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New international fisheries coalition lobbies for commercial whaling renewal.

New International Fisheries Coalition Lobbies for Commercial Whaling Renewal

Renewal of commercial whaling is one of the causes on the agenda of a newly-formed International Coalition of Fisheries Associations that represents commercial interests in five countries.

"It is intended to provide a strong common voice for commercial fisheries on those issues that have international significance," said Yoshihida Uchimura, president of the Japan Fisheries Association, who was elected vice chairman of the new group.

But one of the first positions taken by the Coalition, announced at the recent International Seafood Conference in Amsterdam, is "that commercial whaling should be allowed when science indicates the stocks are able to be maintained in healthy conditions" -- a particularly Japanese cause.

The Coalition is also concerned with "the need to manage marine mammal stocks for the benefit of all resources," while also encouraging technology to "minimize the by-catch of mammals" -- i.e., porpoises. The purpose here seems to be to defuse criticism of the tuna industry.

More likely to draw universal support is opposition to pollution of the ocean, and encroachment on fisheries by recreational fishermen--two other "global" problems cited by Uchimura, who said the Coalition also wants to be involved in "fisheries management of international stocks."

Canadian Is Chairman

Ron Bulmer, president of the Fisheries Council of Canada, was elected chairman of the Coalition. Lee Weddig, executive vice president of the U.S. National Fisheries Institute, was named secretary. Other associations that are charter members are the Korea Deep Sea Fisheries Association and the Taiwan Deep Sea Tuna Boatowners and Exporters Association.

Groups from Norway, Iceland, West Germany and Denmark attended the organizing meeting and are considering joining, Uchimura said. As all four are European, the question of how the Coalition might address Atlantic as opposed to Pacific issues may be a factor. The five charter members ratified by-laws drafted at a meeting in Long Beach, Calif., last February following an initial exploratory meeting at the 1987 seafood conference.

Uchimura said the aims of the Coalition are to:

. Be a source of information from counterpart groups and an early warning of potential problems.

. Provide assistance in solving problems of member groups in other nations.

. Be a means of collective action in international forums to influence policy of nations in international matters.

. Provide a means of sharing technological information to solve common environmental problems.
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Title Annotation:International Coalition of Fisheries Associations
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Jan 1, 1989
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