Tuesday, February 23, 2010

IWC group Proposes Return to Commercial Whaling

by Hardy Jones

The so-called small working group of the International Whaling Commission has released a draft proposal that would overturn the moratorium on commercial whaling that has has been in place since 1986.

The compromise is aimed at unblocking the protracted negotiations between IWC member countries opposed to commercial whaling and those that hunt whales.

BlueVoice is unalterably opposed to any move by the IWC that would sanction the killing of whales commercially. We believe it is morally unacceptable to kill such large brained, social and, in most cases, endangered animals. There can be no compromise on the murder of such creatures.

The draft proposal must be ratified by the plenary of the IWC which meets in June in Morocco.

BlueVoice urges the Obama administration to mount a vigorous defense of the whales.

In an era when ocean pollution and destruction of food species and habitat already pose dire threats for the whales of the world the last thing we need is commercial whaling.

The draft proposal would allow only Japan, Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, to whale commercially. Indigenous subsistence whaling also would be allowed.

Japan is currently hunting whales in the Antarctic conducting what it bogusly calls a scientific whaling program. The take of 900 minke whales plus 50 endangered fin whales are sold commercially in Japan.

The IWC proposal includes language stating that the IWC will "focus on the recovery of depleted whale stocks and take actions on key issues, including bycatch, climate change and other environmental threats."

But environmental groups are outraged by the proposal.

Greenpeace International called for the proposal by to be rejected out of hand.

My old friend John Frizell of Greenpeace says "We are at a critical junction for both whaling and ocean conservation. A return to commercial whaling would not only be a disaster for whales but will send shock waves through international ocean conservation efforts, making it vastly more difficult to protect other rapidly-declining species such as tuna and sharks."

If you believe, as we do, that whales are extraordinary, sentient and intelligent creatures then any legitimization of their slaughter is anathema.

We will be at the intercessional meeting of the IWC in St. Petersburg, Florida in early March to join other major conservation organizations in opposing these proposals. We'll be tweeting and blogging from the scene advising our members via ACTION ALERTS of steps that need to be taken as the meeting progresses.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Glad you will be at the March meeting to oppose this. What a sham. So if I understand this correctly, the IWC's answer on how to close the lethal research loophole is to lift the ban on commercial whaling? What a total joke and a huge blow to the conservation movement.

I am hoping there will be a very well coordinated, organized campaign and movement by all the conservation organizations against this, using media and other social tools to enroll people around the world.

Lifting the ban on commercial whaling is unacceptable to the overwhelming vast majority of people. It is only a small few who are pushing this. Very frustrating.

Thanks for posting this and please keep us informed on what we can do -- how, where, when...