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Iceland Resumes Commercial Whaling

Statement from Japan’s Alternate Whaling Commissioner
Mr Joji Morishita

18 October 2006

Iceland Resumes Commercial Whaling

Mr Joji Morishita, Japan’s Alternate Whaling Commissioner, today congratulated Iceland for resuming sustainable commercial whaling.

Abundance estimates for populations of minke and fin whales in the North Atlantic confirm that commercial whaling will have no detrimental effect on the status of those stocks.

The Director of International Negotiations for the Fisheries Agency of Japan, Mr Morishita said today that Iceland had taken a bold and courageous step in the advancement of sensible management for marine living resources.

“This should come as no surprise to the world. When Iceland joined the IWC in 2001, it said it would resume sustainable commercial whaling if there were no progress on an international management regime for sustainable whaling. There has been no progress at all in that time and this has led Iceland to take unilateral action,” he said.

The world needs to see that commercial whaling is a positive aspect to marine management.

“Commercial whaling is sustainable and a normal result of sound marine species management – where a stock continues to grow in abundance while at the same time supporting a limited and sustainable commercial hunt. It is no different from any other marine environment fishery,” Mr Morishita said.

“In that respect, there is hope that the International Whaling Commission will become normalized and will soon sanction the restoration of commercial whaling,” he said.


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