Whales and Marines Mammals

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“On the Trail” n°2

6 Nov 2013

“On the Trail” n°2

Take a trip of beauty and cruelty in the following 80 pages (pdf. 4Mo), swing through the trees with the supreme pleated gibbon, still at liberty in the wild despite being endangered, get to the bottom of cyanide and of poisoned pineapples, survive the etorphine laced arrows, scheme with furniture dealers looking for ivory, discover the cunning tiger trappers, hunt down blackbucks with Bollywood stars, cruise towards China with 2,000 saiga antelope horns worth 22 million dollars, look into the eyes of a baby chimpanzee in a pathetic plastic bag at a Cameroon market, entrench yourselves in the fate of thousands of birds and animals unwilling migrants forcefully removed from their habitats, float down a river with a mutilated elephant carcass and find out about France’s stance on the future of illegal ivory stockpiles, eat Ganges river dolphin meat, pay homage to rangers and forest guards murdered in the wild by poachers …
Whales and marine mammals, pages 5 and 6

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Robin des Bois will Pursue them via “On the Trail”

17 Jul 2013

Today, Robin des Bois, the Paris based NGO, released the 1st edition of “On the Trail”, a quarterly information and analysis bulletin on poaching and smuggling of endangered animals.

206 events of poaching, seizures, arrests and convictions which occurred in Africa, Australia, America, Europe and Asia are listed. This panoramic vision of cruelty and criminal acts on wildlife, between April 1 and June 30, 2013 makes one shiver and deliberate.

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Not on the Same Whale Wave

16 Jul 2013

Information note n°8
Whales at the International Court of Justice

The Hague, The Netherlands, 2nd hearing of Japan, July 15th – 16th

Over the last 3 weeks, at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands), the past and the future of whaling has been explored in all its scope. In their closing remarks on July 16th, Japan implied that if the Court declared a decision in favour of Australia’s case, it would be the equivalent of forcing a State to abide to a decision that they did not agree to. On this note they reemphasized that when they agreed to the 1982 moratorium, which came into force for Japan in 1986, it was uniquely in light of this provision being reviewed. If Japan was to wake up one morning and find that the Convention that they agreed on had changed over night then the only way out would be to leave.

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Australia: Fights Back

12 Jul 2013

Information note n°7
Whales at the International Court of Justice
The Hague, The Netherlands, 2nd hearing of Australia, July 9th – 10th

The second round of hearings for Australia was presented from July 9th to July 10th and announced a call to order in the Court by the Attorney-General of Australia, Marc Dreyfus. Australia’s return to the stand signalled the return, in force, of clear legal arguments. Australia restated that their case was “about the failure of one country to comply with its international legal obligations not to conduct commercial whaling, an obligation which that country accepted voluntarily but then immediately began to subvert.” Australia also hammered down the unfounded arguments that Japan had unjustly presented against them in their first round of hearings.

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New Zealand: A Collective Vision for Whales

9 Jul 2013

Information note n°6
Whales at the International Court of Justice

The Hague, The Netherlands, New Zealand Intervening, July 8

During a short intervention on Monday July 8th New Zealand reflected on the historical context of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW). They emphasised the fact that the Convention had developed from a body regulating unilateral whaling interests to a collective body for the conservation and the protection of whales. New Zealand, a founding member, noted that as early as the 1930s the need for conservation as a common objective was called upon due to ongoing “rampant whaling”. Unfortunately, even though the International Whaling Commission (IWC) was formally established in 1937, it was not until after WWII that efforts towards conservation were taken which, according to Ms Ridings speaking on behalf of New Zealand, was “too little too late”.

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Poincaré v. Montaigne

9 Jul 2013

Information note n° 5
Whales at the International Court of Justice
The Hague, The Netherlands, 1st hearing of Japan July 2nd – July 4th

From June 26-28, Australia’s first round of hearings, issues on the purpose of scientific research and on the rationale of hypothesising were raised by the Court. The “positive” contribution to science of JARPA II was put into question. The objectives of the JARPA II program are considered by Australia to be the equivalent of “examining only the European red squirrel to understand what is happening to the European ecosystem” and science which is not built on solid ground. For memory, one of the objectives of JARPA II is to better understand biological parameters in the Antarctic ecosystem (see Information note N°1 for information on Japan’s JARPA objectives). Australia quoted Henri Poincaré, the French Professor, who wrote in 1905 that “science is built up of facts, as a house is built of stones; but an accumulation of facts is no more science than a heap of stones a house”. According to Australia, Japan’s collection of dead whales is not contributing to the stepping stones of scientific progress but a simple proliferation of useless stones.

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Japan Strikes Back

5 Jul 2013

Information note n°4
Whales at the International Court of Justice
The Hague, The Netherlands, 1st hearing of Japan, July 2nd – July 3rd

Japan, a country surrounded by sea, states that they “would be the last to misuse whales as resources because [they] know [they] benefit from the fruits of the sea”. Japan goes back in time explaining that they joined the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in 1951 “at a time when, amidst the devastation of war, whale meat helped prevent starvation” for a country with scarce land resources. They go even further back in time and point at the irony of history as it was whaling that forced them to interact with the international community after three hundred years of isolation. Japan stated that in the 19th century, “major maritime powers engaged in massive scale whaling demanded that Japan open up its ports to supply their whalers”. And it is this very subject, whaling, which today puts in question Japan’s compliance with the international community and international law and has brought them, for the first time, before the International Court of Justice.

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Japanese “Scientific Whaling” by its Right Name is “Commercial Whaling”

2 Jul 2013

Japanese “Scientific Whaling” by its Right Name is “Commercial Whaling”

Information note n°3
Whales at the International Court of Justice
The Hague, The Netherlands, 1st hearing of Australia, June 26th – June 28th

In his opening statement for Australia, Mr Campbell projected an image of a Japanese vessel with “Legal Research under the ICRW”* painted on the side and yet another whale lying dead on the slipway. For Australia, this is the image and language of a country trying to convince itself that they are contributing to science and thereby respecting the law. The international community and more specifically the international scientific community is not convinced.

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The End of the Japanese Fairy Tale

28 Jun 2013

Information note n°2
Whales at the International Court of Justice
The Hague, The Netherlands, 1st hearing of Australia, June 26th – June 28th

Impressions on the Australian point of view during the hearings from June 26th 27th and 28th 2013

During the first three days of the Australia v. Japan court case at the International Court of Justice, Australia has been presenting arguments stating them loud and clear to wake Japan up from over twenty years’ of sleep. Japan, indeed, had fallen into a deep legal sleep like a “Sleeping Beauty”, and the international community should not wait until a “beautiful white whale” comes along to wake them up. Such was the metaphor used by Mme Boisson De Chazournes when she presented the court with Japan’s interpretation on the wording of the text of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). She stated that contrary to Japan’s reading of the 1946 IWC, the Convention enforces whale conservation and does not provide for the reinforcement of commercial whaling. As to the breaching of international law, and the continuation of whaling by Japan, Australia’s arguments are threefold. Firstly, the use of whale catchers and factory ships, secondly, a clear breaching of the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling and thirdly, a violation of the Southern Ocean Sanctuary specifically with regard to fin whale catches.

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Australia v. Japan

26 Jun 2013

Information note n°1
Whales at the International Court of Justice

Today, Australia is voicing out the cry of the whales by defending them against so-called Japanese scientific whaling. Over the next 3 weeks, public hearings in the case concerning ‘Whaling in the Antarctic’ (Australia v. Japan: New Zealand intervening) will be heard in The Hague at the International Court of Justice. The judgment is expected to be delivered within 4 to 8 months. Australia is hoping that a decision be taken within the next four months, before the next whaling season in the Southern Ocean.

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