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Monday, 23 November 2009

Whaling: when is enough, enough?

Some time ago I came across this article and have been meaning to add it to the site here as it conveys some strong words from one of the scientific community in regard to marine science.

I recently contacted Brian Morton, the author of this article who graciously granted me permission for its usage.

Whilst it's a relatively old article (2002) it still addresses the issues which are still no nearer any resolution. Brian pulls no punches in his criticism of the IWC and of particular interest I found the comments regarding the Svend Foyn method of capture as compared with those more aboriginal means as glorified in literature.

The article is an extremely concise two pages, but makes for a worthwhile read.
It is surely now time to recognise that the IWC is a political charade which has outlived its value – if it ever had one anyway!

Source: Marine Pollution Bulletin 44 (2002) 1–2

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Whale "Research" and CITES

Over the past 20 years, Japanese whalers have taken more than 10,000 whales from the Antarctic Southern Ocean and the north Pacific Ocean for ‘scientific purposes’, under a controversial exemption clause in the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW). After analyzing the relationship of the ICRW regime with other applicable multilateral agreements, this article concludes that Japan’s current pelagic ‘research whaling’ programmes are not only a growing embarrassment for the country’s meritorious ongoing research in both polar regions; they are also in open breach of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). In light of different options for international legal action, the author recommends the initiation of ‘compliance procedures’ – potentially leading to a collective trade embargo – in accordance with CITES Conference Resolution 14.3 (2007).
Whilst the attached document is a rather heavy document to read it does point out some serious issues in regard to Japan's cavalier attitude to the conventions it is signed up to. It seems the whalers are able to skirt around certain treaties either due to not having signed up to them or due to the language used in one excluding or contradicting another.

However, when it comes to CITES it seems the case is clear. Nothing within ICRW Article VIII (The favoured loophole of the whalers that allows for "Scientific Research Whaling") excludes the requirements of CITES.