South Korea Does U-Turn On ‘Scientific’ Whale Hunt
July 16, 2012
South Korea announced last week that it may abruptly scrap plans to hunt whales for ‘scientific’ purposes.
AsianScientist (Jul. 16, 2012) – South Korea announced last week that it may abruptly scrap plans to hunt whales for ‘scientific’ purposes.
The whale hunt was originally announced by Korean officials at the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) that took place from July 2-6, 2012.
In its opening statement to the annual meeting of the commission, Korea said its fishermen are pressuring the government to allow whaling.
“They are experiencing disturbances in their fishing activities due to frequent occurrences of cetaceans in their fishing grounds and an increasing number of minke whales are eating away large amount of fish stocks,” said the statement.
Korea conducted a similar scientific hunt of minke whales in 1986 which was found by the IWC to yield no relevant scientific data.
According to newer reports, Fisheries official Kang Joon-suk said on Wednesday that Seoul may find ways to study the cetaceans without the need for lethal killing.
In the same week, Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr met with Korean counterpart Kim Sung-hwan at the East Asia Summit in Cambodia where the topic of the whale hunt was discussed.
“I was very heartened that he indicated to me that plans for scientific whaling, as it’s called, would not proceed,” said Senator Carr, as reported by ABC News.
Carr praised Korea for its commitment to “green growth,” and said that “its green credentials would not be compromised, as they would be if whaling had been pursued.”
The news that South Korea had backed down on the whale hunt was reported by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), which congratulated the Republic of Korea and all governments that came out against the whale hunt.
Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: Martin Cathrae/Flickr.
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