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IWC & whaling


Senator SIEWERT-I have got two more questions. It is extremely complicated reading the various reports out of the IWC meetings. One would think they are written to confuse. As I understand it, one of the three things agreed was to request the scientific committee to provide a draft of a work plan to assess Japan's coastal whaling. Is that correct?

Ms Petrachenko-Almost. I just want to be really clear on this point. Because Japan has talked about a proposal for small-type coastal whaling, a number of countries have said, ‘We're not even talking about that until there is some scientific analysis of it. We haven't seen a proposal in any detail.' The scientific committee has a huge workload, as I indicated. It meets for three to four weeks, depending. We are worried about any additional work that may in the future be requested. They have been asked that when they meet in Madeira, in the hypothetical situation that there was a proposal or would be a proposal for small-type coastal whaling, to look at how much work it would be to assess such a proposal.

Senator SIEWERT-Did Australia agree to that, in the working group?

Ms Petrachenko-We agreed that they should identify the impact of the work on their workload, yes.

Senator SIEWERT-What about the North Pacific common minke whale?

Ms Petrachenko-Sorry?

Senator SIEWERT-Has the scientific committee been asked to look at an assessment of the North Pacific common minke whales as well?

Ms Petrachenko-Not through the small working group process, no.

Mr McNee-If you are talking about what is called the J stock of minke whales, that is a stock that is considered to have an adverse conservation status and about which there has been a lot of focus in the scientific committee. In fact, this has been one of the concerns that we have consistently put back to Japan as it has talked about its idea of bringing forward a proposal. We have a number of concerns, and impact on J stock is one of them. Where a policy decision is taken within the IWC whether or not to proceed with further assessment, that would certainly be something we would like to see a comprehensive assessment on, because it is critical.

Senator SIEWERT-Thank you.

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