Thursday, 24 June 2010

Global Whaling Moratorium Stands as IWC Shelves Compromise Plan - Environment News Service

photo credit ENS via Institute of Cetacean Research

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) was unable to reach an agreement on the issue of whether or not to end the 24-year moratorium on commercial whaling. The argument has been put on hold for a year. A few quotes:

"The 88 IWC member governments meeting in Agadir failed to agree on the proposed compromise between whale conservation nations and whaling nations that would have legalized whaling in return for bringing the hunt under IWC control. Currently, three whaling nations - Japan, Norway and Iceland - set their own quotas without regard for the moratorium observed by all other countries."

"The lack of sufficient flexibility shown by Japan to phase out its whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary prevented a decision from being adopted. Continuation of the impasse here may retain the whaling moratorium on paper, but unregulated whaling outside of IWC control, by Japan, Norway, and Iceland, will now be able to continue,"
said Susan Lieberman, director of Pew Environment's international policy.

"Said Wendy Elliott, WWF International Species Manager: "A compromise solution which brings whaling under the control of the IWC is clearly needed, and governments at this meeting failed to find a way forward. Once again, they have put politics before science.""

"The proposal it produced could not withstand public scrutiny and ignored the overwhelming global support for permanent protection for whales,"
said Patrick Ramage, director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare's Global Whale Campaign. "Any future process of negotiation should not leave the views, expertise, and perspective of the global NGO community sitting outside."

I had very strong feelings going into this meeting (not that I was physically there, but you know what I mean). I felt, as millions of people do, that whaling is an inhumane and unacceptable practice that has no commercial need. As this meeting went on, however, it became very apparent that we were not going to come to an agreement with the whaling nations. David Shiffman, on Twitter as WhySharksMatter, posted the question two days ago: "Is it better to have whaling be illegal and have lots of whales die, or be legal and have fewer whales die?" It made me think. Of course I would rather have fewer whales die - if I had to choose between the two. But that means voting in favor of re-opening commercial whaling, and there's just something not right about that. It's just not okay with me, and millions of other people across the world feel the same way. There's no commercial need. We know that now. It's been proven.

I would also like to see something published from Japan's "research" whaling (By the way, I love how every article I read now has the quotes around it: "research"). As far as I know there hasn't been a single thing in 24 years.

Full article here (Environment News Service)

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