23 Jun 2005

57th International Whaling Commission Ulsan, Korea. June 20-24, 2005.

With Japan playing the pied piper, a new factor of Intra-African unification and cooperation is in the making. Benin, Cameroon, the Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea, Mauritania, Morocco, and Senegal all support the Japanese initiative to develop whaling in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary. Togo, Mali, and Gambia are in the process of integration into the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Only South Africa voted against JARPA II (see press release in French “J’harponne II”, June 7, 2005).

Quotes: “Certain countries pay more attention to whales than human beings.” “If certain countries begin whaling again, they could sell the meat at a low price to Africans who are starving to death.” Your whales eat our fish.” Whales contribute to world misery.”

The whale scapegoat is becoming more and more isolated and shamed. Besides these African countries, insular states of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, China and Russia are also favourable to the Japanese concept of “scientific whaling”.

30 participating countries of the IWC, of which member states of the European Union, voted against JARPA II and 27 voted yes; however, this vote is not restraining. While still in compliance with the rules of the IWC, Japan could follow its whaling program under the pretext of scientific study. At Ulsan, Japan saw a large show of encouragement and a large section of participants demonstrated their solidarity for the country. Under the framework of JARPA II, Japan could capture 850 minke whales per year. During the last commercial whaling season (1986-1987), it captured 1941. Under the guidance of scientific whaling, Japan would also capture humpback whales and fin whales. Little by little, scientific whaling is reaching the level of commercial whaling both in the number individuals hunted and the diversity of targeted species.

The next plenary session of the IWC will be held at Saint-Kitts-et-Nevis, Japan’s Caribbean partner.


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