The International Whaling Commission (IWC) has just released final proposals for the future of the organisation on its website. They can only be described as little more than surrender terms to the whalers and a disaster for whales.
The proposals suspend the current ban on commercial whaling for ten years and legitimise ongoing whaling by Norway, Iceland and Japan in defiance of the IWC’s 24 year old ban during which, incredibly, over 30,000 whales have been slaughtered! The proposals do not even impose a phase-out of their whaling operations within that time. It means that around 1,500 whales will still be killed each year and Japan can even continue killing hundreds of whales in the IWC’s Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. In return, a totally meaningless whale sanctuary will be created in the South Atlantic, for ten years, where no whaling currently takes place anyway.
This sleazy deal proposes to limit whaling to those countries that are already killing whales despite the IWC ban, so rewarding their intransigence. Countries that have actually abided by the ban get nothing. However, there is nothing in the proposals to stop countries interested in starting or resuming commercial whaling from killing whales for so-called ‘scientific research’, or by simply lodging an objection to all or any part of the deal and so exempting themselves from it. This is of serious concern given recent reports from Iceland that the Fisheries Minister plans to continue issuing whaling permits for so-called ‘research’, and disturbing reports from South Korea that it intends to restart whaling. Other former whaling countries such as Russia and China are yet to reveal their intentions, but it is not inconceivable that they will see this deal as unfair and a green light to restart commercial whaling operations of their own.
The plan even bypasses agreed scientific procedures for calculating supposedly ‘safe’ catch-quotas and some of the most threatened whale populations in coastal waters will be targeted. Finally, if all this was not bad enough, YOU will be expected to pay for renewed whaling because the whalers have demanded that IWC Member States must fund the costs of whaling whether they support it or not!
Please help us get to Morocco and save the whales, not whaling!
The new deal will be tabled at the IWC’s annual meeting in Agadir, Morocco during the week 21-25th June where it will be put to a vote. If it is accepted, and there are worrying signs that it will be, then the whaling ban will be irrevocably lost and the cruel slaughter of whales for profit will be legitimised for the foreseeable future. Make no mistake about it; if commercial whaling is sanctioned again by the IWC there will be no going back. The battle for the whales will be lost once and for all.
If you would like to make a donation to help us get to the IWC in Agadir then please click the donate button to the right of this news story, or send a donation to the address at the bottom of the page – Thank you!
Europe divided over whaling deal
The stakes could not be higher and Campaign Whale is sending a campaign team to Agadir to do everything we possibly can to stop this deal from being agreed. It will not be easy because the European Union has recently adopted a common position at IWC meetings. This means all 25 EU Member States, including the UK, must vote the same way or not vote at all. If they vote in favour of the deal, or have to abstain, it will go through.
It’s a deeply worrying situation, but not a hopeless one. Campaign Whale is pressing the EU to vote against any whaling deal. You can help by contacting European Commission President José Barosso, and your MEP, calling for EU Member States to vote against any whaling deal.
Ask the president and your MEP to ensure that the EU Member States:
- Vote against any proposal that would lift or suspend the IWC’s whaling ban
- Reaffirm the EU’s total opposition to commercial whaling
- Reject Iceland’s application to join the EU unless whaling is stopped
- Use the EU’s political and economic strength to negotiate an end to commercial whaling
- Press for the modernisation of the IWC into an organisation for the global protection of whales
Please write to or send an e-message to the EU President and your MEP today, preferably both. We don’t have much time. Please also ask friends, family and workmates to do the same. His contact details are:
José Manuel Barroso
President of the European Commission
1049 Brussels, Belgium
Send him an e-message at: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/president/contact/mail/index_en.htm
or email him directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also write to your MEP and ask them to press for the EU not to support the whaling deal. You can find out your MEP’s name, contact details and send him or her a message at: www.writetothem.com