« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2004, 10:19:36 PM »
Some good news here, although 'scientific' catches continue. Japan, and Norway are rich countries so I have no sympathy for their case. Once the UK was the biggest hunter of whales and we have been able to move on and so I see no reason why they shouldn't too:
Small victory for a big mammal (The Times 20/7/04)
By Mark Henderson, Science Correspondent
JAPAN lost the opening battle of its latest campaign to lift an 18-year ban on commercial whaling yesterday when the International Whaling Commission narrowly rejected a proposal to allow its members to vote in secret.
A Japanese motion to bring in secret ballots was defeated at the commission’s annual meeting. A majority of its 57 members are now unlikely to vote to overturn the ban.
Conservationists said that secret votes at the meeting in Sorrento, Italy, would have allowed countries to oppose whaling in public while making clandestine deals to allow hunting to resume. However, Susan Lieberman, of the charity WWF, predicted that the majority against commercial whaling could be as slim as one vote.
Japan, which has long sought to lift the moratorium on commercial whaling imposed in 1986, has been widely accused of buying support at the commission by granting generous aid to developing countries that have joined it and voted with Tokyo.
Tuvalu, Mauritania and Surinam, which joined the commission this year, supported the Japanese motion and are expected to back an end to the ban this week.
Japan, where whale meat and sushi are delicacies, kills about 440 minke whales a year under its “scientific whaling programme”, the meat from which supplies a £27 million market.
Tokyo wants to introduce a system of sustainable quotas that would allow it to catch almost 3,000 minke whales in the Southern Ocean. It has threatened to leave the commission and to begin hunting unilaterally if its demands are not met.