Fears for the world’s whales as future of commercial whaling ban is negotiated at meeting ‘held in secret’ in UK
The IWC denies that this and other Small Working Group meetings are ‘secret’, but is holding them behind closed doors with no NGOs or other observers allowed to attend or to see many of the documents discussed. IFAW opposes any compromise on the international moratorium on commercial whaling, in place since 1986, and will have a presence outside the meeting in a bid to engage with delegates and remind them that whales need protecting.
Patrick Ramage, IFAW’s whales programme director, said: “IFAW opposes commercial and so-called scientific whaling because it is cruel and unnecessary – there is no humane way to kill a whale. The international moratorium on commercial whaling needs to be strengthened, not weakened as the world’s whales face more threats than ever before from increased whaling, entanglement in fishing nets, pollution, ship strikes and man-made ocean noise.
“Right now Japan’s whalers are on their way to an internationally recognised sanctuary for whales in Antarctica where their harpoons will be trained on almost 1,000 whales. As a show of good faith at the meeting we urge Japan to abandon its whaling programme. And we call on all of those attending the meeting in Cambridge not to compromise on whale protection.”