Florianopolis, Sep 11 (AP/UNB) — Japan proposed an end to a decades-old ban on commercial whaling at an international conference Monday, arguing there is no longer a scientific reason for what was supposed to be a temporary measure.
But the proposal faces stiff opposition from countries that argue that many whale populations are still vulnerable or, even more broadly, that the killing of whales is increasingly seen as unacceptable. Japan currently kills whales under a provision that allows hunting for research purposes.
"Science is clear: there are certain species of whales whose population is healthy enough to be harvested sustainably," reads the Japanese proposal, presented Monday at the biannual International Whaling Commission meetings taking place this week in Florianopolis, Brazil. "Japan proposes to establish a Committee dedicated to sustainable whaling (including commercial whaling and aboriginal subsistence whaling)."
Japan's proposal would also change how the international body operates, reflecting its frustration with an organization that it says has become "intolerant" and a "mere forum for confrontation."
It says it hopes that new rules — including allowing measures to be adopted by simple, rather than super, majority — would break longstanding deadlocks and allow the countries who prize conservation and those who push for sustainable use of whales to "coexist."
While Japan argues that whale stocks have recovered sufficiently to allow for commercial hunting, conservationists contend whaling on the high seas has proven difficult to manage.
"Time and again, species after species has been driven to near extinction," said Patrick Ramage, director of marine conservation at the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
If the ban on commercial whaling were to be lifted, it would then be up to the commission to set catch limits.
It's not clear when the vote will happen; the meeting lasts until Friday. It's also possible that the Japanese could pull back the proposal — or attempt to negotiate the inclusion of parts of it in other proposals.
Japan has hunted whales for centuries as a traditionally cheaper alternative source of protein. Its catch has fallen in recent years in part due to declining domestic demand for whale meat and challenges to its hunt.
Its quota is now 333, about a third the number it used to kill before the International Court of Justice ruled in 2014 that its program wasn't scientific in nature. It revised the program and resumed the hunt in 2016.
Some, however, contend the research program remains a cover for commercial whaling because the whale meat is sold for food.
The attempt to reintroduce commercial whaling could be even more contentious. Brazil has submitted a proposal that says such whaling "is no longer a necessary economic activity, has systematically reduced whale populations to dangerously low levels." The United States agrees that the ban is necessary for conservation.
"The Australian people have clearly made a decision that they don't believe that whaling is something that we should be undertaking in the 21st century," said Anne Ruston, Australia's assistant minister for international development and the Pacific, on the sidelines of Monday's meetings. "The argument that we put forward from Australia is that we don't want to see any whales killed, whether they're killed because (of) commercial whaling or whether it's so-called scientific whaling."
The commission declared a "pause" to commercial whaling beginning in the 1985-1986 season, but it remains in place today. The killing of whales is allowed for research purposes, as in Japan's program, and for indigenous communities who practice subsistence hunting.
Australia says that non-lethal research techniques actually reveal more information about whales than can be learned through killing them. The United States also opposes lethal research hunts, but both countries support the exception for subsistence whalers.
Japan says that it uses both lethal and non-lethal methods, but that some information can only be gleaned after killing.
Incheon, Sep 11 (AP/UNB) — Move over pot stickers, here comes another Asian dumpling.
South Korea's largest food company is making a multimillion-dollar bet on "mandu," developing its own machines to automate the normally labor-intensive production of the Korean dumpling and building factories around the world.
"It will be the next kimchi," predicted Cho Gun Ae, a senior researcher at CJ CheilJedang Corp. who has spent more than 20 years researching dumpling recipes and production.
The nearly 4-year-old effort is an example of how technology is transforming the food industry, in this case making over the image of frozen dumplings as a cheap and unhealthy product made by small companies. Automation made the quality, the look and the size of each bite-size dumpling consistent and significantly improved productivity, Cho said.
CJ recently opened a factory in New Jersey, its third in the U.S., and has expanded production lines in China and snapped up local companies in Vietnam and Russia so it can churn out more of its Bibigo-brand frozen dumplings.
Few workers could be seen on a recent visit to a CJ factory in South Korea. One picked out defective onions and cabbages from a conveyor belt where machines washed the vegetables with water and chopped them into cubes in seconds. At another conveyor belt, two workers picked out defective chives, while another checked the machines to make sure they were running smoothly.
A series of machines cut the dough into identically sized circles, dropped a dollop of filling inside and closed the dumpling into a crescent shape, onto which another machine put a frill-shaped pattern. Lines of dumplings streamed out on conveyor belts, like a production line of miniature cars. The facility in Incheon, outside of Seoul, produces 100 tons of dumplings a day.
One challenge was designing the machines that make the pattern on the dumplings. Instead of using machines made in Japan for its popular "gyoza" dumplings, CJ developed a new machine for mandu.
Last year, U.S. sales of CJ's Bibigo dumplings surged 70 percent to 175 billion won ($156 million).
Tess Sarosdy of San Antonio, Texas, who reviews ready-made foods on her blog "I Am Tired of Cooking," praised the mandu for being easy to heat and serve.
"American consumers are more familiar with pot stickers and not the Bibigo-style of dumpling," she said in an email interview. "My daughter loves them."
Moon Jung-hoon, a food business professor at Seoul National University, is upbeat about CJ's dumpling business.
"Its targets are Chinese, Chinese people outside China and others around the world who are familiar with Chinese dim sum," he said.
Globally, the company aims to triple its dumpling sales to 1 trillion won ($929 million) by 2020, mostly to Koreans, Americans, Chinese and Russians.
It would be an unusual feat at a time when mainstay South Korean exports, such as autos and ships, are struggling to grow and companies are reluctant to expand investment.
Dhaka, Sep 10 (UNB) - Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL) inaugurated its agent banking outlet on Monday at Shah Kabir Majar Road, Dakkhinkhan in Dhaka.
Md. Mahbub ul Alam, Managing Director and CEO of IBBL inaugurated the outlet as chief guest. Presided over by Md. Shafiqur Rahman, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Dhaka Central Zone, Freedom Fighter SM Tofazzal Hossain, Chairman, Dakkhinkhan Union Parisad and Md. Mahboob Alam, Executive Vice President and Head of Agent Banking Division addressed the programme as special guests.
The programme was attended among others by Dr. Md Shah Jahan, Senior Vice President, social organizers Rabiul Islam Rabi and Khadiza Akter and the Bank’s agent Md. Abdur Rahman.
Dhaka, Sep 10 (UNB)- Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit (BFIU) on Saturday held a training program for selected bankers from all scheduled banks working in Meherpur districts at Pouro Community Center in Meherpur.
The training was on “Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism” led by Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited (IBBL).
The programme was presided over by Abu Reza Md. Yeahia, Deputy Managing Director and CAMLCO of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, where Md. Rokanuzzaman, Deputy General Manager of BFIU was chief guest.
Mizanur Rahman, Senior Vice President and Head of Jashore Zone, Md Rafiqul Islam, Senior Vice President and DCAMLCO and Md Jaminur Rahman, First Assistant Vice President of Islami Bank addressed the program among others.
Dhaka, Sept 10 (UNB) - Novoair, one of the private airlines of the country, has introduced a mobile app and web-check-in service to make ticket purchase and travel process easier and convenient for their passengers.
Novoair Managing Director Mofizur Rahman has formally inaugurated mobile application and web check-in service at a press meet held in Kurmitola Golf Club in the city.
Among others, Novoair Director Hasibur Rashid and other senior officials were present.
Mofizur Rahman said passengers can now book and purchase tickets, get information about flight status, services of Frequent Flyer Program-SMILES.
Mobile app is now available for download via App Store and Play Store.
He said passengers can enjoy hassle free travel as they can complete the check in process from their home by selecting their preferred seats. Passengers can fly to the destination by collecting boarding pass.
Mofizur Rahman and Captain Ashfaqur Rahman Khan, Chief of Safety highlighted the challenges of recent aviation business and safety issue respectively in this occasion.
Currently, Novoair operates daily six flights from Dhaka to Chattogram, four flights each to Cox’s Bazar, Saidpur, and Jashore and one flight to Sylhet. Novoair operates weekly 10 flights to Rajshahi and four flights to Barishal.
Novoair also operates daily flight to Kolkata.