Dominica Changes Position On Whaling
The Dominica government Monday announced a change in its
traditional pro-whaling voting position and said it would abstain on a vote for the sustainable use of marine
resources at the 60th International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Chile, later this month.
Dominica, St. Lucia, Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines have traditionally voted alongside Japan in favor of commercial whaling but Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said his Cabinet had taken a decision not
to support Japan at the June 23 meeting.
"This year the Cabinet took a decision that Dominica shall abstain on the issue of commercial whaling; we are
breaking a trend that we have maintained for a number of years," Skerrit said, adding that the decision to
change the island's pattern of voting is in the best interest of the country.
"Every year we seek to review our position on the matter, look at the information before and say at a given
time what is in the best interest of Dominica. It is what is important to the Dominica people that we should
always put first," he said.
Skerrit said he does not expect assistance from Japan to be reduced as a result of the new position "because
there is mutual respect."
Meanwhile, Andrew Amour, President of Carib Whale, a group advocating for the protection of marine
resources, said Japan was no longer interested in "buying votes" of developing countries.
"This year it seems like Japan is of the feeling that they don't want to spend the amount of monies that they
traditionally spent in convincing their friends to vote for them," Amour said adding, "we feel confident that the
voting pattern will change if not this year next year for sure".