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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



Ian Campbell makes yet another ridiculous statement

According to The Australian, Ian Campbell is reported to have said that
"without anything else going wrong, fin whales were close to extinction."
This is inspite of IWC Scientific Committee apparently having endorsed the estimate being reported by Iceland of 25,800 fin whales in Iceland's waters, and the IWC Scientific Committee recognising 10% growth in the stock between 1987 and 2001 (as I noted previously). It's hard to see a species going extinct when in that part of the world it is growing that strongly over such a sustained period of time.

What does Ian Campbell think is going to push these whales to extinction? Has he got any maths to explain his ideas?

In the same article, Campbell is also reported to have said:
"They [Iceland] can't be taken seriously on any environmental issue in the future"
Given his own statements, such talk is extremely ironic.

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I laughed out loud when I saw that statement, coming from the Environment Minister of a country that hasn't even signed the damned Kyoto Agreement. A bit rich, I daresay!
But maybe crying is more appropriate than laughter:

LONDON: Chronic water shortages caused by climate change could force millions more people to become "environmental refugees", according to a report by British charity Tearfund published Friday.

In "Feeling The Heat", Tearfund says that 25 million people have already been forced to move because of environmental problems, and predicts that number could rise to 200 million in 50 years.

It adds that, while extreme drought currently affects around two percent of the planet, it will rise to 10 percent over the next five decades.


A prominent group of climatologists at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research has released a study predicting that one-third of the land on earth will become inhabitable desert within 100 years, according to the Independent.


If the predictions are correct, it could prove devastating for hundreds of millions of people across the world. About one-third of all people in sub-Saharan Africa are already malnourished and it could get much worse. Sanitation and drinking water could disappear and entire countries may be forced to migrate or risk starving.


Sure, it's Iceland that should be an international pariah on environmental issues.
Yes, Ian Campbell is without a doubt one of the biggest sources of laughter out there in this whole whaling debate (I've gone back through my blog and added labels to posts where I gave him significant mentions).

To be fair, the media report may have done him a slight disservice in this case. His original press release is here.

It seems Campbell was actually quoting IUCN criteria definitions:

Fin whales are listed under the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species as ‘endangered’. This means that they are ‘facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future’.

Probably this is what the media were refering to, but not being so competent their biases may have got the better of them.

The presentation of this information is still mischevious of course, given the apparent robustness of the stock that will be hunted and the tiny quota.

Japan also argued at IWC 58 that the "Endangered" classification for the species was no longer justified as well.
>They [Iceland] can't be taken
>seriously on any environmental
>issue in the future

To Ian Campbell,the environmental
issue means Whalewatching.
He has no idea to think of the
real enviromental issue at all.

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