Japan wants to hunt whales in Sao Tome’s waters

9 August 2007

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 9 Aug – Japan has presented proposals to Sao Tome’s fisheries authorities aimed to open the archipelago’s territorial waters to Japanese commercial whaling, officials said.

Sao Tome’s fisheries minister, Cristina Dias, said Wednesday that she considered the Japanese proposals “interesting”, noting that before Sao Tome gives approval for this type of fishing it would carry out economic and environmental studies and also sign up to an international convention on whaling.

Besides discussing financial compensation for whale fishing in its waters, Sao Tome would also discuss job creation prospects related to the whaling proposals with the Japanese authorities, added the minister.

Dias was speaking after a fisheries conference in Sao Tome, which was attended by a Tokyo delegation headed by Japanese MP Tadahiko Ito, who is to deliver an invitation to President Fradique de Menezes for the Japan-Africa summit next year.

Japan made US$ 6.9 million available to Sao Tome less than a month ago for fisheries development as part of Tokyo’s bilateral cooperation with the islands.

Japan is one of Sao Tome’s main cooperation partners in the fisheries sector. Tokyo sends annual food donations of rice to the islands worth around US$ 1.3 million. (macauhub)