The International Whaling Commission (IWC) has met for its annual meeting and has condemned Japan’s plan to increase the scale of its catches to 1000 in the name of science.
The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling dates from 1946, a time when I think there were more things to worry about, i.e. rebuilding after WWII, and on the subject of scientific study it states:
“…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…”
After the 1986 ban on commercial whaling, the Japanese embarked on the Japanese Whale Research Programme in Antarctica.
Fortunately there are a few people at the IWC with a bit of sense, who have suggested that it might be worth analysing this ‘scientific data’ from the past 18 years before they can justify increasing the number of whales caught….I can see the Japanese backtracking now and having to cram on their homework from the past 18 years….”Sorry Sir, my dog ate it.”
The Autrailian delagation (lovely folk) put forward a motion that the Japanese would have to cease killing more whales, or switch to non-lethal modes of study, until the data has been collated on the 18 year study.
The motion passed by 30 votes to 27 votes, a narrow margin. Luckily not all the developing countried that Japan had
bribed enlisted turned up. (See this post about all those shenanighans)
Sadly it seems that this will not do and Japan will hope to reverse this decision at next years vote, hoping to enlist more nations that would side with them.
“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.
I’ve been on the IWC website and had a look at the recent additions to its membership. In a previous post I put maps up to show that many of the countries Japan had enlisted had no actual interest in whaling as they had no coastline. Click on the following names, all of whom have joined in the past year, to see their non-exitant coastlines: Luxembourg, The Slovak Republic, The Czech Republic, Hungary.
I must admit that I’m a bit biased and that I am a bit cynical in thinking that every new country that is joining has been coerced by Japan and is in favour of whaling. Maybe, just maybe, these countries are joining so that they can have a positive say against whaling. I can dream but it seems that people are only willing to join something if they have an alterior motive and want to get something out of it. I am so cynical…..