May 2010


Supersonic Whale Killing Fleet

Japanese fishing expert Masayoki Komatsu stated that a supersonic whaling fleet should be built to kill and freeze more than 2000 whales a year in the whale sanctuary.

Obviously the name Sanctuary doesn't mean a thing to Masayoki, The Antarctic Whale Sanctuary in the Southern ocean means WHALE SANCTUARY.

May be a trip on a whale killing ship, hearing the whales scream, with missiles penetrating their tender bodies, might knock some sense in to your head, but your probably such a cruel b*****d you wouldn't even shed a tear. 



Australian Government Initiates Legal Action On Japanese Whaling

It has taken three years, but finally the government of Kevin Rudd has decided to act on their election promise of 2007.

Australia is officially initiating a legal action against Japanese whaling in the International Court of Justice in the Hague, Netherlands.

"The Australian government has not taken this decision lightly," Environment Protection Minister Peter Garrett, Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith and Attorney-General Robert McClelland said in a statement.

This is the statement from the government of Australia:

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts




Australia will initiate legal action in the International Court of Justice in The Hague against Japanese ‘scientific’ whaling in the Southern Ocean.

The decision underlines the Government’s commitment to bring to an end Japan’s program of so-called ‘scientific’ whaling in the Southern Ocean.  It also demonstrates our commitment to do what it takes to end whaling globally. 

The Australian Government has not taken this decision lightly. We have been patient and committed in our efforts to find a diplomatic resolution to this issue. We have engaged in intensive discussions in the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and bilaterally with Japan.

We have enjoyed the support of many other IWC members who share Australia's concerns and goals.  We commend countries of the European Union, the Buenos Aires group of Latin American countries, and others who have joined with Australia in highlighting, in particular, the necessity for phasing out whaling in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary.

But to date, the response of the whaling countries has not been positive.  Recent statements by whaling countries in the Commission have provided Australia with little cause for hope that our serious commitment to conservation of the world’s whales will be reflected in any potential IWC compromise agreement.

The Government has always been firm in our resolve that if we could not find a diplomatic resolution to our differences over this issue, we would pursue legal action.  The Government’s action fulfils that commitment. 

Australia will remain closely engaged in the IWC process and will continue to work hard in the lead up to and at the IWC meeting in June to pursue our objectives  While an outcome at that meeting which meets Australia’s fundamental conservation objectives is slim, the Government will continue to engage constructively in the diplomatic effort. 

Australia and Japan share a comprehensive strategic, security and economic partnership.  We share a substantial commercial relationship built over many decades, growing strategic and security linkages, and work together closely in key international forums such as the G20, the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation and APEC.   

The Government’s action today reflects a disagreement in one element of a relationship that is deep, broad and multi-dimensional.

Both Australia and Japan have agreed that, whatever our differences on whaling, this issue should not be allowed to jeopardise the strength and the growth of our bilateral relationship.

At the same time, the Australian Government will keep working tirelessly to achieve an end to whaling in the Southern Ocean, and we will use all legal and diplomatic avenues to achieve our goal. 

A formal application will be lodged in The Hague early next week. 


Office of Hon Murray McCully

Copy Email Received by GreenEcoPeace.


Profound Decline In Fish Stocks Shown In UK Records 

Over-fishing means UK trawlers have to work 17 times as hard for the same fish catch as 120 years ago, a study shows.

Researchers used port records dating from the late 1800s, when mechanised boats were replacing sailing vessels.

In the journal Nature Communications, they say this implies "an extraordinary decline" in fish stocks and "profound" ecosystem changes.

Four times more fish were being landed in UK ports 100 years ago than today, and catches peaked in 1938.

"Over a century of intensive trawl fishing has severely depleted UK seas of bottom living fish like halibut, turbot, haddock and plaice," said Simon Brockington, head of conservation at the Marine Conservation Society and one of the study's authors.

"It is vital that governments recognise the changes that have taken place (and) set stock protection and recovery targets that are reflective of the historical productivity of the sea."

Victorian values

In the late 1880s, the government set up inspectorates in major fishing ports in an attempt to monitor what fish were being landed.

"The records are pretty reliable," said Callum Roberts from the UK's York University, another of the study authors.

"The Victorians were very assiduous about collecting information; and while some of the landings might have been missed from smaller ports, the larger ports were covered very efficiently," he told BBC News.

Around the same period, naturalist Walter Garstang was beginning to analyse "fishing power" - essentially, the capacity of a fleet to catch fish.

The biggest change over the period was from sail to engine power.

"With sail power, boats could only go at fixed times and only in certain places with a smooth sea bottom," Professor Roberts noted

"But when you got engines, that meant they could fish in any conditions of wind or tide and sea bed."

As waters near the coast became depleted, industrialisation also meant the UK fleet could travel further in search of new grounds - a phenomenon that took off after 1918.

But despite the growing power and range, the amount of fish caught for each unit of effort has gone drastically down, with 17 times more effort required now to catch the same amount of fish as compared with the late 1800s.

'Old news'

Philip MacMullen, head of environmental responsibility at the UK's industry-funded sustainability organisation Seafish, suggested that accenting the historical picture could obscure more recent improvements.

"It could be correct but I don't know, and I don't think the data support the findings," he said.

"But it's old news. Fifteen years ago we started understanding how badly management was working, and 10 years ago we started doing something about it."

Seafish points out that in the last decade, stocks of some species such as cod have shown increases.

But Professor Roberts counters that the long historical timeline in his study shows the recent improvements to be small in scale.

"If you get a 50% increase from 2% of a species' former abundance, you get to 3% of its former abundance, so you shouldn't celebrate too hard," he said.

"That's why this perspective is important."

Whereas UK fishermen tend to blame the EU's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) for their economic problems, the authors of this study say it proves that depletion stems from mismanagement well before the CFP came into existence.

"There's nothing basically wrong with the CFP and not much wrong with the scientific research they receive," commented Dr MacMullen.

"But what happens to that advice when it goes up to the Council of Ministers - it's completely mis-managed." 



Bluefin Tuna Highly Endangered According To Japanese Expert 

Japanese Fishing expert Masayuki Komatsu admits Japan made a mistake on Bluefin tuna. The Bluefin tuna should have been listed as endangered by CITES according to Komatsu.

In an interview with Asahi News, Komatsu stated:

“I wish to stress once again the importance of advancing discussions and making decisions based on scientific data. In that sense, the decision concerning the Bluefin tuna was regrettable. When the conference of the parties to the Washington Treaty (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) met in March, it rejected a proposal to ban international trade of the Atlantic Bluefin tuna with the objections of Japan and other countries.  

But I believe Japan should have cooperated with the European Union and the United States to strengthen the regulation. Generally speaking, whale resources are abundant although there are differences among species. While the Minke whale has a green light above it, the fin whale has a yellow light, for example. But a red light is flashing over the Bluefin tuna, whose populations have dwindled as a result of overfishing.

Banning the Bluefin tuna trade may appear disadvantageous to Japan in the short term, but if we develop policy based on scientific grounds, we can win trust of the international community in the end. The principle of sustainable use also applies to abundant whales.”

Komatsu wants to increase the whaling quota because he believes that Minke whale can replace Bluefin tuna at sushi restaurants.

He said that the quality of whale meat is poor because it is the by-product of “scientific research whaling”.  In the interview he said:

“The meat does not sell because it is expensive and of poor quality. When you look at whale meat sold in the market, you notice a red, blood-like juice oozing from it. The juice that makes the meat tasty drained because cell membranes were broken when the meat was frozen. This is because the temperature can only be lowered to 30 degrees below zero on whaling ships. Since tuna is quick-frozen to minus 70 degrees, cell membranes remain intact. In whaling, too, new ships should be built so that the meat can be quick-frozen for better quality. I am sure it would drastically change the awareness of consumers. Whale meat could be used as a sushi ingredient in place of tuna.”

Komatsu wants a new whaling factory ship built and the whaling fleet modernized. He wants an increase in whale kills to over 2,000 whales in the Southern Ocean. He continued:

“When the number of catches is increased, costs can be lowered and tasty whale meat can be supplied at lower prices.”

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