[Coral-List] FW: [SIV Global:] Commercial whaling: sustainable development or an insupportable practice

Szmant, Alina szmanta at uncw.edu
Mon Jul 3 11:59:39 EDT 2006

For those of you that may not have read about this issue and want you blood to boil!:  I can't believe that in today's age a group such as the International Whaling Commision could use as a justification for killing whales the fact that they eat fish and that we humans need the fish more than the whales do!!!  Many of the countries voting to resume whaling are small Caribbean islands with coral reefs, so I figure that some readers on this list may be interested in this issue and may be able to help.  If you have contacts in the countries that voted for resumption of comemrcial whaling, you may want to contact them to ask for their help in changing their country's vote.
Dr. Alina M. Szmant
Coral Reef Research Group
UNCW-Center for Marine Science 
5600 Marvin K. Moss Ln
Wilmington NC 28409
Tel: (910)962-2362 & Fax:  (910)962-2410
Cell:  (910)200-3913
email:  szmanta at uncw.edu
Web Page:  http://people.uncw.edu/szmanta


From: www at post.almac.co.uk on behalf of smallislandsvoice at sivglobal.org
Sent: Fri 6/23/2006 9:39 AM
To: notify at sivglobal.org
Subject: [SIV Global:] Commercial whaling: sustainable development or an insupportable practice

                      SMALL ISLANDS VOICE

                 Do you live in a small island?
                    Tell us what you think.


Last week, in St. Kitts and Nevis, the International Whaling Commission, led
by the pro-whaling countries - Japan, Iceland and Norway - voted (33 in
favour, 32 against and one abstention) to adopt a non-binding declaration that
supports the pro-whaling agenda and states that the International Whaling
Commission will collapse unless whaling resumes. The St. Kitts and Nevis
Declaration (which may be read in full at
http://www.unesco.org/csi/smis/siv/Forum/SKNdeclaration06.pdf) notes that the
moratorium on whaling was adopted in 1986 without advice from the Commission's
Scientific Committee, and that it was intended as a temporary measure. Since
then, research has indicated that many stocks and species of whales are
abundant and sustainable whaling is possible. Furthermore, scientific research
has shown that whales consume huge quantities of fish, making the issue of
commercial whaling a matter of food security for coastal nations. Even though
the pro-whaling nations will need a 75% majority to formally scrap the
moratorium and resume commercial whaling, there is no doubt that this
declaration brings in a new era in the conservation of whales.

The list of countries voting in favour of overturning the moratorium makes for
interesting reading (see list at the end of this article). Many of them are
small African, Caribbean and Pacific nations with minimal whaling interests.

Several international commentators have noted that Japan has spent millions in
grant aid for fisheries development in some Caribbean countries, implying that
votes are being bought. This allegation is strongly denied by the Japanese who
point to their desire to see managed whaling based on scientific knowledge.

However, there are some odd aspects to Japan's position and that of its
Caribbean supporters. Firstly, Greenpeace reports: This year all the private
companies behind Japan's scientific research whaling pulled out, claiming that
there is no profit to be made from whaling and that too few Japanese people
are interested in eating whale meat. In response the Fisheries Agency of Japan
has set up its own company to try and sell the chopped and boxed by-products
of its science to schools, hospitals and restaurants. Why hunt whales if the
Japanese people don't want to eat them?

The second oddity comes from the Caribbean nations who supported the
declaration. Whales are more profitable to the Caribbean alive than dead. As
some say, whales should be seen, not hurt. A stakeholder from the Dominican
Republic related how in one location, Samana, whale watching during the 65-day
period when the whales pass through, brings in more than US$ 15 million in
direct and indirect revenue annually.

Japanese consumers don't want to eat whales. Caribbean nations make more money
from tourists who want to watch whales. So why hunt them?

Even with the moratorium in effect, the International Whaling Commission has
permitted some small-scale sustenance whaling, and whaling for scientific
research. As Japan points out, its research is carefully designed to study
whale populations and the ecological role of the species. And in fairness to
Japan, it is not the only nation that wants to see commercial whaling resumed.
Norway ignores the present ban on commercial whaling and Iceland also
slaughters a lesser number of whales. The USA allows indigenous hunters to
take a few for sustenance, although witnesses report whale hunting is done in
Alaska by natives, with high-powered, scoped, elaborate weapons.

At the heart of the dispute is a clash on what the International Whaling
Commission is all about. Pro-whaling nations refer to the original purpose of
the Commission which was to ensure proper and effective conservation and
development of whale stocks. But the anti-whaling lobby says there is no place
in a modern world for an organization which promotes the killing of whales.

What do you think?

Countries voting in favour of the St. Kitts and Nevis Declaration: Antigua and
Barbuda, Benin, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Denmark, Dominica, Gabon,
Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Iceland, Japan, Korea, Kiribati, Mali, Marshall
Islands, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Nauru, Nicaragua, Norway, Palau,
Russian Federation, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines,
Senegal, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Togo, Tuvalu.
Countries voting against the St. Kitts and Nevis Declaration: Argentina,
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland,
France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg,
Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Panama, Portugal, San Marino,
Slovak Republic, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA.
Abstention: China
Absent: Guatemala

Adapted from newspaper articles in Caribbean Net News and the Guardian (16
June 2006) and San Juan Star (20 June 2006)

http://babelfish.altavista.com/tr allows for translation into other languages.
For those who prefer, you may respond to this forum in Español, Français or

Title:   Commercial whaling: sustainable development or an insupportable
Author:  newspaper articles
Date:    Friday, 23 June 2006


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