Clinton not expected to stand up to Japanese whalers
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1996:
WASHINGTON D.C.––At the ANIMAL PEOPLE deadline, President Bill Clinton
was imminently expected to send a message to Congress about Japanese whaling, responding to
a December advisory from the Department of Commerce that Japan was vulnerable to trade sanctions
because of its decision to kill minke whales within the Southern Oceans Whale Sanctuary.
But Clinton was not expected to impose sanctions.
Argued Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) in a February 7 letter to Clinton, “At this point,
any efforts short of sanctions would signal a lack of commitment to whale conservation by the
United States.” Japan officially moved into compliance with the 1986 global moratorium on
commercial whaling in 1988, but has continued to conduct gradually escalating hunts of minke
whales for “scientific research.”
Predicted Sam McClintock, an environmental scientist known for conservatism on such
matters, “All in all, the signals point to the Japanese setting the stage for officially declaring a
large harvest, perhaps 2,000 to 3,000, of southern minke, probably later in 1996 or early 1997.”
McClintock noted that the Japanese, “already plan to double the size of the southern
minke research catch; are declaring the minke to be a competitor for krill the blue whales feed
on, claiming that minke may be hampering the blue whale recovery; will be conducting a study
of the blue whale/minke interaction; and held a United Nations Food and Agriculture
Organization meeting on ‘sustainable resources’ which spent a lot of time on whales and excluded
the Humane Society of the U.S., a registered FAO observer, from attending.” McClintock is
director of En-Vision Inc., a North Carolina environmental consulting firm.
Aware that the U.S. and the world might not stand up to Japanese economic power, the
Dominica Conservation Association on January 15 asked the government of Dominica to buck
the influence of economic aid from Japan and send a message that it won’t support revived commercial
whaling by declaring the ocean between Antigua and Grenada a whale sanctuary.