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The moratorium on commercial whaling, one of the environmental movement's greatest achievements, looks likely to be swept away this summer by a new international deal being negotiated behind closed doors. The new arrangement would legitimise the whaling activities of the three countries which have continued to hunt whales in defiance of the ban – Japan, Norway and Iceland – and would allow commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary set up by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in 1994.
The proposal has some powerful backers, even among countries which were formerly solidly opposed to commercial whaling's return – a fact which substantially increases its chances of adoption at Agadir. Principal among them is the US, whose officials in the negotiations have been strongly backing the proposal. This is thought to be in part because of a specific problem – the subsistence whaling quotas for indigenous Inuit peoples in Alaska, which the US is obliged to seek from the IWC every few years.
Japan has described an Australian proposal calling for an end to commercial whaling as "extremely regrettable", while maintaining its annual whale hunt is for scientific research. The Rudd government has presented a proposal to the International Whaling Commission (IWC) calling for an end to whaling in the Southern Ocean within five years. The proposal also calls for the practice of so-called scientific whaling to be abolished by bringing all whaling under the control of the commission
Originally posted by pazcat
Well the Australian government is putting forward an alternate proposal and are strongly against this new one. So make of that what you will.
Fundamental components of the draft Consensus Decision are that the Commission will:
• focus on the recovery of depleted whale stocks and take actions on key issues, including bycatch, climate change and other environmental threats;
• bring whaling by all members under the control of the IWC (IWC has no control over whaling under objection/reservation or whaling under special permit – ‘research whaling’);
• reduce catches significantly from current levels;
• limit whaling operations to those members who currently take whales;
• establish caps of takes that are within sustainable levels for a ten year period;
• enhance monitoring and control measures and animal welfare aspects of whaling operations;
• recognize the non-lethal use of whales, such as whalewatching, as a management option for coastal states and address related scientific, conservation and management issues of such uses;
• create a South Atlantic sanctuary;
• provide a mechanism for enterprise and capacity building for developing
Originally posted by Nammu
These objectives look pretty sound. But my worry would be "reduce catches significantly from current levels;". How is this possible? Only a few nations commercially whale at the moment. I certainly don't believe that if they sign up to this they will suddenly reduce the numbers they are already bringing in, and surely more nations whaling = more whales killed?