All cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) are protected in Australian waters.Well, whipdee-doo for Australia. The "Conservation Committee" is nothing but a talkfest amongst those anti-whaling nations who wish that there be no consumptive use of whale resources. The group would have been more aptly named the "Protection Committee", and given their desires, there is no need for them to come together at the IWC to discuss their whale protectionism ideals.
The Japanese Government has foreshadowed that it will try to "normalise" the commission; in other words, to treat whales like fish or any other marine resource.Indeed - this is what the IWC was set up to do.
"This confirms our worst fears," Senator Campbell said, as he conceded that the numbers appeared to be slipping away from the pro-conservation lobby in the commission. He said several countries could still join, right up to the eve of the meeting, which opens in the West Indian nation of St Kitts and Nevis on Friday. Israel has said publicly it will join the anti-whaling side but is yet to do so.As always, there is better information here on my blog than in the mainstream media. Israel has already joined, as I noted two days ago.
"It appears we could be faced with the prospect that the conservation majority could be lost to countries with no interest in whales, and no chance to get across the issues," Senator Campbell said.Leaving aside Campbell's confusion between the difference of conservationism and protectionism, 7 landlocked European nations have consistently voted with Australia at the IWC meetings. What interest do those 7 nations have in whales that developing coastal nations in Africa, Central America, South East Asia and the Pacific (who support sustainable use) do not?
The number of humpbacks seen off the east coast is booming, a far cry from the 1960s, when numbers fell to as few as 300 animals because of indiscriminate and illegal whaling by the then Soviet Union. A University of Queensland whale specialist, Mike Noad, said he expected about 8500 to migrate up the coast this winter.And it's fantastic news. Today it is 2006. Four decades have past since the 1960's. Whale stocks are rebounding, and providing whaling is appropriately regulated under the IWC, there is no reason to rule out all whaling, as is Australia's desire.
... Japan intends to draw the attention of the Commission to what it considers to be the very dangerous nature of the recent protest actvities against Japan's whale research vessels in the Antarctic. It will seek the adoption of a Resolution or recommendation for the Commission that discourages such activities.This item might get a mention under #6 "Whale killing methods and associated welfare issues", as the obstruction by these groups may have led to increased Time-To-Death and reduced Instantaneous Death Ratio statistics this year.
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