A Japanese whaling factory ship returned to Japan (Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture) today, carrying about 300 tons of whale products from 100 North Pacific minke whales. Although supposedly hunted for 'scientific' purposes, these whale products are planned to be distributed in December through the Japanese commercial market.
Suisan Keizai reported (today) that the "research" had been concentrated in the region of the North Pacific between 145 - 155 degrees East.
Two Chinese fishing vessels suspected of illegal driftnet fishing in the North Pacific this week were escorted to Shanghai by the Honolulu-based US Coast Guard cutter 'Jarvis'.
The boats, the Tai Sheng and the Shan Yu 16, will be turned over to Chinese officials in Shanghai for further investigation, after they were spotted near the Aleutian Islands, using what appeared to be driftnets. As the vessels fled, crew members cut free and threw the nets overboard.
The following is taken from 'Report on the World's Oceans' (May 1998) Greenpeace Research Laboratories Report, UK. ISBN 90-733-61-45-1. (Reproduced by permission)
Whales and Whaling
To view our full report on the 1998 IWC meeting in Oman please download the attached file (either ascii or word 6 format).
Monday 18th May, The Malta Independent. Front page.
Dolphinarium lambasted in report
An international report just out has slammed the commercial use of Black Sea dolphins including those performing in Malta. While calling for an immediate halt to trade for captive display or breeding, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) has also urged tourists to boycott dolphinariums and theme parks housing such dolphins.
It appears that the Icelandic Government has reached a formal agreement with the Free Willy Keiko Foundation (FWKF) to allow Keiko back to his native waters, where he will initially be kept in a sea-pen.
Once the construction of the sea-pen is complete, it will be transported to Iceland in the next two months. It will be firmly anchored into place and the FWKF anticipates that Keiko could be transported to Iceland towards the end of this year.
The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) today welcomed the European Union support for a proposal to phase out the use of driftnets in European waters.
The proposal includes a phase out of all driftnets by European nationals and a ban on the use of driftnets in European waters. The nets must be phased out by the December 31st of the year 2001. Both France and Ireland opposed the ban but were defeated after a late evening session. Italy, with the largest fleet of driftnetters in the region, abstained on the crucial vote.
The UK national newspaper, the Guardian, (03/06/98) reported that the cod fishery in the Barents and North Seas is plunging into crisis. A report by the International Council for Exploration of the Sea (ICES) on the Barent's Sea fishery is believed to indicate that the cod population of the Barent's Sea has been over-estimated. Norway has repeatedly claimed that this is one of the best managed fisheries in the world.
In a blatant attempt to undermine another international convention, Japan is using lessons learned within the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to increase its fishing of the endangered Southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyyi).