World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


IWC -- Aboriginal whaling rights denied

IWC -- Aboriginal whaling rights denied

Shimonoseki Japan/Auckland, Thursday 23 May, 2002: Today Antigua and Barbuda, Mongolia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, Guinea, Gabon, Benin, the Solomon Islands, Palau, Grenada and Panama voted with Japan at the IWC to deny the Inuit people of Alaska and the Chukotka people of Russia their aboriginal subsistence whaling quota.

Never before in the history of the IWC has an aboriginal whaling quota been denied.

“This is the most blatant example we have yet seen of the Japanese Government’s vote buying manipulating the IWC,” says Sarah Duthie, Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner.

“Aboriginal peoples are being held hostage so the Government of Japan can further its push to resume commercial whaling,” says Duthie.

Aboriginal subsistence whaling is allowed by the IWC in order to meet their basic nutritional needs. The Government of Japan is likening aboriginal subsistence needs to whaling carried out by Japanese coastal communities for commercial profit.

“This is a cynical move by the Government of Japan to hold the IWC to ransom in order to try and get a coastal whaling quota of 50 minke whales, that it had asked for and was refused earlier this week.

“The IWC rightly sees Japan’s request for coastal whaling quota as pure commercial whaling and has denied its request for 14 years running.”

Many countries spoke of this result as appalling and that it was undermining the democratic process of the IWC meeting.

The Russian delegate highlighted the hypocrisy, saying that countries, like Japan, which complain of double standards had actually applied triple standards. He suggested that new member Mongolia may have been “misorientated” in its voting.

The vote on whether to grant the Inuit and Chukotka people their aboriginal whaling quota was defeated by a vote of 30 in favour, 14 against, with China abstaining. The vote failed to achieve the necessary three quarters majority.

The Commissioners have now adjourned to a private meeting.

In Shimonoseki contact:
Sarah Duthie +81 (0) 90 9363 9935
Greenpeace New Zealand Oceans Campaigner

Richard Page +81 90 6197 5453
Greenpeace Oceans Campaigner

In New Zealand:

Pia Mancia (09) 630 6317 mobile 021 927 301
Greenpeace New Zealand Whales Campaigner

Brendan Lynch 021 790 817
Greenpeace New Zealand Communications Officer

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Swing States: Gordon Campbell On Why The US Needs MMP

After the bizarre events this week in Helsinki, the world will be hoping and praying that the US midterm elections in November can put a restraining brake on the presidency of Donald Trump. This may happen, but there’s a highly undemocratic reason why such hopes may be frustrated. More>>


putin, trump scalpGordon Campbell: On The White House Romance With Russia

Tough on Europe over trade, at the G-7. Tough on Europe over defence, at NATO. And utterly smitten as usual by Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki summit. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On This Week’s NATO Debacle

For someone routinely cast as a clown presiding over an administration in chaos, Donald Trump has been very consistent about his agenda, and remarkably successful in achieving it, in the short term at least. More>>


NZ Law Society: Rule Of Law Threatened In Nauru

“The recently enacted Administration of Justice Act 2018 is another clear sign of the deterioration of civil rights in Nauru,” the Law Society’s Rule of Law Committee convenor Austin Forbes QC says. More>>


'Fixing' Family Separation: Executive Order Imprisons Families Indefinitely

Amnesty: President Trump signed an executive order today mandating for children to stay with their parents in detention while their asylum claims are processed. More>>