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TROUBLED WATERS - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

TROUBLED WATERS - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

Table 3 Aboriginal

Table 3 Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling 2000 to 2002 34 Contracting Season Species Number IDR Average Max Number government killed (%) TTD TTD struck & (minutes) (minutes) lost Russian Federation (Chukotka hunt) United States (Alaskan Inuit hunt) Greenland St Vincent & the Grenadines 2000 Gray35 113 57 130 2 Bowhead 1 0 2001 Gray35 112 43 87 0 Bowhead 1 0 2002 Gray35 131 32 56 Bowhead 2 41 53 1 2000 Bowhead 35 12 2001 Bowhead 49 26 2002 Bowhead 39 11 Minke W 36 142 10.5 12 60 3 2000 Minke E 37 10 0 40 120 Fin 6 17 28 60 1 Minke W 137 10 13.2 sec 120 2 2001 Minke E 14 0 19.1 sec 50 3 Fin 7 0 19.9 sec 45 1 Minke W 131 5.3 16 300 5 2002 Minke E 10 0 21 90 0 Fin 13 7.7 9 25 0 2000 2001 2002 Key: Shaded Area – No data supplied Minke W – minke whales killed in West Greenland Minke E – minke whales killed in East Greenland ASW strike limits The IWC sets a ‘strike limit’ (i.e. the quota sets a maximum number of whales that may be struck with a harpoon or shot) for the Alaskan bowhead and the West Greenland minke whale hunts. For all the other ASW hunts, however, it sets a limit on the number of whales that may be landed. There appears to be no rationale for the difference, but it has significant implications for the Russian and Greenland hunts, which have high struck and lost rates: it means that ASW hunters can land the maximum number of gray, fin and East Greenland minke whales permitted in the IWC quota, but strike and lose an unlimited number in addition. This has important welfare, as well as conservation, implications for Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling. COMMERCIAL AND ABORIGINAL SUBSISTENCE WHALING 49

50 A REVIEW OF THE WELFARE IMPLICATIONS OF MODERN WHALING ACTIVITIES Conclusion A wide range of technology is used during both commercial and Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling operations, with varying degrees of efficiency being apparent. However, scientific evaluation of the data collected is hindered by a lack of consistency in reporting and the inadequacy of the current IWC criteria for judging the onset of death. Factors relating to the species killed, such as its size, may greatly influence both the efficiency of any killing method and the struck and lost rate. The prevalent use of secondary killing methods illustrates the inadequacies of primary killing methods used and there are concerns that, in some hunts, the use of underpowered cartridges may be resulting in prolonged times to death. Furthermore, the instantaneous death rate in all hunts falls well below the expectations for other animals killed for food. During ASW hunts the lack of data, including on hunting conditions (such as weather) from these hunts makes it very difficult for the IWC to assess the relative efficiency of each method, and to suggest improvements. Furthermore, the failure by Japan to submit adequate data on its JARPN hunt in the Eastern North Pacific, particularly in relation to the killing of sperm whales, prevents any independent evaluation from other member of the Commission. References Anon 1980. Report of the Workshop on Humane Killing Techniques for Whales. International Whaling Commission Report. IWC/33/15. Anon 1999. Report of the Workshop on Whale Killing Methods. Grenada, 17-19 May 1999. IWC/51/12. Anon 2003a. Evaluation of current methods used to kill whales in relation to species taken. Submitted by the UK to the IWC Workshop on Whale Killing Methods and Associated Welfare Issues. Berlin, Germany. June 7- 9, 2003. IWC/55/WK20. Anon 2003b. Welfare implications for ‘struck and lost’ cetaceans. Submitted by the UK to the IWC Workshop on Whale Killing Methods and Associated Welfare Issues. Berlin, Germany. June 7-9, 2003. IWC/55/WK21. Anon 2003c. Report of the Workshop on Whale Killing Methods and Associated Welfare Issues. 7-9 June, 2003. Berlin, Germany. IWC/55/Rep5. Anon 2003d. Times to death in Greenlandic minke and fin whale hunt in 2002. Submitted by Greenland Home Rule Government to the 2003 IWC Workshop on Whale Killing Methods and Associated Welfare Issues. IWC/55/WK12Rev. Butterworth, A., Sadler, L., Knowles, T.G. and Kestin S.C. 2003. Evaluating possible indicators of insensibility and death in cetacea. Submitted to the 2003 IWC Workshop on Whale Killing Methods and Associated Welfare Issues. Berlin, Germany. IWC/55/WK4. Castellini, M. 2000. History of polar whaling: insights into the physiology of the great whales. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A 126: 153-159. Gregory, N.G. and Lowe, T.E. 1999. Expectations and legal requirements for stunning and slaughter in slaughterhouses. Submitted by the governments of Australia, New Zealand and the UK to the 1999 Workshop on Whale Killing Methods. IWC/51/WK1. HSUS 1997. Chukchi Whaling: An HSUS/HSI Investigation into Russia’s Aboriginal Whale Hunt.

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