Australia: Japan whale research 'bizarre'

Mar 08, 2008

Australian scientists say that Japanese research on whales, the justification for its whaling program, has produced few results and is often "strange."

At this weekend's International Whaling Commission in London, the Australian delegation plans to argue for the end of a loophole that allows taking whales for scientific research, the Sydney Daily Telegraph reported.

Nick Gales, the head of the Australian scientific delegation, said that a review of Japanese research found that scientists have published only 43 papers in 18 years, which he called "an incredibly low publication rate." Papers on whale mortality contained such wide margins of error that they were useless, he added.

Japanese scientists have also performed what Gales called "really bizarre" experiments like injecting Minke whale sperm into cow eggs.

"It's totally esoteric and very strange research," he said.

Environment Minister Peter Garrett said the review shows Japan's real motive for its whaling is commercial.

"I challenge anyone to look at this sort of research and say it's necessary, to say it requires killing more than 7,000 whales," he said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Scottish zoo: 'Bad news' for pregnant giant panda

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

SeaWorld plans bigger killer whale environments (Update)

Aug 15, 2014

After more than a year of public criticism of its treatment of killer whales, SeaWorld said Friday that it will build new, larger environments at its theme parks and will fund additional research on the animals ...

Dolphins and whales experience pleasure

Aug 13, 2014

Sam Ridgway has spent most of his life learning about dolphins and whales. Over his five-decade career he has asked these cetaceans various questions, including how deep they can dive and how depth affects ...

Minke whales lunge 100 times per hour to feed under sea ice

Aug 13, 2014

Highly manoeuvrable and built like torpedoes, minke whales are the most common whales in Antarctic waters, yet the animals could be living on a knife edge as their sea-ice homes dwindle rapidly. 'Sea ice in the area around ...

Recommended for you

DNA may have had humble beginnings as nutrient carrier

13 hours ago

New research intriguingly suggests that DNA, the genetic information carrier for humans and other complex life, might have had a rather humbler origin. In some microbes, a study shows, DNA pulls double duty ...

Central biobank for drug research

13 hours ago

For the development of new drugs it is crucial to work with stem cells, as these allow scientists to study the effects of new active pharmaceutical ingredients. But it has always been difficult to derive ...

No-take marine reserves a no-win for seahorses

14 hours ago

A UTS study on how seahorses are faring in no-take marine protected areas (MPAs) in NSW has revealed that where finishing is prohibited, seahorses aren't doing as well.

User comments : 0