Open Letter on Continuation of Research Whaling by Applying “Profitable Fisheries.”

An open letter from IKAN regarding the support for research whaling using the 'the profitable fisheries' scheme.

Open Letter on Continuation of Research Whaling by Applying “Profitable Fisheries.”

August 20th, 2012
Mr. Masanori Sato
Director of the Fisheries Agency of Japan

Dear Mr. Sato,

According to the July 20th issue of Minato Newspaper, the Fisheries Agency “revealed a policy that would apply the Fisheries Structural Reform and Comprehensive Measures Project (the Profitable Fisheries Support Project)* to help stabilize the implementation of the research whaling program” at the meeting on July 19th held by the association of Liberal Democratic Diet members who support whaling. Also mentioned in the media was that the research whaling practicing body (Institute of Cetacean Research) said it would start working on the logistics, including renovating research vessels for energy-saving and cost-saving measures.

This clearly goes against the Japanese government’s public stance on research whaling (that it is not commercial,) and we have some questions we would like to be answered if the whaling program continues by utilizing such a system. Your swift reply is appreciated.

Question 1. Please identify representative past examples – what business is supported to what level after going through what evaluation processes.

Question 2. Please specify the reason(s) why the Fisheries Agency determined research whaling should be the benefactor of the Profitable Fisheries Support Project.

Question 3. Upon approving research whaling to be the benefactor of the Profitable Fisheries Support Project, what exactly is expected from research whaling in regards to the “increasing profit” stipulated by the support program.

Please send the answers back to the below address/fax/email by September 7th.

Please also note that the questions will be published on our website to secure governmental transparency and that the answers will also likely be posted.

*The titles of the project translated by IKAN

Nanami Kurasawa

Iruka & Kujira (Dolphin & Whale) Action Network

5-15-12 Toyotama-kita Nerima-ku Tokyo 176-0012

Tel03-5912-6772 Fax03-5912-6773