Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Environmentalists campaigning to protect the great cetaceans from whaling have been busy for little more than a week, trying to interpret the announcement by Japan's Kyodo Senpaku Kaisa Ltd (the company that operates Japan's increasing "scientific" whaling programme in Antarctic waters) that its present shareholders -- fishing firms with commercial interests in many countries including the US, New Zealand and other places -- were going to get rid of their shares in the scientific whaling business (these will be transfer -- no-one seems to know exactly when -- to a public company).
There is no doubt that the campaign mounted by several NGOs against one of these firms, Nippon Suisan Kisha ("Nissui") has prompted this share-swap. It is good to see that Japanese whaling is vulnerable to consumer pressure. But is it, or was it?
In other words, will those behind the resurgence of Antarctic whaling under the guise of scientific research become invisible again with the new set up which looks like the equivalent of the nationalisation of whaling (Japanese whaling has been fully subsidised for many years anyway)? Or will Taxpayers start to question so much money being wasted to support an industry that is clearly uneconomic, unnecessary and unsustainable?
There was a story about this on the BBC yesterday. I am linking it here because (besides the story itself) the right-hand column contains a lot of interesting and useful links for anyone intrigued by the whaling issue.