Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Reviving Small-Scale Coastal Whaling

Quietly, perhaps even a little too secretly, governments have been sounding ways of easing Japan out of pelagic "scientific research" whaling in the Southern Hemisphere while keeping the International Whaling Commission involved in the management of...whaling.

Secret Japan deal to trade whale kills
The Age

Andrew Darby, Hobart - January 27, 2009 - The Federal Government has secretly helped to draw up a potential deal to break the whaling deadlock that would let Japan expand North Pacific kills in return for Antarctic cuts.

Japanese whalers could hunt a regulated number of minke whales in their own coastal waters under the plan, as well as take many more whales in the high seas of the North Pacific.

In exchange Japan would agree to one of two offers: either to phase out whaling under self-awarded scientific permits in the Antarctic entirely, or to impose an annual Southern Ocean limit.

The package was hammered out in confidence by an International Whaling Commission drafting group of six nations, including Australia and Japan, at a meeting in Cambridge, England, last month...
Allowing the four regulated Japanese coastal whaling stations* a chance to take Minke (Minku kujira - Balaenoptera acutorostrata) the most common species of large whale, ending the mendacious "scientific research" hunt in the Southern Ocean and (probably) the pelagic North Pacific hunt and the substitution hunts of Baird's Beaked Whales, Pilot Whales and Risso's Dolphin around Japan's coasts, is a win-win-win proposition.

Now if someone could only talk the b-----y Australians and Greenpeace into accepting half a loaf when Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries -- i.e., the Ministry of "Negation, Obsfucation and Obstruction" -- hands one to them.

It is the only reasonable way to extricate all parties from out of the current dishonest and dysmal impasse.

And this post is not an attempt to toot my own horn about my longtime view of the issue.


*Since 1999, the city of Hakodate has had the right to have a whaling industry, hunting Baird's Beaked Whales. To my knowledge, the city has not sought to exercise its right.

Great whales are also caught as by-catch in fishing nets.

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