Earth Island Institute

ECO: The environmental voice at the IWC

ECO is published by Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project at the meeting of the International Whaling Commission on behalf of environmental and animal welfare organizations around the globe.

For further information, please contact: Mark J. Palmer, Associate Director, Earth Island Institute, International Marine Mammal Project.

Previous volumes of ECO are available here.


Volume LXII · Agadir, Morocco · No. 4 · Thursday June 24, 2010

Acrobat .pdf of issue No. 4

Whaling Moratorium Remains in Place

The high hopes of a few – a very few, as it turns out – individuals and countries were dashed as the IWC members acknowledged yesterday the demise of any Agreement on the Future of the IWC. Two years of secret discussions followed by another day and a half of secret Commissioners’ negotiations in Agadir ended with an impasse. Those of us who fight for whales, however, are very relieved indeed that the moratorium on commercial whaling remains intact. Had a compromise agreement been approved by the IWC, not only would the 25-year-old moratorium be breached, but the illegal and immoral activities of Japan, Norway and Iceland would have received the stamp…
> Read more

A Bad Deal for Dall’s Porpoises

A staggering near one-half million Dall’s porpoises have been slaughtered in Japan since the IWC agreed to the moratorium on commercial whaling in 1982. Japanese fishermen killed a staggering 70,000 Dall’s porpoises in just the first two years of the moratorium, a clear declaration of intent, and have slaughtered an average of 17,000 animals every year ever since. The Dall’s porpoise hunt in Japan remains the largest directed kill of any cetacean species in the world. Action by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has resulted in reductions in catches from the very high numbers of the mid-1980s, but the current catch, and quotas set by the Japan’s Fisheries Agency, remain totally unsustainable.…
> Read more

Fun with Anagrams!

ECO invites you to figure out what the real names are of these IWC personalities by unscrambling the words: GONAD NOMAD MR ELK RAPAM DEMONIC MANIA LOONY HOP INTERVAL

Japan to Expand Whaling for “Science?”

In the face of mounting opposition to whale hunts, ECO is hearing that Japan is planning to refine the so-called “scientific” whaling programs that it conducts annually despite the existence of a global whaling moratorium. Many believe that the expected announcement is an attempt to deflect criticism away from the programs’ real goal of circumventing the ban on commercial whaling and maintaining whale meat supplies to consumers. Japanese officials however maintain that they hope to address their research program’s consistent failure to produce any actual useful or scientific data beyond annual confirmation that the dietary habits of whales remain unchanged from year to year. The 18-year Japanese Research Program in Antarctica, or…
> Read more

Whaling in Japan: The Young Like Whales

We again join Dr. Jun Morikawa’s new book, Whaling in Japan: Power, Politics and Diplomacy, as he dissects one of the Japan whaling industry’s major conundrums: Japanese are not eating whale meat, nor are they likely to in the future: “The most significant point of weakness for Japan’s pro-whaling policy is that it does not necessarily have the understanding and support of the Japanese people. For the general populace, whaling and the eating of whale meat are something distant from their daily lives. It follows that even if the government continues to run a national campaign designed to revive whale-eating with the cooperation of the mass media and the whaling and distribution…
> Read more

Legitimacy, the Last Resort?

While recovering oh so slowly – like a scientifically shot fin whale among the Antarctic ice floes – from the unseasonable and extraordinarily virulent ’flu virus that has prevented me from sampling the vicarious delights of Agadir and the IWC, I have been playing Sudoku, my favorite solitaire. I like the relentless logic of Sudoku – it’s such a contrast with the endless non-sequiturs of the IWC Chairmen’s proposals for saving the IWC and the whales. Make one mistake in a Sudoku puzzle, and you’ll soon not only find yourself stranded in chaos but also quite unable to retrace your false steps. I tried to explain my worries about this to Sir…
> Read more