A place to regularly see Dall’s porpoises
Archive for July, 2008
The 60th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) took place in Santiago, Chile in June 2008. Although the focus of this annual meeting is the great whales, we wanted to ensure that member governments were aware that the Dall’s porpoise hunt in Japan is the largest direct hunt in the world of any cetacean species, and that the IWC had a responsibility to address this and other ’small cetacean’ hunts.
This year a group of scientists presented a paper to the Scientific Committee on the Dall’s porpoise which demonstrated that the current quotas were many times higher than would be calculated under other globally accepted management schemes. The Scientific Commitee expressed its extreme concern about the 15,000 Dall’s porpoises being killed every year in Japan’s coastal waters and recommended that the hunt be reduced to sustainable levels. It also noted that catch levels do not include the unknown number of porpoises that are killed in fishing nets or struck by the hunters but lost, most likely dying.
As many as 15 IWC member governments made strong statements of concern during the debate, including UK, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, New Zealand, US, Portugal and Nicaragua. Japan was asked if it would implement the recommendations of the Scientific Committee but declined to reply. The UK said “The information submitted to the Scientific Committee suggests that the current hunt is indeed highly unsustainable and the outlook for these Dall’s porpoises populations is extremely poor. I sincerely hope that in the new spirit of cooperation in the IWC, Japan will indicate its willingness to embrace the majority view in this Commission that the IWC has the mandate to address all small cetaceans, and act accordingly.”
The Japanese delegation has in the past indicated that it will discuss the Dall’s porpoise bilaterally with IWC member governments, so we are now writing to those governments to request that they follow up their statements directly with the Fisheries Agency of Japan.
Welcome to this new website dedicated to a very special species, the Dall’s porpoise. We will update this page with news related to Dall’s porpoise as often as we can. Any questions, comments, posts, please direct them to email@example.com
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