Update From IWC: No Votes
It’s official; our governments are negotiating on a possible return to commercial whaling. I suppose negotiating isn’t so bad if it leads to the IWC stepping up and protecting whales. What’s bad, and cause for concern, is compromise. Discussions are great, it’s nice to see everyone talking rather than perpetuating the same old voting stalemate. Problem is negotiations lead to comprise and when it comes to our oceans, and the whales, which live within, there can be no compromise.
There’s a serious problem with not voting. Sure, that means that countries with opposing views have discussions rather than meaningless votes. However it also means that while voting stops whaling continues. Norway and Iceland are out whaling right now. Japan is set to return to the southern ocean sanctuary this fall to kill over 1000 whales, including Humpbacks. It seems as though anything the IWC does for whales ends at the conference room door.
The behavior of U.S. officials here runs the spectrum from quite odd to outright disappointing. The briefing we had with the US delegation this morning suggests that that the Bush Administration wants a compromise as well. If true, the administration would seem to be acting out of step with the unanimously approved congressional resolution approved on June 19, which called upon the U.S. delegation to avoid any compromise that resulted in the approval of commercial whaling.
Yet, by the way the US delegation is acting it appears as though the strong voice of the House of Representatives is not even audible from here in Santiago and the strong US leadership needed at the IWC seems to have taken a detour somewhere between D.C. and Santiago, Chile.