Japan, Deceptions, And The Death Of The Whaling BanJapan, Deceptions, and the Death of the Whaling Ban
Next week (9th -11th March) , a proposal that would lift the ban oncommercial whaling may well be accepted by the members of theInternational Whaling Commission (IWC). The proposal would grant Japancommercial whaling quotas in its coastal waters in return for itvoluntarily reducing its controversial scientific whaling inAntarctica. The Proposal is to be discussed in Rome at a specialintersessional meeting of the IWC.
Now, a new report, ‘Small Type Whaling, A false choice for the IWC’
, reveals that the longstanding case Japan has put forward to the IWC for these quotas is inaccurate and flawed.
WDCS’s Sue Fisher said ‘The reality is that Japan does not need coastal
whaling and it is attempting to blackmail the IWC into doing its bidding. The real danger of the deal being considered is that it implies that coastal whaling is the lesser of two evils, but if adopted, it would lift the ban on commercial whaling and open the floodgates for other countries to restart or expand their own whaling. The IWC is being given a false choice.”
For two decades, Japan has claimed that the ban on commercial whaling caused acute economic hardship and cultural disintegration in four coastal towns that it maintained had a long standing history and dependence on hunting minke whales in Small Type Whaling operations (characterised by the use of small boats hunting small cetaceans on day trips). Yet, two of these towns, Taiji and Wada, have no history of this method of hunting minke whales. The other two towns, Abashiri and Ayukawa, only began 60 to 70 years ago.
Japan has attempted to hide that fact that these towns initially benefited from the whaling ban. Any hardship came later, when their small local operations were out-competed by Japan’s massive so-called ‘scientific whaling programmes’. Today, the towns benefit from keeping their whaling outside the regulation of the IWC, as they continue hunting species of small whales and dolphins that Japan claims are not covered by the ban. The commercial whaling businesses of these four towns is owned by one company that controls all these commercial whaling operations.
WDCS’s Sue Fisher continued. ‘The Government of Japan is not acting in the best interest of these towns, as it claims. It is simply using the four towns as an excuse to overturn the moratorium on commercial whaling.’
The ban on commercial whaling has been hailed as one of the world’s most important conservation victories. It protected whale species and populations brought to the brink of extinction through over hunting. WDCS and IKAN believe there is no justification today for resuming commercial whaling.
WDCS’s Sue Fisher concluded: “Whaling has long proven itself to be unsustainable, unviable and impossible to regulate. What kind of bubble is the IWC in, considering deals to exchange one kind of grossly subsidized whaling for another? There is a whole new world order today brought about by the current economic crisis and whaling has no place in it. No kind of whaling is an industry worth saving, swapping supporting or subsidizing in 2009.’
We need your help to make sure that the pro-conservation countries make the right choice next week in Rome when the IWC meets. European Union
Please help us ensure that the European Union member nations of the IWC stand up for the whales by sending a email protest from hereUSAIf you are a US citizen, or just want to help turn around the US position that was one of surrender to Japan, please email President Obama with your views.
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