From ANIMAL PEOPLE, August/September 1996:

ABERDEEN, Scotland– – Striking
another surprise blow for whales, this time
through Congressional politics, the Sea
Shepherd Conservation Society on June 26
sunk Japanese and Norwegian hopes for
expanded legal whaling––at least for this year.
Eighteen years after Captain Paul
Watson established the Sea Shepherds’ reputation
as what he calls “good pirates” by ramming
the outlaw Portuguese whaler Sierra, 14
years after the International Whaling
Commission declared a global moratorium on
commercial whaling, the ban held at the 48th
annual meeting of the IWC, as under pressure
from the House Resources Committee the U.S.
delegation on June 26 withdrew an application
to allow members of the Makah tribe, of Neah
Bay, Washington, to kill five grey whales.

The application was pivotal to the
hopes of Japan, Norway, and other whaling
nations for re-legitimizing commercial whaling
under the pretext of maintaining traditional
cultures, but was abruptly pulled from the
table after the House Resources Committee
unanimously opposed it in a surprise lastmoment
advisory resolution, secured by the
Sea Shepherds via six months of behind-thescenes
Ironically, the Sea Shepherds were
believed to be out of the IWC action. Addressing
the June 23 March for the Animals in
Washington D.C., Watson then flew not to
Aberdeen but home to Marina Del Ray,
The Makah request had advanced
with the support of President Bill Clinton and
Vice President Albert Gore, with no visible
opposition in elected office. The Clinton
administration argued that since an 1855 treaty
uniquely guarantees Makah whaling rights, the
U.S. is obliged to uphold those rights, even
though they haven’t been exercised since 1926,
while grey whales are a protected species.
“It’s non-commercial, so our stance
against commercial whaling is fully consis
tent with this,” U.S. delegation leader D.
James Baker claimed. “There is a recognition
around the world that native people’s
rights must be respected. We must respect
and support the rights of native people,” he
continued, “provided these are all legal and
within international constraints.”
In parallel applications, Japan
sought permission to kill 50 whales in a “traditional”
hunt as an “interim relief allocation”
to help the economies of northern fishing
towns, while Russia requested that Siberian
whalers from the Chukotska peninsula be
allowed to kill five highly endangered bowhead
whales, as well as their existing quota
of 140 grey whales annually, of which they
only managed to find and kill 85 last year.
Thirteen tribal bands on Vancouver Island,
British Columbia, Canada, just across the
Straight of San Juan de Fuca from the
Makah, likewise declared their interest in
whaling, and were expected to apply for
quotas next year if the Makah application
was approved.
Norway has held all along that its
coastal whaling is “traditional” and a matter
of subsistence, while the Faroe Islands have
used claims on tradition to rebuff suggestions
that the IWC should regulate the slaughter of
pilot whales, who are driven ashore and
butchered each year in drives now more
resembling pigeon shoots than food-gathering,
since little of the meat is actually eaten
and the emphasis is on recreational slaughter.
With the Makah application off the
table, at least until next year, the Japanese
request for a “traditional” quota was easily
defeated, 16-8, on June 27. The U.S. voted
with the majority. A day later, faced with
sure defeat, Russia dropped the Chukotska
application. The Norwegian delegation
briefly walked out, to no avail, after the
IWC reaffirmed its standing ban on the
export of whale meat.
Wise-use politics
“Working with right-wing
Republicans paid off,” said Sea Shepherd
international director Lisa DiStefano.
The Resources Committee resolution
against the Makah whaling application
was a stunner, not only because of the lastminute
timing but also because the committee
is headed by prototypical wise-user Don
Young (R-Alaska), a former trapper, and is
packed with his hand-chosen wise-use colleagues.
Young’s blustery opposition to most
animal protection measures was perhaps epitomized
on February 21, 1994, when at a
hearing on the Marine Mammal Protection
Act reauthorization bill enacted two months
later, he slapped an 18-inch seal penis bone
in his hand like a nightstick and declared to
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service chief Mollie
Beattie, “Subsistence is none of your business.
If you want to get into a real discussion,
young lady, we will. You just remember
where I am and where you are.”
But under instructions from House
speaker Newt Gingrich to look more environmentally
friendly, rather than simply ceding
the green vote to the Democrats, and with
Beattie near death of brain cancer, Young
seized his chances to be magnanimous.
Praising Beattie as “a person of matchless
integrity,” Young on June 24 introduced a
House resolution asking that the Brooks
Range Wilderness in the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge be named for Beattie––an
idea rapidly seconded by Interior Secretary
Bruce Babbitt.
Exactly why Young approved the
resolution opposing the Makah whaling two
days later was unclear. Beattie had not
addressed that issue––at least not in public––and
Young made no public explanations.
“We felt it was highly inappropriate
for the administration to go off to an international
conference to propose this kind of policy
without consulting us,” offered Resources
Committee director of Democratic staff John
Added George Miller (DCalifornia),
the ranking Democrat on the
Resources Committee, “This was an endangered
species just two years ago.”
“Sea Shepherd originally contacted
Jack Metcalf (R-Washington) in January, to
brief him of the dire consequences of a
Makah grey whale hunt,” a Sea Shepherd
release recounted.
“Since that time,” continued Sea
Shepherd Pacific Northwest coordinator
Michael Kundu, “we’ve held many discussions
with Metcalf’s office, fueling his
momentum by pinpointing the key issues.”
But none of that explained the
Republican thinking.
Whatever moved Young, Watson
was quick to share credit, telling Friends of
Animals president Priscilla Feral in a private
letter, “Your efforts in meeting with the
Makah people and [FoA Pacific coordinator] Ben White’s attendance in Aberdeen contributed
to this victory. [Progressive Animal
Welfare Society lobbyist] Will Anderson’s
efforts were brilliant. I think that the success
of this campaign illustrates how organizations
can work toward the same objective
using different approaches.”
The figurative technical knockout at
IWC “was set up by the mutual efforts of all
of us,” Watson continued. “The bipartisan
condemnation by the House Resources
Committee was the final and decisive blow.”
Relaying White’s report from
Aberdeen, Feral said, “It’s the thought of
the non-governmental organizations that they
built steam all week and the U.S. lost support
for the Makah proposal. Even their most
positive supporters like France pulled away.
All the U.S. had in the end was Japan,
Norway, and the voting block in the
The hardest jabs preceding the
Resources Committee haymaker came from
Anderson, who with financial help from the
Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
flew Makah elders Alberta Thompson and
Dottie Chamblin to Aberdeen to help lobby
against the official tribal delegation.
Thompson and Chamblin were not allowed
into the IWC meeting itself, but drew global
headlines when they addressed the media.
Inside the meeting, Makah tribal
council member Marcy Parker argued,
“Whales are the central focus of our culture.
Even though we have not hunted the whale
on the ocean in 70 years, we have hunted the
whale in our hearts and in our minds.”
Countered Thompson, 72, a lifelong
resident of the Neah Bay reservation,
“A local man caught a whale last year [a
juvenile grey whale who became entangled in
whaling advocate Daniel Green’s salmon
nets] and they had to ask an Alaskan woman
to cut it up,” because none of the Makah
remembered how. “They handed it out
around the village,” Thompson continued.
“Nobody wanted it because it has a horrible
smell. I think it is an acquired taste. I don’t
want to kill the whale,” Thompson finished.
“It’s not something that our life depends on.”
“After spending time in Neah Bay,”
said Anderson, “I discovered that the whaling
proposal is very controversial among the
Makah. When it became obvious that elders
were among the opposition, PAWS offered
to coordinate the funding for a newspaper ad
that the elders could use to say whatever they
wished. My initial contacts were with Makah
who had publicly come out against the hunt
in previous media stories. All additional contacts
were made by Makah elders to other
Makah elders.”
One primary concern of the elders
is the potential impact of whaling on ecotourism.
The Makah reservation is well-situated
to serve both Olympic National Park visitors
and whale-watchers from the fast-growing
Seattle corridor. Currently, says
Anderson, “The whales are friendly and
docile, often feeding a stone’s throw” from
the Makah village. Their presence would be
the leading attraction for a whale-watching
industry, which could operate from a $7.8
million marina, now under construction, to
be completed in 1997.
Globally, whale-watching is far
more lucrative than whale-killing ever was,
and grey whales are among the most watchable
The elders’ anti-whaling ad
appeared in the June 16 edition of the
Peninsula Daily News, which serves the
Olympic Peninsula. Chipping in for it were
the Animal Protection Institute, Animal
Welfare Institute, Cetacean Society
International, Chicago Animal Rights
Coalition, Friends of Animals, the Humane
Society of the U.S., International Wildlife
Coalition, PAWS, and the Whale and
Dolphin Conservation Society.
Greenpeace, with a history of nonopposition
to wildlife killing by Native
Americans dating to 1986, when it dropped
anti-fur campaigning, predictably dodged the
Makah whaling issue.
“We think there are other big fights
to occupy us,” said Greenpeace spokesperson
Gerry Leape.
But Greenpeace did directly confront
Norway. Forty members from Norway,
Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the United
Kingdom, and Germany on June 14 tried to
board the whaling ships Villduen, Seie,
Senet, and Seiebuen as they sailed from Alo.
A Greenpeace press advisory claimed,
“Whalers on the vessels are using water hoses
and force to try to prevent activists from getting
on board. Reports from the harbor say
whalers have loaded harpoon guns on deck,
threatening to shoot them at Greenpeace
inflatable rafts in the water.”
A second Greenpeace advisory,
issued later that day, said the four-hour
protest was ended when 15 Norwegian
youths “physically tore down a Greenpeace
banner.” Then, Greenpeace claimed, “protesters
were physically shoved by the youths,
and one youth wielded a hook.”
Still, both Norway and Japan went
into the IWC meeting confident. Said
Norwegian whaling commissioner Kaare
Bryn, “International public opinion is much
less of a problem than just a few years ago.”
“Conditions have changed considerably
in a favorable direction since last year,”
an unnamed Japan Fisheries Agency official
agreed in an interview with Paul Eckert of
Reuter. “Japan is not expecting an immediate
policy change at the IWC, but we have gradually
gained understanding,” the official
reportedly said, believing “the door could be
open to a resumption of some whaling.”
They had reason for cockiness. The
Norwegian sealing season included the
slaughter of 17,000 harp seal pups, the first
time whitecoats were kille since 1990, without
resulting in major international outcry;
Canada killed at least 265,000 harp seals, the
most in 15 years, meeting minimal protest;
and while the Japanese whaling fleet didn’t
sail until July 5, keeping a low profile before
the IWC meeting, the Norwegian whaling
season began without incident three and a
half weeks before the Greenpeace action.
South African waffle
Adding to Norwegian and Japanese
buoyancy was a South African policy document
leaked via mass media on May 19. “It
is proposed,” wrote South African director of
sea fisheries and IWC commissioner
Guillaume de Villiers, “that South Africa
should retain its independent spirit in order to
protect South Africa’s interests and should
use its influence to combat extremism in
favor of non-whaling.”
Responded deputy minister of environmental
affairs Bentu Helomisa, who said
he learned of the document from the media,
“At this time you can take it as a nonstarter.”
But parliamentary committee on
environmental affairs chair Peter Mokabe
argued that, “The approach and policy
toward whales should be compatible with
general policies toward the utilization of
other mammals, such as seals and elephants.”
Heavily influenced by the World
Wildlife Fund, South Africa is among the
leading exponents of the “sustainable use”
doctrine, which holds that wildlife should be
made to pay for itself. At issue recently in
connection with South African participation
in the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species have been some of the
world’s largest seal hunts, off the South
African and Namibian coasts, and the disposition
of ivory from culled elephants. As one
of only two nations whose wildlife departments
have routinely killed “surplus” elephants
in recent years, South Africa is
believed to have accumulated the world’s
largest ivory stockpile, and is eager to start
selling it off––even though the sale of legally
taken ivory could easily provide cover for
sales of poached ivory, as well.
De Villiers retreated on the eve of
the IWC meeting. “In suggesting a revision
[of whaling policies],” he said, “I am not
necessarily saying the policy must be
changed,” he told media, noting the growing
economic importance of whale-watching in
South Africa. But he reiterated that South
African policies pertaining to whales, seals,
and elephants should be consistent, and
urged the current South African government
to conduct a wildlife policy review before the
1997 IWC meeting.
Along with the U.S. and South
Africa, Germany was “backing away from
support for an absolute ban” on whaling, the
nameless Japanese official told Eckert.
Early events favored the assessment
that unified opposition to whaling by the
leading IWC members might soon crumble.
Notably, the IWC scientific committee on
June 25 accepted an unconfirmed Norwegian
estimate of 118,000 minke whales in its
coastal waters, “substantially more than last
year’s estimate of 80,000,” reported Charles
Clover, environment editor for the L o n d o n
T e l e g r a p h. The estimate of 80,000 was
reached after Norway last year acknowledged
a data input error during the estimation
process, pointed out by Greenpeace, and
was obliged to cut its 1995 whaling quota
from 301 to 232 in mid-whaling season. The
new estimate, Closer said, is “six times
more than when the international whaling
moratorium was imposed,” and “has effectively
legitimized the Norwegian hunt” from
the perspective of sustainability. Norway
claims the number of minke whales is rising
by 8% per year despite whaling, and that
next year’s quota should be 540, just under a
third of the peak kills of 30-odd years ago.
Dissenting from the Norwegian
estimate were scientific committee members
Justin Cooke and Sidney Holt, both of
IFAW. Said Holt, the senior anti-whaling
scientist on the committee, “There were
some nasty personal attacks on Justin. His
method was tested; the Norwegians’ wasn’t.
It was a political decision.”
The global population of minke
whales, by far the most numerous of the
baleen whales, is estimated at 760,000.
Norway and Japan also won a few
points in debate over methods of whale-
killing. Norway argued that whaling with
exploding harpoons is “humane” and ecologically
sound practice, in view of statistics
compiled by Simon Gaure of the University
of Oslo. Opponents of whaling, however,
found Gaure’s numbers made a powerful case
that Norwegian practices are neither humane
nor ecological. Of the 206 whales killed by
the 28 vessels participating in the commercial
hunt, Gaure found, 97 were females, of
whom 66 were pregnant. The “scientific”
hunters killed 73 whales, including 47
females, of whom 12 were pregnant. Gaure
claimed the whales on average took three
minutes apiece to die, but 9% took at least 10
minutes to die, and several were shot multiple
times over intervals of 27 to 50 minutes.
Japan expedites the dispatch of
wounded whales by shooting them with
“electric lances. “Harpooned whales are
brought alongside the whaling boat and two
lances are inserted, one above the heart and
one lower down the back,” Reuter reporter
Helen Smith explained. Britain and New
Zealand failed in an effort to ban electric
lancing on grounds of alleged cruelty.
Great gooey gobs
Lifting the prohibition of international
whale-meat selling was the primary
Norwegian goal his year. Two weeks before
the IWC met, Norway flew a select handful
of British journalists to the Lofoten Islands,
to view the stored remains of an estimated 30
to 60 whales.
“Though Norwegians love whale
meat,” Smith reported, “they do not touch
the blubber that makes up 50% of the creature.
For the Japanese, on the other hand,
blubber is a delicacy. Oslo, afraid of further
vilification, will not allow the blubber to be
destroyed, nor will it permit its export,”
which if allowed unilaterally might further
alienate the IWC. “Instead,” Smith continued,
“tons of whale meat are being frozen in
readiness for the moment when the moratorium
is lifted and it can be shipped to Japan.”
Nicholas Schoon of The Independent
estimated the stockpile at 300 metric tons,
with another 100 metric tons due to be added
from the 425 whales to be killed this year––
an 83% increase over the 232 killed in 1995.
“Norway has played a long, clever
game to preserve its industry,” Schoon
wrote, “and has been much more successful
in doing so than Japan and Iceland, which
also want an end to the moratorium. Norway
filed an official objection to the ban [on commercial
whaling] within six months of it coming
into force, which gives Norway the legal
right to ignore it. But it also bowed to international
pressure and ceased commercial
whaling in 1987, pending research into the
state of the minke whale population in the
northeastern Atlantic.”
Rallying wise-use wiseguy support
for whaling in Washington D.C., even as
mostly unaware animal rights activists assembled
a few blocks away for the World Animal
Congress and March for the Animals,
George Blichtfeldt of the High North
Alliance and Icelandic whaling advocate and
film maker Magnus Gudmundsson joined the
Alliance for America “Fly-in for Freedom,”
June 16-19. The Alliance for America and
the Fishermen’s Coalition back in February
told President Clinton in a joint statement
that, “The IWC should finally allow, recognize
and support the humane and sustainable
use of abundant cetaceans as practiced for
thousands of years by the citizens of Norway,
Iceland, Canada, the Faeroe Islands, Japan,
the Caribbean nations, South America, the
United States, and many other countries.”
In a single sentence, the statement
disregarded that harpooning a whale involves
a form of killing never recognized by any
humane authority as acceptably quick and
painless; commercial whaling has never been
done at a “sustainable” level, if indeed there
is one; though not all cetaceans are endangered,
few if any are “abundant”; and there
are 12 nations in South America, two of
which are entirely landlocked, while few of
the rest have any history of whaling going
back more than 200 years.
But the Clinton administration,
charged the Animal Welfare Institute in a
June 16 full-page ad in The New York Times,
“has adopted a policy of appeasement toward
Norway and Japan,” much as it did toward
the would-be Makah whalers. “Although the
Pelly Amendment authorizes President
Clinton to embargo the fishery products of
nations violating the rules of the IWC,” the
ad continued, “he has refused to do so.
When Norway announced its intention to violate
the IWC ban in 1992,” AWI explained,
“it hired the powerful Washington law firm
of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.
Senior partners in the firm are Robert Strauss,
former head of the Democratic party, and
Vernon Jordan, who headed the Clinton transition
team. Both are close associates of
Clinton and vice president Albert Gore. The
Norwegian Foreign Ministry has funneled
more than $2 million into the lobbyists’ coffers
to subvert U.S. anti-whaling policy.
Indeed, Gore struck a secret pro-whaling
deal with his good friend, Norwegian prime
minister Gro Brundtland, back in 1993,
according to a classified document leaked
from the White House.”
Information obtained separately by
ANIMAL PEOPLE and AWI in May 1994
indicated that Gore in effect traded U.S. passivity
toward both Norwegian whaling and
the creation of the Southern Oceans Whale
Sanctuary around Antarctica for the completion
of a $625 million missile sale, in which
Norway bought U.S.-made weapons––with
heavy U.S. financing. The U.S. did eventually
back the sanctuary creation, but only after
a White House demonstration led by
Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund.
Greenpeace, WWF, and the International
Fund for Animal Welfare brokered a deal
whereby the safety of an estimated 80% of
the world’s baleen whales was secured––on
paper––about 80% of the time, in exchange
for IWC approval of the Revised
Management Plan for whaling now in effect.
Under the RMP, a resumption of commercial
whaling is approved in principle, whenever
the IWC agrees upon how many whales
should be killed. Objecting to the RMP,
Friends of Animals and other groups picketed
Greenpeace just a day before Greenpeace
picketed Clinton.
Ironically, Greenpeace, WWF,
and IFAW warned at a June 25 joint press
conference that the IWC itself was now “in
danger of allowing a return to the bad old
days of uncontrolled whaling” for having
accepted the Norwegian minke count.
Lining up firmly against renewed
whaling was Australian environment minister
Robert Hill. “Our position is clear,” Hill
stated. “There should be no commercial
whaling at all. We believe the practice of
killing whales is unjustifiable. With Norway
recently doubling its kill quota for minke
whales, it’s time again for Australia to show
strong leadership on the issue,” Hill said.
“Our government does not believe it is necessary
to kill whales in order to study them.”
Added British fisheries minister
Tony Baldry, “Simply because there may be
some populations of species that are sustainable
doesn’t mean they have to be exploited.
A whale when alive is a very beautiful creature.
A whale when dead is just a few tons of
meat. I don’t really see that Norway and
Japan need those tons of meat to sustain their
Arguing that the IWC was formed
to regulate the commercial use of whales,
not to protect them for ethical reasons, Japan
and Norway demanded that Australia and
Britain resign their memberships.
Good and bad news
Japan and Norway hoped to kill a
combined total of 965 minke whales this
year. Norway actually killed just 381 from a
self-assigned quota of 425, even after
extending the season an extra week to July
15, but Japan expected to fill “research” quotas
of 440 minkes from Antarctic waters and
100 from the North Pacific.
Meat from other whales still turns
up in Japanese markets, according to DNA
testing done for the third straight year by
Scott Baker of the University of Auckland
and Frank Cipriano of the University of
Hawaii, financed by IFAW, the Whale and
Dolphin Conservation Society, and
Earthtrust. This year, meat purportedly from
minke whales killed in Japanese research
turned out to include bits of blue whale, fin
whale, humpback, Bryde’s whale, Baird’s
beaked whale, Cuiver’s whale, and at least
seven species of dolphin and porpoise.
In addition, IFAW biologist Vassilui
Papastavrou offered evidence that northern
Japanese dolphin hunters recently killed
an endangered western Pacific grey whale.
Even the Neah Bay grey whales are
not necessarily safe. Sea Shepherd representative
Michael Kundu, a Washington attorney,
warned on June 22 that, “Even if the
IWC refuses [to permit the killing], the
Makah officers have said that they will start
the slaughter. They’re following protocol as
a public relations ploy. Besides, the IWC
meeting is a great place for them to explore
future whale export deals with the delegates
of the pirate whaling nations.”
Five days later, after the Makah
application was pulled, Kundu remained
concerned. “Next year will be crucial,” he
said. “We know that the Makah tribe’s
officiers are strategizing with Denny Miller
& Associates, a high-profile Washington
D.C. lobbying group. But any way they try
to spin it, there is overwhelming evidence
that this hunt is about establishing a nativeled
commercial whale export industry.”
Other “traditional” whaling continues,
as well, even though as Reuter reporter
Smith put it, “Siberian tribespeople use
Kalashnikovs and anti-tank guns to hunt
whales, and the Inuit tribespeople of
Greenland hunt them with fishing boats and
explosive harpoons.”
In part because Greenpeace and the
World Wildlife Fund are reluctant to oppose
either indigenous or “sustainable” use, “traditional”
whaling is even to expand this year,
to include the first legal killing of a bowhead
whale in the eastern Arctic this century. The
rationale is political. The Nunavut Land
Claims Agreement allows the Inuit to kill one
whale, and Inuit leaders see using that right
as a part of keeping their sovereignty.
“David Kritterdlik, president of the
Keewatin Wildlife Federation, says it will
cost $100,000 to buy six boats and fly the
whale’s meat and blubber to communities
around Nunavut,” James Hryny-shyn of
Northern News Services recently reported.
“The main thing is that this will be
an Inuit initiative,” Kritterdlik told Hrynyshyn.
“It will be a community event.
Everybody will be involved.” Kritterdlik has
asked the 27 Inuit hunting and trappingassociations
to give $1,500 each, and has asked
other Inuit groups for up to $20,000 apiece.
The Canadian government estimates
there are 500-600 bowhead whales left
in the Arctic, and insists the population is
growing, a claim disputed by independent
researchers, who note the recent discovery of
stone points in the flesh of several bowheads
killed by Eskimos. As stone points haven’t
been used in this century, the whales were
apparently of great age, older than bowheads
were known to livie. This suggests the
remaining population may not be reproducing
as quickly as had been believed necessary to
sustain or increase their numbers.
The attempt to kill the bowhead
was to begin on July 15.
Arson threat
“Traditional” whaling continues in
the Caribbean, as well, where the IWC
again authorized Athneal Olliverre, 75, of
Bequia, St. Vincent-and-the-Grenadines, to
kill two humpbacks from his 27-foot sailing
vessel, the Why Ask, using hand-held harpoons.
A whaler for 40 years, and the last
whaler in St. Vincent-and-the-Grenadines,
Ollivere has been seen as an anachronism
who from a political perspective could be
ignored, until his demise, more easily than
he could be opposed. However, Ollivere has
now designated a successor, his nephew
Arson Ollivere, insuring that the killing will
continue unless stopped by political means.
Ollivere typically kills a calf and
mother during the March humpback migration.
“A mother will not leave her calf until
it has died,” IFAW marine biologist Carole
Carlson explained to Nick Nuttall of the
London Times, “so if you get a calf who
stays on the surface, you can also get the
mother. This is not romantic.”
British marine mammologist Lesley
Sutty has seen Ollivere’s six-member crew at
work. “It took them two hours to kill a calf
with numerous harpoons,” she said. “The
calf was hugging up to the mother. It was
one of the most pathetic things I have seen.”
[St. Vincent-and-the-Grenadines,
heavily dependent on tourism, may be
reminded that Ollivere’s whaling could
inspire a tourism boycott c/o the St. Vincentand-the-Grenadines
Embassy, 1717
Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 102,
Washington DC 20036.] Other business
Other issues on the table in
Aberdeen included the impact of driftnetting
and gillnetting on cetaceans, and the “dolphin
death bill” now before Congress,
which would loosen the U.S. law barring
imports of non-”dolphin safe” tuna to permit
the import of tuna netted “on dolphin” so
long as fewer than 5,000 dophin deaths per
year were observed as result of a nation’s
tuna fishing. Environmental Investigation
Agency chair Allan Thornton told reporters
that the global moratorium on commercial
whaling of the 12 largest species should be
extended to the 68 small cetaceans, as well,
including all of the dolphins and porpoises.
Also discussed was the possible
impact of whalewatching on the migration
and breeding of whales. Whaling nations
including Norway contend that aggressive
whalewatching harms whale populations
more than whale-hunting.
Japanese whalers are increasingly
nervous about the growth of whale-watching
along the eastern Hokkaido, where more
than 55,000 people watched whales in 1994.
Just six years after whale-watching began in
Japan, 21 coastal towns offer whale-watching
tours, which together earn more than $5
million a year with total economic impact of
$35 million a year, according to the Whale
and Dolphin Conservation Society.

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