Whale Conservation Coalition of Japan
For the 54th IWC annual meeting which will be held next May in Shimonoseki,Yamaguchi Prefecture, Anti-Whaling Coalition of Japan was established with anti-whaling non-profit organizations (NPO).
This coalition comprises, Dolphin and Whale Action Network, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Greenpeace Japan and Japan Whale Conservation Network as the core members, having Ms Naoko Funahashi who is representative of IFAW in Japan as director of the coalition. Also, in purpose of making whale conservation a bigger movement, Mr. Hisanori Iwamoto, a cartoonist, and Professor Toshio Kasuya of Teikyo Institute of Technology accepted to be advisers.
As our specific activity, we will send out information by using newsletters, Homepage http://homepage2.nifty.com/kujirahogo/aboutwccj.html , also hold symposium and meetings about whales and its conservation. No big progress was made at this year's IWC meeting in London July, either for pro- nor anti-whaling side. For next IWC in Shimonoseki, proposals for the establishment of South Pacific and South Atlantic Sanctuaries, progress of the Revised Management System (RMS) would probably attract attention.
This new coalition will call for the following points, while heated discussion about whaling is expected in Japan.
Whales are wild large mammals with a long pregnant period, only one calf at a time, thus not suitable for commercial exploitation.
There are whale populations not yet recovered from depletion from commercial whaling. The resumption of such whaling will cause expansion of this industry and also stimulate poaching and smuggling. This may include illegal hunting of endangered species.
Even now, protected whale species are found in markets, when only limited trade in whale meat exist. Control and management of the market would be almost impossible.
Whales in the high seas do not exist for whalers. It is time to consider economical value of whales not just for food resources but as tourism or education resources.
Current science is not sufficient to fully understand and manage the ocean's ecology, Japan should not claim to cull whales for management purpose.
Unlike post-world war II, whale meat is not a source of necessary protein to the Japanese people. There is report that a Japanese only take 1 gram per year in average.
Whale meat is highly contaminated as whale is the top of the food chain, has long life and is warm-blooded. Eating such meat and blubber is extremely dangerous to humans. Also it should be considered as a serious threat to the whale population in future.
Economically successful countries particularly should restrain from commercial whaling as whales are limited natural resources. Japan should promote protection of natural resources instead of consumption.
It is a national problem that Japanese government uses its tax money for scientific whaling to protect a single industry and uses ODA funds to buy votes from developing countries.
■Following is the Outline of Whale Conservation Coalition of Japan:
Name: Kujira Hogo Renraku Kyogikai (Whale Conservation Coalition of Japan) Started on November 14, 2001
Director: Naoko Funahashi (International Fund for Animal Welfare)
Vice-Director: Nanami Kurasawa (Dolphin and Whale Action Network)
Vice-Director: Motoji Nagasawa (Greenpeace Japan)
Constitutional Organizations: Dolphin and Whale Action Network International Fund for Animal Welfare Greenpeace Japan Japan Whale Conservation Network
Supporting Organizations: Safety First Wildlife Volunteer Fund Total 6 Organizations, as of 14th November 2001
Advisors: Hisanori Iwamoto (Cartoonist): Organized first whale watching in Japan in 1988. Played a large role in making whale watching popular in Japan. Familiar with the whale situation in Japan as well as abroad. Essays include Whales in Tosa and Whale Meat Cans.
Toshio Kasuya (Professor at Teikyo Institute of Technology): Studied biology of dolphins and whales, at Cetacean Research Institute, National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries, and Mie University. He is currently a professor at Teikyo Institute of Technology. He is well-respected worldwide as cetacean scientist.
Object of Activity: To bring whale conservation into Japanese public, by collaborated PR efforts.
Activities:- Newsletter Kujira Tsushin will be published to update the media and others.
- Symposium will be held.
- Smaller meetings will be held to learn more about whales.