| Morishita said "our efforts to manage fisheries on a sustainable basis as a contribution to world food security should not be compromised by those who would continue to totally protect abundant and increasing populations of whales for purely political reasons."
so means a distortion of priorities where we would be managing fisheries
to feed whales rather than humans" he added.
that investigations have shown that approximately three to five hundred
million tons of marine food resources are consumed annually by cetaceans,
some 3 to 6 times more than are fished for human consumption. In
the waters around Japan catches in certain fisheries are declining
while at the same time sampling has revealed that whales are eating
at least 10 of the target species of these fisheries including Japanese
anchovy, Pacific saury, and walleye pollock.
Morishita said "The
common perception is that whales just eat plankton or fish of no
commercial value but this is not the case - as has been shown for
the North Atlantic, this is direct competition with fisheries to
The matter of
competition between marine mammals and fisheries is now of serious
concern for nations dependant of fisheries
as well as for international and regional fisheries management organizations
including the FAO.
At its meeting
two years ago, the FAO Committee on Fisheries agreed to conduct studies
on the interaction between
marine mammals and fisheries.
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) has also made the study
of this a matter of priority and the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable
Development held in Johannesburg adopted a Plan that included implementation
of ecosystem approaches to fisheries management.
" The IWC's Scientific Committee has noted that Japan's whale research programs
are providing valuable information for managing whale stocks but the issue is
broader than that.,EMorishita said adding:EWe are providing valuable information
on the feeding habits of whales that will be used as input to ecosystem models
for better managing all of our fisheries resources. This is now a worldwide
ICR Welcomes the Outcome
of FAO COFI
The United Nations
Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) Committee on Fisheries
has made significant progress towards achieving sustainable fisheries
on a world-wide basis, said the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR)
in Tokyo in a recent press statement.
In the statement, Dr. Seiji Ohsumi, its Director-General,was quoted as saying: "We
are particularly pleased that the Committee has followed up its agreement of
two years ago to make the study of ecosystems a priority and that it is working
to meet the goal of the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development
to implement this approach to fisheries management."
Ohsumi further noted that it is now widely accepted that an ecosystem approach
to fisheries management will be a significant improvement over traditional single
(By courtesy: Suisan Keizai
"The ecosystem approach takes a holistic look at the relationship between
fishing and the ecosystem," Ohsumi said, adding: "This means that you
cannot manage fish species individually ·they are all part of the ecosystem
and we need to know the relationship between species - who eats what, where and
Results from Japan's whale
research programs which are designed to determine the role of whales in the ecosystem
were presented to the Committee.
Results to date indicate that whales consume millions of tons of fish (3 to 5
times the amount caught for human consumption) often in direct competition with
"The Committee agreed that further research and data were required to implement
We appreciate the strong statements of support for our whale research programs
and the recognition that this research is a significant contribution to improving
the sustainability of the worlds fisheries made by many member countries of the
Committee, particularly developing countries dependant of fisheries to feed their
people," he said.