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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: Voices of developing nations

* This post is a work in progress *
[UPDATE: 23 July - Added Cedric Liburd comments for St. Kitts and Nevis, and additional quotes for Antigua and Barbuda]

A range of small developing nations have had their names dragged through the mud, with suggestions that their leaders have "sold" their votes to Japan in exchange for aid. Those people leveling these slanderous allegations have never displayed a desire to actually inform the world about what the leaders of these nations think, and the western media has failed to do it's homework in this area as well.

This post will be an ongoing collection of comments made on the whaling issue by leaders of nations who have been accused of taking bribes.

IWC Member Nations (year joined)

Antigua & Barbuda (1982):
"Year after year, countries come [to the IWC] with unalterable positions. They refuse to listen to reasoned debates. They refuse carte blanche to accept any scientific data tabled and this in my opinion is a disservice to the people's of the world, particularly the peoples whose economy depends on the vast ocean resources for their livelihood."
-- Antigua Minister of Agriculture and Food Joanne Massiah (2006)

"We are accused of selling our votes and prostituting our sovereignty, but as sovereign states we take great offense to this"
-- Joanne Massiah (2006)

"The science certainly says that a number of the species are on the rebound and it is safe to engage in commercial whaling activities again"
-- Joanne Massiah (2006)

"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"
-- Joanne Massiah (2006)

"It is no secret that communities in countries like St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Norway, Iceland, Greenland and Japan, have been hunting and eating whales for generations. This failure on the part of some developing countries to support the proposal by Japan for small type coastal whaling is about 'big countries' trying to direct, dictate and determine how people in smaller countries should live."
-- Antigua & Barbuda IWC Commissioner, Ambassador Anthony Liverpool (2005)

“As a member of IWC, Antigua & Barbuda is well placed to support the harvesting of whales through the establishment of proper scientific management systems.”

“The Whaling Commission has the management authority only for the 13 species of large whales including the humpback whale harvested by the people of Bequia and according to scientific data, several of these whale stocks are abundant and the take of a relatively small number for food in areas such as the north Atlantic, north Pacific, the Caribbean and the Antarctic will not affect the nature or abundance of whale resources or whale-watching opportunities.”

“As a small island state we build alliances with international partners who respect our cultural values and support our efforts to develop the country’s fisheries sector.”

-- Ambassador Anthony Liverpool (2006)

"Our position is very clear and we will continue to support the sustainable utilisation of marine resources including marine mammals in a way and at a rate that will ensure that it lasts for generations to come."

"As a Tourist destination we welcome visitors from all over the world irrespective of their views and aspiration in life and therefore expect international organizations and individuals who disagree with our position to have some respect for our views and desist from making threats against our livelihood,"

"As indicated before, our position at IWC is based on tolerance and respect for cultural values, the right of fisher folk to earn a living and adherence to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) and other relevant national and international law such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) as well as the need for science-based management, policy and rule-making"

"I believe that it is time for the IWC to move toward more productive and meaningful discussions that will bring the organization back to its fundamental purpose of regulating catch quotas at levels so that whale stocks will not be threatened."

-- Ambassador Anthony Liverpool (2006)

"The fact is that as a sovereign nation, we take positions based on study, due consideration and what we think is right. On the question of whaling, we have looked at the scientific arguments for normalisation and the arguments I have heard suggest to me that whaling can be conducted in a manner that is sustainable and that would not deplete the whale stock in a way that would negatively impact on the survival of the species"

"At the United Nations, at the World Health Organisation and in many other fora, Antigua & Barbuda votes according to how we view the issue. Sometimes our viewpoint will coincide with the US and at others it may not. Sometimes it will coincide with Japan and at other times it may not. At the end of the day it is our decision and we must make the decision based on how we view the issue"

-- Minister of Tourism Harold Lovell (2006)

Dominica (1992):
"We would welcome the lifting of the moratorium. This is a creature like all others that people depend upon for food, and therefore because of its abundance we think that we can take a limited amount and make some money out of it."
-- Dominican IWC comissioner Lloyd Pascal (2005)

"The vast majority of Dominicans support the sustainable use of marine resources"

-- Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit (2006)

Grenada (1993):
"For too long, the IWC has found one way or another to delay the implementation of the Revised Management Scheme that was developed by the Commission's Scientific Committee"
"We, as members of an international body, can't continue like this. The distinguished scientists of the Scientific Committee have worked long and hard, and yet the management scheme has not yet been approved and implemented. Are we going to wait another 10 or 15 years before action is taken?"
-- Grenada Cabinet Minister Claris Charles (2003)

"The state of Grenada is a very tolerant state. We do not intend to be intolerant of those whose culture and eating habits involve whales."
"Years ago, we were told what to eat. Slaves were given salty fish to eat when the seas were abundant with fish. Because we are small and underdeveloped, there is that lack of respect. There is that feeling that we can be bought, we can be sold."
"We have the right to use our maritime resources for the survival and livelihood of our people."
-- Claris Charles (2006)

Kiribati (2004):
"Kiribati's position has been based very much on its concerns for the conservation of its marine resources"
"We're basically concerned that given that the fisheries resources are our main resource, that the issue of whaling is considered very carefully. And we have been asking for independent data to assist us in making a stance on this issue"
-- Kiribati Foreign Secretary Taam Biribo (2005)
Nauru (2005):

"Recent criticism in the media concerning Nauru's involvement in the IWC is an unfair intrusion on Nauru's sovereignty"

"The Government of Nauru is a responsible government. We have a voice on issues concerning the Pacific Ocean, and our decision to vote for commercial whaling was a carefully considered decision."

"Some whale species have the potential to devastate our tuna stocks, and, as a country whose food security and economy relies heavily on fishing, it is our responsibility to ensure the sustainability of our people's livelihoods."

"Nauru voted openly at the meeting, and we stand by our vote. Foreign governments have an obligation to respect our national decisions and not to undermine our sovereignty by suggesting that our participation in the IWC was motivated by anything other than securing the best outcome for our people."

-- Permanent Representative of Nauru to the United Nations, Ambassador Marlene Moses (2005)

Solomon Islands (1993):
* Dolphins are caught in the Solomon Islands

St. Kitts & Nevis (1992):
"The Caribbean has always believed that the resources of the sea should be managed, managed for the development and the sustenance of the people of the Caribbean and worldwide."

We are convinced that the sustainable use of these resources are in the best interest of the international community and its our hope that the conference would see it that way, including the utilisation of those stocks of whales which science has shown are not in any danger of being depleted."

-- St. Kitts/Nevis Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas (2006)

"For fisheries management or any type of management of wild species we cannot and should not make decisions based on emotions."

-- St. Kitts and Nevis senior fisheries officer Joe Simmonds (2006)

"Our position in the IWC is to support the sustainable use of all marine resources including whales. No one should be surprised that as small island states, we ascribe to this position since we are dependent on the use of marine resources for food and development."

"The fact is that the IWC's own Scientific Committee has agreed that many species and stocks of whales are abundant and sustainable whaling is possible."

"We should not accept placing the use of whales outside this context of globally accepted norms for emotional reasons because it sets a bad precedent that risks our use of fisheries and other renewable resources. The anti-whaling NGOs also have other anti-use campaigns that are directly targeted at the fish and fisheries that sustain the livelihoods of many people in the Caribbean."

-- St. Kitts Minister Cedric R. Liburd (2006)

St. Lucia (1981):
* Pilot whales are caught in St. Lucia

St. Vincent and the Grenadines (1981):
* As of 2006, St. Vincent is the only nation in the world actively harvesting Humpback whales

Tuvalu (2004):

"Tuvalu has always been a supporter of the need exploit and use the marine resources in a sustainable manner and this includes whaling. So that it has always been the position of Tuvalu in support of sustainable management of our marine resources including whale."

"From the scientific research and evidence that Tuvalu has been able to use and excess to that it gives the support to the view that there is still that scope for using whales at the moment."
-- Tuvalu's High Commissioner to Fiji Seve Paeniu (2006)

"[W]e are an aid-dependent country and we feel that we should be left to make our decisions without any influences"
-- Tuvalu Prime Minister Maatia Toafa (2006)

Belize (2003):

"Like the rest of the Caribbean, we believe in the sustainable use of our resources, and we will be pushing for that policy to be fully embraced by the Commission."

"We believe that developing nations must pursue a policy of sustainable use, and that's what we will be doing alongside our brothers and sisters in the Caribbean."

"We are a coastal community, and we believe we have every right to belong to this organization. There have long been discussions on migratory species and the impact on all marine animals and cetacean species. As a nation that has a large fishing industry, we feel we have a right to belong to the IWC, and we plan to support our Caribbean neighbors."

-- Belizean fisheries official Ismael Garcia (2003)

"Belize can't be taking this as an emotional issue because whales sing to each other...as individuals each person might have their own idea on whether they should kill whales or not...as a country we support scientific evidence that a resource can be sustainably managed."
-- Ministry of Agriculture CEO Michael Tewes (2005)

* Belize is an interesting case.
Belize was originally recruited to the IWC in 1982 by anti-whaling groups in order to impose the commercial whaling moratorium, but later withdrew it's membership in 1988. Some anti-whaling groups accused Belize of taking "bribes" from Japan prior to IWC 58 in 2006, yet at the meeting they surprised:
A key vote against the measure came from Belize, a small Central American country that has received aid from Japan and had been expected by environmental groups to support it on the whaling commission.
Belize went on to vote against all pro-sustainable use proposals at IWC 58. They did not seek to speak to the assembly in the debates regarding these issues to explain their position.
Panama (2001):
"We are all from the Caribbean and Central American region, and we share the same features as developing countries which are seeking to spur our economic and social development," he said. "We have a right to be in the IWC just like the large and rich nations, and we are strong advocates of the sustainable use of marine resources. We expect that other Central American states like Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador may soon become full fledged members."
-- Panama's alternate IWC Commissioner Espimendez Diaz (2003)
* Panama voted against all sustainable use proposals at IWC 58 in 2006

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The crazy is barking again.
Full of mistakes.


The captain makes me laugh from morning to night.
Crazy ,please stop the comedy.

>The killing of whales is a part of Japan's identity and a question
of national pride.<

This is the way he always releases the misinformation.
This comment is full of malice to Japan.He likes to make Japanese devils.OK, if he does not change his attitudes,Japan will have much to give him as revenge.

>His answer was shocking. "No," he said. " I am not concerned with future generations.
They will have to find ways to survive just as we must find ways to
survive today."<

I think we need some explanations.
Full well Mr.Nakajima would know the insane members were arrested many times.He might have thought it would be a danger for him to be involved into the nonsense loop of their propaganda.
Obiviouly he was nervous to the crazy.

>Captain Watson then asked if he was concerned that the whales would
go extinct. "They may go extinct but that is not my concern. My
concern is to realize the maximum profit from them before they do."<

The ICR has been investigating the quota of whales for many years.
If the number were approaching to the bottom,The ICR ,without any hesitation,would have released the precise data as much as they can.
They are responsible for it to all members of IWC.

>This echoes the sentiments of Andrew Behr, the owner of the pirate
whaler Sierra, which Captain Watson rammed and disabled on July 16,
1979 and sank on February 6th, 1980.<

It is funny for the crazy group to let many people,from children to adults, know the history of their crimes.
This clearly shows how insane they are.No country supports his radical violence.He is living in a fiction or a movie as hero? Quite nonsense.

>Since 1986, Japan has been killing whales in violation of the global moratorium on whaling. Each year they have illegally upped the kill quotas and during the last two decades that the whales have been "protected" more than 17,000 whales have been slaughtered.<

He basically lacks the sense that IWC is not the conference which demands to stop whaling to some countries.He should know the quota is authorized by IWC before Japan catches whales.

>The member nations of the IWC like Australia and the United States have been reluctant to enforce sanctions for fear of trade retaliations by Japan.<

This is very strange.
Apart from AU,Japan is always threatened by U.S.A as to the international blance of trade,or sending JSDF to Irqq.Our basic understanding is the reverse.

>The fact remains that Japanese and Norwegian whaling is illegal and if nothing else the regulations of the International Whaling Commission have served to give legitimacy to Sea Shepherd efforts to oppose outlaw whaling since 1986.<

He is out of IWC.He is not allowed to be concerned.In fact he is regarded as Eco-terrorist by IWC and the commision decided not to give him the observer status.

>Japan now has 36 votes among the 69 member nations of the IWC.

The crazy captain thinks Japan can decide everything.He makes us laugh indeed ! The vote is not something one country can monopolize.

The crazy comments continue,but they makes me tired with much laughter.

I would like to reseach his brain.

Many thanks.

Yes, that particular release was a good laugh.

It's most clearly a huge bunch of lies.

There is little point in giving it airtime :-)
Hello, David. I have been doing a research on whaling, and your support of whaling is very shocking to me because you are New Zealander! Since I don't read English very fast, it's going to take a while to read all of your articles. I wonder if you'd have a summary page or something. But your post a couple of days ago might help me understand your policy. Below is my blog if you'd be interested. http://yellowpeep.blogspot.com/2006/06/whale-and-tuna-1_18.html
Hello there!

No, I have no summary as such - I blog about related news items when they come up, or when I come across some interesting information.
However, I have recently started a "whaling FAQ":


I've got answers to a lot more questions / typical anti-whaling arguments in the works, I just need to tidy them all up. Now that the IWC meeting has finished I should make more progress on this.

I'll check out your blog - hope to have some interesting discussions with you going forward :-)
What is your guys problem with whales? Do you blame for revealing the position of your fleet at Midway? "Imperial Fleet position was most dishonorably betrayed by sly cetaceans! The Empire demands they must pay!"

Japanese should remember what happens when they upset us Westerners, we don't want to go and wake up Curtis Le May, but you know we've got it in us...
> What is your guys problem with whales?

There is no "problem" with whales, just as there is no "problem" with fish, cows, sheep, chickens, snakes, or the various other animals that humans in various parts of the world have a desire to consume as food.

> Japanese should remember what happens when they upset us Westerners

I would request you to try to maintain a civil level of discussion. Empty threats from anonymous posters have no place here.
>What is your guys problem with whales? Do you blame for revealing the position of your fleet at Midway?<

Oh! I am afraid to say,but you are
a member of Paul Watson?

If so, you have to find your home.
Please return to your home,jail.

>Curtis Le May

The famous murderer of B29.
OK.you know the war is over,isn't
it? Japan is one of the allies of the U.S.A.Ok?

Any question?

all i ask is, why whales, why do we need to slaughter an already dangered species for food when we have many alternatives, you disgust me david, you are nto a new zealander, you are a japanese puppet and dont ever show your face in nz again. you arent welcome
To anonymous,

> all i ask is, why whales, why do we need to slaughter an already dangered species for food when we have many alternatives

Firstly, whales are not a species. Please understand this. "Whales" is a word that encompasses many different species. And many of those species are not endangered, as you appear to believe. Of those species that are truely endangered, such as the Blue whale and the Right whale, no one is hunting these species.

The species which Japan in particular is interested in hunting are either
a) abundant (like the Antarctic Minke) or
b) fast becoming abundant (like the Humpback whale).

The Humpback whale is of prime interest to New Zealanders, as it is the target of our commercial whale-watching industry.
There were less than 10,000 Humpbacks in the Southern Ocean around 25 years ago, but today the IWC's Scientific Committee estimates that there are now more than 40,000. This should not be a big surprise - the Humpback whale has been protected there since 1963, enabling it to recovering from the overhunting inflicted upon it by the oil whalers, all those years ago.

> you disgust me david, you are nto a new zealander, you are a japanese puppet and dont ever show your face in nz again. you arent welcome

I understand that you have been led to believe that "whales are endangered", and killing them may drive them to the brink of extinction.
Would you still want to banish me from New Zealand if it were the case that properly regulated whaling would not threaten any whale species with extinction? For example, in a similar way that New Zealand's fisheries are regulated, that is to ensure the sustainability of those operations and the biological diversity that those operations depend on?
david, it doesnt matter how much of a recovery they have made, they are a slow spawning species. and take a heavy hit from whaling. there maybe 40k humpback whales, but there may also be over 500 million snapper, which spawn numerous times a year and is a sustainable resource. to be honest, it is really just a japanese exertion of power, and with the cash they have been injecting into poorer pacific and african and south american nations which have too much power on the international scene, we will see a re emergence of whaling. i hate greenpeace, i feel they are primarily propoganda, but i dont dispute the fact that whales are an endangered species, and there are many other food sources we can exploit. dont you?
> they are a slow spawning species.

What this means is that hunting must be limited so that the rate of anthropogenic removals doesn't outstrip the ability of the stock to replenish itself.

> there may also be over 500 million snapper, which spawn numerous times a year and is a sustainable resource.

So you think fish resources are sustainable, because they have faster reproductive cycles?

How often do cows give birth?

Let's think about this a little more.

If my resource increases by 1 billion units each year, I can safely take 1 billion units. But if I have some uncertainty about the actual rate of increase, I should be conservative. Maybe I should only take 100 million units, to be on the safe side.

You seem to agree that this idea can work for fish. That's good.

Now say my resource is increasing by units of 10,000 a year. Why do you think it is the case that 1,000 units can not be sustainable?

Let's state it clearly:
The problem is not hunting. The problem is overhunting. We must avoid overhunting. But there is no reason to avoid hunting altogether, especially when it is recognised that it can be sustainable.

> i hate greenpeace, i feel they are primarily propoganda,

I'm glad you think so.

> but i dont dispute the fact that whales are an endangered species,

Whales are not a species.

They are a group of species. To name a few:

Blue whale - endangered
Right whale - endangered
Minke whale - not endangered
Humpback whale - not endangered

> and there are many other food sources we can exploit.

Why haven't western nations given up on killing sheep then?
Why hasn't the human race given up on killing animals for food entirely?
Vegans get by without killing animals.
Because Belize votes differently from expectations you want them to explin themselves. Why should they, they voted the way they did and that is enough, surely.

But then I am sure yu will disagree in order to perpetuate the propaganda...
> Because Belize votes differently from expectations you want them to explin themselves.

Do I? In my piece I simply stated that Belize didn't seek to explain it's position at IWC 58. They had explained their position previously. That is all.

I personally think that the whaling issue is so politicised in western nations that secret ballots are required to ensure that small nations like Belize are able to vote in accordance with how they see the issue, without facing pressures from outside influences.

> Why should they

Indeed. And why should any small developing nation have to explain it's position to the rest of the world, and why should they be subject to allegations of corruption simply because they hold a position contrary to what the collonials in Australia, New Zealand, the USA and the UK might have to say?
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