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2011-08-30

Minutes of the 2nd Meeting of the Committee on Special Permit Research Whaling ≪2/5≫

○Professor Akimichi, Committee member -
  It may be too soon to mention this, but what plans do you have for the restoration of the hand-harpoon (tsukimbou) dolphin hunting industry formerly conducted in the Sanriku area? Does the Fisheries Agency have a supplementary budget or other plans for this year ?

○Hanafusa, -
  Dolphin hunting and other coastal fishing industries are all in the same boat. Dolphin hunting will not be favoured over other fishing industries. The Fisheries Agency would like to support reconstruction in the form of supplementary budgets, while taking local opinions into account.

○Akimichi -
  Unlike the other coastal fishing such as abalone or wakame harvesting, dolphin hunting is also conducted in the Tsugaru Strait and the North Pacific Ocean, and could be resumed immediately if the vessels were not damaged. It should be considered separately. Your vision is too extensive. You must not treat all fisheries together from the overall point of view of the two ministries (MAFF and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism). You should regard whaling as a unified independent matter.

○Hanafusa, -
  The coastal research in the North-West Pacific Ocean is being conducted off Kushiro (Hokkaido) this year as the port at Ayukawa is too damaged to support the research.

○Akimichi -
  What about the hand-harpoon dolphin hunting?

○Takaya-
It is possible that resumption of hand-harpoon dolphin hunting may be delayed as 1) the areas in Sanriku where dolphin meat is consumed and 2) the hunting vessels, have suffered considerable damage.

○Professor Sakuramoto, Committee member -
  The catch figures on pp1 and 2 for small type whaling are from 2009 while those for the whaling research catch are from 2010. 2010 was a very unusual year in that the Antarctic research was cut short. The table on p3 shows that a reasonable number of whales were captured in Antarctic up to 2009, so it would make a better comparison if the 2009 data were used from both categories.

○Professor Takanarita, Committee member -
  This is just a detail, but – does the quota of 66 for Baird's beaked whale apply to each area such as Abashiri and Ayukawa, or is it the nationwide quota?

○Takaya
  The Fisheries Agency sets the national quota, and the whalers share it according to their own needs. The quota may be regarded as flexible within the limit of the national quota.

○Takanarita -
  I hear that, there are three small type whaling vessels [harpoon-gun coastal whalers] in Ayukawa. One of them has a damaged hull while the others are undamaged. One of them was due to be at sea again yesterday, so two vessels are currently in working condition, and the damaged one will be opertaional once it is repaired. Is that correct?

○Takaya
  Yes.

○Miyahara -
  Let us now move on to the next part – pages 4 to 7: Whaling Research Operation Structure, Sale of By-Products, and Supply.

○Takanarita -
  Where does the “Association for Community-Based Whaling” (ASCOBAW) fit in the chart on page 4?

○Takaya -
  Page 4 was drawn up to illustrate Antarctic research, but for coastal research, the main research organization, the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR), will be replaced by ASCOBAW, and Kyodo Senpaku will be replaced by members of the Small-Type Whaling Association (JSTWA) chartered by the Association.

○Takanarita -
Please tell us the date of establishment, and the numbers of full time executives and officers of ASCOBAW, as for the ICR.

○Takaya -
There are no full time executives, but one full time officer. It was established in January 2010.

○Takanarita -
Does that mean Ayukawa Whaling (Ltd.) will replace Kyodo Senpaku?

○Takaya
Yes, that’s correct.

○Nomura -
Concerning the second and third points in the box on page 5 [See foot note], the second point means that the government would like to control the price of whalemeat to keep it from becoming too expensive, doesn’t it? May I interpret the third point as meaning that; the price is too high for the present market because it was set based on the research cost, while lowering the price might improve the current poor sales performance?

Section 14 of the Statement of Operation Procedures states“proceeds from the sale of by-products shall be allocated to research expenses.” There follows an exception: “However,…etc. ”. Would you give us a specific example of this exception, please?

On page 7, the item “Other” under “Annual Supply”, on the far right hand side of the table, may include whales that are not covered in research whaling such as Baird's beaked whales, false killer whales and dolphins. However, the price and demand of these other whales (such as common minke, sei, Baird's or false killer whales) which are not subject to research are all different. What is the point of discussing this supply and stock data when the various kinds are aggregated?

○Takaya -
   The second point in the box on page 5 implies what Mr Nomura said.
With the third point, the main reason for this situation is that the price was set based on the target catch. This is because the initial investment required is the same whether we catch the target catch of 850, or this year's catch of only 170. This means the actual cost per head has increased enormously. On the other hand, with the poor recent market situation we cannot reflect the cost in the selling price, i.e. it is not possible to increase the price four-fold simply because the catch was only a quarter of the target.

○Nomura -
  So, that means sales would increase if the price were lower, as I said earlier.

○Takaya
  Yes, it does.

○Hanafusa,-
   The phrase following “However” in Section 14 of the Statement of Operation Procedures specifically refers to the costs of management and of non-whaling research activity for the Institute of Cetacean Research.
And the third question. about supply and stocks; the number of whales and dolphins are shown all together as you mentioned, because of limited data. The official statistics for Frozen Foods include only total figures from all sections.

○Miyahara
  We will look into the availability of data.

○Ms. Anan, Committee member -
  Where does Dolphin Hunting on page 2 (for which fishery permits are issued by the prefectural governor) fit in the Operation System chart shown on page 4?

○Takaya, Resources Management Department -
  This dolphin hunting is one of the types of purely commercial whaling [i.e. not included in research whaling] and is carried out by coastal fishermen under permit from their local (prefectural) authorities.

○Anan -
  Thank you. And one more question - according to page 6, the by-products are sold by Kyodo Senpaku. Are they sold when supplied as a public service [or donated]?

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