I’ve done a rough translation of an insightful article from the Icelandic Minke Whaler’s Association which suggests the Japanese never intended to hunt Humpback whales in the Antarctic:
The Japanese spectacle continues…
During the annual International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Anchorage in May 2007, the Japanese were tough negotiators. They wanted permission to kill humpbacks in the Antarctic, held press conferences and wanted to withdraw from the IWC if their proposals weren’t accepted.
Therefore the decision to hunt humpbacks this Austral summer didn’t come as a surprise and the entire whale discussions was now focused on the humpback hunt and not about the 950 minkes and 50 Fin whales.
The Icelandic whalers now state that the Japanese are very smart and cunning. The Japanese have now declared that they will halt the humpback hunt (a hunt that the Japanese actually never have had an intention to carry out) and now the Japanese stand out as Mr. Nice Guys.
Now the Icelandic whalers want that their esteemed Minister of Agriculture to announce at the beginning of 2008, that Iceland has an intention to increase their whale hunting quotas substantially, 600 minkes, 300 Fins and 50 humpbacks. This would cause an international outcry from “environmentalists”. We would defend ourselves with all kinds of arguments but finally cave in, and half the quota and completely ignore the humpbacks (but this would depend on how the discussions did carry out).