IN DEFENCE OF THE WHALES, 
THE CHIEFLY PEOPLES OF THE OCEAN WORLD ! 
NO MORE TIME TO TALK - TIME FOR ACTION! 


Today: 

1.TOPIC: Australia Acts to Stop Iceland from Whaling: 
2. Topic: IWC - the global whaling body - on ‘last legs’ 
3. Topic: Arctic whales make great research partners 


TARGET LIST UPDATE ( - see all at the end of these latest news) 
BOYCOTT JAPAN IN TOTAL !!!! STOP BUYING OR DRIVING ANY JAPANESE CAR AND STOP BUYING ANY JAPANESE PRODUCT ! 
STOP FLYING WITH JAL OR ANAS (a LUFTHANSA Partner)! 
BOYCOTT NORWAY IN TOTAL !!!!! TOTAL TOURISM BOYCOTT TO THE COUNTRY OF THE WHALE- AND WOLF KILLERS !!! STOP BUYING ANY NORWEGIAN PRODUCT ! FOCUS ON THE NORWEGIAN OIL INDUSTRY ! 
JAPAN AND NORWAY WANT WAR - WELL THEY SHALL HAVE IT!  DON'T BUY ANYTHING FROM ISLAND - THE BOYCOTT IS ON !!! 
STEP UP THE BOYCOTT AGAINST DENMARK ! DON'T BUY "LEGO" TOYS 
FOR YOUR KIDS ! (see: http://www.ecop.info) 
BOYCOTT RUSSIA ! FOCUS ON CHINA ! 
CONTINUE TO BOYCOTT UNILEVER (Unilever brand names include Gorton's Seafood, Bird's Eye, Langnese, Lipton's Tea, OMO washing powder, Dove soap, etc. and Ben & Jerry's ice cream - reportedly contaminated anyway.) 
STEP UP THE (TOURISM) BOYCOTT AGAINST THOSE CARIBBEAN STATES, 
WHICH STILL CONTINUE TO SUPPORT WHALING AND ROBBING THE SEAS ! 
BOYCOTT THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC FOR ILLEGAL DOLPHIN CAPTURES !
PHASE OUT THE BOYCOTT CONCERNING THE NETHERLANDS !
( But lets watch if the "Dutch Connection" re-emerges now or at the BERLIN IWC conference ! )

The clear view and the clear will to act together is coming through - and everybody, who has it, says : 
STOP WHALING - FOREVER ! 


We will Live Together or Die Together. 
We Promise This As Long As The Water Runs,  Skies Do Shine and Night Brings Rest. 

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1. Australia Acts to Stop Iceland from Whaling: 

CANBERRA, Australia, February 12, 2003 (ENS) - Australia has taken action to protest the readmission of Iceland to theInternational Whaling Commission, according to Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr. David Kemp. The basis ofAustralia’s objection is Iceland’s refusal to abide by the current global moratorium on commercial whaling. 

On Friday in Washington, DC, Australia lodged an official document with the U.S. Department of State - the depository government for the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling - dealing with Iceland’s formal reservation to the moratorium. 

This document states, “The Government of Australia considers that the reservation [to the ban on commercial whaling] is prohibited as it is incompatible with the object and purpose of the Convention.” 

After several unsuccessful attempts, Iceland was readmitted to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) at a Special Meeting of the IWC October 14, 2002 in Cambridge, UK where the IWC is based. Iceland’s readmittance brings the number of IWC member nations to 49. 

Before withdrawing from the International Whaling Commission in 1992, Iceland was subject to the moratorium on commercial whaling. Icelandic whalers continued their commercial trade in whale products for three years after the moratorium came into effect, from 1986 to 1989, under the “scientific whaling” provision. 

“After quitting the IWC in 1992, Iceland was readmitted in controversial circumstances at a special meeting of the Commission in October 2002. This controversy was sparked by a clause in Iceland’s bid for readmission, which exempts it  Iceland has threatened to start
commercial whaling as early as 2006,” Dr. Kemp said. 

“As a result of Australia’s action, any whaling by Iceland would breach the Convention which stands between Australia and Iceland,” the Australian government document states. “In IWC parlance, it would be from Australia’s perspective an ‘infraction’ against the rules of the Convention. We would therefore be well placed to call that country to account before the IWC.” 

Iceland’s reservation on the commercial whaling issue threatens to “render the Convention meaningless,” said the Australian minister, and could “set a precedent that could have negative consequences for the orderly development of international law and could possibly undermine the authority of other international conventions.” 

Dr. Kemp said he was concerned by media reports that Prime Minister of Iceland David Oddsson said during his January visit to Japan that Iceland may resume “scientific” whaling under research provisions of the Convention that created the IWC.

“Late last year, Iceland announced it envisaged a return to commercial whaling as soon as 2006. Now, it appears Iceland may start whaling even earlier - under the guise of scientific research,” Dr. Kemp said. 

In Tokyo on January 14, Prime Minister Oddsson told a gathering to mark the establishment of an Icelandic Chamber of Commerce in Japan that Iceland is indebted to Japan for its new status within the IWC. Iceland looks to Japan as a market for its whale products, Oddsson said. 

“Iceland became a member of the International Whaling Commission again last year after 10 years’ absence,” Oddsson said. “Our membership now is made with a reservation against the ban on commercial whaling, and the Japanese government deserves our most heartfelt thanks for their invaluable assistance in enabling us to rejoin with this condition. On becoming a member Iceland undertook not to begin commercial whaling until 2006 at the earliest, but scientific whaling could start earlier.
As ever, because of the small size of our home market it is a precondition for whaling off Iceland that it must be able to export the products, and in this respect we naturally look to Japan as our traditional market for them.” 

Referring to the Japanese research whaling, the Australian environment minister said, “We already have a situation in which, in the name of ‘research’, approximately 700 whales are killed each year for sale at market. This harvest adds nothing to our knowledge of whales that cannot be drawn from historical records and non-lethal research.” 

The Australian government hopes that other IWC signatory governments will also register protests to send a strong message to any countries intending to resume whaling without the support of the international community. 

During the IWC vote on Iceland last October, Britain and the United States opposed Iceland’s readmission. The United States took the position that the Icelandic reservation to the commercial whaling moratorium constituted a proposed amendment to the Schedule and had no legal effect until accepted by a vote of a three-fourths majority of the IWC members.

The United States believes that a country leaving the IWC, then rejoining with a reservation, “could undermine the effectiveness of the organization and could set a precedent for similar actions in other fisheries organizations,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement at the time. 

Sweden said its representatives made a “mistake” when they voted in favor of Iceland’s IWC membership. But no other IWC signatory nation has registered a formal objection as Australia has done. 

“Australia expects members of the IWC to participate on an equal basis to other Commission members,” Dr. Kemp said. “More than a dozen other countries have joined the IWC over the past three years. None of these have attempted to exempt themselves from the moratorium or any other provisions of the Convention. Iceland should be as bound by the whaling ban as other members.” 

“Australia has consistently called for the cessation of this so-called scientific version of what is, in reality, commercial whaling. Any decision to expand existing whaling or to establish new industries strikes me as absurd, given the moratorium,” Dr.  Kemp said. 

The issue will be heard at the next IWC meeting to be held in Berlin in June. The IWC’s North Atlantic Minke Whale Assessment Group will gather before the main meeting to determine the health of this whale population that is the most likely target of Icelandic whalers. 

“At this meeting,” Dr. Kemp said, “Australia will continue the drive for the permanent cessation of commercial whaling, including lethal research, and for the establishment of a South Pacific Whale Sanctuary.” 


Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2003. All Rights Reserved. 

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2. Pro-whaling nations huddle in Tokyo, saying global whaling body on ‘last legs’ 

Thursday, February 13, 2003 
By Kenji Hall, Associated Press 


TOKYO—Two of the world’s last whaling nations, Japan and Norway, lashed out at the International Whaling Commission on Wednesday, saying the organization was “on its last legs” and lacked credibility because it didn’t approve of limited commercial hunts. 

Participants at a special meeting of whaling nations in Tokyo honed their call for an end to the IWC’s moratorium on commercial whaling. Delegates from Iceland and several Caribbean nations also were at the meeting. 

Whaling nations’ failed attempts to overturn the 1986 ban on commercial whaling have led to a deadlock at the IWC, sharpening differences between member nations who favor limited whaling and those who oppose it. 

On Wednesday, Japanese Fisheries Agency official Joji Morishita called the commission dysfunctional, while Norway’s IWC ambassador Odd Gunnar Skagestad said internal divisions had undercut the commission’s global role. 

“The commission has lost so much relevance and so much credibility that it certainly gives the impression that it is on its last legs,” Skagestad said. To restore trust, the commission must come up with a system that balances demands for whale hunting with worries about excessive harvests, Skagestad said. 

Environmentalists and antiwhaling nations, led by the United States, Britain, and Australia, have blamed Norway and Japan for the current impasse. 

Last year’s IWC convention in Shimonoseki, Japan, ended without addressing much of the 49-nation commission’s agenda. The group could face more contentious debate at this year’s meeting in Berlin, Germany, in June. 

Iceland, which was voted back into the commission in October after leaving it a decade earlier, backs a lifting of the moratorium. Iceland said it would not authorize commercial whaling by its vessels before 2006. But it is considering asking the IWC for a scientific permit to hunt whales for research, the country’s whaling commissioner Stefan Asmundsson said. Iceland ended research whaling in 1989. 

The only other nation with IWC approval for scientific hunts is Japan, which started its program in 1987. Tokyo says it is researching claims that whale populations have recovered from over-hunting and can again be killed for commercial purposes. 

Critics of Japan’s research say the hunts are commercial whaling in disguise because the government sells leftover meat from the killed whales to wholesalers and much of it ends up in restaurants. 

Source: Associated Press

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3. Arctic whales make great research partners

Thursday, February 13, 2003 
Adapted by Cameron Walker and Kathleen M. Wong, California Academy of Sciences 

Arctic Whales Make Great Research Partners 

Whales and scientists are teaming up to study Arctic waters. By attaching sensors to the backs of wild white whales, researchers from Norway and Britain have learned about a warm water spot beneath an arctic fjord. 

Until now, scientists haven’t been able to study these deep waters because of the semipermanent ice cover. But beluga whales can dive the 200 meters to the fjord’s bottom with ease. When the sensor-carrying whales resurface, the data collected uplinks to a satellite for scientists to study. 

Researchers aren’t sure if the warm region picked up by the whales’ sensors is due to long-term climate change or a shorter cycle. However, their new lab assistants are already revealing new subtleties in ocean patterns. 

Source: Arctic Whales Make Great Research Partners: New Scientist 
http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993295 

Arctic whales dive for science 

Ocean scientists have recruited wild arctic whales to their team to probe the waters deep beneath an Arctic island fjord for the first time. 

Sensors attached to the backs of the whales collected data as they dived deep beneath the fjord. The data was relayed back to the researchers via a satellite link each time the whales surfaced. 

The sensors revealed a previously unknown influx of warm 

North Atlantic water beneath the Storfjorden Svalbard Arctic fjord during the winter months. It is not yet understood whether this is part of long-term climate change or shorter cyclical change that occurs over decades. 

The Norwegian and British researchers attached sensors to the backs of white whales. These are known to feed at great depths and can easily descend to 200 metres to the bottom of the fjord. Extensive ice cover makes it nearly impossible for scientists to monitor the region using sensors deployed from ships. 
Michael Fedack, a biologist at the University of St Andrew’s Sea Mammal Research Unit in Scotland, says the whales were an extremely efficient way of gathering information from this inaccessible area. 

Warm tongue 

“The measurements show an interesting tongue of warm and possibly salty North Atlantic Water,” he told New Scientist. 

“An important aim of the study was to show the oceanographic community that this could be done in a scientifically profitable
and cost effective way.” 

He says the new approach can provide vital information to allow us to understand better the distribution of marine species and protect vital parts of their ecosystem. “And this fjord is an important one in terms of biology, with Ring seals, beluga whales and polar bears all making extensive use of it,” he says. 

Sophisticated Satellite Relay Data Loggers (SRDLs), which are normally used to relay information about the whales’ movements, were modified to record the whale’s depth and the temperature and salinity of the water twice a second. Each time a whale surfaced the information was transmitted via satellite back to the researchers. The data was compressed while aboard the whales to improve the efficiency of the data relay. 

Other research teams have attached sensors to whales and seals in order to track their movements and monitor ocean temperature. But those instruments have had to be recovered in order to retrieve the data. Fedack adds that other new remote sensing technology, such as robotic buoys, are helping scientists monitor the oceans better. 

Will Knight