Annual Catch-Quotas for Cetaceans (2013-2014)

Posted: 20 Aug. 2013

pdf_icon Annual Catch-Quotas for Cetaceans (2013-2014)

The Fisheries Agency decided the annual catch-quotas for this season (2013-2014). It is the first decision after the reexamination/revision in 2012.

This season’s catch-quotas were decided according to the revision in 2012. As it was planned last year, the number of the catch-quotas for striped dolphins and spotted dolphins in Wakayama prefecture is the same as the previous season.(It will be left unchanged until 2017.) The quotas for the striped dolphins in Chiba and Shizuoka prefectures are reduced to 75% of the previous quotas, which will be gradually reduced to reach zero in 2017. Catch-quotas for Dall’s porpoise dalli-type alloted to Aomori prefecture and those for striped dolphins allotted to Chiba prefecture are also reduced to 75% of the previous quotas, which will be gradually reduced to reach zero in 2017. Catch-quotas for false killer whales and Pacific white-sided dolphins are unchanged. (They will be left as they are until 2017.) The total number of catch-quotas this season is 16,497, which is 719 (about 4%) less than the previous season.

Problems still remain

The problems which were not solved in 2012 still remain. For example, Chiba and Shizuoka prefectures, where striped dolphins have not been hunted for more than 10 years, are still allotted the catch-quotas for this species. There is a high possibility that this allotment will be used as a cover for overhunting/violation in other hunting places, for the transfer of the catch-quotas is allowed by the government. (See “The first Revision of the Annual Catch-Quotas”) Futo, Shizuoka prefecture, is allotted quotas of 250 dolphins, though the drive hunt has not been carried out for nine years since the hunt in 2004. To allot the catch-quotas to Shizuoka prefecture is not appropriate.

Dolphin meat is contaminated by mercury, methyl mercury and PCBs, and capturing wild dolphins to sell them to aquariums is strictly criticized abroad as well as at home. It’s high time that the Fisheries Agency considered and proposed a drastic reform, not only gradually reducing the number of the catch-quotas.

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