Cetacean Society International

Whales Alive!

Vol. V No. 1 January 1996


INTERNATIONAL WHALING COMMISSION UPDATE

by Kate O'Connell, CSI Board of Directors


The Japanese so-called scientific research whaling has come under strong condemnation by the United States Secretary of Commerce, Ron Brown. On December 13th, Secretary Brown sent a letter to President Clinton "certifying" the Japanese for their continued whaling in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary. The certification process means that the Commerce department believes that there is enough evidence to indicate that the Japanese whale hunt is affecting the ability of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to apply conservation measures for whales. President Clinton now must make a decision whether or not to apply economic sanctions against Japan.

Since the commercial whaling moratorium went fully into effect in 1986, Japan has used a loophole in IWC rules to continue to whale in the Antarctic. In spite of both the moratorium, and the creation of the Antarctic Sanctuary in 1994, Japan has killed thousands of minke whales in the Southern Ocean. This year, the Japanese decided to increase their take of minke whales, and plan to kill more than 3500 whales over the next eight years. Further minke whale hunts in the North Pacific have also taken place. The whale meat from these "scientific" hunts are sold on commercial markets, with each whale bringing in up to $10,000.

URGENT ACTION: CSI opposes the continued Japanese take of minke whales. We ask all members to write, or e-mail President Clinton, and urge him to apply sanctions against Japan for its whaling activities. The President now has two months to make such a decision, so prompt action is needed.

President Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC
Internet: president@whitehouse.gov


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