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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: The Solomon Islands vote

Japanese officials recently counted 36 votes in favour of sustainable use of whale resources. I counted 37, including the Solomon Islands, in the sense that the Solomon Islands have generally supported the principle of sustainable use, as opposed to opposing all forms of whaling.

Today I found the following report circulating in the media:

Solomons fisheries minister calls for end to wrangle over whaling

Posted at 08:04 on 13 June, 2006 UTC

The Solomon Islands Minister for Fisheries, Nollen Leni, is calling for an end to the political wrangling between pro and anti whaling nations.

Mr Leni says the government has decided to abstain from a resolution on commercial whaling at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission in the Carribean starting on Friday.

But he plans to call for an urgent commitment to complete the Revised Management Plan, which allows the Commission to monitor and control the sustainable harvesting of whale quotas.

New Zealand’s Minister of Conservation, Chris Carter, says any action over the revised management scheme is heading in the wrong direction:

“New Zealand not enthusiastic at all about the revised managment scheme because that indicates asupport for commercial whaling.”

Chris Carter says he will continue to try to convince Pacific members of the IWC that there is more value in conservation and eco tourism than there is in hunting what he calls endangered species.

This report is quite unclear.

Which resolution is the "resolution on commercial whaling"?

On the other hand, the Solomon Islands have said they will urge the IWC to hurry up and complete a Revised Management Scheme. Of course, the completion of the Revised Management Scheme will be a precursor to a resumption in commercial whaling.

This still leaves us somewhat in the dark about exactly what resolution the Solomon Islands intend to abstain on, although it is clear that they are definitly sympathetic to the sustainable use argument.

Additionally, Chris Carter's comments are yet more proof that New Zealand has no part to play in discussions at the IWC. Regardless of what is proposed, New Zealand's tactics are to find something, anything, to disagree with, to justify not agreeing on an RMS.

If New Zealand has no interest in the development of an RMS, New Zealand should withdraw from the IWC body. This is the honourable action to take. New Zealand's failure to show it has honour is what has led to the pro-conservation & sustainable use bloc looking to set up a new forum for those actually interested in finalizing an RMS, so that the IWC can once again fulfil it's stated role.


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