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TROUBLED WATERS - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

TROUBLED WATERS - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

hunt indicate that the

hunt indicate that the whales are secured with the harpoon and left to bleed to death if the harpoon impact does not kill them immediately (EIA 2003). Female and male whales are targeted regardless of whether the females may be pregnant or accompanied by a calf. Evaluation of the killing methods for Dall’s porpoises and Baird’s beaked whales Several factors contribute to the high potential for cruelty in these two unregulated Japanese hunts as well as extended killing times from the first wounding of the animals to final loss of sensibility and death. The implements and their use in the hunts are not regulated by the Japanese government and no official training is given to hunters. Research is needed to establish the most effective way of killing cetaceans in Japan’s coastal waters, so as to prevent unnecessary suffering Harpoons hit the whales and porpoises in almost random locations on the body because the animals, the boat and, therefore, the hunter, are usually moving in the swell (see chapter 8). At the same time the efficacy of the harpoons used has never been evaluated and animals frequently take a long time to die. The use of electricity in the Dall’s porpoise hunt is haphazard and unregulated. Some porpoises can therefore be ‘burnt’ by the electrical charge and not stunned, due to the weakness of the charge or the ineffective placement of the electrode (EIA 1999). The effectiveness of the methods used to slaughter the whales and porpoises if they are not killed by the impact of the harpoon has never been evaluated to ensure the animals lose sensibility and die as quickly as possible. Conclusion Small cetacean hunts carried out worldwide present a number of significant welfare and conservation concerns. It has been difficult for the global community, through the IWC, to examine these hunts due to failure of many countries to recognise the authority of the IWC in the area of small cetaceans. Nonetheless, available information strongly suggests that the capture and slaughter techniques used are not acceptable to most observers, and to the international community, on welfare grounds. In addition, small cetacean hunting provides an alternative source of cetacean meat and blubber for the consumer, and this helps to maintain the market in whale products despite the commercial whaling moratorium. References Amos, B., Bloch, D., Desportes, G., Majerus, T.O.M., Bancroft, D.R., Barrett, J.A. and Dover, G.A. 1993. Biology of Northern Hemisphere Pilot Whales. International Whaling Commission Special Issue. Anon 1998. Diet recommendation concerning pilot whale meat and blubber. Faroe Island, Dep. Occupational and Public Health, Chief Medial Officer, Advisory Note Health Warning Doc. Associated Press, 25 March 2003. Norway Resumes Exporting Whale Meat To Faroe Islands. Braund, R., Freeman, M.M.R. and Iwasaki, M. 1989. Contemporary Sociocultural Characteristics of Japanese Small-Type Coastal Whaling. IWC 41/TC/41/STW1. Cameron, J. 1990. International Whaling Commission Competence Over Small Cetaceans. The Global War Against Small Cetaceans. A Report by the Environmental Investigation Agency. THE SMALL CETACEAN DIMENSION 61

62 A REVIEW OF THE WELFARE IMPLICATIONS OF MODERN WHALING ACTIVITIES Cameron, J. 1991 Analysis of IWC Competence to Conserve Small Cetaceans in EEZ’s and Territorial Seas. The Global War Against Small Cetaceans. A Second Report by the Environmental Investigation Agency. Department of Fisheries, Faroe Islands 1991. Whales and Whaling in the Faroe Islands, Department of Fisheries, Torshavn, Faroe Islands. Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) 1987. Pilot Whaling in the Faroe Islands. Report by the Environmental Investigation Agency. Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) 1999. Japan’s Senseless Slaughter: An Investigation into the Dall’s Porpoise Hunt – the Largest Cetacean Kill in the World. Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) 2002. The Facts Behind Japan’s Whale, Dolphin and Porpoise Hunting. Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) 2003a. Mercury Rising – The sale of polluted whale, dolphin and porpoise meat in Japan. Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) 2003b. The Forgotten Whales – Hunting Baird’s Beaked Whales in Japan’s Coastal Waters. Foreign Department, Faroe Islands 2003. The Faroe Islands & International Cooperation on Whale Killing Methods. Foroya Landsstyri. Foreign Department, June 2003. For Information document provided to IWC55 Workshop on Whale Killing Methods and Associated Welfare Issues. Gibson-Lonsdale, J 1990. Pilot Whaling in the Faroe Islands – its history and present significance. Mammal Rev. 20(1): 44-52. Government of Japan 1997. Papers on Japanese Small-type Coastal Whaling. Submitted by the Government of Japan to the International Whaling Commission. Grindabod 1993. The Newsletter of Whales and Whaling in the Faroe Islands. No.1. January 1993. ICES 1996. ICES CM1996/A6. Report of the Study Group on Long-Finned Pilot Whales. ICRW Schedule. Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (1946). IWC 1988. Response from the Danish Government on the Methods Used in the Faroese Pilot Whale Hunt. TC/40/HK5. IWC 1989. Annual Report of the International Whaling Commission. IWC 41. IWC 1990. Annual Report of the International Whaling Commission. Resolution on Directed Take of Dall’s Porpoises. IWC42. IWC 1999. Report of Workshop on Whale Killing Methods. IWC51/12. IWC 2000. Report of the Working Group on Whale Killing Methods and Associated Welfare Issues. IWC/52/12. Olsen, J. 1999. Killing methods and Equipment in the Faroese Pilot Whale Hunt. NAMMCO/99/WS/2. Perry, C. 1999. Status of the Dall’s Porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli) in Japan. IWC51/SC51/SM46. Zoological Department, Museum of Natural History, Faroe Islands 2000. Whales Caught off the Faroe Islands 1584-2000. Footnote 1 ‘Bow riding’ is when cetaceans using the pressure wave at the bow to help them move along.

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