Japan’s Commercial Whaling Proposal Rejected by IWC

Tuesday, 21 June, 2005
Ulsan, Korea
On a strong majority vote, member countries of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) today rejected a proposal put forward by the Government of Japan to resume commercial whale hunting, which has been banned by the IWC since 1986. 29 countries voted against the Japanese proposal, 23 countries voted for it and 5 countries abstained from the vote.
“The whales won this one,” said Dr. Joth Singh, Director of Wildlife and Habitat for IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) from the 57th IWC annual meeting.  “We’re heartened that the pro-conservation majority at the IWC has rejected the Japanese plan.  But the harsh reality is that thousands of whales will still be killed later this year when Japan sends its fleet out to kill whales in the name of science.    Hopefully, today’s vote will be a wake up call for the Japanese Government and they will reconsider their so-called “scientific” whaling. 

Japan has killed more than 8000 whales in the name of science since an IWC moratorium on commercial whaling came into force in 1986.   40 IWC resolutions critical of Japan’s research whaling have been passed by the IWC over the past 18 years.  Earlier this year, Japan announced its intention to double its “scientific” whaling in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary around Antarctica and add Fin and Humpback whales to its target list.

Note:  Countries voting for the Japanese Commercial Whaling Proposal included: Antigua&Barbuda, Benin, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Dominica, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea, Iceland, Japan, Mauritania, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Norway, Palau, Russia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Senegal, Solomon Islands, Suriname, and Tuvalu.

Countries voting against the Japanese Commercial Whaling Proposal included: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Panama, Portugal, San Marino, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Countries abstaining included: China, Denmark, Kiribati, Korea, Morocco

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Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
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Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
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