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Cablegate: Jarpn Ii Whaling Fleet Returns From Western North Pacific

VZCZCXRO0019
RR RUEHMJ
DE RUEHKO #4949/01 2420139
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 300139Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5855
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
INFO RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 0430
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1582
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0919
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1750
RUEHRK/AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK 0143
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 1101
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 0607
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 3807
RUEHMJ/AMEMBASSY MAJURO 0038
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0366

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 004949

SIPDIS

STATE FOR D, G and OES/OA - MHAYES AND JFIELD EAP/J USDOC FOR
NOAA/NMFS - US IWC COMMISSIONER HOGARTH AND McCARTHY

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EFIS KSCA IWC JA ETRD
SUBJECT: JARPN II WHALING FLEET RETURNS FROM WESTERN NORTH PACIFIC

REF: A) 05 TOKYO 2193; B) 05 TOKYO 2932;
C) 05 TOKYO 6131; D) 06 TOKYO 2073;
E) 06 TOKYO 2229; F) 06 TOKYO 2848;
G) 06 TOKYO 2965; H) 06 TOKYO 4424

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. Japan's whaling mothership under JARPN II (Second Phase of
Japan's Whale Research Program under Special Permit in the Western
North Pacific), its annual lethal research whaling program that
started in 2000, returned to Hakodate, Hokkaido in northern Japan in
the morning of August 21, about one month earlier than originally
scheduled. Two sighting/catching boats that were part of the voyage
arrived in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture and Onomichi, Hiroshima
Prefecture, both southern Japan, on August 23. A dedicated sighting
vessel is scheduled to return to Kushiro, Hokkaido, on August 30.
The expedition took 100 Minke, 100 Sei, 50 Bryde's, and 6 Sperm
whales. Meat from the whales, except for Sperm, will start to be
sold in late September across Japan. END SUMMARY

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--------------------------------------------- -----
Increased Request from the Public for Commercial Whaling
--------------------------------------------- -----

2. In its press release, the Fisheries Agency of Japan (FAJ)
announced that the whales from JARPN II, as in previous years,
preyed upon a variety of marine products such as Japanese anchovy
and krill. According to Takumi Ikejima, Director for General
Affairs at the Institute of Cetacean Reasearch, more than 90 percent
of the meat from this expedition will be sold via Kyodo Senpaku, the
traditional distribution service that reaches fish markets and
school lunches from late September. Prices of red meat from Minke
and Byde's will be Yen 1,950 (USD 16)/kg, and Sei Yen 1,900 (USD
16)/kg. Because mercury levels in Sperm whales in the Western North
Pacific far exceed the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW)
standards, the ICR does not sell Sperm whale meat at this time (ref
H). In the meantime, our FAC contact said that it has received an
increasing number of phone calls from across Japan seeking
resumption of commercial whaling since the June 2006 IWC Meeting in
St. Kitts.

3. The following is Post's unofficial translation of
FAJ's Press Release, dated August 18, 2006:

Begin Press Release:

Subject: The completion of the 13th Expedition of the Whale Research
Program under Special Permit in the Western North Pacific (Offshore)
and the Research Fleet's Arrival Into Port

--------------------------------------------- ---
1. Completion of Offshore Research and Research Fleet's Arrival Into
Port
--------------------------------------------- ---

This fiscal year's Whale Research Program under Special Permit in
the Western North Pacific (Offshore research) will be completed as
of August 21. The research fleet (headed by Chikara Tamura,
Director for the Ecology Research Office at the Institute of
Cetacean Research) will arrive into port as follows:

(1) Mothership "Nisshin Maru" (8,030 tons, 126 crew members
including Captain Tomoyuki Ogawa)
Arrival Date: 11:00 am, Monday, August 21
Place: Hakodate City, Hokkaido

(2) Catcher and sighting vessel "Yushin Maru" (720 tons, 21 crew
members including Captain Kiyoji Hirose)
Arrival Date: 11:00 am, Wednesday, August 23
Place: Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture

(3) Catcher and sighting vessel "Yushin Maru No.2" (747 tons, 20
crew members including Captain Kiyoshi Matsuzaka)
Arrival Date: 11:00 am, Wednesday, August 23
Place: Onomichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture

[Catcher and sighting vessel "Kyo Maru No.2" (747 tons, 20 crew

TOKYO 00004949 002 OF 002


members including Captain Toshiyuki Miura) is scheduled to arrive in
Kushiro City, Hokkaido on August 30.]

2. Overview of Research Results
-------------------------------

(1) Duration: From May 23 (departure) to August 21 (arrival), 2006
(2) Research Sea Area: Off Sanriku to South of Kamchatka Peninsula
(3) Organization Conducting the Expedition: Institute of Cetacean
Research
(4) Overview of This Fiscal Year's Offshore Research Results:

As in previous years, Minke whales were confirmed to prey upon a
variety of marine products such as Japanese anchovy, saury, krill,
Japanese sand lance, etc. in various waters and timeframes.

Sei whales used to be confirmed to prey upon animal planktons such
as copepoda and krill. However, this year they were found to prey
upon mainly Japanese anchovy.

Byde's whales were confirmed to prey upon mesopelagic fish such as
Vinciguerria nimbaria, in addition to Japanese anchovy and krill.

Sperm whales were, as in previous years, confirmed to prey upon
mesopelagic squid and mesopelagic fish.

In addition, a great number of large cetacean such as Blue amd Fin
whales were observed.

(NOTE)
Research whaling is based on Article VIII of the International
Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (IWC Convention) and
conducted by permission of the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and
Fisheries.

For further information, contact Mr. Moronuki, Whaling Group, Far
Seas Fisheries Division, Fisheries Agency, Tel: 03-3502-8111 ex.
7242 Direct 03-3502-2443
Visit also URL that carries this press release:
http://www.jfa.maff.go.jp/release/index.html

End of Press Release

DONOVAN

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