<div dir="ltr">The following was just published in <i>Nature</i>:<div><br></div><div><a href="http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v529/n7586/full/529283a.html">http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v529/n7586/full/529283a.html</a></div><div><br></div><div>The text is given below for those who don't have subscription access to the journal.</div><div><br></div><div><p class="" style="text-align:justify"><span lang="EN-GB"><b>Japan’s whaling is unscientific</b></span></p>

<p class="" style="text-align:justify"><span lang="EN-GB">Japanese whalers are back in the Southern Ocean, aiming to kill 333
minke whales — ostensibly for the purposes of scientific research — under
special permits issued by their government. In our view, the science behind
Japan’s whaling activity has not passed a reasonable standard of peer review.</span></p>

<p class="" style="text-align:justify"><span lang="EN-GB" style="letter-spacing:-0.15pt">We are members of the International
Whaling Commission’s Scientific Committee (IWC-SC), plus one independent expert
witness (M. Mangel) whose evidence contributed to the March 2014 negative
ruling on Japan’s JARPA II whaling permit by the International Court of
Justice (ICJ; see A.</span><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family:'Times New Roman',serif;letter-spacing:-0.15pt"> </span><span lang="EN-GB" style="letter-spacing:-0.15pt">S. Brierley
</span><i><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family:MinionPro-It;letter-spacing:-0.15pt">Nature</span></i><span lang="EN-GB" style="letter-spacing:-0.15pt"> </span><b><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family:MinionPro-Bold;letter-spacing:-0.15pt">520,</span></b><span lang="EN-GB" style="letter-spacing:-0.15pt"> 157; 2015). In 2015, Japan submitted
a new whaling proposal (NEWREP-A). The IWC-SC coordinated two rounds of review,
including one by an independent expert panel that concluded that lethal
sampling had not been justified. Numerous IWC-SC members recommended
exploration of widely used non-lethal alternatives (see, for example, A.</span><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family:'Times New Roman',serif;letter-spacing:-0.15pt"> </span><span lang="EN-GB" style="letter-spacing:-0.15pt">M. Polanowski </span><i><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family:MinionPro-It;letter-spacing:-0.15pt">et al. Mol. Ecol. Resour.</span></i><span lang="EN-GB" style="letter-spacing:-0.15pt"> </span><b><span lang="EN-GB" style="font-family:MinionPro-Bold;letter-spacing:-0.15pt">14,</span></b><span lang="EN-GB" style="letter-spacing:-0.15pt"> 976–987; 2014) before killing is resumed.</span></p>

<p class="" style="text-align:justify"><span lang="EN-GB">Japan claims to have “sincerely taken into account” the IWC-SC’s
opinion, but, as on previous occasions, has failed to alter its plans in any
meaningful way and is proceeding to kill whales under a self-determined quota.
In October 2015, Japan also rejected the jurisdiction of the ICJ on this issue.
</span></p>

<p class="" style="text-align:justify"><span lang="EN-GB">We believe that further discussion of special-permit whaling at
IWC-SC under the present procedure — in which the opinion of proposers is
afforded equal weight to that of referees — is a waste of time. The IWC
urgently needs to develop a process of scientific review that results in clear
decisions that can be respected by all.</span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Andrew S. Brierley* </span></span><span lang="EN-GB">University
of St Andrews, UK.</span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Phillip J. Clapham*</span></span><span lang="EN-GB">
Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Seattle, USA.</span></p>

<p class=""><span lang="EN-GB"><a href="mailto:asb4@st-andrews.ac.uk">asb4@st-andrews.ac.uk</a></span></p>

<p class=""><span lang="EN-GB">*On behalf of 31 other
signatories (listed below). </span></p>

<p class="">The opinions expressed herein are
those of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions
of the governmental, academic or private institutions with which the authors
are affiliated.</p>

<p class=""><span lang="EN-GB">A</span><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">ndrew S. Brierley </span></span><span lang="EN-GB">University
of St Andrews, UK.</span></p>

<p class=""><span lang="EN-GB"><a href="mailto:asb4@st-andrews.ac.uk">asb4@st-andrews.ac.uk</a></span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Phillip J. Clapham</span></span><span lang="EN-GB">
Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Seattle, USA.</span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">C. Scott Baker</span></span><span lang="EN-GB"> Oregon
State University, Newport, USA.</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><span class=""><span style="font-size:9.5pt">Sarah Baulch </span></span><span class=""><i><span style="font-size:9.5pt">EIA
International, London, UK.</span></i></span><i><span style="font-size:9.5pt;font-family:MinionPro-Bold"></span></i></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Maria Begoña Santos</span></span><span lang="EN-GB">
Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Centro Oceanográfico de Vigo, Vigo, Spain.<span class=""><span style="font-family:MinionPro-It"></span></span></span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Per Berggren</span></span><span lang="EN-GB"> Newcastle
University, UK.</span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Robert L. Brownell Jr</span></span><span lang="EN-GB">
NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, Granite Canyon, California, USA.</span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Cristina Castro A. </span></span><span lang="EN-GB">Pacific
Whale Foundation, Puerto López, Manabí, Ecuador.<span class=""><span style="font-family:MinionPro-It"></span></span></span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Jean-Benoit Charrassin</span></span><span lang="EN-GB">
Sorbonne Universités (UPMC, Univ. Paris 06)-CNRS-IRD-MNHN, LOCEAN-IPSL, Paris,
France.</span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Luis Chasqui Velasco</span></span><span lang="EN-GB">
Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras INVEMAR, Santa Marta, Colombia.<span class=""><span style="font-family:MinionPro-It"></span></span></span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Justin Cooke</span></span><span lang="EN-GB"> Centre
for Ecosystem Management Studies, Emmendingen, Germany.<span class=""><span style="font-family:MinionPro-It"></span></span></span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Rohan Currey</span></span><span lang="EN-GB"> Ministry
for Primary Industries, Wellington, New Zealand.<span class=""><span style="font-family:MinionPro-It"></span></span></span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Pierre Gallego</span></span><span lang="EN-GB"> Esch
sur Alzette, Luxembourg.</span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Bárbara Galletti Vernazzani </span></span><span lang="EN-GB">Centro de Conservación Cetacea,Vitacura, Santiago, Chile.</span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Helena Herr</span></span><span lang="EN-GB"> Institute
for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research, University of Veterinary
Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Buesum, Germany.<span class=""><span style="font-family:MinionPro-It"></span></span></span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Yulia V. Ivashchenko</span></span><span lang="EN-GB">
Alaska Fisheries Science Center, Seattle, Washington, USA.<span class=""><span style="font-family:MinionPro-It"></span></span></span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Giancarlo Lauriano</span></span><span lang="EN-GB">
ISPRA — Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale, Rome,
Italy.<span class=""><span style="font-family:MinionPro-It"></span></span></span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Russell Leaper</span></span><span lang="EN-GB">
University of Aberdeen, UK.<span class=""><span style="font-family:MinionPro-It"></span></span></span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Marc Mangel</span></span><span lang="EN-GB"> (ICJ
Independent Expert Witness) University of California, Santa Cruz, California,
USA.</span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Milton Cesar C. Marcondes</span></span><span lang="EN-GB"> Humpback Whale Institute, Caravelas, Bahia, Brazil.<span class=""><span style="font-family:MinionPro-It"></span></span></span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Fabia de Oliveira Luna</span></span><span lang="EN-GB">
National Aquatic Mammal Center/ICMBio, Itamaracá, Pernambuco, Brazil.<span class=""><span style="font-family:MinionPro-It"></span></span></span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Simone Panigada</span></span><span lang="EN-GB"> Tethys
Research Institute, Milan, Italy.</span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Stuart A. Reeves</span></span><span lang="EN-GB">
Cefas, Lowestoft, UK.<span class=""><span style="font-family:MinionPro-It"></span></span></span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Vincent Ridoux</span></span><span lang="EN-GB">
Observatoire PELAGIS, UMS 3462 CNRS-Université de la Rochelle, La Rochelle,
France.</span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Fabian Ritter </span></span><span lang="EN-GB">M.E.E.R.
e.V., Berlin, Germany.  </span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Javier Rodríguez-Fonseca</span></span><span lang="EN-GB"> Fundación Promar, San José, Costa Rica.<span class=""><span style="font-family:MinionPro-It"></span></span></span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Beatriz A. Roel </span></span><span lang="EN-GB">Halesworth,
UK.</span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Howard Rosenbaum</span></span><span lang="EN-GB">
Wildlife Conservation Society-Global Conservation, Bronx, New York, USA.</span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Meike Scheidat </span></span><span lang="EN-GB">IMARES Wageningen
UR, Ijmuiden, the Netherlands.</span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Mark Simmonds</span></span><span lang="EN-GB">
University of Bristol, UK.<span class=""><span style="font-family:MinionPro-It"></span></span></span></p>

<p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Michael Stachowitsch</span></span><span lang="EN-GB">
University of Vienna, Austria.</span></p><p class=""><span class=""><span lang="EN-GB">Paul Wade</span></span><span lang="EN-GB"> Alaska
Fisheries Science Center, Seattle, Washington, USA.</span></p>

<p class="MsoNormal"><b><span lang="EN-GB"> </span></b></p></div><div><div><div class="gmail_signature"><div dir="ltr"><div><div dir="ltr"><div><div dir="ltr"><div>--<br>Phillip J. Clapham, Ph.D.</div><div>Leader, Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program</div><div>National Marine Mammal Laboratory</div><div>Alaska Fisheries Science Center</div><div>7600 Sand Point Way NE</div><div>Seattle, WA 98115, USA</div><div><br></div><div>Associate Editor, <i>Royal Society Open Science</i></div><div><a href="http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/" target="_blank">http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/</a></div><div><span><span dir="ltr"><span dir="ltr"><span><span><span><span dir="ltr"><span dir="ltr"><span><span></span></span></span></span></span><span dir="ltr"><span dir="ltr"><span><span><span dir="ltr"><span dir="ltr"><span><span><br></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></div><div><span><span dir="ltr"><span dir="ltr"><span><span><span dir="ltr"><span dir="ltr"><span><span><span dir="ltr"><span dir="ltr"><span><span>tel 206 526 4037<br></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></div><div><span><span dir="ltr"><span dir="ltr"><span><span><span dir="ltr"><span dir="ltr"><span><span><span dir="ltr"><span dir="ltr"><span><span></span></span></span></span></span><span></span></span></span></span></span><span></span></span></span></span></span><span dir="ltr"><span dir="ltr"><span><span></span><span></span></span></span></span></div><div>fax 206 526 6615</div><div>email <a href="mailto:phillip.clapham@noaa.gov" target="_blank">phillip.clapham@noaa.gov</a><br><br></div><br><br></div></div></div></div></div></div></div>
</div></div>