The international environmental organisation called upon
anti-whalingnations such as the US, the UK, Australia and Brazil to
redouble theirefforts to protect whales and to once and for all
close the 'scientificwhaling' loophole.
According to today's wire reports, a secret proposal from Japan,
whichhas been submitted for consideration at the IWC meeting
beginning onMay 27 in Ulsan, Korea, will see new 'scientific'
quotas with adoubling of the current minke whale take of 440 in the
Antarctic inaddition to a catch of some 10 humpback and fin
"The Japanese Government should withdraw this outrageous
proposalimmediately," said John Frizell of Greenpeace
International. "For toolong the 'scientific' loophole has provided
commercial whalers with a'fig leaf' of respectability. The IWC
should move to end the scandal ofscientific whaling and end the
"The submission to the IWC by Japan's Fisheries Agency is
designated'in confidence', but, since when was the science of
environmentalprotection and nature conservation best served by
secrecy? This is asimple case of publish and be dammed," added
Over the last month the Greenpeace flagship has been in Korean
watersto highlight another flaw in the international regime banning
thehunting of whales. In 2003 the Korean fishing fleet
'accidentally'netted 97 whales, which were legally traded and
processed for domesticconsumption. Korean Government statistics
show that around a hundredtimes more whales are "accidentally"
caught in Korea than in countriesthat do not have a domestic whale
meat market. Scientists believe thateven the most populous whale
species in Korean waters, minke whales,are in serious decline
because of this trade.
As IWC preparations begin in Ulsan, Greenpeace, along with the
KoreanFederation for the Environment Movement (KFEM), have exposed
plans bythe South Korean government to build a whale and dolphin
meatprocessing factory there. A protest camp, or 'Whale Embassy',
at theproposed whale meat factory site has been established.
Other contacts: Jim Wickens, Greenpeace International oceans campaigner, currently in Korea on +82 (0)10 2233 0760 John Frizell, Greenpeace International, +44 1273 47 6839
VVPR info: Images availableJohn Novis, Greenpeace International picture desk on +31 6538 19121Maarten van Rouveroy, Greenpeace International video desk on +31 (0) 646 19 7322