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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



JARPA II 2006/2007 Update #2 - IMO action

There is an interesting Japanese language news report in the media tonight.

"IMO 82nd MSC - agreement on the creation of a code of conduct to ensure safety from whaling protest activity", says the headline at Environmental Information and Communication Network:
At the 82nd meeting of the International Martime Organization's (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) held in Istanbul from 2006/11/29 until 12/8, it was agreed to create a non-legally binding, voluntary "code of conduct" in relation to ensuring the safety of crew and ship navigation for vessels involved in offshore operations that become the focus of protest activity.

The dangerous obstruction activity that was carried out for 4 weeks from December 2005 to January 2006 against Japan's JARPA fleet engaged in scientific research is behind this "code of conduct".

At the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in June 2006, this issue was raised and a resolution was adopted calling for member nations to take measures in accordance with IMO guidelines to ensure the safety of vessels engaged in whale and whaling related research. However, it was later recognized that the IMO has no appropriate guidelines in place corresponding to this resolution, and consequently Japan proposed the creation of the "code of conduct".

The MSC's Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation (NAV) will consider the proposed "code of conduct" and aim to have it adopted by the MSC. (Fisheries Agency).
Again, the relevant IWC Resolution 2006-2 is here.

The Fisheries Agency press release on the topic adds further detail, noting that the proposal "received strong support from member nations and related international organizations, and the creation of a code of conduct (non-legally binding and voluntary) was agreed by consensus."

For those who read Japanese, the original EIC article is here, and the Fisheries Agency's release is here.

Elsewhere, the Japanese Whaling Association has issued a press release regarding Ian Campbell's alleged ties to Sea Shepherd, after they boasted on their homepage that they had received a call of support from the Senator.

UPDATE: According to the IMO webpage the next meeting of the Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation (NAV) is set for 23-27 July 2007, so this "code of conduct" won't be in place this summer. Of course, because it is voluntary Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace may choose to ignore it anyway, although they'll probably find themselves antagonising their respective flag states.

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Alas! Ian became an idiot...

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