June 25, 1989
The Times reported the shocking discovery of a blue whale population so small (200 to 450) that the species may no longer be able to survive (Part I, June 13). The blue whale is the largest animal ever to have lived on earth--larger, even, than the dinosaurs--and their demise will be directly attributable to whaling. Before commercial whaling began, there were 250,000 blue whales. Hurray for mankind! The report came out at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission in San Diego.
June 19, 2006 |
In a narrow vote, the International Whaling Commission declared Sunday that a 20-year ban on commercial whale hunting no longer was necessary because the marine mammals had recovered from near extinction. The 33-32 vote gave Japan a symbolic victory in its campaign to resume whaling and signaled a power shift within the commission, but did not jeopardize the ban, which can be overturned only by a 75% vote from among the 70 member nations.
June 23, 2002 |
Some people like their whales dead, for the tons of meat and oil that they yield. Others like them alive. Those two views crashed head-on last month at the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), which entertained a Japanese proposal to pave the way toward legalizing commercial whaling, suspended since 1986. The commission has voted repeatedly against resuming whaling, and most of its longtime members showed no inclination to change that position. But Japan attempted to play a new card this year, inducing poor, nonwhaling countries (like Guinea and Gabon)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 1996 |
Whale-watching is not a likely diversion for President Clinton and Japanese Prime Minister Hashimoto when they meet in Santa Monica two weeks hence. But the growing controversy over Japan's whaling policy is a matter overdue for their discussion and the Santa Monica talks a perfect occasion to send an environmental message.
June 21, 2006 |
Greenpeace activists buzzed ashore Tuesday in motorized rubber boats to plant cardboard tombstones on the beach in protest of the killing of nearly 2,000 whales a year despite a global ban on commercial whaling. St. Kitts police officers, some armed with tear gas and machine guns, quickly arrested the 10 activists, though the protest was peaceful. They were expected to be held overnight and face a magistrate in the morning on charges of obstructing police officers and resisting arrest.
June 11, 1989 |
When delegates to the International Whaling Commission assemble in San Diego this week, they will grapple with the perennial opposition of Japan and several other countries to the worldwide ban on commercial whaling. But a new issue is expected to emerge at the commission's annual meeting, which is being held in the United States for the first time since 1971. Members of Greenpeace, Earth Island Institute and other animal protection groups want the commission to take on the tuna fishing industry for killing thousands of dolphins each year.
July 28, 1985
At last the international moratorium on whaling is at hand. By 1988 commercial whaling will be suspended by all nations. There will remain only whaling for scientific purposes or to honor traditional access to limited coastal fisheries, such as those of the American Eskimos. The Soviet Union, second after Japan among the whaling nations of the world, has now agreed to honor the moratorium in 1987.
June 16, 2006 |
After a two-decade campaign, Japan appears to have mustered enough allies to win a majority on the International Whaling Commission, a victory anti-whaling activists fear would bring back the sea slaughter that once drove many species to the brink of extinction. Since 1986, when the commission banned commercial whaling, Tokyo has risked international condemnation in its quest to restore the hunt -- an activity it describes as integral to its culture.
September 18, 1999 |
For the first time in 13 years, international trade in whales resumed this week when a Russian ship arrived in Japan carrying 13 tons of meat and blubber. In a deal worked out quietly with Japan, Russian hunters killed 36 belugas--the small white whales found in northern waters that had not been hunted commercially since the 1960s. When word of the hunt leaked out, it touched off an avalanche of protests from international environmental groups. The U.S.
November 24, 2007 |
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.