"It is unbelievable that our politicians are so slow in allowing whaling to be resumed, in spite of all the advice that says this is safe. The Marine Research Institute's figures expect 200 minkes, 200 fin whales and 100 sei whales to be caught annually for scientific purposes, which is around the same amount that we were catching when we had all four ships at sea. We need to have licences to catch 150 to 200 fin whales to be able to start the factory up again", he said.Just yesterday another report appeared suggesting that he was ready for action if the government would just give the go ahead.
"I really do not understand why all this research is being carried out when the results are ignored. Research shows that the sei whale stock is very strong and can support exploitation. It's as if our politicians are giving the scientists at the Marine Research Institute the finger by not following their advice. If the same example was followed in fisheries, we would have to bring fishing to a halt for hundreds of years. Politicians are very conservative in their thinking as regards whaling, while they are prepared to push fisheries right to the edge"
1) A Scientific Committee RMP workshop on fin whales held recently
"agreed on best estimates of current abundance in the Central North Atlantic ... and the eastern North Atlantic"
Yet, in New Zealand, dear old Chris Carter (Minister of Conservation) has tried to tell his voters otherwise, saying that
"there is not yet scientific consensus on fin numbers. The IWC's scientific committee is reviewing the population status of fin whales at present. It is fair to say there is widespread disagreement."
So, Chris Carter is caught telling lies again (that's what politicians are for, I suppose). I'll be writing to his press secretary to inform him of this.
2) Regarding the natural rates of increase in the relavent area:
"The Workshop had noted that estimated abundance west and southwest of Iceland increased at an annual rate of 10% (95% CL: 6% - 14%) between 1987 and 2001. This is the area where nearly all Icelandic fin whaling has been conducted since 1915."
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