Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics
Well it wrapped up just under a month ago, but IWC 60 didn't turn out to be quite as big a wipe out as it could have been
The Chair (Bill Hogarth of the USA) managed to get an agreement from commissioners to play nicely before the main proceedings commenced, as well as what was essentially an agreement to talk, but do nothing about controversial issues at IWC 60. Instead these (various standard agenda items plus a host of others) were put aside for discussion at yet another intersessional meeting amongst a somewhat smaller group of members, which will then report back to the IWC next year with a proposed "package" of items for consideration at IWC 61. Read all about these details here
Of note was that late in the meeting a vote was called regarding Greenland's request to be able to hunt 10 humpback whales. The anti-whalers didn't like it, and even when Greenland proposed exchanging a part of it's existing quota for the humpback quota it was still rejected (although a few, such as Switzerland apparently saw enough reason to change their mind).
Also, in the Scientific Committee still no new abundance estimates for Antarctic minke whales could be agreed, although progress appears to have been made on the new methods for this.
But as for the fundamental problem at the IWC, there still seems to be little interest from the anti-whalers in compromising on their general opposition to whaling (despite the convention being for the regulation of it), so it's very hard to see how an eventual package produced for consideration at IWC 61 could be mutually acceptable to 3/4s of members. As such, this seems to be a "life-support" measure for the IWC. It's still early days I suppose, but there is certainly no suggestion in the media of the western nations that the fundamental opposition to the notion of dealing with whales in a similar manner to other marine wildlife is about to be relaxed or even contemplated.
The situation at the IWC has seen the pro-sustainable use camp start talking amongst themselves about a "safety net" for the management of whaling, in the event that the IWC package process does turn out to be a failure. This is likely to become a more and more prominent topic in coming times. This movement has been mentioned by Japanese government representatives in several places - press conferences held at the IWC meeting itself, after the IWC meeting, and also noted on the Ministry of Agriculture, Forest and Fisheries home page in their release about the result of the meeting
. The Jiji news agency also ran a news piece on it at the time of the meeting. Little, if anything, has been said of this in the western media that I can see.
The IWC's press releases about the meeting can be found here
From the pro-sustainable use side, here are some links of interest:
1) Japanese governmentJoji Morishita press conference
(in English) at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan on July 2. He talks about Japan's position for the meeting, what happened, what Japan thinks about it, and then answers some questions from journalists. That part is a bit pointless to watch as most of the media didn't have anything interesting to ask.
2) From the High North AllianceIWC Survival Kit and Hot IssuesThe real Future of the IWCHigh North Alliance - address to the International Whaling CommissionOpen letter from KNAPK to Greenland Cabinet
3) From the IWMC
IWMC Conservation Tribune, 23 June 2008
IWMC Conservation Tribune, 24 June 2008
IWMC Conservation Tribune, 25 June 2008
IWMC Conservation Tribune, 27 June 2008
IWMC Conservation Tribune, Press Release
Labels: IWC 60, Safety Net