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


[The translation is not official.]

3. Research Mechanism and Financial Resources

The following opinions were given regarding the research mechanism and financial
resources of the whaling research program:

● The current system of allocating the profits from the sale of byproducts (whale meat) to cover the research costs is not working very well. This is because 1) catch volume has decreased in recent years because of obstruction by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society while 2) sales performance is poor because of the disparity between demand and the [designated] market price, which was originally determined based on the research cost.

● If the program is to be continued as a part of national strategy, the current system of covering the costs of research from the sales of by-products should be reviewed, and the whaling research program should be conducted with improved stability under the national budget.

● Considering the growth of domestic whale meat stocks and the current demand for whale meat, coastal whaling is sufficient to cover needs. There is no need to continue the whaling research program in the Antarctic, with its incumbent high costs and risks.

● The income and expenditure of the whaling research program is not sufficiently transparent due to the current system in which the Institute of Cetacean Research engages Kyodo Senpaku to sell the by-products, and Kyodo Senpaku buys the unsold products at the end of each term and puts them on the market. It would be preferable for Kyodo Senpaku to specialize in the chartering business while the sale of by-products is entrusted to some other party.

● Another very important issue is to delocalize and vitalize whale meat distribution and consumption by promoting its nutritional benefits and cooking methods.

4. Other

There were a couple of other opinions such as the following:

● The Antarctic research was cut short due to harassment by anti-whaling NGOs and the catch volume was well below target. As a result, the Institute of Cetacean Research and Kyodo Senpaku have suffered a great financial loss and urgently need government measures to compensate their losses from the current operation.

● Japanese small-type whaling businesses are having difficulty surviving. Rather than continue the Antarctic whaling program, it is more important to concentrate on coastal whaling, which is rooted in our whaling tradition and food culture, and to resume the commercial hunting of minke whales under small-type whaling.

Ⅳ[IV] Summary

This interim report summarizes the discussions at five whaling research commission meetings for the purpose of hearing a variety of opinions on the stable conduct of whaling research. A wide range of opinions on whaling research was expressed at the meetings. Fewer than might be expected suggested that we should“continue (the research) with a resolute attitude" while a number proposed to "downsize or end the research because of global criticism and cost efficiency".

None of these opinions proposed to expose the research vessels or the lives and assets of the crew to danger. On the contrary, the assurance of safety in the execution of the survey was considered essential and a basic premise.

We hope that this interim report will be taken into consideration during the formulation of future whaling policy.

JWCS Volunteer staff: Rie Semba, Simon Varnam


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