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Alaskan’s Lose Quota Due To USA's Hypocrisy

MEDIA RELEASE
23 May 2002

Alaskan’s Lose Quota Due To United States’ Hypocrisy

The United States’ hypocritical stance on whaling saw the International Whaling Commission vote today to refuse aboriginal subsistence quota for the Alaskan Inupiat.

The United States had sought a renewal of taking 280 endangered bowhead whales over five years – with 67strikes per year and up to 15 unused strikes carried from previous years. (Strikes meaning whales struck but not landed.)

Japan’s alternate commissioner to the IWC, Masayuki Komatsu, said that for years the IWC had approved the taking of bowhead whale by the Alaskan’s – despite it being endangered. “The bowhead is still considered by IWC scientists as endangered – it’s one of the few things the IWC is in agreement about,” he said.

“Yet, every year the United States votes against Japan’s Small-Type Coastal Whalers’ request for relief quota of 50 minke whales from the abundant western North Pacific stock. This hypocrisy could no longer continue.”

“Japan is tired of asking year after year for 50 minke from an abundant stock for our traditional coastal whalers only to have the United States vote against it; yet we have always supported the Alaskan’s taking almost 280 bowhead whales. Well, this year, the United States delegation has a message to take back home – end the hypocrisy.”

Mr Komatsu said that as well their 15-year blockade of 50 minke for Japan’s traditional whaling communities, it was also clear that the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom were going to block the quota of four humpback whales for St Vincent and the Grenadines, in the Caribbean.

“St Vincent and Grenadines had been told by a number of anti-whaling delegations that if they abstained from voting against the sanctuary, their proposal for their humpback quota would be supported. After the sanctuary vote, the anti-whaling countries broke their agreement. St Vincent and the Grenadines was hung out to dry by the anti-whalers.”

ENDS

For more information and interviews contact Japan’s IWC Media Office
on 0081 90 3103 5840 or 0081 80 3005 7507

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