Report accepting coastal whaling released (2009.02.04)The article reports that the chair of the IWC's SWG, De Soto, released his report which suggests allowing coastal whaling that Japan has been requesting in exchange for Japan scaling back its special permit whaling in the Antarctic. It noted that this is a compromise plan to address the conflict between whaling and anti-whaling nations, however at the whaling town in Ishinomaki city's Katsushika area:
IWC Small Working Group
Continued whaling not guaranteed - "Frankly not pleased" Katsushika, Ishinomaki
... the report's contents have been taken in with complicated feelings. "We're not able to throw both arms up in the air in delight about this".The article mentions that the report notes that for 5 years, 4 Japanese whaling towns including the one in Katsushika would be permitted to take an as yet unspecified number of minke whales, under conditions such as the whaling involving day trips with less than 5 vessels engaged.
As for beyond the next 5 years, the report described two options of banning whaling or continuing it.
On the other hand, as for Antarctic special permit whaling, two plans were described including the gradual cessation of minke whale catches and the total ban of fin whale catches.In another article at the similarly named Kahoku news site (seems to be offline now, but the title was "「期待せず」「議論見守る」沿岸捕鯨再開ＩＷＣ報告書"), both were quoted again.
Keiichi Endo, the 51 year old president of Ishinomaki's "Ayukawa Hogei (Whaling)" company which was established last year in February, said "At the current time I can't say that I agree with the report. Will Japan be able to accept the total banning of research whaling in the Antarctic? The report doesn't guarantee research will be continued from the 6th year onwards", he points out.
Mayor of Ishinomaki city, Kimio Doi, expressed a cautious position, saying "I can't comment at this stage. I'll be following developments in the debate at the IWC".
Mayor Doi had attended the June 2007 meeting of the IWC in Anchorage. The next month in July Ishinomaki city held the first national whale forum, where the "Ishinomaki declaration" was adopted, requesting Japan to unilaterally allow a resumption of small-type coastal whaling.
To that extent, the region welcomes the resumption of coastal whaling, however there is dissatisfaction as well. "Since the 1988 commercial whaling moratorium, there has been no progress at the IWC towards resuming whaling."
Keiichi Endo, president of "Ayukawa Hogei" based in Ayukawa port that owns two of the small-type coastal whaling vessels rejected the report, saying "I can't expect anything from it". He expressed concern that on top of either scaling back research whaling or stopping it in 5 years, from the 6th year onwards there was still the possibility of small-type coastal whaling being banned as well.Mayor Doi is quoted here again saying similar things.
"I do agree with reducing the number of whales caught in research whaling and increasing the quota for small-type coastal whaling, but that's not to say I'm for reducing research whaling to zero. Continuing both is best", he asserts.
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