07 July 2012


Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Activists in front of the Panama City hotel where the 64th International Whaling Commission meeting is taking place. South Korean officials on Wednesday declared an intention to resume whaling.
South Korea’s plan to resume whaling despite a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling set by the International Whaling Commission triggered fierce reactions from anti-whaling countries and environmental activists.
“I’m very disappointed by this announcement by South Korea,” Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said. “We are completely opposed to whaling, there’s no excuse for scientific whaling.”
During the 64th annual meeting of the IWC in Panama City on Wednesday, the South Korean government cited the country’s long-standing culinary culture of eating whale meat and a need to conduct more in-depth scientific research on whales.
“In order to meet Korean fishermen’s request and make up for the weak point in a non-lethal sighting survey, the Korean government is currently considering conducting whaling for scientific research in accordance with Article VIII of the Convention,” said Kang Jong-suk, South Korea’s delegate to the international commission. The government will soon submit its research plan to the scientific committee of the IWC, he added.
Critics argue that whales don’t have to be killed to be studied and the real motive behind the “whale research” is to provide meat.
The South Korean government follows the controversial steps of its neighbor Japan, which allows whale hunt for “research,” a crack in the IWC ban that permits whale hunting for research purposes. Japan’s active whale expeditions has long drawn international criticism.
The South Korean government has banned commercial whale hunting since 1986 but allows the sale of meat from whales accidentally caught in a fishing net.
Since the ban, South Korea’s whale meat industry has dwindled. The southeast coastal city of Ulsan, considered the center of the nation’s trade in whale meat, has kept a connection with the past with an annual whale festival and a whale museum.
In April, 680,000 people visited the city’s 18th whale festival to enjoy whale-watching cruises, art and culinary activities and whale-themed entertainment parks.
Corrections & Amplifications:
The Korean government is  considering whaling research in accordance with Article VIII of the whaling convention. An earlier version of this article said it was Article VII.

To all my readers.  I think we need to form an International Korean

Harpooning Association. We will go to Seoule and harpoon people on

the street.  There are too many of them there already. If we get

enough, there will be fewer to eat whale meat.

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