JAPAN’S WHALING ’SCIENCE’ IS BULL-sh*t

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JAPAN’S WHALING ’SCIENCE’ IS BULL-sh*t

 user 2005-11-07 at 10:12:00 am Views: 55
  • #14515

    Japanese whaling ‘science’ rapped
    The
    annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has
    condemned Japan’s plan to increase the scale of its catches in the name
    of science.
    Tokyo’s proposal would see Japanese research vessels take more than 1,000 whales each year in Antarctic waters.
    Its delegation said Japan would continue with its scheme, called JARPA-2, as it can under IWC rules.
    Conservation bodies said the huge expansion planned by Japan had ensured opposition from anti-whaling nations.
    The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling dates from 1946, and states:
    The IWC meeting in South Korea is a clash of ‘food’ cultures
    T.
    Joensen, Faroe Islands”…any contracting government may grant to any
    of its nationals a special permit authorising that national to kill,
    take and treat whales for purposes of scientific research subject to
    such restrictions as to number and subject to such other conditions as
    the contracting government thinks fit…”In other words, any country
    can decide to hunt however many whales it likes in the name of science,
    whatever other nations think, and whatever the reservations of
    scientists.
    Data doubts
    After the IWC moratorium on commercial
    whaling came into force in 1986, Japan embarked on the Japanese Whale
    Research Programme in Antarctica, or JARPA, under which it takes 440
    minke whales from the Southern Ocean each year.
    We will implement
    JARPA-2 according to the schedule, because the sample size is
    determined in order to get statistically significant results
    Akira
    Nakamae, Japan’s alternate commissioner Under another programme, JARPN,
    Japanese vessels catch 100 minkes, 50 Bryde’s, 100 sei and 10 sperm
    whales per year from the north-western Pacific Ocean.
    Before this
    meeting began, Japan had circulated in scientific circles its intention
    to end JARPA, and initiate its successor JARPA-2 which would take 935
    minkes, 50 fin whales and 50 humpbacks from the seas around Antarctica.
    Sixty-three scientists working with the IWC on the issue issued a statement condemning JARPA-2.
    “It
    is scientifically invalid to review the JARPA-2 proposal before the IWC
    has had a chance to conduct a full review of the results of the
    original 18 years of investigation,” they wrote.
    “With the new
    proposal, Japan will increase its annual take… to levels approaching
    the annual commercial quotas for Antarctic minke whales that were in
    place prior to the moratorium.
    “Consequently, we… feel unable to engage in a scientifically defensible process of review of the JARPA-2 proposal.”
    Push ahead
    In the usually polite nexus of scientific debate, this is strong language.
    It’s
    time for Japan to respect an international forum which has said for the
    41st time in 18 years that there’s no justification for this research
    programme
    Patrick Ramage, Ifaw
    Into discussions here at the IWC
    meeting, the Australian delegation pitched a motion asking Japan to
    withdraw or switch to non-lethal methods of research – which Japan
    maintains is impossible if it is to get the data it needs.
    The
    resolution passed by 30 votes to 27 – a narrow majority, and one which
    would probably have fallen the other way had all the developing
    countries which traditionally support Japan turned up.
    “We’re delighted that the Australian resolution passed,” the British whaling commissioner Richard Cowan told BBC News.
    “It
    showed that a majority of those in this committee consider that the
    Japanese proposals should not go ahead until the work of the original
    18-year survey has been reviewed.”
    But the vote appeared to have no impact on Japanese intentions.
    “We
    will implement JARPA-2 according to the schedule, because the sample
    size is determined in order to get statistically significant results,”
    said Japan’s alternate (or deputy) commissioner Akira Nakamae.
    Move to reform
    Speeches
    by other Japanese delegates spoke of an intention to reverse the vote
    next year, by bringing to the meeting more countries which would side
    with Japan.
    For conservation groups, the fact that neither the vote
    nor the scientists’ criticisms will change anything is a huge
    frustration.
    “It’s time for Japan to respect an international forum
    which has said for the 41st time in 18 years that there’s no
    justification for this research programme,” Patrick Ramage of the
    International Fund for Animal Welfare (Ifaw) told BBC News.
    “We are
    encouraged by the vote, but dismayed that more than 1,000 whales will
    die later this year on Japanese harpoons in a region that’s supposed to
    be a sanctuary.”
    Some western delegations are now calling for a
    high-level political forum to reform the whaling convention and the
    commission, and block what many observers regard as unacceptable
    loopholes.