HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 584: 05 October 2011

Time to make a stand against Japanese whaling
When in Tokyo once, Nan Hauser asked a Japanese woman why Japan killed whales. The woman replied, “Life is about suffering so why should we worry about the whales suffering when we suffer all the time.”

Whale researcher Nan Hauser is disappointed that the Cook Islands government has not spoken out against the resumption of whaling by Japan.
This year is the 10th anniversary of the Cook Islands establishing a whale sanctuary within its EEZ. This week is also the last week of the whale season and the whales now head south to Antarctica, precisely where the Japanese whalers will be resuming their whale haul for supposedly research purposes.
Interestingly, the restart of whaling by the Japanese comes right after the Japanese government has presented our government with a generous grant of $1 million for the Rakahanga solar energy project. For years Japan refused to establish full diplomatic relations with the Cook Islands as they considered us to be part of New Zealand. In recent years, growing Japanese concern at the advances made by China in the Pacific has forced it to review this stance. This was a matter admitted by the Japanese Ambassador during a visit to the Cook Islands.
The Cook Islands has now established full diplomatic relations with Japan, therefore our government can and should take the Japanese government to task over its dogged continuance of whaling.
Speaking to the Herald on Wednesday morning, Hauser is firmly of the view that our government should make it known to the Japanese that the Cook Islands opposes whaling and demands that Japan stop this practice.
Hauser says Japanese claims that whaling is necessary for research to re-examine if whales should be hunted or not is ludicrous and without justification. She says the research conducted to date has been of poor quality with poor and incomplete data.
Last year said Hauser, in the southern ocean, the Japanese killed 171 Minke whales and 2 Fin whales. In the northern Pacific, they killed 119 Minke whales, 100 Sei whales, 50 Brydes whales and 3 Sperm whales.
Hauser told the Herald a team from Auckland University which she is a part of, travels to Japan to buy whale meat which they then sequence the DNA of to see what species is being killed. The sequencing shows the Japanese are killing other species like Humpback whales and Rare Beaked whales.
Historically, Japan started whaling after World War II for food. They do not need to eat whale meat says Hauser.
She recalled that when in Tokyo once she asked a Japanese woman why Japan killed whales. The woman replied, “Life is about suffering so why should we worry about the whales suffering when we suffer all the time.”
Whales are intelligent, social, loving mammals said Hauser. They scream in pain and agony when being killed.
Despite all the politics said Hauser, she’s doing what she’s doing because of “hard core” science. She’s getting data to fight the whalers and that’s got to be good.
Hauser said she has no idea whether the politicians dealing with the Japanese Ambassador made it clear to him that the Cook Islands was celebrating the 10th anniversary of establishing the whale sanctuary and that the Cook Islands was proud to be a world leader in whale conservation around the world.
It’s all about raising awareness said Hauser. “We need to teach people.”

-Charles Pitt

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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