"The activity is very, very dangerous and whenever you look at the website of Sea Shepherd, they say they haven't killed or injured anybody, but their activities may kill or injure people".That's completely right.
Of course, SS already tried such things last season, without success (thankfully). What's more, such actions clearly seem to run afoul of relevant international agreements (as the ICR pointed out last year). For example, Article 101 of UNCLOS reads:
THE hardline anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd plans to disrupt Japan's summer whaling program in Antarctica by inflicting just enough damage on the whaling vessel to force it to comply with strict Japanese safety regulations and return to port for repairs.
Sea Shepherd's president, Paul Watson, told the Herald yesterday that he had no intention of endangering life. Sea Shepherd activists have sunk 10 whaling vessels in the North Atlantic since 1979. Last summer it tried to foul the propellers of the whaling factory ship Nisshin Maru, the vessel it will soon be chasing.
Piracy consists of any of the following acts:
(a) any illegal acts of violence or detention, or any act of depredation, committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or a private aircraft, and directed:
(i) on the high seas, against another ship or aircraft, or against persons or property on board such ship or aircraft;
(ii) against a ship, aircraft, persons or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any State;
(b) any act of voluntary participation in the operation of a ship or of an aircraft with knowledge of facts making it a pirate ship or aircraft;
(c) any act of inciting or of intentionally facilitating an act described in subparagraph (a) or (b).
... the Farley Mowat's departure was delayed over its registration.Belize? Depending on how far SS go with their obstruction this year, the Belize IWC representative might be in for an uncomfortable IWC meeting next year. It seems likely that further resolution be passed related to the safety of whale research vessels.
Attempts to shift the registration from Canada to Britain had to be abandoned when British authorities refused to allow the ship onto their books.
Captain Watson alleged that the British were told by Greenpeace that his organisation was an eco-terrorist group. He eventually obtained a registration from Belize.
Greenpeace confirmed it was sending one vessel south: the Esperanza, a fast ship that stayed with the fleet for 29 days in 2005-6. Its campaigners, equipped with fast inflatables, cameras and satellite access, opened an unprecedented window into the whalers' activities.
Esperanza left Mexico on December 11 for Auckland, and is unlikely to reach the whaling fleet until late January. Last year whaling ended on March 20.
So only one ship from GP this season (no Arctic Sunrise), and they won't show up until such a point in time that the research fleet will already be a long way towards it's quota. But then, as Watson has charged, Greenpeace appear to be more interested in this for the fundraising opportunity presented than any genuine concern for the environment.
"Australians are wise enough to make their own decisions as to whether this is a multi-millionaire trying to stoke racism in the Australian community to try to make a buck."-- Lion Nathon spokesman
it's clear that they don't have a high demand since more and more whale meat is getting stockpiled.As readers of this blog know, consumption has actually increased by more than 50% since 2004. Greenpeace is however a "campaigning" organization, not an educational organization. They must campaign to continue to raise funds, and they must raise funds to continue to campaign. More silliness:
There doesn't appear to be any logical explanation why the Japanese government supports whaling on the high seas and since the majority of the Japanese public are also against it - isn't it about time they stopped?Greenpeace draws their own illogical conclusions, which is why they can't understand the Japanese government's position. Meanwhile, readers of this blog also know that it's an outright lie that the majority of the Japanese public "are against" whaling.
"The Icelanders have been a bit duplicitous, to be honest ... the bottom line is you can't join up to a club if you're not prepared to obey the rules"The full audio interview can be found here.
The Committee agrees that there appears to be a significant impact from whalewatching and vessel traffic on this critically small bottlenose dolphin population. It recommends that the Government of New Zealand increases protection for this population and other bottlenose dolphin populations in Fiordland as a matter of urgency.I'm not sure what exactly the situation is here with the government and Department of Conservation. Hopefully Lusseau can provide an update about what actions (if any) DoC has taken to address this issue.
While DoC has verbally reacted to the IWC statement, 6 months later there is still no concrete steps taken towards real protection.Perhaps it's time to write another email to Chris Carter ...
Americas:Better than the meagre efforts of 12 nations (protesting at Norway) and 17 nations (Japan) earlier in the year, but of course amongst the 19 European nations included, 6 of them don't even have a coastline.
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Mexico, United States
Australia, New Zealand
Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom
Americas:That is, the names that Carter managed to get but Campbell missed out on were Czech Republic, Hungary, San Marino, Switzerland (all landlocked) plus Monaco and new IWC member Slovenia (all European nations).
Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, United States
Australia, New Zealand
Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom
Korea's 'Lottery of the Sea'South Korea generally votes with the pro-sustainable use bloc at the IWC, along with other states in the region, including Japan, China and Russia.
Salvaging Dead Whales
During the winter months, the waters off Korea teem with whales and dolphins, much to the delight of whale watchers young and old. Invariably, as the number of whales increases, so too do the accidental deaths of these majestic beasts as the result of being caught in fishing nets or struck by boats -- especially the high-speed ferries operating between South Korea and Japan. While this is viewed as an unfortunate fact by many, others see it as a potential windfall.
On Dec. 6, a newspaper article jubilantly described the recovery of three dead minke whales off Korea's North Gyeongsan province in the East Sea as a "lottery of the Sea." The first two whales were discovered near Yeongdok and were worth, respectively, 9,250,000 won (US$9,970) and 6,300,000 won ($6,789). The third whale, nearly 5 meters long, was discovered near Pohang, but its worth has not been determined yet.
On Dec. 15, a Korean fishing boat captain discovered a 7.9-meter, 4.4-ton minke whale near Ulju, also in North Gyeongsan province. He quickly reported it to the maritime police, and the whale was salvaged.
On Dec. 16, a dead 6.6-meter, 4.5-ton minke whale was recovered by a Korean fisherman near Goheung, South Jeolla province. While the minke whale appears to be relatively numerous in the East Sea and is salvaged quite often along the eastern coast of Korea, it is seldom found along the coast of the Jeolla provinces.
According to the maritime police, this year there have been six whales caught in nets in South Jeolla, but this was the first minke whale. The whale was to be examined and then, depending on the results of the examination, the whale would probably be auctioned off.
Since the 1986 global whaling moratorium, it is illegal to hunt or capture whales in Korea -- violations of the law are punishable by up to three years in prison and fines up to 20,000,000 won ($21,550). However, whales that are caught in nets or accidentally killed and reported to the maritime authorities are then auctioned off and the proceeds given to the fisherman who discovered the whale. Thus the whales have earned the popular nickname "lottery of the sea."
In 2004, the monthly average number of whales accidentally caught in nets was three or four, but in the last couple of years this number has steadily increased. Partially because the number of minke whales found off the coast of Korea seems to have increased, as well as the number of nets and fishermen. This increase in the number of dead minke whales salvaged seems to have driven the price down as the meat has become more available.
According to the East Sea Maritime Police, in the Gangneung/Samcheok area of Kangwon province during the past three years there has been a monthly average of 5.2 dead whales discovered, but during the past couple of months the number has steadily increased. Eleven whales were recovered in September, thirteen whales in October, and 12 whales in November. According to Hankuk Ilbo (Dec. 6, 2006) there were 80 dead whales discovered and salvaged this year in Korea, but considering that the whale breeding season has just begun, this number is expected to rise even higher.
In the early 2000s the average price of a salvaged whale was about $28,000, but in late 2003 or early 2004, the price spiked to as high as $100,000, but apparently has fallen again.
Naturally, with so much money at stake there have been allegations in the past that organized crime was taking part in poaching expeditions. The whales were harpooned or shot with guns and then harvested at sea -- the meat was then sold for a lower price to the increasing number of restaurants that sold whale meat. Not only was poached whale meat cheaper, but it was generally fresher than the salvaged whale meat, which was first inspected and then later auctioned off.
While whale meat for most Koreans is not a traditional food, it has gained some popularity over the past couple of years for its "reputed" health benefits. This has lead to an increase in the number of restaurants throughout the southern part of Korea, especially in the Gyeongsan provinces that serve whale meat.
Often the salvaged whales died as a result of being accidentally caught in large fishing nets. Often these large fishing nets are destroyed by the whales and their fight to escape them. Thus it is no wonder that many fishermen hope that the whales are found in the wreckage of their nets. These accidental encounters between the whales and fishermen often prove costly to both.
However, not all encounters are accidental. It has been suggested by some environmentalists that the fishermen intentionally place their nets in areas that the valuable minke whales are known to pass through in hopes that they will become entangled in their nets.
Because of these and other allegations, the Korean maritime police are keeping a diligent watch in order to eliminate any illegal activity on the fishermen's part.
With the growing number of whales in Korean waters, there are increased calls for the restart of Korea's whaling industry. In 2004 proponents argued that there were "more than enough whales, especially the minke" to justify Korean whaling. With Iceland and Norway's recent whale harvests and the continued Japanese "hunts for research purposes" the argument for resuming Korea's whaling seems to be gaining strength.
For many people in this debate, the issue is not that some whales are not abundant, but that the whaling industry cannot be trusted to regulate itself or to honestly assess the status of potentially exploitable populations.This certainly appears to be Clapham's personal position on the question of commercial whaling. I disagree. I believe that it is not the responsibility of the whaling industry to regulate itself, but the governments of the world to properly and effectively regulate their industry. This goes for every industry, not just whaling (Clapham would also do well to avoid focusing on Japan as they clearly aren't the only nation interested in whaling).
Whaling is inextricably tied to the international fisheries agreements on which Japan is strongly dependent; thus, concessions made at the IWC would have potentially serious ramifications in other fora.Given that Clapham is working on his silly premise that Japan wants "unlimited access to global marine resources", I personally think he's well off the mark, and maybe he himself has read a tad too much extreme anti-whaling propaganda. Clapham would do well to skip his politics and stick to his science.
The point is not that lethal sampling cannot contribute anything to knowledge of whale populations, or even that there are no data which cannot be obtained by other means; one can always find scientific value in carcasses. Rather this issue is that lethal methods are not required to obtain information needed for population assessment.The first sentence of this statement should come in handy the next time someone raises a question about whether the ICR is really conducting research. As for the second sentence, Clapham's view appears to be at odds with standard practice within the IWC Scientific Committee. For example, from the report of the Workshop for Western North Pacific Bryde's whale Implementation:
The Workshop considered information from several approaches, both genetic and non-genetic, as a number of studies (e.g. Donovan, 1991) have concluded that this is the most effective way to address questions of stock identity.Clapham, on the other hand, asserts that
population structure is most reliably studied with genetic analysis, which is routinely conducted using tissue from skin biopsies (Palsboll et al. 1997); lethal sampling is not required for this work.Towards the end of the article, Clapham comments on a suggestion that scientists should "take extraordinary care to acknowledge differences of opinion on science", responding that:
It is worth asking just how bad science has to be before its quality ceases to be a matter of opinion, by any reasonable standard of independent judgement.Given the fact that his views on the assessing stock structure appear to be somewhat in conflict with the practice employed by the IWC Scientific Committee, I'd suggest that perhaps his own judgement wouldn't meet the criteria for such a standard.
Good news - as expected, Japanese interests have not taken too fondly to the "whale-safe beer" campaign, which depicted a Japanese businessman getting harpooned through the back and subsequently electrocuted, in a magnificent display of ignorance of the JARPA II research programme:
If the man has any brains at all he'll withdraw the commercial and issue an apology.
JOHN Singleton's anti-whaling crusade may have backfired as Japanese companies – including some of his clients – react in anger to his "whale-safe beer" campaign.An Australian trade representative in Tokyo last night labelled Singo's anti-Japanese tactics in flogging his Bluetongue beer a "self-serving sideshow" that could harm our $54 billion trade relationship.
Austrade also warned against punishing non-whaling Japanese companies over whaling. Mr Singleton's website urges a boycott on Lion Nathan beers – including Tooheys, Hahn and XXXX – because a large shareholder in the company is Japanese brewer Kirin.
Kirin, which has no connection to Japan's whaling industry, is seething at the attack.
Insiders believe it is little more than an ill-considered get-square with Tooheys, which dumped Mr Singleton's advertising agency Singleton Ogilvy & Mather three years ago.
But it has opened a larger can of worms for Mr Singleton, whose web of business interests includes relationships with powerful Japanese companies.
Russell Tate, of communications group STW – co-owned by Mr Singleton – indicated the beer might not be his mate's smartest campaign.
"Singo's done a few things over the last 20 years that in hindsight might not have been good ideas," Mr Tate said.
Mr Tate is in an awkward spot, with STW's Japanese client list including Sony, Pioneer, Hitachi, Toshiba and Canon.
Behind the scenes the campaign is not seen as a joke – and not just by Kirin.
Canon spokeswoman Roslyn Richardson said: "This approach is not appropriate."
A Toyota spokesman said: "Whaling is an issue for governments not companies unconnected to whaling".
Mr Singleton was unavailable for comment yesterday.
I struggle to understand what on earth Australia is thinking.After a subsequent comment linking to the video at YouTube, Y/H-san added:
Although this may be a beer commercial, and they are trying to appeal along the lines of "since the Japanese are harpooning whales, how would Japanese people feel if they were harpooned? stop whaling", for Japanese people the result will be a complete backfire:
- Don't equate whales to humans
- How about you guys shooting kangaroos with guns and eating them?
- This will get connected with racism issues
and so on... I think all that will come out of this is an emotional, bad result. I eat Australian meat, but I really don't need to, I can eat whale meat instead, and there are plenty of other sellers so I won't be put out.
It'll be interesting if this commercial is aired on Japanese TV.
Then things will really get crazy.
That commercial is grotesque.Elsewhere, apparently Australia wishes to obtain a free trade agreement with Japan. I wonder who stands to gain the most from the agreement? I think the Government of Japan should leverage this opportunity.
What poor taste. I had thought that Aussies were smarter and wiser than this.
Thats... moronic [hope that's how to translate "tako" in this context - David]
I'm recommending my friends not to eat Aussie Beef, and I'd like to spread around what poor taste the Aussies have.
Also I'll be contacting the PM's office and other related areas requesting them to protest to Australia.
It wasn't really necessary to "make sure", was it? After all, Campbell did describe Paul Watson as "deranged" last year. And indeed, Watson noticed.
"I'm wishing him a safe passage and I'm also reinforcing my message in a one-on-one conversation that respect for law of the sea, respect for human life and respect for the safety of ships at sea is incredibly important," Senator Campbell said.
"People who go around and threaten those important laws and safety measures potentially put the cause of whale conservation backwards.
"Paul Watson and I both share a passionate belief in the view that whaling should come to an end, it should be relegated to the dustbin of history.
"I just wanted to make sure he knew very clearly my view about his tactics."
Then from 2000:
For nearly two decades, UW Statistics Professor Judith Zeh has been studying whales, using statistical analysis to learn more about the size and dynamics of bowhead whale populations. Zeh's expertise recently led to her election as chair of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) Scientific Committee.
The goal of the IWC, says Zeh, is to ensure that all stocks of whales are maintained at an appropriate level and not depleted. The Commission's Scientific Committee, made up of about 140 scientists named by 40 member governments, provides valuable information about scientific aspects of whaling.
A key piece of information about any whale population is its size. Other information might include the impact of environmental factors--environmental warming, whale watching--on whale populations, as well as identification of single interbreeding populations. Such information is significant as the Commission develops whaling policies.
As chair of the Scientific Committee, Zeh is the Commission's principal scientific advisor. She is the first woman to serve as chair in the IWC's 52-year history.
Why is a statistician like Zeh intrigued by whale research? It offers interesting challenges, she says. "Since we must study whales out in the ocean, there are intriguing statistical problems in answering scientific questions," she explains. "For example, in counting whales, how do we account for the ones we are not able to see or hear? Or when identifying whales in photos by their markings, how do we account for the ones without markings? It's the role of the statistician to account for the whales that cannot be identified from obvious data."
Zeh will serve a three-year term as chair of the IWC Scientific Committee.
... Matt Coleman asked the chair of that committee, Judy Zeh about the state of the world's whale populations.Zeh was apparently the convenor steering group for the recent JARPA review.
JUDY ZEH: Most of the whale, different whale stocks and species in the world, I think, are doing fairly well right now. There are some particular populations that are of very great concern. One of those is the western North Atlantic right whales which live mostly just off the east coast of the United States, and that's a very small population which seems to be having some problems now with lower reproductive and survival rates. So the US Government is working very hard on it, but it is a big problem.
MATT COLEMAN: Environmental groups have been saying that the numbers have been decreasing very rapidly. In fact, there are probably only a few hundred northern right whales left in the world. Is that correct?
JUDY ZEH: Basically the biggest problem is that that was the population that was very badly decimated by the early commercial whaling, and it just hasn't really recovered, so it doesn't seem to be increasing as much as we would like it to. And the last few years there have been some particular problems, that we don't know whether they're related to environmental things or whether there is a bigger problem with the population status.
MATT COLEMAN: What about whale populations in the southern hemisphere? How are they doing?
JUDY ZEH: There is a lot of evidence that humpbacks are increasing very nicely in much of the southern hemisphere, so that's good news. There's less information about some of the other species like blue whales and fin whales, so we can't really say a lot about what they're doing yet. But again, if we keep doing these surveys, we'll gradually get more information about how they're doing.
MATT COLEMAN: One of the best known species of whale is the minke whale. Japan claims that the minke whale is now so abundant that commercial harvesting of that species would be sustainable. Do you agree?
JUDY ZEH: We're in the process of completing the third circumpolar survey, and looking at minke whale estimates for the southern oceans, and as far as I know at present, it's certainly true that if commercial whaling were resumed under the revised management procedure, it could be managed safely.
MATT COLEMAN: How valuable are these scientific research programs that Japan carries out in telling scientists like yourself something useful about whale populations?
JUDY ZEH: Well, they certainly do provide a lot of data. They've been doing a lot of genetic analyses which tells us about stock structure, whether whales in a particular area mix with whales from another area or whether they don't. And this is something that's very important to know for management purposes. So they certainly provide good information on things like that.
MATT COLEMAN: Would you be able to get that information any other way, through a more humane or even a non-lethal research method?
JUDY ZEH: Well, many scientists are using biopsy sampling, and that works very well for humpback whales. It's been a little less successful for minke whales, and I'm not sure that's because it hasn't been tried sufficiently and the best techniques haven't been worked out, or whether - I suspect that maybe that it's somewhat more difficult to biopsy minke whales than humpback whales.
COMPERE: Judy Zeh is the chair of the scientific committee of the International Whaling Commission which began its annual conference in Adelaide today. Matt Coleman there for us.
Judith E. Zeh, UW Department of Statistics
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) was established in 1946 by the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, signed by 14 whaling nations, “to provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry”. Part of the Convention is a Schedule that contains the actual regulations regarding species and numbers of great whales that can be caught, times and places in which whaling is allowed, etc. Amendments to the Schedule, which require a 3/4 majority vote for adoption, must be “based on scientific findings”. Thus, since its inception, the intent of the IWC has been to base management on science, and one of its standing committees has been the Scientific Committee (SC). The SC meets annually, just before the Commission meets, and the Chair of the SC presents SC findings to the Commission. I will talk about successes and failures of this management process before, during, and since my 1999-2002 term as SC Chair. Successes have come when the Commission obtained and followed good scientific advice. Failures have sometimes occurred because of inadequate scientific advice, but more often because economics or politics got in the way of following good advice. Both successes and failures occurred in the 1960s, when a committee of three scientists appointed by the Commission recommended immediate protection of Antarctic humpback and blue whales from whaling and drastic reductions in fin whale catches. The Commission did protect humpback and blue whales, but delayed reductions in fin whale catches because of pressure from whaling nations. Eventually greater reductions in fin whale catches had to be made to allow the stock to recover. The management procedure developed by the SC during the 1970s proved unworkable because it required classifying whale stocks on the basis of quantities that were difficult to estimate. Meanwhile, some whaling nations stopped whaling and other nations joined the IWC. It now has 66 members, the majority of which are non-whaling nations and many of which could be characterized as anti-whaling nations. This adds a complicating dimension to the “science and policy interface”. During the 1980s, the Commission imposed a moratorium on commercial whaling that is still in effect. However, the Convention allows whaling in spite of the moratorium by nations that objected to its adoption and by any nation under Special Permits for scientific research. Meanwhile, the SC has developed a revised management procedure (RMP) that requires only regular estimates of abundance of a stock and the known catch history. The RMP was tested by simulations of 100 years of catches using it. These simulations took into account uncertainties in a wide range of factors. In my view, whales and whalers would be better protected by use of the RMP to manage whaling than by the moratorium. The SC currently provides advice on aboriginal subsistence catch limits for bowhead whales using a similar management procedure.
... the [Japanese] public has been quietly expressing their opinion by choosing the option of "not buying." It took a while before their quiet voice to be manifested in the statistics, but now, the figures are clear.What is clear from the figures is that not only has supply risen, consumption has clearly risen as well. Of course that wasn't the impression Sakuma wanted to give, as evidenced by her failing to refer to the ministry's outgoing stock volumes a single time (these volumes are listed alongside the stockpile figures in the documents released by the ministry). Increasing outgoing stock volumes just don't agree with her desired conclusions.
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.Again, the relevant IWC Resolution 2006-2 is here.
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).
"Contracting Governments to take appropriate measures, consistent with IMO guidelines, in order to ensure that the substance and spirit of this Resolution are observed both domestically and internationally."I imagine that the Sea Shepherd and Greenpeace vessels are flagged to states that have adhered to these agreements, and I expect that these nations will fulfil their responsibilities should a repeat of last year's dangerous events reoccur this year.
The Japanese fleet is believed to be near New Zealand and should be ready to start hunting in two weeks.In fact, I believe that with almost a month passed since they left port, they will likely already have commenced the research. This year the research is being conducted in Area V and the western part of Area IV (map). In previous years when this area was covered, for example 2004/2005, the fleet departed Japan on November 12 (Japanese ICR link), and the actual research in the Antarctic commenced on 7 December (IWC/SC 2005 pg. 52). With chief eco-terrorist at Sea Shepherd, Paul Watson reporting that they won't be in a position to obstruct the ICR fleet until the last week of December, we can probably estimate that the research fleet might catch 100 or so minke whales between now and that time (not to mention the 10 Fin whales). Of course, as the eco-terrorists themselves admit, they may not be able to find the fleet immediately either.
Whale to become new speciality - menu making at Yobuko lodge
Participants taste test sashimi, stew - Yobuko lodge, Karatsu city
At the national youth hostel of Yobuko lodge in Karatsu city, Yobuko town, where the local speciality is squid, whale cuisine menu creation is being pursued in an effort to attract more customers. In the New Year there are plans to offer such cuisine, and interested parties were invited to take part in a taste testing event.
The "whale dinner" menu provided will include 10 items, from sashimi to roasted items, to stew, to salad. Those participating enjoyed the peculiar tastes of whale, sampling skin, o-no-mi (tail meat) sashimi, and minced lean meat.
Yobuko lodge's cuisine is popular for it's "ikizukuri" squid , and fresh fish and shellfish. QKamura Service has been operating the lodge as well as those in the nearby towns of Hadomisaki, and Iroha island, since it became the designated management in June.The manager says that "Yobuko once prospered as a whaling base, but there are almost no shops offering whale cuisine. We hope to keep the tourists coming back again and again by making whale meat Yobuko's new speciality."
Iceland foreign minister: Commercial Whaling "based on science"
Iceland's Foreign Minister, Valgerdur Sverrisdottir (56) who is visiting Japan, responded to an interview with the Yomiuri newspaper in Tokyo on the 6th.
The Foreign Minister stressed the justness of the commercial whaling which Iceland resumed in October, saying that "the whaling has scientific basis". Furthermore, the Foreign Minister emphasised the importance of working together with Japan to increase understanding of whaling, noting that "it's important to co-operate together to broaden correct knowledge throughout the world".
Iceland is also an island nation like Japan, and is a fishing country. By August next year, they have plans to take 78 whales, including 39 for scientific research.
Regarding the resumption of commercial whaling, the Foreign Minister acknowledged huge receipt of emotional anti-whaling letters from mainly European countries and the USA, reading "I don't want to see any blood". However, the Foreign Minister said "We have a culture that is centred upon fisheries. These resources will not be depleted as the hunts will be limited and based upon scientific research".
(2006/12/7 01:39 Yomiuri Newspaper)
Labels: Kana and I
TONY EASTLEY: It's never washed with anti-whaling nations, but for the past two decades Japan has invoked science as the justification for its modern-day whale hunts.Sorry, but I have to interrupt - that's just one of the things that the review will look at. The full set of objectives of the review are noted clearly at the IWC's homepage, with the question on utility of non-lethal methods being the last of four objectives listed.
Now Japan's scientific whaling program is under review.
An International Whaling Commission delegation is in Tokyo assessing the results of Japan's 18-year whaling program, known as JARPA.
The IWC wants to know whether Japanese whale researchers could've garnered their information through non-lethal means.
One of the IWC delegates is Dr Nick Gales from the Australian Antarctic Division. He's speaking here with AM's Karen Barlow.Sorry to interrupt again, but it's worth remembering that, as noted above, many members of the IWC are against whaling, and thus can be expected to find no use at all in any information that is regarded as useful to scientists in assessing the status of whale stocks such as the Antarctic minke and the degree to which they can be harvested sustainably without fear of negative repercussions.
NICK GALES: We're faced with a fairly large number of papers that they'll bring to us which will describe the science they've done, and most of those papers are supposed to synthesise the work they've been doing over the last 18 years.
So we go through each and every one of those papers in fairly close detail, and we're supposed to then come to some conclusion about especially whether or not the original objectives, or the modified objectives through the 18 years have been fulfilled, and whether that's actually of any use to the IWC.
KAREN BARLOW: Because the Japanese have been saying all along that this is necessary for the management of the whales, and it will help them in the long-term, in their long-term survival?Actually that's an extremely poor representation of the Japanese position. The research is argued to be necessary to provide the scientific basis for sustainable and optimal use (harvest) of abundant whale stocks. Stocks for which long-term survival is in doubt were not the subject of the JARPA research - the Antarctic minke whale was the subject, and even the politically influenced IUCN red list classified this species in the category of "lower risk" in 1996.
NICK GALES: That's exactly right.
The... you know, the Government of Japan have argued very solidly that this science is required, and the only way to achieve this information is to kill whatever number of whales it is that they put their permit in for. The 18 years of JARPA have killed about almost 6,800 whales over that period, minke whales.A-hem... Dr. Gales...
KAREN BARLOW: The Australian Government has taken a very firm position against Japan. Does that in any way influence the work you're doing as part of this IWC delegation?
NICK GALES: No, my
role is, as a scientist, to come in and assess the science and then to advise the Australian Government and the policy component of the Government about what that science says.I don't like having to say it, but I'm personally doubtful as to whether Dr. Gales can be taken on his word that he is acting purely "as a scientist", without political interest.
And if the science says… if it was to turn out that this was all terrific and important science, I'd be informing them of that, but if our conclusion is that the science was not necessary, and that the quality of the science was not up to scratch, then I'd equally be reporting that.
KAREN BARLOW: This report, if it does find that the lethal research undertaken by Japan is not necessary, could any action be taken of a permanent nature?In fact, the 1997 IWC/SC did identify areas for further work, and the ICR indeed worked to address them, as indicated on pages 5-8 of this review document.
NICK GALES: No, the rules under the Article 8, under which scientific whaling is conducted, means that even if… even if there was a consensus that none of this was necessary it would still not compel the Government of Japan to actually change anything, because they don't have to respond to it. All they have do is be a part of the review and conduct the review.
KAREN BARLOW: So if that's the case, why are you going through this process?I'm not sure that Dr. Gales is really looking forward to the results of the review coming out into the public arena at next year's IWC meeting in May, given the way the IWC in 1997 had no choice but to recognise that the IWC/SC review of the JARPA programme at it's halfway point noted that it's results had "the potential to improve management in some ways; and that the results of analyses of JARPA data could thus be used to increase catch limits of minke whales in the Southern Hemisphere without increasing the depletion risk indicated by the RMP-trials for these minke whales"
NICK GALES: Well, it's still incredibly important to have a very clear and publicly accessible comment on the review. And it is frustrating, I guess, from many people's point of view, including perhaps my own that, you know, there isn't a direct consequence within the way they're doing their work to our review, but it's very important to have it clearly stated and clearly evaluated.
MARK COLVIN: Dr Nick Gales from the Australian Antarctic Division speaking there with Karen Barlow.
About OFCAMore to come on Fisheries ODA.
A great many countries including Japan rely heavily on marine resources, and in people of developing countries also seek animal protein from this source. As such, considering the fact that the global population is increasing, marine resources play an important role as supply source for animal-based protein. However, as seen from the decrease in resources due to unregulated fishing and excessively developed coastal areas, year-by-year the environment for the fisheries industry is becoming increasingly severe, and an important current concern is how we may manage and most effectively utilise these limited marine resources. Above all, amongst developing countries that are in a transition phase from small time fishing to commercial fishing, there are those aiming to move from a "taking" fisheries mentality to one of "fisheries cultivation", those encouraging increased production in fresh water based aquaculture under restricted conditions, and so on, resulting in a variety of development plans being made to promote fisheries in a range of different environments. In such nations, however, from economic and technical perspectives the true situation leaves much to be desired, with operations not proceeding as planned in many places. Therefore assistance from developed nations is required. OFCA is actively working to contribute to fisheries promotion in these developing nations, by utilising our experience and high-caliber technology in the fisheries field, of which our country is placed at the top level in the world.
Founded: 1989 February 28
Jurisdiction: International section, Resource Management Department, Fisheries Agency
Representative: Toru Morikawa (Chairman)
The state of the fisheries industry
The global population broke through 6 billion in 1999, however amongst those, 14% or 840 million people are in a situation where they are not receiving adequate food. Moreover, the UN estimates that by 2050 the global population will reach 10 billion. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization reports that 35% of the world's important fisheries resources are in an overdeveloped state, and 47% are currently developed to the maximum levels possible. The 1998 Rome Declaration on the Implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries states the importance of striving towards the following.
* The suitable and sustainable use of the world's fishery resources
* Access through an ecosystem approach to fisheries management
* The contribution of fisheries towards the national economic and social goals of states and the attainment of world food security
In light of this, Japan, as the world leader in the fisheries field, is proactively working towards fishing effort reduction, marine resource aquaculture, and maintenance and preservation issues. In developing nations, besides marine resources being a precious source of protein for citizens, they are also indispensable for advancing the livelihoods of small time fishermen, as they are a source of foreign exchange income. Therefore, there is a need for us to continue to proactively expand our co-operation in this field. In turn, in order to plan for future production increases within the fisheries industry, it is necessary to make efforts in new fields, such as of course the further development of aquaculture industry, the servicing and creation of fishing grounds, and the new development of marine resources which are currently not being effectively utilised. In particular, because of excessive protection due to some developed nations and the egos of environmental protection groups, effective utilization is restricted. Due to the over-increase in some species such as whales, ecosystems may be damaged leading to negative repercussions for fishing. Thus it is necessary to plan for the effective utilization of yet-to-be exploited and un-exploited marine resources. OFCA is contributing to the world fishing industry taking into consideration these circumstances.
Background of sales promotion of Whale meat in the "office cafeteria and hospital food catering market"
- With the persmission of the Government of Japan, the scale of the Antarctic whaling research which commenced last year expanded to double the size of previous research. Because of this, the production of whale meat will also increase.
- Due to the fear that conducting PR activity to sell the increase in existing markets "may unnecesarily over-stimulate the market, and may result in increases in market prices", the "catering market including office cafeteria, hospital and lunch services" was identified as a controllable preferential market.
- Inspite of the increase production is limited, and the approximate 2000 tonne increase is certainly not large when compared with the size of the scale of the nationwide restaurant market.
- In order to provide this limited supply at stable prices, with the support of the Fisheries Agency and Institute of Cetacean Research "Geishoku Labo LLC" was created as a direct distribution company.
The difference to existing sales channels
- The existing whale meat sales channels are through specialist producers and nationwide central wholesale markets, and those operators decide their retail prices, and their respective sales volumes and prices fluctuate.
- In contrast, the new sales company is in a position to be able to fix annual retail prices and sales volumes in advance.
- Furthermore, we resolved that due to the price and flavour, by proposing new methods of utilising whale meat as an ingredient instead of existing preparation methods, there would likely be interest.
- As for raw ingredients, we have arrangements to make possible supply in a processed form (small size / mince).
Can I really use this in my menu?
- Because there is not enough supply to be able to use whale meat as an everyday staple ingredient, please think about using it for menu diversification and special meals.
- For example, by mixing whale meat as an ingredient along with other types of meat (eg. chicken 70%, 20% whale breast, 10% blubber), nutrional balance can be improved as well as realising a unique texture. Of course the average meal cost can also be suppressed.
- Whale blubber contains large amounts of EPA and DHA, which is said to be beneficial for the health.
- Whale meat is an ingredient with various possibilities in preparation techniques, from use as sashimi like fish, to use like with other meats. From the familiar childhood taste of whale, to use as an easily edible health food, whale meat offers plenty of scope for menu developments.
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