Relief return to commercial whaling rejected
Humane Society International has expressed relief at the withdrawal of a “compromise” package at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Morocco that would have legitimized commercial whaling.
“The proposal was fatally flawed from the beginning, above all because it promised to validate commercial whaling without setting a true deadline for its extinction,” said Nicola Beynon, HSI Senior Program Manager. “There were also significant defects in alternative compromises championed by some nations and a few non-governmental organisations and we opposed those for similar reasons.”
HSI strongly commends the Australian Government, along with governments from Latin America and Europe, for standing firm against compromises that would have undermined the global moratorium on commercial whaling, and for setting out a future for the Commission that is focused on whale conservation.
HSI and its parent organization The Humane Society of the United States mounted a wide-ranging campaign to pressure the Obama administration to take a strong stand in Morocco to defend the global moratorium. The organization was pleased when the United States addressed the meeting to say that “the conservation of whales is paramount to the United States’ and that the American Government would “not support an agreement at any cost.”
With all the environmental threats whales face in the 21st Century, this was no time to compromise whale protection. We hope that those who had been prepared to support a compromise that would have involved the allocation of commercial whaling quotas will now turn their efforts towards an IWC that focuses squarely on whale conservation.
“The only way to ensure less whales are killed is to seek better enforcement of the Convention, close its loopholes and uphold the global moratorium on commercial whaling,” said Ms Beynon.
The Australian Government is seeking to end the abuses of the loophole for lethal scientific research at the International Court of Justice.