5th July 2012
Korea’s statement to the International Whaling Commission meeting in Panama
overnight was today criticized by Humane Society International (HSI).
In its Opening Statement to the Commission meeting, the Republic of
Korea announced their plans to consider a scientific whaling program
involving the killing of an endangered stock of whales. Minke whales
are classified as part of the ‘J’ stock which is acknowledged by the
Scientific Committee as an endangered species. Korea cites the fact
that whales are disturbing the fishing of their commercial fishers and taking
fish from humans as one of the main reasons for resuming this whaling.
‘The resumption of whaling by the Republic of Korea is
said Michael Kennedy, Director of HSI. “The reasons provided
by Korea to the International Whaling Commission are simply convenient
excuses to justify the whaling that never properly ceased under the
fishermen have ‘whaled’ using the ‘inadvertent by-catch’ rule for many
years. Korea reported a catch of 458 minke whales during the five years
encompassing 1999 to 2003, but genetic testing of whale meat in Korean
markets suggests that as many as 827 individual animals were taken through
this loophole. In addition, over the past year an additional 21 minke whales
have been harpooned, for which they have been fined under Korean law.
Mr Kennedy continued, “HSI calls on the Republic
of Korean Government to reconsider this plan, and to take up the Australian
Government’s offer to provide them with further assistance and guidance on