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Thursday, 4 May, 2000, 17:54 GMT 18:54 UK
Whaling plans cause outrage
Minke whales
Harpooned Minke whales
UK wildlife campaigners have expressed anger at Japan's plans to hunt more species of whales.

A proposal to expand the country's "scientific whaling" has been lodged with the Cambridge-based International Whaling Commission and will be discussed at its next meeting in Australia in June.



It clearly shows that Japan is in no mood for any compromise on whaling

The WDCS's Sue Fisher

The plan is reported to say that 100 Minke whales, 50 Bryde's whales and 10 Sperm whales will be killed to investigate their diet.

Japan has previously claimed that whales threaten commercial fisheries and the stability of marine eco-systems because they eat huge quantities of fish.

The commercial hunting of whales has been banned for 14 years but Japan, along with Norway, has used legal loopholes to continue its commercial takes.

Anger

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, based in Bath, says scientific whaling provides meat to the Japanese markets and is no more than a "thin disguise" for a commercial hunt.

Sue Fisher, WDCS campaigns manager, said: "It clearly shows that Japan is in no mood for any compromise on whaling.


Mike whales
Wild Minke whales

"The two larger whale species that Japan now identifies as targets for a spurious scientific study are, in fact, better economic targets for them. Bigger whales yield more meat for much the same effort as smaller ones."

Two weeks ago, at the Conference of Parties to the Convention in Trade in Endangered Species, other countries rejected four proposals from Norway and Japan to resume international trade in products from three Minke whale and one gray whale population.

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See also:

08 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
Japan saddened by whale death
25 Jan 00 | Asia-Pacific
Japan angry over NZ whaling criticism
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