Commentary by Paul Watson
Founder and President of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
The first motion Japan has introduced in 20 years that has been passed by the International Whaling Commission is bizarre and reflects just how out of touch with ecological realities Japan and their puppet sycophantic nations are.
The motion passed by just one vote and that vote was cast by Denmark which now has the distinction of casting the deciding vote that has strengthened the hand of the whalers.
Fortunately the declaration was passed by a simple majority of one vote and did not even get close to the required two-thirds majority needed to overturn the global moratorium.
A look at the wording is revealing.
The declaration states that whaling is necessary for developing nations to diversify their agriculture. In other words whales are being considered as domestic crops to be harvested.
The only nations that are demanding the overturn of the global moratorium are Japan, Norway and Iceland and these three nations can hardly be classified as developing nations and certainly not poor nations.
The declaration then states that whales eat huge quantities of fish and therefore are responsible for the world's dwindling resources of fish. The declaration suggests that the IWC is being irresponsible in allowing these whales to continue to eat all of the fish which Japan believes belongs to the Japanese people.
According to the declaration, humanity having destroyed more than 90% of the fish in the sea, are now blaming the whales for the demise of these same fish and suggesting that the whales must be destroyed in the name of fish conservation. This argument has not a shred of scientific validity and has been constructed to serve the commercial self interests of Japan and Norway.
St. Kitts may have introduced the declaration, but St. Kitts is not an independent nation. It is a country that has been economically invaded and has surrendered its integrity and honour in exchange for paltry Japanese hand-outs.
The declaration then specifically targets anti-whaling groups as "threats" to whaling and suggests that the IWC label these groups as unacceptable and disallow their participation at IWC meetings. The declaration unabashedly states that NGO's that oppose whaling have a self interested agenda that interferes with the agenda of those who wish to profit from the killing of whales and suggests that whaling is not motivated by self-interest. In other words if a profit is to be made from killing whales than that is not a self-interested position, and those who save whales without profit must therefore be acting in self interest.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is not worried about this part of the declaration. We have been banned from the IWC since 1986 because we confess that we are indeed a threat to whaling. The declaration could hoever throw even the moderate conservationists NGO's out of the meeting although pro-killing NGO's like the High North Alliance would be allowed to stay because their condoning of whaling is of course not motivated by self-interest.
The declaration states that the IWC should be "normalized". This is the Newspeak term for the resumption of whale killing. The Japanese argue that since the IWC was set up to manage whaling that it obligated to promote whaling. Yet the objectives of the IWC have been changed over the last three decades by the participating member nations and the IWC has evolved from a whale killing to a whale conservation organization. Japan finds this evolution to be unacceptable and has chosen to negate this majority position by recruiting puppet nations through bribery to force the IWC to turn the calendar back to before 1947 when the IWC was pro-whaling. Japan would like to turn the calendar back on many issues prior to 1946 when it failed to dominate and subjugate Asia through brutality and violence. Today Japan is hoping to achieve through economic power and bribery what it could not achieve through military thuggery.
Japan claims to be killing whales for scientific research yet they have not produced any credible scientific papers to justify this bogus research. After killing 17,000 whales the only research they have to show for it is marketing and product development efforts. Japan also claims that they have not influenced any nations to vote in their favor. Yet Guatemala arrived late at St. Kitts to pay their IWC membership fee in Japanese Yen.
The fact is that the nations voting a straight yes to all of Japan's resolutions have together received over $400 million in Japanese foreign aid packages including tens of thousands of Japanese cars dumped cheaply or for free onto Caribbean and Pacific islands. Thanks to Japan, St. Lucia has traffic jams and every car is a Japanese model.
In short, Japan wants us to believe that whales must be killed before they eat all the fish in the oceans so that poor developing nations can have a way to diversify their "agriculture" by harvesting whales. This is an altruistic approach unlike those selfish self-interested whale defending non-governmental organizations who continue to embarrass Japan by pointing out their reams of lies and their ridiculous cultural pride that motivates their extermination of the world's whales and dolphins because no one is going to tell Japan what to do.
What Japan needs is an economic equivalent of the Hiroshima bomb. Their last insane lust for power and control ended in near suicidal horror as they attempted to loot, plunder, slaughter and rape their way through Asia. Today they are looting, plundering, slaughtering and raping their way through the world's oceans. Instead of victimizing innocent Chinese citizens and raping their mothers, they are massacring the world's innocent whales and dolphins and systematically destroying entire populations of fish and invertebrates in their commercial quest to feed an appetite based on a cultural preference for living beings from the sea, preferably raw, exotic and rare.
The sheer audacity of it is mind-numbing. One hundred million sushi eating Japanese have the gall to accuse the world's whales and dolphins of eating to many fish. The nation that devolved racism into a cultural pillar of their society where non-Japanese are considered inferior now have the effrontery to accuse conservationists defending whales of being racist. This incredibly wealthy nation has the arrogance to state that whales must be killed to appease poverty by shipping the whale meat to the Tokyo fish market to be sold at high prices to affluent Japanese citizens. In return Japan will toss a few used cars onto remote islands and construct a fish plant or two to help locals plunder more fish to send to Japan.
The St. Kitts Declaration is ecological insanity presented by a mindset that is so ruthlessly resource exploitive in its priorities that all means are justified to keep the madness of perpetual oceanic resource extraction continually active.
To say that whales are abundant is ridiculous. To say that whales are eating all the world's fish is delusional. To say that the IWC can only be "normalized" by a return to wholesale whale slaughter is sadistically sociopathic. Empathy for the whales is dismissed as "emotional".
Emotion is a human trait that is rejected only by totalitarian systems. To dismiss emotion is to dismiss humanity's greatest virtue and it's only hope for survival.
It is madness to reject emotion in favor of cold systematic utilitarian exploitation. It is the same madness that sent the Nazi's on the march to horror and self extermination and it is the same madness that screamed Banzai as Japanese lopped off Australian heads and starved American and British soldiers and civilians in Southeast Asia only a generation ago, a madness that was only stopped by the madness of nuclear annihilation.
The St. Kitt's Declaration will go down in history as one of the most bizarre and most incomprehensible attempts at a regulatory document ever devised.
The sad part is that the little Japanese island pawn nation of St. Kitts and Nevis will shoulder the ridicule that future generations will heap upon it because the name will implicate them for a document of ridiculousness authored by the sushi samurai brigade under the leadership of Joji Morishita whose idea of honour is to wallow like a power drunken psychopath in the hot spurting blood of intelligent sentient creatures, as he prattles nonsense from a brain riddled and addled from years of exposure to mercury.
We can only hope that when Morishita is drooling and staring into space from a heavy-metaled assaulted swiss cheesed brain that he will have failed to ignite a pogrom of slaughter upon whalekind.
The St. Kitt's Declaration is good for one thing. It has no effective power and it reveals the utter ecological ignorance and arrogance of Japan and their purchased rinky-dink finger puppet nations.
St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Benin, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Dominica, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Republic of Guinea, Iceland, Japan, Kiribati, Mali, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Nauru, Nicaragua, Norway, Republic of Palau, Russian Federation, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Tog, Tuvalu.
EMPHASIZING that the use of cetaceans in many parts of the world including the Caribbean, contributes to sustainable coastal communities, sustainable livelihoods, food security and poverty reduction and that placing the use of whales outside the context of the globally accepted norm of science-based management and rule-making for emotional reasons would set a bad precedent that risks our use of fisheries and other renewable resources;
FURTHER EMPHASIZING that the use of marine resources as an integral part of evelopment options is critically important at this time for a number of countries experiencing the need to diversify their agriculture;
UNDERSTANDING that the purpose of the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) is to "provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry" (quoted from the Preamble to the Convention) and that the International Whaling Commission (IWC) is therefore about managing whaling to ensure whale stocks are not over-harvested rather than protecting all whales irrespective of their abundance;
NOTING that in 1982 the IWC adopted a moratorium on commercial whaling (paragraph 10e of the Schedule to the ICRW) without advice from the Commission's Scientific Committee that such measure was required for conservation purposes;
FURTHER NOTING that the moratorium which was clearly intended as a temporary measure is no longer necessary, that the Commission adopted a robust and risk-averse procedure (RMP) for calculating quotas for abundant stocks of baleen whales in 1994 and that the IWC's own Scientific Committee has agreed that many species and stocks of whales are abundant and sustainable whaling is possible;
CONCERNED that after 14 years of discussion and negotiation, the IWC has failed to complete and implement a management regime to regulate commercial whaling.
ACCEPTING that scientific research has shown that whales consume huge quantities of fish making the issue a matter of food security for coastal nations and requiring that the issue of management of whale stocks must be considered in a broader context of ecosystem management since eco-system management has now become an international standard.
REJECTING as unacceptable that a number of international NGOs with self-interest campaigns should use threats in an attempt to direct government policy on matters of sovereign rights related to the use of resources for food security and national development;
NOTING that the position of some members that are opposed to the resumption of commercial whaling on a sustainable basis irrespective of the status of whale stocks is contrary to the object and purpose of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling;
UNDERSTANDING that the IWC can be saved from collapse only by implementing conservation and management measures which will allow controlled and sustainable whaling which would not mean a return to historic over-harvesting and that continuing failure to do so serves neither the interests of whale conservation nor management;
COMMISSIONERS express their concern that the IWC has failed to meet its obligations under the terms of the ICRW and, DECLARE our commitment to normalizing the functions of the IWC based on the terms of the ICRW and other relevant international law, respect for cultural diversity and traditions of coastal peoples and the fundamental principles of sustainable use of resources, and the need for science-based policy and rulemaking that are accepted as the world standard for the management of marine resources.