[MARMAM] New paper on the whaling issue

Phillip Clapham Phillip.Clapham at noaa.gov
Wed Dec 6 17:03:23 PST 2006

The following paper was just published online and will be available in
print at a later date:

Clapham, P., Childerhouse, S., Gales, N., Rojas, L., Tillman, M. &
Brownell, B.  2006.  The whaling issue: Conservation, confusion and
casuistry.  Marine Policy doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2006.09.004


Morishita’s “multiple analysis” of the whaling issue [1] is essentially
a restatement of the Government of Japan’s whaling policy which confuses
the issue through selective use of data, unsubstantiated facts and the
vilification of opposing perspectives.  Here, we deconstruct the major
problems with Morishita’s article and provide an alternative view of the
whaling dispute.  For many people in this debate, the issue is not that
some whales are not abundant, but that the whaling industry cannot be
trusted to regulate itself or to honestly assess the status of
potentially exploitable populations.  This suspicion has its origin in
Japan’s poor use of science, its often implausible stock assessments,
its insistence that culling is an appropriate way to manage marine
mammal populations, and its relatively recent falsification of whaling
and fisheries catch data combined with a refusal to accept true
transparency in catch and market monitoring.  Japanese policy on whaling
cannot be viewed in isolation, but is part of a larger framework
involving a perceived right to secure unlimited access to global marine
resources.  Whaling is inextricably tied to the international fisheries
agreements on which Japan is strongly dependent; thus, concessions made
at the IWC would have potentially serious ramifications in other fora.

Reprints are available; please email me at phillip.clapham at noaa.gov

Phil Clapham

Phillip J. Clapham, Ph.D.
Alaska Fisheries Science Center
National Marine Mammal Laboratory
7600 Sand Point Way NE, Building 4
Seattle, WA 98115

tel (206) 526-4037
fax (206) 526-6615
email: phillip.clapham at noaa.gov

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