Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Open letter to the Hon. Chris Carter

Open letter to the hon. chris carter

Dear Sir,
I have just read the News Release “Minister Condemns Iceland...” and your subsequent interview with Radio Pacific’s Bill Ralston.

I thought it was important to send you some information about whaling since you are in a position to comment and you should have the facts to help you in the future.

Although there is a moratorium on commercial whaling, any country that is a member of IWC may, pursuant to Article VIII of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (the IWC charter), continue whaling for research under the national laws of their own country. According to Articles 87 and 116 of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, any country (whether a member of IWC or not) may hunt whales for food or research in their own waters or on the high seas.

Thus Japan is hunting whales legally, under IWC rules and customary international law. You can check this at http://www.iwcoffice.org/iwc.htm. Iceland is also legally entitled to hunt whales.

Regarding your observation that meat from Icelandic whale research was sold in Japanese supermarkets. Yes, under Article VIII (2) of the international whaling convention, the by-product of research whaling must be disposed of in a non-wasteful manner after the scientific needs of the research are satisfied. Ensuring the by-product is utilized as food is arguably the most non-wasteful and rational manner of disposing of the by-product.

With respect, it is not “ridiculous to kill whales to study them”. Indeed, the IWC Scientific Committee has concluded that, for some research purposes, lethal research is still required and that this research provides information that is useful for management purposes. You may check this at www.iecoffice.org/sciperms.htm

The small island nations in the Caribbean are members of IWC because they utilize several species of whales and dolphins for food – and have done so for generations. Together with many other island nations for whom fishing is important for food security and trade purposes, they are concerned that marine resource management remain science-based and reflect a multi-species approach. This requires that the role of marine mammals as major marine predator be studied by the appropriate means.

Russia and the United States of America have always been, and remain, whaling nations. Today, “Russian” whaling is more accurately described as “Chukotkan” whaling, in reference to the Chukotka region of North-Eastern Siberia, the territory of the indigenous Chukchi and Yup'iit peoples.

The United States no longer supports a large-scale whaling industry, but nevertheless remains a whaling nation. In addition to the small Makah gray whale hunt, Alaskan Eskimos continue their unbroken tradition of whaling for bowhead, gray, and beluga whales, as they both have done for millennia.

Again, with respect, whales are not “a very endangered species”. There are many species of non-endangered whales, and many species continue to be hunted. However, no species of whale has become extinct as a result of modern whaling (the last whale species to become extinct disappeared in the 17th century through uncertain causes). Current whale fisheries only take small numbers of whales from abundant populations of non-endangered species of whales. Whales are a renewable resource, and harvests that take a small proportion of the annual increase enable the hunted populations to continue to grow in numbers.

The fin whale might reasonably be classified as depleted or vulnerable, but the North Atlantic populations are not in any sense endangered or biologically threatened by Icelandic research. The North Atlantic stocks number from 20,000 - 35,000, with tens of thousands more occurring in the North Pacific and the Southern Oceans. The 70 that Iceland might take from the North Atlantic represents a fraction of 1 percent of the robust Iceland-E. Greenland stock numbering in excess of 11,000 – the assessment of which is the best of any fin whale population.
Please check out our website www.worldcouncilofwhalers.com I think you will find the information in the “Whaling Around the World” section most useful. In this section all of the whaling nations of the world are listed. New Zealand is included as it has a long history of utilizing whales for food and trade.

I would be pleased to answer any questions you have in the future.

Sincerely,


Tom Mexsis Happynook,
Chairman, World Council of Whalers

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Another Reason To Loathe HR Departments (And On The Teachers Strike)

This morning’s news item about Police emergency call centre staff turning up for work while they’re sick – because they’re afraid their sick leave statistics will be used against them, and their jobs put in jeopardy – is not an isolated case...

Obviously, sick people shouldn’t be being treated by doctors and nurses who are themselves sick and potentially infectious. Similarly, Police emergency calls also need to be fielded by people who’re feeling alert, and on top of their game. More>>

 
 

MPs' Computers To Be Searched: Inquiry Into Leak On Simon Bridges' Expenses

An inquiry has been launched to find out who leaked the National Party's expenses to the media... Parliament's speaker, Trevor Mallard, said a Queen's Counsel would lead the inquiry with the help of an employment lawyer and also someone with forensic IT skills. More>>

ALSO:

Teachers Strike: Nationwide Rallies And Marches

Teachers and principals voted for a full day strike to be held on 15 August to send a strong message to the Government that the current collective agreement offers from the Ministry of Education would not fix the crisis in teaching. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: City Council Ends Its Support For Jackson’s Movie Museum

The Wellington City Council and the Movie Museum Limited have today announced a mutually-agreed parting of the ways for a joint project between the Council’s Convention Centre and TMML’s Movie Museum... Both parties remain optimistic for the future of their respective projects. More>>

Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>

ALSO:

Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages