Controversial whaling proposal fails at global meeting

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Agadir, Morocco
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW-www.ifaw.org)  announced today that a controversial proposal to legalize whaling has failed at the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in Agadir, Morocco.

“Under a cloud of corruption allegations the IWC is taking a safe course, opting for a cooling off period that protects the moratorium and other IWC conservation measures,”  said Patrick Ramage, Director of IFAW’s Global Whale Campaign. “Had it been done here, this deal would have lived in infamy.”

The proposal, three years in the making, proposed a compromise between whaling and non-whaling nations which regularly clash at annual IWC meetings. Among the most hotly debated components of the proposal was a plan to overturn the worldwide ban on whaling, in place since 1986, by allowing legalized hunting of whales by Iceland, Norway, and Japan – the last three countries still hunting whales commercially. Japan, Norway, and Iceland have illegally killed nearly 35,000 whales since the inception of the moratorium.

“This was an intense three year effort but one conducted behind closed doors and focused on defining terms under which commercial whaling would continue rather than how it would end,” said Ramage. “The proposal it produced could not withstand public scrutiny and ignored the overwhelming global support for permanent protection for whales. Any future process of negotiation should not leave the views, expertise, and perspective of the global NGO community sitting outside.”

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