Resolution 1997-5

Decisions Document Number
Long Title
Resolution on Special Permit Catches in the Southern Ocean by Japan

WHEREAS Article VIII of the Convention provides for the issuing by Contracting Governments of a special permit for scientific research;
WHEREAS paragraph 7(b) of the Schedule establishes a sanctuary in the Southern Ocean;
WHEREAS the Commission requested Contracting Parties to refrain from issuing special permits for research involving the killing of whales within the Southern Ocean Sanctuary, and expressed deep concern at Japan's continuing lethal research within the Southern Ocean Sanctuary; and recommended that scientific research involving the killing of cetaceans should only be permitted where critically important research needs are addressed which cannot be answered by analysing existing data and/or use of non-lethal techniques; furthermore requested the Government of Japan to reconsider and restructure its research programmes so that the research objectives are achieved by non-lethal means (IWC Resolutions 1995-8, 1995-9 and 1996-7);
WHEREAS the Government of Japan nevertheless continues to issue special permits involving the killing of cetaceans and the number of whales killed each year under special permit in the Southern Ocean, after a substantial increase in 1995/96, has remained at that increased level of 440 minke whales;
WHEREAS the Scientific Committee this year undertook a comprehensive review of the Japanese research programme (JARPA) in the Southern Ocean, which is reported in SC/49/Rep1;
WHEREAS the Scientific Committee notes (IWC/49/4) that the results of the JARPA programme are not required for management;
WHEREAS the Scientific Committee also notes that these results have the potential to improve management in some ways; and that the results of analyses of JARPA data could thus be used to increase catch limits of minke whales in the Southern Hemisphere without increasing the depletion risk indicated by the RMP-trials for these minke whales;
AFFIRMS that the JARPA programme does not address critically important research needs for the management of whaling in the Southern Ocean;
REAFFIRMS that Contracting Governments should refrain from issuing special permits for research involving the killing of cetaceans in sanctuaries;
REITERATES ITS DEEP CONCERN at Japan's continuing scientific programme involving the taking of whales in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary;
STRONGLY URGES that the Government of Japan, in the exercise of its sovereign rights, refrain from issuing any further special permit for the take of any whales, particularly in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary;
INSTRUCTS the Scientific Committee not to consider Southern Hemisphere minke whales in the context of implementation of the RMP unless advised to do so by the Commission.