Austrialians Kids Deliver 40,000 Signatures to International Whaling Chairman!
Just before the meeting opened yesterday, IFAW Asia Pacific Director Mick McIntyre organized a meeting between our three young Australian friends, Skye Bortoli (age 14), Caitlyn Frerk (age 8) and Ayesha Future (age 17), IWC Chairman William Hogarth and Australian Minister for the Environment, Malcolm Turnbull. The girls presented the officials with 40,000 signatures in protest over Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary around Antarctica. Messrs. Hogarth and Turnbull both referenced their meeting with the girls during formal IWC discussions later in the day.
At outset of the meeting, the IWC Scientific Committee report, which included strong contributions from IFAW's scientific team were reviewed. A significant highlight was its very strong critique of Japan's scientific whaling, with members specifically discussing its lack of useful data. At the close of the first day, the conservation side had a veryencouraging 9 vote lead, due in large part to the strong efforts of like-minded pro-conservation nations since last year's IWC meeting. All of us on the IFAW team here hope this strengthened majority will lead to the IWC pursuing a strong, conservation agenda going forward during this meeting and beyond. Winning votes on the floor of the IWC is one thing, winning the fight to save whales in the water around the world is another.
We are hopeful that victories here in Anchorage will improve the situation for the great whales around the world and our international team is working hard to make that happen.
Our team sent out two press releases and did tons of media interviews yesterday. So far, there has been strong pickup of IFAW's positive, whale conservation messages by AP, AFP, Reuters, BBC and ABC as well as local media here in Anchorage. Overall, we are off to a good start! Check back later today for more details as this important meeting continues!