World Bulletin / News Desk
South Korea angered conservationists on Wednesday by proposing to conduct whaling for scientific research, a practice that critics say would skirt a global ban on whale hunting.
South Korea announced its proposal at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Panama City. Critics say the move was modeled on Japan's introduction of scientific whaling after a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling.
Japan argues it has a right to monitor the whales' impact on its fishing industry.
"South Korea announced its intention to resume whale hunting for scientific purposes," said Tomas Guardia, Panama's representative to the international body.
"We are worried about this proposal because it goes against the ban ... we don't support whale hunting under any circumstances," Guardia said.
South Korea said its fishermen were complaining that growing whale populations were depleting fishing stocks, an assertion that the World Wildlife Fund said had no scientific basis.
Environmental activists say the term scientific whaling is a thinly veiled ruse to allow hunting in countries where whale meat is a popular delicacy. South Korea sells whale meat from animals accidentally caught in fishing nets.
"It's an absolute shock this happened at this meeting and it's an absolute disgrace because to say that hunting whales is happening in the name of science is just wrong. Essentially, its commercial whaling in another form," James Lorenz from Greenpeace told Australian television.
Lorenz said South Korea must take its proposal to the Whaling Commission's science committee.
The minke whales that South Korea proposes hunting are considered endangered, the World Wildlife Fund said in a statement.
EU figures show IT companies such as Twitter and Facebook removed 70 percent of illegal hate speech
Gersan to install charging stations throughout Turkey following agreement with Tesla Motors Netherlands B.V. last month
Journalists were able to access the service on Sunday and officials confirmed it has been restored.
Computer scholars develop games letting impaired people improve their sight through online games
Project 'Neogene' to study DNA samples from Turkey's Anatolian region
The "growing societal unease" over the intensive use of smartphones by children is "at some point is likely to impact even Apple", they warned.
Such people would be "central" in their social networks, and thus likelier to spread disease-causing germs from one group to another.
Aselsan device for monitoring vehicles' speed and distance expected to avoid outflow of almost €1 billion ($1.17 billion)
Social media users call out company for echoing Trump policy
Beijing Automotive Group Co (BAIC) chairman Xu Heyi said over the weekend the company will phase out sales of conventional cars in Beijing by 2020 and nationwide by 2025, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
Shazam, which identifies songs from short excerpts, likely to be rolled into Apple’s mobile device software
Turkish defense minister in London says 'there will be no delay'
Local tech start-ups in Gaza Strip must work around Israeli blockade; open borders could boost their opportunities
Activists and tech leaders including Tesla's Elon Musk have called on the UN to ban fully-automated weapons systems that could revolutionise warfare while putting civilians at heightened risk.
Tweet capacity doubled in almost all supported languages