It then repeats a concern about the sustainability of the hunt, but then finally recognises that it is not in a position to make judgements, given that it does not have current estimates of abundance available to it.

Japan noted in one of the Annexes that it was going to resume the provision of data on a voluntary basis via a governmental website, from this year.

[21:40 JST] I'm off for dinner and to watch the soccer now, but do read through the IWC SC documents if you have time, and comment on any other interesting information you find. I will probably watch a little of the meeting later this evening, or perhaps first thing in the morning before I head off to work. Enjoy the day!

[00:24 JST] Just got back from the soccer - 0-0 between Japan and Croatia, but it seems like I missed little in the IWC proceedings. It appears that the delegates are discussing sanctuaries now.

[00:28 JST] Brazil has just said Japan is holding the IWC "hostage" for "political reasons" because of the JARPA II programmes. I personally can't understand this comment at all. It's well known that Japan wishes to resume commercial whaling in the Southern Hemisphere, and the scientific programmes are a forerunner to that. Does Brazil really not understand this? Now Australia...

[00:31 JST] Australia thinks that the southern ocean sanctuary is a great wonderful achievement of the 20th century, as is the moratorium, and thus supports it.

[00:32 JST] Russian federation now, notes that it supported the sanctuary, but time has past and the moratorium means that the whole globe is a sanctuary. However, Russian federation thinks that in the context of the moratorium, sanctuaries have ceased to have a reason for being, so agrees with Japan on the proposal.

[00:33 JST] Spain supported the sanctuary, and so it supports it now too. So does Mexico.

[00:35 JST] The US disagrees that the sanctuary does not have scientific foundation. Finland supports it as well.

[00:38 JST] The UK now. They state that they note that Japan lodged an objection to the sanctuary with respect to the minke whales only. So they think it's wrong that Japan is now taking Fin and Humpback whales. (From me: nonsense - Japan is taking these whales under scientific permit - why the dishonesty from the UK? More than 10 years have passed since the sanctuary was imposed as well - Japan would likely lodge an objection with regard to the Humpbacks and Fins were the proposal being introduced today.)

Iceland will vote with Japan, agreeing that there is no scientific justification.

[00:41 JST] Switzerland has just stated that they agree with sanctuaries, despite saying pre-meeting that they make their decisions based on science. They have offered no justification for this sanctuary though. Japan is now calling for the vote (on the deletion of the Southern Ocean Sanctuary from the IWC Schedule - 75% majority needed to succeed).

[00:47 JST] Lots of abstentions coming in here from the pro-sustainable use nations, so Japan has lost this one again, 28-33 with 5 abstentions (Nicky Grandy called it 4 abstentions - I have 5...)

[00:49 JST] isanatori has the translation of the Guinea statement: "while the IWC was seeking to complete an RMS to allow both the conservation of whales and their sustainable use, it was going in the opposite way by trying to create or keeping sanctuaries. He compared this situation to the one of trying to open a door with the right hand while holding it closed with the left hand."

Japan thanked the nations who supported the proposal.

[00:51 JST] Interesting that the pro-sustainable use nations are at least equal with the anti-use nations at this meeting, but due to abstentions from various nations on each issue, are unable to gain a simple majority. The 5 nations that abstained on this issue were St Vincent & the Grenadines, Tuvalu, Ivory Coast, Korea and Morocco. Guatemala was not present. Tuvalu would have abstained on the issue because of it's location in the South Pacific. It's be interesting to know the reasons for abstention of these other nations. Denmark voted against this proposal giving the anti-use nations a boost. Belize is again voting against Japan, who, according to anti-whaling NGOs, was "bribed" by Japan with aid. So much for that theory.

[01:04 JST] Dominica is now speaking out against a French sanctuary proposal which would encroach on Dominica's waters. They hope that the French proposal is not an attempt to repossess the islands of the Caribbean. They note that they have already gained independance from France. Dominica has not been consulted. Go Dominica!

St Lucia is echoing those comments. These delegates are clearly very angry with France here. They note that their biggest fisheries problem is encroachment on their fisheries by french interests, and shippage of nuclear waste through their waters. He notes that the anti-whaling position taken by France is a mask to hide away their environmental misbehaviour.

Australia is interjecting now, on the St Lucia comments. Back to St Lucia. St Lucia sees this proposal as an attempt at colonialism. They have not been consulted, and can not consider supporting the proposal until the interests of these nations have been considered.

The UK is congratulating France on the sanctuary proposal now. The UK thinks its a great idea for the Caribbean and hopes in future that they will support it. He notes that he is sure that the French did not mean to neglect to consult the Caribbean islands.

[01:16 JST] St Vincent and the Grenadines noting that they have never been consulted on this proposal at any fisheries body, and that they have not seen the scientific reasons for this proposal.

Cedric Liburd now speaking for St. Kitts and Nevis. The OECS will not support the proposal. It is unfortunate that France is making a statement without consultation.

Grenada associates itself with the OECS speakers.

Antigua and Barbuda now. Mr. Liverpool notes there are still French teritories in the region. They recognise the right of France to establish a sanctuary in it's economic zone. But Antigua & Barbuda note that they have a problem with French illegal fishing in their waters, and it is a challenge to monitor this whaling. Their maritime boundaries have also not been agreed upon, and thus A & B also associates itself with the comments of Dominica and St Lucia.

Now France again. isanatori, do your thing!! :-)

[01:23 JST] OK, that's it for the morning, they have broken for lunch. I assume France is not asking to put this proposal to a vote. They'll be back after lunch at 14:00 local time, for discussion of Special Permits. As for me, I have work tomorrow, so will be hitting the sack now. Enjoy the rest of the proceedings!

[01:27 JST] In the war of words over the huname killing issue, Japan had this to say of Ian Campbell: "I just wonder if the minister knows how long it will take for kangaroos to die in his country?" he said, referring to attempts to control the marsupials seen as pests in parts of Australia.

[05:23 JST] I've just been listening to the debate from the comfort of my futon :-) As noted in my comments, Australia's presentation of non-lethal research turned out to be mainly a tirade at lethal research techniques, with very very little detail supplied on the methods and indeed results of Australia's non-lethal techniques.

Joji Morishita then comprehensively addressed the critrique by Ian Campbell, and in particular, slamdunked Campbell on the issue of the IWC requirements for management.

Campbell first made the statement that the data provided by JARPA was not required for management. Morishita questioned whether this was a quote from the 1997 IWC SC of the JARPA programme. He noted that there was a statement at the beginning of a paragraph to that effect, but following this noted a number of ways in which the JARPA data could contribute to an improved RMP.

Campbell then responded, saying that actually the statement that JARPA data weren't required for management were his own words (clearly a lie).

Morishita then pounced on the mistake by Campbell, pointing out that that is then just Campbell's opinion, whereas the IWC SC review in 1997 clearly stated otherwise.

The report is question is also mentioned at the Whaling-FAQ, #Q1.

Little question that Japan has won the debate easily here, but it's yet to be seen how the delegates will vote on any resolutions.

[06:34 JST] HISTORIC EVENT! The IWC has just adopted the St Kitts and Nevis declaration!
China abstained, but it wasn't enough to stop the adoption! Oman voted no... but they have it! The sustainable use nations have the simple majority!!

33-32 with 1 abstention!

Brazil is now protesting, but it is all in vain.
Brazil has just said that they do not consider Iceland a member of the IWC, and disassociates itself with the declation.
Brazil says it does not agree with the ecosystem approach as an international standard!
This is going to haunt Brazil in the future.

[06:41 JST] New Zealand has also lodged a legal complaint about Iceland. Australia has said that it does not dispute the declaration, but says it doesn't accept the declaration as a statement of the IWC. It notes that it too wants to disassociate itself.

St Kitts is requesting to speak last. Israel speaking now, despite having no whaling policy...

[06:45 JST] Iceland is now reasserting it's membership status. Iceland notes that it has been working with the nations that oppose it's membership in working groups without issue. He regrets that the issue is being reopened. He acknowledges that he is not always a good loser himself, but says that now that a majority of nations supported the sustainable use declaration, they should just let it go. Go Iceland!! Well said!

UK now complaining that this was a declaration not a resolution. (I believe) Henrik Fischer has already noted that he stated out the outset that this was a vote as a resolution, and no one objected at the time. Very sour grapes indeed.

The grace with which Japan has accepted defeated proposals is really shown in a good light now, by the actions of these losers of the anti-whaling bloc. They should show some grace.

The Togo representative (thanks isanatori!) noted that in previous days, when proposals were voted down, the proponents accepted it. He notes that the IWC is a democractic body, so that the nations who lost the vote need to accept it.

Japan is now also supporting the statements of the chair that the passing of the resolution should not be challenged, and that Australia and others should accept the result, but feel free to note their objection to the resolution, as Japan has done over the years with regard to proposal denouncing scientific whaling.

St Kitts has just thanked all nations who supported the proposal, and reiterates it's hope that this can help take the IWC forward.

Henrik Fischer has now marked this agenda item closed.

CONGRATULATIONS! This is a great day for the principle of sustainable use and sustainable development. The principle has triumphed over the cheap politics that the anti-whaling nations have been able to subvert the IWC with for more than 20 years. A HUGE day. June 19, 2006. A historical day indeed.


Good evening!
How wonderful your blog is !

I am discouraged to see most of the Japanese are busy for watching TV of soccer.

Shameful indeed!

Thanks Y/H!

I must admit to going out to watch the soccer this evening, however - I felt like a break since I have work tomorrow, so I can't stay up and blog this all evening :-)
I don't understand why countries like Australia or Monaco (sic!) say that there was only one country to oppose the establishment of the Southern Ocean Sanctuary, while there seems to have been 6 countries which voted against.

Besides, Norway didn't vote because it believed it was in accordance with the convention for the SC hadn't been consulted on this matter.
Indeed, the sanctuary was adopted without advice from the SC, as was the moratorium. Amazing that these nations claim it has scientific foundation.
What the commissioner from Guinea said was very interesting.
He said that, while the IWC was seeking to complete an RMS to allow both the conservation of whales and their sustainable use, it was going in the opposite way by trying to create or keeping sanctuaries.

He compared this situation to the one of trying to open a door with the right hand while holding it closed with the left hand.
Actually Denmark is an anti -whaling country, why they side with the pro whaling camp is due to Greenland and maybe the Faroe Islands.

A representative of french territory of Martinique is presenting France's project to create a whale sanctuary in the french EEZ of Martinique, Guadeloupe, St Barthelemy (and one more island I dont remember).

She explains that this project is in continuity with french position on whaling as France was part of the coalition which voted the moratorium and the SO sanctuary, but also created sanctuaries in its EEZ as in New Caledonia.

A funny thing is that one of the threats to cetaceans in the french Caribean is natural catastrophies...against which the sanctuary won't have any effect as reckons the french representative from Martinique.

Here's the main reason for the sanctuary : the development of tourism in the french Caribean.

Of course this project is supported by preservationist NGO like WWF.

She is opposing whaling (the sustainable use of whales) to the whale watching industry as the only way to manage durably these ressources.

The whole stuff is out of IWC's competency!

Denmark voted with Japan on the proposal to allow coastal whalers a minke quota.

They clearly support whaling by indigenous peoples.

They are inconsistent though on commercial whaling. This is a false position, as there are only two types of whaling:

Sustainable whaling, and unsustainable whaling.

Denmark should consistently support sustainable whaling.

Good evening.
Glad to join with you.

I am surprised to see
Dominica is terribly hostile to France about the establishment of sanctuary.

OH!The anger is very hard!

We have a political problem here.

France has a big problem with its colonial past. It still has difficulties to admit its past errors.

But I don't really what's the nature of the problem in the Carribean.
France stated that the project was just concerning its territories in the Carribean and that there would be consultation with other states before it is implemented.
Yes indeed, sounds like there is a lot of history there. The Caribbean nations were clearly extremely upset regarding this proposal.

Interesting indeed were the comments from Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda on illegal fishing by the French in their waters, and that France is using a whale sanctuary as a environmentalist mask to hide these misdeeds.
There are opinions that the 1994 proposal for SO whale sanctuary by France was a way to apology to Greenpeace for the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior by agents of the French govt.

It was in retribution to Greenpeace denonciation of French nuclear test in the Pacific (Mururoa, etc.).
Rectification :

France will certainly like to enlarge their initiative to create a whale sanctuary to the rest of the Carribean, but this will be done in concertation with the other states of the region.

Today was just a presentation of France's project.
The presentation of Australia's non-lethal scientific research by Ian Campbell was no more than a critic of Japanese research whaling programmes and a comparison of lethal sampling and non-lethal methods.

Gabon noticed that and asked Australia what were the objectives and results of its research on whales.

Let's see what Campbell will answer to that.
It was also quite funny when Campbell admitted that Australia were experts at collecting sh*t ...:O)
Ian Campbell says that Australia has very effective techniques for tagging whales and collecting whale feces...but won't share these techniques with Japan and Iceland unless they abandon lethal sampling of whales.

Naughty boy, Ian!

He finally answered Gabon's question, but just said that Australia's objective were the same as IWC's core objectives, that are abundance estimates and the recovery of whales...for the development of whale-watching (???).
He also said that Australia would be happy to share their results, which have been peer-reviewed and are made public.

Was that really what Gabon expected?
Well, Ian Campbell is expert at talking sh*t. That must be the reason for Australia's expertise at collecting whale feces.
Hehe, I actually felt sorry for Campbell there.

Joji Morishita is a fisheries negotiations expert, and he knows his science very well.

Campbell on the other hand has to rely on advice, and when he hasn't got any one sitting next to him to hold his hand, he gets into all sorts of trouble.

Ridiculous offer from Campbell to offer Australia's technology for tagging to Japan in exchange for a cessation of research whaling. Naturally, this tagging can offer only certain types of information - and even then Japan has no proof that that information can be as accurately obtained as via lethal methods.

The ridiculous thing is, that despite winning this debate comprehensively, Japan may still be voted down by the IWC as a whole. If this does happen, it will just reconfirm the dsyfunctional nature of the organization.
'France has a big problem with its colonial past. It still has difficulties to admit its past errors.'

Yeah, I'm sure China and South Korea wouldn't understand that.
Man! The like-minded countries are just like robots just repeating the same claptrap over and over again.

Don't they never get tired of this?

Well, they certainly need to voice out their powerlessness on the special permits issue.

If only they could accept whaling, their troubles would end.
First ever majority for the pro-sustainable use camp!!!
33-32 on the St kitts & Nevis declaration!

Booh! Brazil, sore loosers!

Why Brazil did vote on this declaration if it considers it can not be voted by the IWC and Iceland is no member.
The Brazilian commissioner is stupid.
MAJOR case of sour grapes here indeed. What a horrible delegate the Brazilian speaker is. This is the true nature of the anti-whaling nations.
Man! They're all sore losers, aren't they?

I still can't understand why they took part to the vote if they thought the IWC couldn't pass suc a declaration on vote.
They're lacking logic.

Poor narrow and dumb minded countries!
So right you are! They are complaining after the fact! They should have complained in advance of the vote if they were going to have issues. This is really pathetic. These nations should be ASHAMED of themselves.
Great speech from Togo.

He explained that it was his first time at the IWC and he had learned a lot of things since the 16th of june.

He notices that some countries who know well the rules of the game, don't want to accept these rules now that they have lost.

He expresses concern at the fact that the IWC is going backward, and is the only international organisation in this case.
He also said that the behaviour of anti-whaling nations made him think that their way of thinking was against the spirit of democracy and not worth of the 21th century but some dark times in the past.
Morishita is a big man!
No, I don't think it is available yet, as they have been drafting and modifying it at the meeting. It should be available at the IWC page in the next few days though.
"Poor narrow and dumb minded countries!"
"France has a big problem with its colonial past. It still has difficulties to admit its past errors."

For years I fought against people's claims the Japanese were racist. Thank you Isanatori, you have just proven them right. Take a leaf out of Germany's book and maybe you would have Korea and China voting with you at the IWC.

I'd like you to explain me what was racist in my comments.

First, I was making fun of the term "like-minded countries".

Second, I'm not Japanese. I'm french! So my comment on France's colonial past is certainly not racist, and your comment about China and Korea quite displaced.
Good evening,all!!


>It was in retribution to >Greenpeace denonciation of French >nuclear test in the Pacific
>(Mururoa, etc.).

Happy to Greenpeace were swept away,though I have a little mixed
feeling about nuclear test.

>Second, I'm not Japanese. I'm >french!

OHHHH! Nice French Man!
Most of the Japanese are the fan
of France;food,clothing,wine and
something like those.


I just found your blog linked from the Wikipedia page on the IWC. I was trying to find some information about the IWC vote on sustainable whaling, mentioned in tonights BBC news.

Many thanks for all the information! Just to let you know, not all British people have irrational and emotiionally-based attitudes to whaling. I've thought for some time that its irrational cultural prejudice to say that one can hunt and eat some animals, but not others (except where there is a genuine danger of extinction). Also a very little research into the history of the IWC showed the hypocrisy of allowing "indigenous" whaling, but being outraged when countries like Norway or Japan, which have hunted whales since at least the medieval period, wish to coninue their cultural tradition of using whale meat!

I hope soon to see that well-regulated, sensible hunting of whale species with adequate populations to sustain such hunting is entirely legal, under the auspices of an IWC once again fulfilling its original (and designed) function of overseeing and regulating sustainable whaling to ensure healthy whale stocks and prevent over-fishing. Until then...

Keep up the good work!

Ian B, UK
>Happy to Greenpeace were swept >away,though I have a little mixed
>feeling about nuclear test.

A person with a family was killed in the incident you are referring to. You guys don't seem to learn much from history, eh?
>A person with a family was killed >in the incident you are referring >to. You guys don't seem to learn >much from history, eh?

The crazy GP memders got into troubles because they want it.

If the crazy members were
much smarter,they would have not done such a dangerous thing.
That is the way the normal people

If the crazy were more cleverer,
they would have thougt of their
family more cafully.

If they do not want to be killed,
I suggest they should just watch it

The nucler test itself is not good,


The dead person was a guy on a boat in a harbour. He was a photographer.Do you think blowing up people is good?

"If they do not want to be killed,
I suggest they should just watch it
I suspect that is not a threat and is instead your poor English?
My basic undersatanding is they should not go to such a dangerous area if they will have chance to be injured or killed.

Such a political issue of nuclear test shoud be handled among countries,should not be touched among any NGOs.

Last year some Japanese(NGO) were kidnapped by terrorists in Iraq. Inspite our government strongly suggested all the Japanese should not go to the area,they refused.(one of them might be a photographer)

In order to help them,it took much money and time.Unfortunately,one of them was killed by the terrorists.Obviously we had some disgusting sense rather than some sorrow for his death.We thought he was involved into the death at his risk.

It is easy for us to note one's reckless behavior resulted in
some chaos.

And,I handle poor English because
I am Japanese,not American or
other natives like you,Quite natural.but at least I have more normal sense than you. Note it.
If you are an Japanese,I am ashamed
you are a Japanese.

Personally I express my regret of his photograper death in the nucler test area,though.

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

With regard to Greenpeace activists in the Antarctic, Y/H-san is quite right.

These activists are putting themselves at risk by their actions.

I do not suggest Greenpeace does not go to the Antarctic, but there is clearly no need for Greenpeace to put inflatables infront of the harpoon gunners.

This tactic has saved 0 whales and serves nothing other than Greenpeace's ego trip.
By the way, I deleted the two posts with the offensive Japanese word.

Rude english words are permitted within certain contexts, but rude Japanese words are not.

Sorry for my offensive comments.
The word he wrote is not used for your nice blog.


No problem :-)
He was the fool who started using it, not you.


"Antigua and Barbuda now. Mr Joseph notes there are still French teritories in the region..."

Mr. Daven Joseph does not represent Antigua and Barbuda at the IWC any more. He is a member of the St.Kitts and Nevis delagation.

However the chair made the same mistake.

We are all human and therefore fallible !

Martin - thanks for pointing that out. I realised myself at some point later, but didn't get around to fixing it.

It must have been Anthony Liverpool speaking, right?
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?