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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



USA seeking new whaling permit

KTVA reports that the USA is looking for a new permit for it's people to kill hundreds of Bowhead whales over the next decade (full article reproduced below):
NOAA Fisheries says it has begun the process of setting new bowhead whale subsistence harvest quotas for 2008, to 2017. The current quota expire at the end of 2007. That quota was set by the International Whaling Commission. It determined that up to 255 whales could be landed between 2003, and 2007. The new quota also will be determined by the IWC.

The commission is expected to meet in Anchorage in May of 2007. During that time, it will consider reauthorizing the western Arctic bowhead quota for another five years. NOAA is soliciting public comment. More information can be found on the Web at www.fakr.noaa.gov/protectedresources/whales/bowhead/

According to IWC endorsed estimates, the stock of Bowhead whales that the Americans will be taking their harvest from numbers around 8,200 to 13,500 (as of 2001) with a rate of increase of about 3.2% per year.

The USA will likely be looking for a continuation of their current permit, which would see around 60 Bowhead whales killed each year.

By comparison, in the commercial fin whale hunt recently permitted by Iceland, the catch limit is for just 9 fin whales out of a stock estimated to be around 25,000, and also growing at a much faster rate of around 10% annually.

Given that Iceland's commercial hunt of fin whales clearly has a lower impact on the environment than the USA's bowhead whaling operation, we can but look forward to the reaction from the anti-whaling NGO groups when the US quota is confirmed next year.

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