(from "Chair's Report of the 54th Annual Meeting")

10.1 Reviews of sanctuaries
10.1.1 Improvements to the review process
Last year, the Commission provided the Committee with 'Instructions from the Commission to the Scientific Committee to Review Sanctuaries and Sanctuary Proposals'18. The Committee used these as the basis to develop a framework to review the Indian Ocean Sanctuary (see Item 10.2.1 below).

Based on this experience, and as requested by the Commission, the Scientific Committee provided some comments on the Instructions. The Committee recognised that the review process could be further developed and established a intersessional group to try to develop suggestions for evaluation criteria to make them more precise and operational. A proposal for a more precise set of reviewing criteria will be presented to the Commission next year. That group will also try to develop a proposal for a mechanism through which the Commission can assist member countries in developing sanctuary proposals (including identification of the objectives of a sanctuary and the establishment of a scientific monitoring programme that allows evaluation of these objectives).

It also agreed that the review process for the Southern Ocean Sanctuary (due in 2004) will benefit if the review is initiated next year by collating the information required to follow the Commission's Instructions.

Japan reflected that sanctuaries are another area on which two strongly held views divide the Commission but believed that if the need for sanctuaries is examined on a scientific basis as required by the Convention, there would be only one view. It noted that is clear from the Schedule language (e.g. paragraph 7.(b) concerning the Southern Ocean Sanctuary where it states 'This prohibition applies irrespective of the conservation status of baleen and toothed whale stocks in this Sanctuary...') that there is no scientific basis for the existing sanctuaries. Japan considered that for sanctuaries or Marine Protected Areas to serve a useful conservation purpose they should be defined according to ecologically appropriate boundaries, apply to species subject to utilisation and management and that their duration should reflect conservation needs. It further considered that conservation measures totally prohibiting the use of abundant resources over large areas is against the principles of sustainable utilisation and in the case of IWC whale sanctuaries, an unnecessary duplication of the current commercial whaling moratorium. Japan noted that once the moratorium is lifted, whaling would be managed under the RMS with catch limits being set only for abundant stocks. In Japan's view, this would provide adequate safety measures.

Norway supported the Scientific Committee's proposal to develop more precise criteria for reviewing sanctuaries and agreed that the review of the Southern Ocean Sanctuary would benefit if the Committee initiated its work next year. Denmark also welcomed the work and proposals from the Scientific Committee.

Referring to the Commission's Instructions agreed last year, Mexico noted that the Committee had been unable to reach consensus on advice on whether the Indian Ocean Sanctuary is consistent with the precautionary approach. For this reason, Mexico along with Australia, Austria, Ireland, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, South Africa, Sweden, Brazil and Portugal, believed that the Commission should make a decision and give further guidance on the sanctuary review process. They had therefore submitted a draft Resolution to this effect. In introducing this, Mexico explained that a series of criteria should be taken into account when reviewing a sanctuary. These should include not only scientific data from the sanctuary under review (which may be limited), but other issues consistent with the establishment of the sanctuaries themselves. Mexico noted that as sanctuaries are established as part of an overall management scheme, a temporary overlap of management measures should not automatically invalidate the longer term scientific and conservation value given to a sanctuary. It also considered that if consensus is not possible within the Scientific Committee on a sanctuary review, then the Commission should decide that the precautionary approach should prevail. Brazil, the USA, India, Monaco and Oman spoke in support of the draft Resolution.

Switzerland found it disturbing that Scientific Committee had found it almost impossible to reach consensus even though it had been given clear instructions by the Commission. Monaco made a similar remark. The Committee Chair explained that the difficulties were not due to lack of clarity in the Commission's instructions, but due to valid scientific disagreements as to whether this particular sanctuary did or did not do particular things.

Denmark and Antigua & Barbuda thought the draft Resolution was premature. Antigua & Barbuda also considered that some of the text circumvented previous Commission decisions whereby sanctuaries should be science-based. Norway considered that the draft Resolution contained valuable comments on the precautionary principle, but felt that rather than being adopted by the Commission, the text should be submitted to the appropriate Scientific Committee working group who could consider it and report back next year. The Scientific Committee Chair also made a request to this effect. She noted that the draft Resolution included both scientific and non-scientific issues and considered that the Scientific Committee could help sort these out and bring back its recommendations to the Commission next year. She believed that this would help to clarify whether the Commission does or does not want the Committee to consider issues on which it cannot reach consensus (in which case it would probably stop the consideration of sanctuaries) or whether it wants the Committee to give the best advice it can, which will sometimes not be by consensus. However, the sponsors of the draft Resolution did not agree to simply submit it to the Scientific Committee, and after some revision to clarify the text and with the addition of France and Argentina as further co-sponsors, the draft Resolution was put to a vote and adopted (Resolution 2002-1, see Annex F). There were 24 votes in favour, 19 against and one abstention.

A number of countries commented after the vote. Japan requested that only responsible Resolutions be passed and indicated that its scientists might not take part in further work on this issue. Norway indicated that it voted against the Resolution not because it disagreed with the operative paragraphs, but because it considered the Resolution to be an expression of no confidence in the Scientific Committee and particularly the Committee Chair who had expressly requested that the draft Resolution be submitted to the Scientific Committee for further consideration. Morocco, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Dominica and Antigua & Barbuda made similar remarks. St. Vincent and The Grenadines called on the Scientific Committee and its Chair to resign in protest at the apparent lack of respect shown by the proposers of the Resolution, a comment echoed by Antigua & Barbuda. Denmark re-iterated its earlier comment that the Resolution was premature. Mexico did not agree that the Resolution was a vote of no confidence in the Chair. Clarifying the precautionary principle (Principle 15 of the 1992 Rio Declaration), Australia noted that it is a matter of policy not of science and felt it appropriate that the Commission provide guidance to the Scientific Committee on the accepted international policy on precaution.

In responding to St. Vincent and The Grenadines and Antigua & Barbuda, the Scientific Committee Chair admitted that she was tempted to resign. While having no problem with the first operative paragraph of the Resolution, in her view she felt that the second operative paragraph read as though it was telling the Scientific Committee that it could not consider certain things. She considered this a dangerous precedent.

10.1.2 Review of the Indian Ocean Sanctuary
An intersessional working group had developed a proposed framework to carry out the review in the light of the instructions developed by the Commission last year. The Committee's discussions of sanctuaries in the past have been somewhat inconclusive, with attention being drawn to a number of general arguments both in favour of and against sanctuary proposals. The discussion of the Indian Ocean Sanctuary followed a similar pattern. On most issues, there were three groups of views and this is reflected in the report. The Committee noted that lack of consensus in evaluating the scientific aspects of this Sanctuary was not surprising considering that the sanctuary's original proposal did not clearly state its scientific objectives. Given this, it is extremely difficult to evaluate whether the sanctuary had achieved its objectives. It stressed that the review process would benefit from explicitly stated objectives in Sanctuary proposals. However, while there was little consensus in the overall evaluation of the Sanctuary, a considerable amount of substantive advice and information was provided on a number of sanctuary-related scientific issues.

At the end of her report, the Scientific Committee Chair responded to comments made earlier that the Committee should have reached consensus. She noted that it is not unusual for a Committee of over 150 scientists to not reach consensus over a contentious issue; if the Commission does not wish to receive different views, then it should not ask the Scientific Committee to comment.

Commenting on the way in which the Scientific Committee performed the review of the Indian Ocean Sanctuary, Monaco considered that it was strange to split into sub-groups and not the best way to air scientific views. It urged the Commission to engage in a review of the mode of functioning of the Scientific Committee, suggesting that this could be done by the Advisory Committee who could report to the Commission at next year's meeting. Sweden supported these views. New Zealand however commended the efforts of the Scientific Committee to deal with the sanctuary review using a novel approach.

Japan introduced its document IWC/54/8 - a 'Review of the Scientific Aspects of the Indian Ocean Sanctuary'. The document gave some background to the establishment of the Indian Ocean Sanctuary and then reviewed the sanctuary following the instructions agreed by the Commission last year. From its review, Japan concluded that the sanctuary is made redundant by the moratorium on commercial whaling and unnecessary by the RMP, both of which were adopted after the sanctuary. It further considered that the sanctuary:

is an inappropriate management strategy that does not provide additional or necessary protection to whales;
does not improve protection of the whale habitat;
does not address other anthropogenic or environmental factors;
impedes the conduct of scientific research;
is inconsistent with the precautionary approach; and
does not meet the requirement of the Convention that regulations be based on scientific findings.

For these reasons, Japan proposed that Schedule paragraph 7(a) be deleted, thus abolishing the Indian Ocean Sanctuary.

Dominica and Antigua & Barbuda considered that the Indian Ocean Sanctuary had outlived its usefulness.

Brazil, Mexico, Kenya, Monaco and New Zealand viewed IWC/54/8 as more of a political position paper than a scientific review and called for the sanctuary to be retained. Oman considered that there was insufficient basis to remove the sanctuary given the lack of consensus within the Scientific Committee. Ireland also advocated retention of the sanctuary in the absence of scientific advice to the contrary.

Kenya noted that although it had been unable to attend IWC meetings for some time, it had nevertheless followed keenly the work of the Commission. Referring to its government's strong commitment to the conservation of whales, Kenya also stressed the importance of tourism and therefore its ecosystem to its economy. It noted that it was the first country in Africa to establish a marine sanctuary and that its policy has been for the non-consumptive use of wildlife - a policy that had served it well in both its cultural and economic development. For this reason, Kenya strongly supported the Indian Ocean and other sanctuaries. Kenya provided information on the degree of support for the sanctuary from other range states not members of IWC. It reported that in December 2001, the Nairobi UNEP Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment in the East African Region reaffirmed the need to retain the sanctuary. Signatories to this Convention are France (Réunion), Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania as well as Kenya. It also reported that the Indian Ocean Commission, that includes many of the same members as the Nairobi Convention, declared its support as indicated by a letter from that Commission to the IWC Chair (Document IWC/54/18). Kenya further noted that:

the sanctuary had already been looked at twice by IWC and on each occasion there was no consensus;
no country filed an objection to Schedule paragraph 7.(a); and
no whaling has taken place in the sanctuary since it was declared.

It was therefore Kenya's sincere hope that the IWC would respect the views of the range states and reaffirm the status of the Indian Ocean Sanctuary.

A number of countries including Monaco, Australia, India, Germany, France, UK, New Zealand, Ireland and Finland noted the importance of taking the views of range states into consideration and supported continuation of the Indian Ocean Sanctuary. The USA reported that the formation of the sanctuary had prompted two significant cetacean surveys by its scientists, one in the western tropical Indian Ocean in 1990, and another at a later date in the EEZ of the Republic of the Maldives. It continued to support the sanctuary. The UK commented that the precautionary principle has become well established in fisheries management, and that some of the problems that exist in the world's fisheries exist because it was not applied much earlier.

Denmark proposed the strengthening of research in the Indian Ocean Sanctuary and suggested that the Scientific Committee be invited to assess impacts in the sanctuary from other human activities such as fishing, seismic surveys, oil and gas exploitation and whalewatching. Denmark considered it important that sanctuaries address the relationship of a sanctuary with other existing measures to protect whales and their habitat from all anthropogenic factors.

Noting the different views expressed and that there was no consensus to abolish the Indian Ocean Sanctuary, Japan withdrew its proposed Schedule amendment. However, Japan drew attention to the declining condition of the bigeye tuna stock in the Indian Ocean that is now at 40% of its sustainable level and causing concern within the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC). It further reported that 30% of the tuna hooked by fisheries in this area is estimated to be consumed by cetaceans, a problem recognised at the IOTC by countries including Oman and Kenya, i.e. countries that at this IWC meeting had promoted retention of the sanctuary. Japan believed that better internal communication is necessary.

10.2 South Pacific Sanctuary
10.2.1 Proposal to amend the Schedule to establish a sanctuary
For the third year19, Australia and New Zealand proposed to establish a South Pacific Sanctuary as follows:

'In accordance with Article V (1)(c) of the Convention, commercial whaling, whether by pelagic operations or from land stations, is prohibited in a region designated as the South Pacific Sanctuary.

This Sanctuary comprises the waters of the Southern Hemisphere enclosed within the following line: starting from the southern coast of Australia at 130°E; thence due south to 40°S; thence due east to 120°W; thence due north to the equator; thence due west to 141°E; thence generally south along the Papua New Guinea - Indonesian maritime boundary to the northern coast of Papua New Guinea at 141°E; thence generally east, south thence west along the coast of Papua New Guinea to the southern coast of Papua New Guinea at 141°E; thence due south to the northern coast of Australia at 141°E; thence generally east, south thence west along the coast of Australia to the starting point.

This prohibition applies irrespective of the conservation status of baleen or toothed whale stocks in this Sanctuary as may from time to time be determined by the Commission. However, this prohibition shall be reviewed ten years after its initial adoption, and at succeeding ten year intervals and could be revised at such times by the Commission.'

In its introduction, Australia referred briefly to arguments made on previous occasions concerning the scientific justification for the sanctuary and the need to establish the sanctuary to complement that in the Southern Ocean so that the relevant species of great whales would be protected in the entirety of their range. It then focused on informing the Commission of the strong regional momentum to protect whales and to establish the sanctuary. It did this in response to those IWC members who, questioning the level of support in the South Pacific region, had been reluctant to give full support to the sanctuary proposal in the past. Australia reported that extensive consultations with their South Pacific neighbours had shown that these countries had reinforced their regional consensus in favour of the proposed sanctuary. In late 2001, the Pacific Island Leaders Forum, comprising the Heads of Government of all the independent states of the region, again supported the proposed sanctuary and called for the increased protection of whales through an inter-connected mesh of national, regional and international actions. At the national level, Australia reported that there is a growing network of domestic whale sanctuaries being established by some countries (e.g. Tonga, Australia, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Papua New Guinea and Niue) while others have comprehensive legislation protecting great whales in their EEZs. Australia reported that once all South Pacific countries have declared sanctuaries in their national waters or otherwise protected the great whales, around 50% of the area of the proposed sanctuary would be subject to an inter-connected network of domestic whale protection regimes. To complement its efforts to establish the sanctuary, Australia reported that it had nominated six species of great whales for inclusion on Appendix II of the Bonn Convention for the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals that would be considered at the Conference of the Parties later this year. Finally, Australia noted that national and regional efforts could only go so far, and called on IWC to recognise the wishes of the peoples of the South Pacific by creating a whale sanctuary in this region.

New Zealand echoed Australia's comments. While recognising that the people of the South Pacific rely heavily on the sustainable harvesting of tuna and other fish species, New Zealand considered that blaming whales for the decline in fish stocks is a surreal argument, the real culprits being human activities such as over fishing, pollution and the general degradation of the marine environment. It thanked those nations that had supported the sanctuary proposal in the past, and urged others to lend their support on this occasion, particularly those small island states of the Caribbean whose voting had played a critical role in the lack of success in the past. New Zealand stressed that the aim for the South Pacific Whale Sanctuary is not based on a moral judgement of other nation's cultures or history (indeed it recognised its own role in contributing to the decline of whale populations in the past), but saw it as a progressive step forward in the protection of marine mammals.

10.2.2 Commission discussions and action arising
Brazil, the USA, the UK, Monaco, Peru, Italy, Kenya, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain Argentina, Austria and a representative from the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) all spoke in support of the proposed sanctuary. Norway, the Republic of Palau, Antigua & Barbuda, Japan, the Republic of Korea and China spoke against it. Norway recognised the support for the sanctuary from the countries of the South Pacific, but noted that this is not a requirement for amendment of the Schedule, which should be based on scientific findings. The Republic of Palau indicated that as a member of the Pacific Island Forum, it is on record as opposing the sanctuary proposal. Japan questioned whether all countries of the region did support the sanctuary. The Republic of Korea indicated that it could not support the sanctuary until the Scientific Committee supported the proposal on scientific grounds. Denmark, who indicated that it is not against sanctuaries in principle, saw no urgent need for the sanctuary in view of the moratorium and the fact that no aboriginal subsistence whaling is taking place in the region. A representative from OLDEPESCA (Latin American Organisation for Fisheries Development) indicated that when making their decision on this issue, countries should be aware that there might be possible conflicts with the UN Convention on Law of the Sea.

In response to OLDEPESCA, Australia referred to Article V.1 of UNCLOS that specifically provides for the designation of sanctuary areas. It did not agree with claims that sanctuaries undermine the economic capacity of peoples to care for themselves and improve their standards of living, mentioning that whalewatching generates some 1 billion dollars of income, with range states seeing this activity as a positive economic development. Australia was surprised that the commitment of the island states of the area was questioned since it was not aware of any island state within the South Pacific area that opposes the sanctuary. It noted that the Republic of Palau is not a range state. Finally, Australia commented that the Scientific Committee is not obligated to reach consensus on aspects of its work and that in these cases it is necessary for the Commission to make a decision.

On being put to a vote, the proposed Schedule amendment failed to achieve the necessary three-quarters majority and so was not adopted. There were 24 votes in favour of the proposal, 16 against and 5 abstentions. Ireland and Oman explained why they had abstained. While supportive in principle of sanctuaries, Ireland indicated that it is desirable to develop such proposals via further consultation to achieve a degree of consensus. It considered that without consensus and in particular, the agreement of whaling nations, the proposal would not achieve its potential. It also noted that a vote in support of the sanctuary would have been inconsistent with its own 1997 proposal for a holistic response to the whaling issue (the 'Irish proposal') - a proposal that remains on the table. Oman abstained believing that a new sanctuary is not necessary in view of the existence of the commercial whaling moratorium. It further clarified that it would not support abolishing existing sanctuaries without conclusive scientific evidence supporting such a move.

10.3 South Atlantic Sanctuary
10.3.1 Proposal to amend the Schedule to establish a sanctuary
Brazil introduced its proposal, co-sponsored by Argentina, to create a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary. The idea for creating such a sanctuary had been introduced a few years ago, but was first submitted formally last year20. The amendment proposed was the same as last year, i.e., the inclusion of a new sub-paragraph in Chapter III of the Schedule as follows:

'In accordance with Article V(1)(c) of the Convention, commercial whaling, whether by pelagic operations or from land stations, is prohibited in a region designated as the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary. This Sanctuary comprises the waters of the South Atlantic Ocean enclosed by the following line: starting from the Equator, then generally south following the eastern coastline of South America to the coast of Tierra del Fuego and, starting from a point situated at Lat 55°07,3'S Long 66°25,0'W; thence to the point Lat 55°11,0'S Long 66°04,7'W; thence to the point Lat 55°22,9'S Long 65°43,6'W; thence due South to Parallel 56°22,8'S; thence to the point Lat 56°22,8'S Long 67°16,0'W; thence due South, along the Cape Horn Meridian, to 60°S, where it reaches the boundary of the Southern Ocean Sanctuary; thence due east following the boundaries of this Sanctuary to the point where it reaches the boundary of the Indian Ocean Sanctuary at 40°S; thence due north following the boundary of this Sanctuary until it reaches the coast of South Africa; thence it follows the coastline of Africa to the west and north until it reaches the Equator; thence due west to the coast of Brazil, closing the perimeter at the starting point. This prohibition shall be reviewed twenty years after its initial adoption and at succeeding ten-year intervals, and could be revised at such times by the Commission. Nothing in this sub-paragraph shall prejudice the sovereign rights of coastal states according to, inter alia, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.'

As last year, Brazil acknowledged its past involvement in whaling but that it had banned the activity in 1997. It re-iterated the following three-fold primary objectives of the sanctuary:

to stimulate research in the region, particularly by developing countries aimed at inter alia monitoring the recovery of species, analysing environmental threats (e.g. contamination from coastal activities) and improving understanding of migratory routes and movements;
to promote the conservation of large whales in breeding, calving, and for some species, feeding areas;
to develop the sustainable and non-lethal economic use of whales for the benefit of coastal communities in the region through ecotourism, particularly whale-watching.

It noted that such a sanctuary would complement those already established. Brazil reported that since last year's Annual Meeting it had undertaken diplomatic consultations with all range states of the South Atlantic, with generally positive results. Recognising the support its proposal had received last year, Brazil urged governments to support it again.

10.3.2 Commission discussions and action arising
In view of the extensive discussions on this proposal last year and the thorough presentation made by Brazil at this meeting, the Chair asked that interventions be limited to two speakers in favour of the proposal and two against.

Argentina was pleased to again co-sponsor the proposed South Atlantic whale sanctuary, noting that it reflects the comprehensive and broad-based marine mammal protection measures in place in Argentina and that it is part of Argentina's general policy that includes support for the South Pacific sanctuary proposal and retention of the Southern Ocean sanctuary. It considered that the South Atlantic sanctuary would:

assist the recovery of whale populations and protect biodiversity by protecting whales in their natural breeding grounds as well as in their migratory routes;
promote research on depleted whale stocks and their habitats; and
promote modern educational activities and the development of environmentally-friendly tourism activities in the region.

Argentina reported that the development of whalewatching has contributed to: (1) improvements in local communities by creating new types of livelihood; and (2) an increased interest in the protection of marine mammals by the general public. Finally, noting that not too many years ago, many of the species of large whales native to the waters of the South Atlantic had been exploited to the very limits of their existence, Argentina indicated its wish that its renewed sponsorship of the proposed sanctuary would be interpreted by the Commission as a sign of its deep commitment to the protection of these mammals.

Spain recalled that last year it had specifically noted that the proposal did not report on the outcome of consultations with other range states and therefore appreciated the consultations undertaken by Brazil since then. It was therefore pleased to support establishment of the sanctuary.

Norway noted that in addition to its arguments against the proposed South Pacific sanctuary that it believed were also relevant to the proposed South Atlantic sanctuary, a further argument against this proposal was that it had never been reviewed seriously in the Scientific Committee. Norway's view was that all sanctuary proposals submitted or re-submitted should go through this review process prior to decision-making by the Commission. Japan considered that: (1) no scientific justification for establishing the sanctuary had been made by its proponents, contradicting the provisions of the Convention, and (2) the proposal goes against the principle of sustainable use established at the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development.

In response to Norway, Brazil recalled that the sanctuary proposal was presented to the Scientific Committee at its meeting in 2001 where it had been discussed in depth. The Scientific Committee Chair confirmed that the proposal had been reviewed but that the Committee had been unable to reach a single consensus view. She noted that the Committee had agreed that the major points made during its meeting in 2000 regarding the general arguments in favour and against sanctuary proposals were applicable.

Switzerland requested clarification on which countries on the West African coast had been consulted and what had been their responses.

In response, Brazil reported that it had consulted with Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Togo, Angola, Uruguay, São Tomé and Príncipe, Namibia, South Africa and Argentina. It noted that the last two countries had confirmed their continued support for the sanctuary, but that the other countries (with the exception of Togo and Angola who did not respond) made general remarks, neither indicating support nor opposition.

The proposed Schedule amendment did not receive a three-quarter majority when put to a vote and was therefore not adopted. There were 23 in favour, 18 against and 4 abstentions.

10.4 Southern Ocean Sanctuary
10.4.1 Proposal to amend paragraph 7.(b) of the Schedule
As last year21, Japan introduced its proposed amendment to paragraph 7 of the Schedule that would involve deleting the 3rd sentence of Paragraph 7.(b) and adding a new sub-paragraph (c) as follows:

'7. (c) The prohibition described in sub-paragraph (b) above shall be applied only on the advice of the Scientific Committee in accordance with Article V(2) of the Convention.'

Japan considered that the Southern Ocean Sanctuary was adopted in contravention of Article V.2 of the Convention requiring that Schedule amendments be based on science. While it believed that the sanctuary is not necessary, it thought it important that the Schedule be consistent with Article V - the objective of the proposed Schedule amendment. Japan urged that its proposal be adopted by consensus.

10.4.2 Commission discussions and action arising
New Zealand indicated its continued support for the sanctuary and considered Japan's proposal to be: (1) an attempt to subvert a Schedule amendment that had been properly and legally agreed by the Commission in 1994; and (2) part of a long-term strategy to discredit the sanctuary decision with claims that it had been established illegally and with no scientific basis. Against these claims, New Zealand referred to other legal opinions rebutting those submitted by Japan and stressed that scientific issues (e.g. the need to protect the feeding grounds of several severely depleted stocks of baleen whale species) had been at the forefront of discussions on the Southern Ocean Sanctuary at the Norfolk Island meeting in February 1994. It noted that the sanctuary provides the opportunity to study whale species undisturbed by hunting and that it would provide a valuable check against the RMP if commercial whaling did resume in the future. It also considered that new scientific justifications have emerged since 1994, particularly the major regime shift that may be occurring in the Southern Ocean at least with respect to Antarctic minke whales, and in view of this believed that a precautionary approach is necessary now more than ever. New Zealand pointed out that Japan was the only country to vote against the Southern Ocean Sanctuary and that when subsequently lodging its objection to the Schedule amendment, had objected only with respect to minke whales and on no other aspect. New Zealand therefore considered that Japan is legally deemed to have accepted the Schedule amendment with that one exception.

Agreeing with New Zealand, the USA believed that Japan's proposal undermined the integrity and primary purpose of the sanctuary, i.e. to be a safe haven for whales. It further believed that it put the Scientific Committee in the unenviable and improper role of making a policy decision on behalf of the Commission. The USA therefore opposed the proposal. The UK associated itself with the remarks of New Zealand and the USA and was surprised that Japan tabled its proposal in view of the Commission's discussions on the status of Antarctic minke whales during which the Scientific Committee Chair had agreed that Japan's estimates for this stock of 750,000 are no longer appropriate. In response, Japan did not believe that its proposed wording contradicted the discussions within the Scientific Committee.

Norway disagreed with New Zealand and the USA and supported Japan's proposed Schedule amendment. Antigua & Barbuda also supported the proposal and considered that the amendment would ensure that the sanctuary be used for the management and conservation of whales with a view to the resumption of commercial whaling whenever that is possible.

On being put to a vote, there were 17 votes in support, 25 against and 2 abstentions. The proposed Schedule amendment was therefore not adopted.

17 For details of the Scientific Committee's deliberation on this Item see J. Cetacean Res. Manage. 5 (Suppl.).
18 Ann. Rep. Int. Whaling. Comm. 2001: 65.
19 See Ann. Rep. Whaling. Comm. 1999: 10-11; Ibid. 2000: 15-17; Ibid 2001: 17-18.
20 See Ann. Rep. Whaling Comm 2001: 18-19.
21 See Ann. Rep. Whaling Comm 2001: 17.