Monday, June 19, 2006

Japan wins whaling vote

Japan gained a majority at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) for the first time in 20 years.

Japan passed a resolution saying the the Whaling moratorium was no longer necessary by 33 votes to 32. Included in that 33 is the Solomon Islands where Australia and New Zealand both have large contigents of troops restoring the governments authority, and land-locked Mongolia and Mali, full list below.

All is not lost - for Japan to re-start commercial whaling, they would need a 75% majority. this resolution basically says that the commission (world) will turn a blind eye, by saying that whaling isn't wrong.

I think the Japanese need to be shown an economic argument - such as the amount of money that could be made through tourism etc.

Shame Japan.

Full voting as follows
(NZ and Japan are first in each list so you can pick the goodies from the baddies easily!)
JAPAN, Antigua and Barbuda, Benin, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Denmark, Dominica, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Iceland, Kiribati, South Korea, Mali, Marshall Isl, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Nauru, Nicaragua, Norway, Palau, Russia, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & Grenadines, Senegal, Solomon Isl, Suriname, Togo, Tuvalu.

NEW ZEALAND, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Czech Rep, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Oman, Panama, Peru, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America.

China, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Kenya.

Just a glance at those lists makes you realise its basically two groups - Whaling nations (Japan, Iceland, Noway Denmark) and the third world, versus the developed world. With all due respect, who has heard of Suriname?? Japan has poured aid into these countries (estimated $400m) and got them to join the commission, and vote for their outrageous resolutions.

PS. On the bright side, Japan did lose the vote to be able to hunt Dolphins and Seals - "for science".


gus said...

Just curious. But why does Japan get so much more shit over their whaling than say Norway or Iceland? Iceland have in fact outright ignored the moratorium!

beetlebum said...

True, but they dont whale in our waters, Japan do.

David said...

Actually Guatemala did not abstain. They simply were not present at the meeting.

Additionally, the small cetacean vote was simply one that said "The IWC does not have purview over small cetaceans, it only has purview over whales, therefore, it is not right to have an agenda item regarding "actions arising" with regard to small cetaceans".

Japan lost this vote, but it will continue to hunt small cetaceans. And you also got that bit wrong as well on another count - Japan has never said it permits hunting of small cetaceans for science. It is for food. The hunting for science is in the Antarctic and North Pacific on whale species.

And finally, you are also incorrect to say that Japan whales in New Zealand waters. That's not true at all. Japan whales in international waters, and the way in which it does so is in full compliance with the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, to which New Zealand is also a party, and thus has nothing to complain about.

Andy said...

The only way you could argue that Japan's whaling in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary is permitted by the Convention is if you accept their claim that it's "scientific" rather than commercial. Given the thriving trade in whale meat restaurants in Japan, I don't think this argument is tenable.