By consensus the 85-nation IWC agreed to reconstitute a working group set up last year which would “intensify its efforts to conclude a package or packages” by the 2010 IWC conference “at the latest,” Miller said at the meeting held on the Portuguese island of Madeira.
IWC chairman William Hogarth supported the call for more consultations.
“There is a will, now we have to find the way. If in 2010 we haven’t had any progress, set a course and made some changes, there will be no more delays,” he said.
Whales are protected by a moratorium on hunting dating back to 1986 with some exceptions limited by quota.
Regardless of the moratorium, almost 40,000 whales have been killed worldwide since 1985 by countries which refuse to sign up to the IWC treaty, or use loopholes allowing scientific or “lethal” research, or maintaining “aboriginal” or subsistence hunting.
Of 679 whales reported to have been killed during the 2008-2009 whale hunt in Antarctica, 304 were female. Four of the female whales were lactating, and 192 were pregnant at the time of death. The Japanese government’s “Cruise Report” gives gruesome details on the fetuses killed. The four lactating females killed would each have had a dependent calf who would inevitably have starved to death.
The main stumbling block in the negotiations is a proposal to let Japan resume commercial whaling off its coast in exchange for a cut in its “scientific whaling” in the Antarctic.
Countries wanting to harvest more whales
Japan, which says whaling is part of its culture, kills more than 1,000 whales a year through a loophole in the treaty that allows the ocean giants to be killed for “research”, although the meat still ends up on dinner tables. This animal’s meat and fat is filled with toxic substances that are potentially harmful to anyone that eats the meat. These toxins like PCBs (polychlorinated biphen) and mercury are not indigenous to the animal but enter its body through the food it eats. The slower metabolism of the creature does not allow the toxins to be excreted so it is stored in its meat and fat.
A delegate from New Zealand warned that unless an agreement is reached by 2010 the whaling organization is in trouble. “If we fail, the IWC will die,” he told the meeting.
Iceland, looking to join the European Union, has significantly raised its self-imposed quotas for this year in a move condemned by countries including Britain, France, Germany and the United States.
Denmark on Tuesday officially requested permission from the IWC to resume hunting humpback whales off Greenland, with a quota of 10 per year for the 2010-2012 period, in a move that has angered environmentalists.
Meanwhile, a Norwegian fisheries organization said Wednesday that Norway’s whalers had suspended their hunt mid-season this year with less than half a government quota of 885 whales killed because demand was saturated.
Japanese whaling video view
Excerpts courtesy of News.yahoo.com/whalingenvironmentiwc
Video link courtesy of Youtube.com
Image courtesy of Thewhalehunt.org/common/highlights/6/23-15-00.jpg