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Outrage over Japan's plan to slaughter humpback whales

 
 
msolga
 
Reply Sat 14 May, 2005 08:59 am
Outrage over Japan's plan to slaughter humpbacks
By Kerry-Anne Walsh
May 15, 2005
The Sun-Herald


http://www.smh.com.au/ffximage/2005/04/19/whalemain_wideweb__430x300.jpg
Breach of the peace ... if Japan's whaling extension is approved, the humpbacks that migrate from Antarctica to our waters each year will be killed for 'scientific purposes'.
Photo: Sahlan Hayes


Prime Minister John Howard and senior ministers are racing against the clock to stop a Japanese plan to slaughter the magnificent humpback whales which play in Australian waters every year.

With the International Whaling Commission (IWC) set to decide on the proposal in mid-June, Environment Minister Ian Campbell told The Sun-Herald the vote would be very close.

In a frank assessment of the possible outcome, Senator Campbell said Japan had recently been more successful in its lobbying of the commission's 55 member nations.


Japan has asked the IWC to approve an extension of its annual kill of 400 minke whales - which it says is for "scientific purposes" - to include the humpbacks.

The whales have become part of Australian life, delighting thousands with their antics off NSW beaches when they migrate from Antarctica each year.

If the IWC approves the expansion, the slaughter of the huge beasts would begin shortly in waters around Antarctica, which Australia claims as sovereign, but which Japan refuses to recognise.

Mr Howard raised the issue at talks in Japan two weeks ago.

At a meeting in Canberra last week, Senator Campbell left the Japanese Ambassador to Australia, Mr Hideaki Ueda, under no illusions about how the slaughter would be viewed by Australians.

"I said face-to-face to the Japanese [ambassador] that we have great respect between our two nations, but because they are going to target humpbacks that would be very bad for the way Japan is perceived by Australians," he said.

The minister acknowledged the whaling controversy would be a very difficult one to sort out. He said the Australian Government was determined to stop Japan's expansion plans and the new closeness of ties with Japan should be used to ensure "a good outcome for the whales".

Senator Campbell described as "obscene" and "insulting" the idea that nations could pretend to hunt whales for "scientific" purposes.

"Scientific whaling is a farce," he said. He added that Japan's plans would mobilise countries to help Australia not only stamp out whaling, but reform the structure of the IWC.

Labor issued a strong condemnation of Japan's plans, with foreign spokesman Kevin Rudd reminding Mr Howard that it was only last month the prime minister declared Australia had "no greater friend in Asia than Japan".

"It is now time to use that friendship, Mr Howard," he said.

ALP environment spokesman Anthony Albanese described it as "outrageous" that, at a time when the Government said it had its closest-ever relationship with Japan, it was not doing everything possible to stop the planned increase in whaling.

The president of marine mammal rescue and research organisation Orrca, Ronny Ling, said news of the bid was "very disturbing."

"These animals are protected in Australian waters," Mr Ling said.

"They claim [they want to hunt them] for scientific reasons, but the meat ends up in Japanese fish markets."

He said the proposed increase in culling could reverse recent improvements in the humpback population.

"When you throw in problems such as pollution and increased boat traffic, one other thing can tip the scale the other way."

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said Australia could not legally board Japanese whaling vessels in Antarctic waters to stop their whaling because it could be seen as piracy.

FACTS ABOUT THE WHALE

 Identifiable by its long fins, black skin with white patches and large bumps on its head.

 Can grow to a length of 18 metres, and to 40 tonnes.

 The southern hemisphere species is protected in Australian waters and migrates from the waters of the Antarctic each year to give birth in the tropical waters off northern Queensland.

 It has a 12-month pregnancy.

 It has no teeth and feeds on krill and schools of small fish by taking in large mouthfuls of water.

Source: Australian Museum Online and NPWS.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Outrage-over-Japans-plan-to-slaughter-humpbacks/2005/05/14/1116024405105.html?oneclick=true
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 14 May, 2005 09:05 am
"Scientific purposes", my boot!!!Rolling Eyes How much longer are the Japanese going go get away with that blatant lie? Evil or Very Mad

I never thought I'd be right behind John Howard on any issue, but there's a first time for everything, I guess?
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 May, 2005 07:34 am
As some Oz federal minister said today in a radio interview - the only "scientific purpose" is to find out what it tastes like!
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 May, 2005 07:18 pm
Well, at least your PM is getting this right!

This whole thing makes me crazy.
0 Replies
 
satt fs
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 May, 2005 08:22 pm
Quote:
Japan has asked the IWC to approve an extension of its annual kill of 400 minke whales - which it says is for "scientific purposes" - to include the humpbacks.

Perhaps it is for a benefit of some (fishing) industry in Japan. Nowadays Japanese people, in general, have no strong needs for whales.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 May, 2005 05:42 am
Last Update: Tuesday, May 17, 2005. 12:00pm (AEST)

Brown accuses Howard of 'gutless' whaling stance

Australian Greens leader Senator Bob Brown says the Prime Minister is "gutless" for failing to take strong action against Japan over its whaling plans.

Japan wants to extend its annual kill of 400 minke whales to include humpbacks, in Antarctic waters claimed by Australia.


John Howard has expressed concern over Japan's plan to kill more whales for what it says are scientific purposes.

The Prime Minister says Australia should pressure Japan to change its policy through diplomatic means, not forceful intervention.

Greens Senator Bob Brown say the Federal Government should refuse to negotiate a free trade agreement with Japan.

"You know he's gutless when it comes to standing up for the humpback whale, the same as he was gutless when it came to standing up for Tasmania's forests," Mr Brown said.

The Federal Opposition has suggested exploring other measures available under international law, to prevent the slaughter of more whales.

Japan's application is currently before the International Whaling Commission, and a decision is expected next month.

Britain has condemned Japan's plan.

In a statement, British Fisheries Minister Ben Bradshaw said, ''We consider these programs (Japan's and Iceland's scientific programs) to be unnecessary, deeply flawed and of questionable scientific value, and we urge both countries to abandon them.".

Japan argues it needs to target a wider range of whale species to better understand the Antarctic Ocean's eco-system, and develop a method to manage whale resources.

Japan is allowed to conduct scientific research whaling, while still being a signatory to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) moratorium.

Critics believe the program is merely a cover for commercial whaling, as the meat is sold for human consumption
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 May, 2005 07:55 am
Send your navy off to sink the Japanese whaling fleet. Say it was a pre-emptive attack, and that you got the idea from Georgie-Porgie Pudding and Pie.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 06:02 am
Setanta wrote:
Send your navy off to sink the Japanese whaling fleet. Say it was a pre-emptive attack, and that you got the idea from Georgie-Porgie Pudding and Pie.


Now there's an idea, Setanta! :wink:
Actually, I'm hoping that GreenPeace will come to the rescue!
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 03:14 am
Whale on Japan's school lunch menu
By Deborah Cameron
Tokyo
May 21, 2005/the AGE


http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2005/05/21/21n_whale_wideweb__430x346,1.jpg

... Next Thursday, district officials will travel to Tokyo with their best recipes tucked into their briefcases to convince school dietitians and principals in other districts that whale should be on their menus.

A few days later the International Whaling Commission will consider Japan's next demand - increased whale kill and permission to catch humpbacks. Japan argues it is part of a scientific program to further understand the species.....


<complete article>
http://www.theage.com.au/news/World/Whale-on-Japans-school-lunch-menu/2005/05/20/1116533538378.html?oneclick=true
0 Replies
 
satt fs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 03:20 am
School lunches are often used to develop tastes beneficial for particular food industries.. Mad
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 03:23 am
Tokyo hopes for blubber comeback
Tokyo
May 21, 2005/the AGE


http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2005/05/20/21n_greenp_wideweb__430x281.jpg
Greenpeace protesters at their "whale embassy" in Ulsan.
Photo: AP


It's blubber time. Fishmongers and restaurateurs across Japan are looking forward to stocking up on fresh, deep-red whale meat.

For nearly two decades, an international ban on commercial hunts has kept the yearly haul relatively small - around 1000 tonnes. But if Japan's Government has its way when the International Whaling Commission opens its annual conference later this month, there could be a lot more coming in.

"This could be a turning point," said Joji Morishita, a senior member of Japan's delegation. After years of being in the minority, the voting power between the pro and anti-whaling blocs had roughly evened out, with only one or two votes difference, he said.

Whaling opponents have been especially anxious ahead of this year's IWC meeting, which begins on Friday in Ulsan, South Korea. They fear pro-whaling countries may have a voting majority for the first time since commercial whaling was banned in 1986.

New Zealand's IWC commissioner and former prime minister, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, warned in March that it was likely efforts to remove the ban would succeed.

Greenpeace is already taking pot shots at the host. It claims it has discovered plans to build a whale and dolphin meat processing factory in Ulsan.

It said 50 activists had set up a "whale embassy" near the site in protest.

South Korea has no whaling industry but Greenpeace claims its accidental catches are "100 times greater than other countries".

Despite the ban, whaling nations are expected to harvest more than 1550 of the mammals this year.

- AP

http://www.theage.com.au/news/World/Tokyo-hopes-for-blubber-comeback/2005/05/20/1116533538381.html
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 03:28 am
satt_fs wrote:
School lunches are often used to develop tastes beneficial for particular food industries.. Mad


In this case it's very sad, satt. <sigh>
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 04:17 am
Satt

Do you have a theory of why this is happening in Japan now? Is it that the Japanese food industry is in need of a boost right now, or what? A theory that the protection of the whale (by Australia & the "west") is racist & insensitive to Asian practice was presented in an article I read today. What do the Japanese think about this issue? Any insight here?
0 Replies
 
satt fs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 04:30 am
msolga..
One point, first: To refer to "the" Japanese food industry might not be correct, it should be "an" industry or "some" industries.

That stated, one could ovserve that the whale industry has an incentive not to be idle very long as they do not want to forget the know-how of whaling or have obsolete facilities. They may want to preserve their technologies.
In my opinion, those know-how or facilities could be placed in a museum.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2005 05:33 am
along side the ox-cart display

There is no need for this. If them damn whalers come into the bay of Fundy,theyll have to deal with me. How can I make Greek Fire?
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 01:37 am
satt_fs wrote:
msolga..
One point, first: To refer to "the" Japanese food industry might not be correct, it should be "an" industry or "some" industries.

That stated, one could ovserve that the whale industry has an incentive not to be idle very long as they do not want to forget the know-how of whaling or have obsolete facilities. They may want to preserve their technologies.
In my opinion, those know-how or facilities could be placed in a museum.


And obviously the Japanese government is fully supportive. I agree with your last sentiment. Why not adapt to the times & retrain these fishermen in some other, more acceptable form of fishing, I wonder?
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 05:26 am
Test Japan's whaling claims in court: Labor
May 22, 2005 - 10:35AM/SMH

Australia should legally test Japan's claim that its whaling is for scientific purposes, Labor said today.

The Opposition foreign affairs spokesman, Kevin Rudd, said today that, despite Australia's good relationship with Japan, Australia should take it to the International Court of Justice on the issue if diplomatic efforts to change its views failed.

Japan is seeking to double its scientific whaling program's kill count at an International Whaling Commission meeting in Korea next month.

If approved the proposal would allow Japan to harvest an extra 400 whales a year.

"We've got a good relationship with Japan both at the political, diplomatic and of course economic level as well," Mr Rudd told the Ten Network.

"But there are some basic questions at stake here in terms of what we believe to be important as Australia, and as Australians, about the proper conservation of the world's whaling resources and the world's whaling population."

The Government has ruled out a legal option saying any complaint to the International Court of Justice would take too long and achieve nothing but provide lawyers with a feast.

Mr Rudd said the view across the Australian community is that enough is enough on the whaling issue.

"What we've said is, first of all, try diplomacy, try and get Japan to change it's practices on this question, and its proposal to increase the whale quota at this upcoming meeting in June.

"But look, if that's going fail, then you must now consider an action before the International Court of Justice so that we can put out to the entire world community the case.

"The case is, Japan's adherence to this practice of so-called scientific whaling for scientific purposes, can be proven to be, underlying it all, false, because the whales in question are then used for commercial purposes.

"That's where we need to take apart the ultimate case used by Japan in international forums."

AAP
0 Replies
 
satt fs
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 10:31 pm
msolga wrote:
And obviously the Japanese government is fully supportive. I agree with your last sentiment. Why not adapt to the times & retrain these fishermen in some other, more acceptable form of fishing, I wonder?

Governments, you know, often follow the interest of industries in the country.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 10:36 pm
I have a small quibble, Satt_fs . . . i would say:

Governments, you know, usually follow the interest of industries in the country.
0 Replies
 
satt fs
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 May, 2005 10:39 pm
Setanta wrote:
I have a small quibble, Satt_fs . . . i would say:

Governments, you know, usually follow the interest of industries in the country.

It's too pessimistic, isn't it?
0 Replies
 
 

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