Humane Society International Calls for Whale Protection as Worldwide Meeting Convenes
Humane Society International’s opening statement at the International Whaling Commission’s annual meeting in Portugal underscores the increasing threats to whales. Those threats include habitat degradation, pollution, overfishing of prey species and climate change.
An HSI petition calling for a global whale sanctuary is being sent to leaders of IWC member countries to promote sanctuaries and whale watching as a more humane and scientifically sound alternative to slaughter.
HSI representatives will be at the meeting in Madeira and available for comment during the proceedings.
HSI has a team of experts at the meeting available to media
Patricia Forkan, HSI special envoy, has participated in IWC meetings since the early 1970s. Her areas of expertise include international trade and capacity building, marine mammal protection, and United Nations and international treaties. She currently serves as a member of the Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee, working closely with the U.S. Trade Representative and the Environmental Protection Agency. From 1979 to 1983 she served on the public advisory committee to the International Law of the Sea Negotiations. She directed the HSI European office in its landmark efforts to stop the importation of dolphin-deadly tuna into the European market. Kitty Block, vice president, HSI, oversees efforts in international treaties and agreements including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and Species Survival Network, International Whaling Commission, Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, Cartagena Convention/Protocol to the Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife, and the Convention on Migratory Species. Block works with representatives of member countries, drafts proscriptive language (resolutions, convention amendments etc.), presents policy papers and serves on oversight panels. Block provides legal analysis and drafts position papers on domestic and international laws involving animals.