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2011-09-06

Committee on Special Permit Research Whaling Interim Report ≪2/3≫

http://www.jfa.maff.go.jp/j/study/enyou/pdf/chukantorimatome.pdf
[The translation is not official.]

(p9)
2 Continuation of the program

[Each paragraph represents an opinion expressed at the meeting, not the consensus of the committee.]

● With regard to opposing the scientifically baseless and unjustified moratorium on commercial whaling: Since the Special Permit Research Whaling program was started in order to obtain the data required to resume commercial whaling, the legitimate Special Permit Research Whaling program should be continued resolutely, without yielding to illegal and vicious sabotage by SS.

● On the other hand, even if Japan's whale research program is legitimate, the fact that it has been perceived as a subterfuge to effectively allow commercial whaling has led to international criticism. If international understanding cannot be obtained, the research program should be discontinued or reduced in stages.

● The scientific explanation of the necessity for the capture of such a large number of whales each year is insufficient to justify it. Instead, we should minimize the lethal-research program and switch to using alternative non-lethal methods such as visual surveys.

● One of the goals of Special Permit Research Whaling is to investigate feeding in whales. It was hypothesized that whales might cause declines in fish stocks. However, since ecological researchers question this hypothesis, it needs to be carefully re-examined. It may no longer be a valid reason for continuing Special Permit Research Whaling.

● There is a fundamental difference in attitude to whales between Japan, that has long seen whale as a valuable traditional food, and the anti-whaling countries that have no culture or history of eating whales. It is not appropriate that the opinions of the anti-whaling nations are deemed to be internationally recognized opinion. We should not even be discussing the pros and cons of the Special Permit Research Whaling.

● With reference to the importance of the Antarctic ecosystem as a source of future food supplies, the Special Permit Research Whaling program has obtained copious scientific data about whale resources and ecology, and submitted numerous papers and valuable scientific data to the IWC's Scientific Committee and its Journal of Cetacean Research and Management. The program’s valuable academic achievements must be properly acknowledged.

● The scientific achievements of the past make it evident that there are abundant resources of Antarctic minke in the Antarctic Ocean. If the Revised Management Procedure (RMP) required to resume commercial whaling has been completed, we should strive to build a consensus at IWC for the resumption of commercial whaling and then there will be no need to continue the Special Permit Research Whaling program in the Antarctic Ocean.

● Despite Japanese efforts at gaining consensus on the resumption of commercial whaling, there has been a long stalemate in the IWC due to the rejection of scientific debate by the anti-whaling nations. This too should be borne in mind when reconsidering the significance of the Special Permit Research Whaling program.

Translation:
JWCS Volunteer staff: Hiroko Cross, Simon Varnam

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