Views
5 years ago

TROUBLED WATERS - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

TROUBLED WATERS - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

Relevance of ethical

Relevance of ethical review to whaling conducted under the auspices of science Whaling for scientific purposes is permitted under Article VIII of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (see chapter 6). Any proposal for lethal scientific research on whales (‘scientific whaling’) must be submitted to the Scientific Committee of the IWC for review. This Committee consists of scientists from contracting governments to the IWC, and invited scientists from other nations, with the necessary expertise to assess the validity of research projects. A requirement of the review is that “an evaluation of the likelihood that the methodology will lead to achievement of the scientific objectives” is carried out (as per requirements laid out in the Report of the International Whaling Commission 36, 133). Any contracting government can submit such a proposal. Scientific reviews of proposals are carried out by the Scientific Committee, and involve lengthy review and comment upon the initial proposals, interim results of long-term projects, and analyses of the validity of results from finished projects. However, at no point is an ethical review of the proposal conducted, although the IWC has acknowledged the validity of an ethical review process. In 1998 a resolution was passed requesting that the Secretariat of the IWC conduct a comprehensive review of ethical considerations applied in other international scientific organisations (IWC 1999a). The Secretariat’s review led to the general conclusion that existing international ethical guidelines stress that research should aim to cause “the minimum of stress and distress, suffering and pain, and at the same time considering if the research results can be achieved using fewer animals or by other (non-lethal) means” (IWC 1999b). Were an ethical review to be carried out on Japan’s and Iceland’s whaling proposals, a number of issues of relevance would emerge (see Table 2). Concerns have regularly been raised by some members of the Scientific Committee as to the likelihood of the lethal research proposals actually achieving their aims. Some scientists in the Scientific Committee have criticised Japan’s research programmes, stimulating repeated debate on the scientific validity of the studies (IWC 1999c, IWC 2000, IWC 2001, IWC 2003b). In 2003, Iceland presented its first proposal for scientific permit whaling in 14 years and various views were expressed, including the statement that “this proposal is inadequate especially in its description of sample sizes” and “concerns were raised regarding the adequacy of the sampling scheme to meet the intended objectives” (IWC 2003c, p.48-49). In fact, Icelandic scientists acknowledged that the sample sizes in their proposal for lethal research may not be adequate to resolve all of the objectives of the project (IWC 2003c, Annex Q, p.11). When doubt is so clearly cast upon the validity of a scientific proposal and its ability to achieve its aims, then the lethal take of any animals is likely to be judged as unethical. Additionally, if the specified number of animals to be used will not achieve a conclusive result, then the research proposal must be seen as flawed. An ethical approval permit would not be issued for this work in other areas of animal research. A number of non-lethal methods are regularly used to address questions similar or identical to those proposed in the permit whaling programmes. Non-lethal biopsy sampling is widely used to collect small plugs of tissue from live cetaceans. A technique for ‘scrubbing’ a cetacean’s skin is also used to collect ETHICS AND WHALING UNDER SPECIAL PERMIT 107

108 A REVIEW OF THE WELFARE IMPLICATIONS OF MODERN WHALING ACTIVITIES skin samples, without the need for any more invasive procedure. These techniques enable rapid and comprehensive collection of samples without killing the animals and call into question the justification for killing whales to assess population genetics. Techniques now exist to collect faeces from a whale as it swims, using a net to scoop up the sample near the water surface and to carry out DNA amplification to analyse the species composition within the samples and hence in the diet (Jarman et al 2003). This technique is very valuable as it enables repeated sampling of the same individual and construction of dietary profiles over time. Such techniques bear no welfare cost to the animals being studied. The method of euthanasia is a critical consideration during ethical review. In the case of scientific permit whaling, the killing method is the same as that applied to the commercial slaughter of whales: explosive harpooning on the open seas. A review of current killing efficiencies (see chapter 6) reveals that the scientific permit whaling conducted by Japan is actually less efficient than commercial whaling. Because the method of euthanasia (harpooning) in special permit whaling immediately kills less than half of whales after first being struck (see chapter 6) it is likely that this method would be considered ethically unacceptable by the ethical review process in other areas of animal research. Table 2. Comparison of the 3Rs with current practice of Whaling under Scientific Permit Replacement Killing whales to determine Non-lethal biopsy sampling is widely used to collect tissue stock structure for genetic analysis. Such sampling techniques are more effective than killing the animals. Killing whales to Techniques now exist to sample whale faeces and construct determine diet diet from the DNA profiles provided. Killing whales to determine Pollutants research can be carried out using biopsy sampling, pollutant levels using samples from stranded cetaceans and by analysing incidental catches. Reduction The scientific validity of the number of whales killed has been repeatedly questioned in the Scientific Committee of the IWC. Refinement Current killing methods are deemed to be inadequate by virtue of the time taken for the whales to die (chapter 5.1).

Oceans of noise - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
ICELAND, - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
The Net Effect? - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
Oceans of noise - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
Small Type Whaling - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
dolphin assisted therapy - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
イルカたち - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
The Net Effect? - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
pacific islands report_NU.indd - Whale and Dolphin Conservation ...
TROUBLED WATERS - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
Driven By Demand - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
Shorewatch Overview - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
Dolphins, Whales and Porpoises: 2002-2010 Conservation - IUCN
Dolphins, Whales and Porpoises: 2002-2010 Conservation - IUCN
Sponsorship form - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
Whales and dolphins in Australian waters - Department of the ...
Dolphins, Porpoises, and Whales - IUCN
Troubled Waters summary - WSPA
Whales in Hot Water? - wwf - Australia
wdcs annual review 2009/2010 - Whale and Dolphin Conservation ...
Shrouded by the sea … - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
Small Cetaceans: The Forgotten Whales
Greenland's Expanding Commercial Whaling - Whale and Dolphin ...
Oceans of noise - Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust
Animal Welfare Excellence in Europe - Whale and Dolphin ...
downloaded here - Irish Whale and Dolphin Group
Protecting Whales and Dolphins fact sheet - Department of the ...
Oceans of noise - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society