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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



IWC members to 73 - Cyprus confirmed

The number of IWC member nations has moved to 73 now, with Cyprus on the 26th of February joining other recent additions, Croatia and Slovenia.

These three new European members are all unlikely to vote against the wishes of the anti-whaling NGOs on any matter, and while one or two sustainable use members might join the IWC prior to the plenary in May, votes appear to no longer be particularly relevant to the future of the IWC.

* * *

This year's meeting will be very interesting:
Last year, the US commissioner made the following comments:
"What the United States wants to do is try to find a way to protect whales but at the same time recognize some harvest," he said, proposing a negotiated quota for hunting of whales no longer endangered in exchange for closing the "scientific whaling" loophole in the commercial ban. If Japan wants to hunt whales in the name of culture or science, those killings would come off its quota, he said.
He made similar comments to the BBC.

It's a somewhat different story this year (in relation to "subsistence" hunts)
"What we've said is absolutely no deals here. We're not going to make a deal with you. We're not going to be blackmailed. We're not going to be held hostage".


"Japan just thinks if they can get the U.S. over the barrel, then we'll come to their rescue, they can hold us hostage. And it's not going to happen."
Tough talk.

The IWC Normalization meeting called for the IWC to recognize Japan's small scale coastal whaling operations.


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