From The News: 'St. Kitts PM Wants Balanced Approach To Whaling.' But what is balanced?
An article on today's Caribe World News says St Kitts seeks a fair and balanced approach to whaling issues. Nice to see that they would never consider voting in favor of hunting endangered species but does that equal responsible whaling? I can't imagine it would. Can the words whaling and responsible even coexist beyond that of subsistence hunting. By the time a species goes through all the hoops of being declared endangered it's already too late. The best way to get them off the endangered species list is to protect them from current threats and to take proactive action to anticipate other risks whales face. We're just starting to look into the impact of climate change of whale species and it's something that has a profound impact on whales in all oceans. Would it be wise to hunt a species of animal that is, in all likelihood, facing some of the greatest threats it's ever faced? Probably not. In any case, check out the article below.
St. Kitts PM Wants Balanced Approach To Whaling.
By Tony Best
Special To CWN
CaribWorldNews, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. June 17, 2008: `Strike an
appropriate balance.` That’s what Dr. Denzil Douglas, leader of one of
the smallest members of the International Whaling Commission, is hoping
the global body would do when it meets next week in Chile to consider
key whaling issues.
It’s a balance he says, between the wishes of those member-states
which are diametrically opposed to any resumption of whaling and
countries like his own and its Caribbean neighbors which argue for the
`sustainable use` of marine resources, including whales.
With such questions as Japan’s program of whaling for scientific
purposes, quotas for indigenous populations, and the proposed revised
management system that would control any commercial harvesting of
whales on the conference’s agenda, Dr. Douglas,
policy of `sustainable use of marine resources is well documented, said
that the IWC was at a `critical juncture` in its history and should
therefore strike a balance between the opposing forces within its ranks.
When the IWC met in St. Kitts-Nevis two years ago, it approved a
resolution sponsored by several Caribbean, African, European and Asian
nations that would, if implemented, pave the way for the resumption of
a limited and tightly managed program of commercial whaling of species
considered to be in abundance, and Dr. Douglas said in New York there
was a need for a consensus that would take into consideration the needs
of all sides.
`We are calling for a balance in terms of those members who are
opposed to any resumption of commercial whaling and that takes into
consideration the views of those members who are supportive of the
sustainable use of the world’s marine resources for food and for the
benefit of science,` he said. `It’s important that scientific
development be taken into consideration when the IWC meets in Chile.`
At least five Caricom member-states –Antigua, Grenada, St. Lucia,
St. Vincent and St. Kitts-Nevis – are to be represented by their
commissioners and scientists at the meeting which is scheduled to be
held June 23-28. Dominica, a long-standing member of the IWC, has
announced it wouldn’t be sending its commissioner and scientists to
Chile for the annual meeting. Dominica will be absent for the first
time in at least a decade.
In a recent broadcast, Roosevelt Skerrit, Dominica’s Prime Minister,
told the nation that his government could no longer continue to support
any resumption of commercial whaling.
In St. Kitts-Nevis’ case, Dr. Douglas and his government have taken a somewhat different position.
`The Commission must be able to accommodate opposing views and make
its decisions based on science; the welfare of the various mammals; and
the needs of people who have a whaling tradition,` he said.
Like its neighbors in the Caribbean, St. Kitts-Nevis has joined IWC
member-states in other regions of the world in backing Japan’s
scientific whaling research program and its efforts to get a quota of
whales for populations with a long tradition of commercial whaling.
At the same time, it has vigorously opposed any whaling of species considered to be endangered.