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TROUBLED WATERS - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

TROUBLED WATERS - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

29 In Resolution 1999-1,

29 In Resolution 1999-1, the IWC notes “the lack of information regarding time to death on aboriginal subsistence hunts prohibits an assessment of any improvement in these hunts”. 30 According to information submitted to IWC working groups and workshops. 31 Table 1. International Whaling Commission Report 1992-3. 32 Based on information provided by IWC Secretariat, April 2003. 33 http://www.nanoq.gl/nyhed.asp?page=nyhed&objno=53164 34 Data sourced from papers submitted to IWC working group/workshop on Whale Killing Methods and Associated Welfare Issues. 35 Note that for the 2000 Russian hunt, secondary killing methods were used on all 113 gray whales and for the bowhead whale killed. Thus although the instantaneous death rate for this hunt was not reported officially reported, it would have been zero per cent. 36 Information recorded for only 114. Greenland reported 12 out of 114 West Greenland minke whales were killed within two minutes. 37 Information recorded for only seven. COMMERCIAL AND ABORIGINAL SUBSISTENCE WHALING 53

54 A REVIEW OF THE WELFARE IMPLICATIONS OF MODERN WHALING ACTIVITIES 7 The small cetacean dimension Jennifer Lonsdale, Director, Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), 62-63 Upper Street, London, UK. Every year it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of small whales, dolphins and porpoises (small cetaceans) are killed around the globe as a result of human activities, including hunting and incidental capture in fishing nets. Many small communities in developing countries target small cetaceans as a source of food and these hunts often occur outside the regulation of their national governments. Aboriginal communities in the High Arctic for example hunt narwhals, beluga whales and other small cetaceans for subsistence purposes, and their products are sometimes traded, while hunts for commercial purposes are conducted in several developed countries including Japan. Whilst recognising that certain human communities may be nutritionally dependent on hunting, including hunting cetaceans, and that for others there can be economic gains from such activities, this is a complex issue. A full discussion of the pros and cons of such activities is outside the scope of this chapter but it is, nevertheless, important that they are considered within an animal welfare context to prevent unnecessary cruelty or suffering and that is the focus here. This chapter considers the history of small cetacean management by the IWC, taking the hunts in Japan and the Faroe Islands as case studies of killing methods used. It does not consider management or conservation measures for small cetaceans undertaken by other agreements, such as the Bern Convention (for details see chapter 14). The ICRW and small cetaceans Small cetaceans have long been a cause of dispute within the International Whaling Commission (IWC), set up under the auspices of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW). Although different opinions have been expressed, on balance there would appear to be no juridical obstacle to the IWC taking action with respect to both large and small cetacean species. Legal opinions have carefully scrutinised the text of the Convention, and the work of the Commission, and have concluded that the IWC is competent to discuss, recommend action and manage all cetacean species (Cameron 1990, Cameron 1991). A list of species in the form of ‘The Annex of Nomenclature’ was appended to the Final Act of the International Whaling Commission Conference 1946, which concluded the ICRW. It was not intended to form part of the ICRW or to be an exhaustive list of the species to which the ICRW applied. It was merely a list of translations of the common names used for the species regulated because they were the most commercially valuable and, therefore, the most threatened by overexploitation at that time (Cameron 1990). However, those countries opposed to small cetacean regulation by the IWC, have repeatedly argued that the IWC should only address issues related to species on this list.

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