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Commercial Whaling

April 6, 1985 | Associated Press
Faced with a U.S. threat to halve Japan's fishing quota in the northern Pacific, the government pledged Friday to end Japanese commercial whaling after April, 1988. U.S. conservation groups, seeking to save the threatened animals, greeted the announcement with skepticism, and said the Japanese could renege. U.S. officials in Japan said an end to Japanese whaling may well hinge on a case now in American courts.
November 13, 1986 | From Reuters
Paul Watson, Canadian leader of the environmentalist Sea Shepherd group, said Wednesday that the group will soon sabotage Norway's whaling industry. Watson said in separate interviews with an Oslo newspaper and Norwegian radio that detailed plans have been drawn up. Sea Shepherd has claimed responsibility for scuttling two Icelandic whaling ships and attacking a whaling station near Reykjavik last weekend.
April 12, 1985 | DENNIS CUSHMAN, Times Staff Writer
The gray whale may soon be leaving the ranks of seven other species of whales on the federal endangered species list, government officials said Thursday. Howard Braham, director of the U.S. National Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle, said recent census samples of the gray whale suggest that its population has recovered from the commercial whaling days of the 19th Century, when it was placed on the endangered species list.
Some have come to save the whales, others to insist on their right to harpoon and harvest them. As the International Whaling Commission meets in this flyspeck principality on the shores of the Mediterranean for its 49th annual conference, the organization has fallen into a bad-humored impasse.
November 24, 2007 | Bruce Wallace, Times Staff Writer
The pro-whalers in the Japanese government have a ready answer when asked to explain why the global ban on commercial whaling should be lifted. Whaling is part of Japan's culture, they say. They point to archaeological evidence that whale meat has been a Japanese staple for more than 2,500 years. Respect for the "brave fish" courses through Japanese literature and paintings, they say, and has inspired folk festivals and puppet shows.
June 12, 1999
Speculative science can kill whales. Your June 6 article, "Deaths May Signal Too Many Whales for the Ocean," quoted government and other scientists as saying that there are too many gray whales in the ocean. Recent whale deaths, apparently from starvation, are nature's way of restoring the balance. As a professional marine ecologist, I see this as a dangerous misuse of science. A more plausible explanation, supported by scientific evidence, is that whales are starving because their ecosystem is collapsing.
June 13, 1989 | JANE FRITSCH, Times Staff Writer
The International Whaling Commission's scientific committee released a grim report Monday indicating that the populations of some whale species are much smaller than previously thought. The most seriously depleted is the blue whale, the Earth's largest animal, whose number is estimated at 453, but could be as low as 200. Before the advent of widespread commercial whaling, there were an estimated 250,000 blue whales in Antarctic waters. Recent estimates had put their numbers at 6,000 to 11,000.
February 20, 1988
The sanctions ordered against Japan for its continued whaling operations will not save any whales this season, but they may ultimately win more cooperation from the Japanese in this international conservation program. Japan will make much of the fact that it is acting within its treaty rights, and so it is.
June 23, 1989
Two alarming developments emerged from the International Whaling Commission meeting in San Diego: --The stock of whales is lower that the grim earlier assessments had predicted, and --Japan is continuing its defiance of the recommendations of the commission's scientific committee with plans for an even larger kill of minke whales in the Antarctic under the scientific- research exemption to the whaling moratorium. Furthermore, the meeting was marked by new estimates of the appalling kill of other sea mammals that suggest an urgent need for the commission to extend its work to dolphins and porpoises.
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