Apr 29, 2010
This March, members of an International Whaling Commission (IWC) working group met to discuss the future of the commission, including a deal that would reinstate commercial whaling and spell disaster for whales. WSPA is adamantly opposed to this deal and fighting to save the ban on commercial whaling.
An uncertain future for whales
Years of dead-end discussions about ongoing and escalating catches of whales by Japan, Iceland and Norway have led to frustration on both sides of the debate. The most recent attempts to resolve the deadlock have led to a potentially disastrous deal that would legitimize commercial whaling and destroy the whaling ban that, for nearly three decades, has protected endangered whale species.
The deal seeks to bring existing commercial whaling under IWC control and potentially reduce the number of whales killed in the short-term. However, it would fail to stop Japan’s whaling in the Southern Ocean sanctuary and would award new quotas to all three whaling nations, effectively destroying the 1986 ban on commercial whaling and opening the floodgates for the whaling industry to expand to other countries.
The claim that this proposal will save whales is without merit. In fact, the proposal would set quotas - or, the number of whales each country is allowed to catch - based on political need, not scientific evidence. Nothing could be more disastrous to fragile whale populations than caving to political pressure rather than listening to scientists about the best way to protect them.
If this proposal is put into place, thousands of whales will continue to face slow and painful deaths by exploding harpoons. It also rewards the bad behavior of Japan, Norway and Iceland, who have collectively killed more than 25,000 whales since the whaling ban took effect. With no option for humane, instantaneous death, WSPA strongly opposes any potential “deal” to legitimize this cruel and unnecessary practice. The cruelty of whaling has no place in the 21st Century.
With your support, WSPA has achieved many victories for whales, to date. At last year’s IWC meeting, Greenland’s request for a quota of humpback whales was denied when WSPA’s report exposed that the country’s whaling was illegal and commercial.
We now urgently need your help again. Recent disturbing reports indicate that the U.S. is championing a deal that would effectively lift the whaling ban.
Contact President Obama today and remind him that he should be protecting whales, not whaling. Take action now >>
Image © Matt Curnock