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Football, Corruption and the Whales

Football, Corruption and the Whales

Two issues have recently conflated in my thinking. Firstly an article in the Japan Times[1] which spoke of Japan’s current attempts to gain a seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and secondly, the recent and public accusations of corruption against the management of FIFA, football’s world governing body. So why should two such…

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Talks on banned Japanese research whaling come to an end

Talks in the US between Japanese government representatives and scientific experts from the International Whaling Commission (IWC – the body that regulates whale hunting) concerning Japan’s so-called ‘scientific research whaling’ have come to an end. The discussions were part of this year´s meeting of the IWC´s Scientific Committee meeting which took place in San Diego.…

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‘Cat and mouse’ as Icelandic fin whale cargo sets off for Japan via Africa – yet heads north?!

   After weeks of confinement in the harbour at Hafnarfjordur, south of Reykjavik, reportedly due to ‘mechanical problems’, the Winter Bay, the vessel chartered by fin whaler Kristjan Loftsson to carry 1,700 tonnes of fin whale products to Japan finally set off yesterday. At the last minute, she changed her destination from Luanda (Angola) to…

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The Science of Whaling – bending science to fit the politics

As Japan’s whalers report their lowest kill of minke whales in years, Japanese Government scientists are today seeking to get the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to endorse their new proposal to kill hundreds of minke whales in the southern Ocean (sometimes abbreviated to NEWREP-A). The Japan Times is reporting that a whaling company employed by…

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Whales make healthy oceans – but not healthy casseroles

For decades, Japan has churned out misinformation and propaganda on whales and whaling in order to support a dying whaling industry that only continues thanks to government subsidies. Fear-mongering is largely centred around the popular refrain of ‘too many whales, eating too many fish’ and dire warnings of the catastrophic crash of fish stocks that…

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Under the radar

It is shocking enough to hear that this year’s IWC meeting has given permission for Greenland to annually kill nearly 200 whales – including humpback and bowhead whales – for the next four years but there is another gruesome activity that doesn’t apparently require any international discussion, agreement or quota – the brutal killing of…

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Time for the US to step up on whaling

Kitty Block, Vice President of Humane Society International has contributed to a piece in Livescience.com asking for the United States to give serious consideration to stepping up its game against commercial whaling ‘through a more aggressive foreign policy approach’. WDC supports this call, but also wonders if the US can do this without actually taking a long hard look…

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IWC65 – the good, the bad and the downright ugly

To an outside observer, meetings of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) can look like a throwback to one of Hans Holbein’s 16th century Danse Macabre woodcuts, with most delegates’ overtly ‘respectful‘ interventions a mere varnish on the vainglories of the whalers as they attempt to lay the groundwork to once more pursue whales to the…

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A day of highs and lows for whales: round-up of final day of the IWC meeting in Slovenia

The day began with the Distinguished Commissioner for Australia reporting on the Finance and Administration Committee, noting that Japan has offered to Chair the ‘Working Group on Support for New Countries’. There is some laughter in the margins, as many people believe Japan has already been running its own ‘Recruitment Working Group’. There is some debate…

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