In the past few years the International Whaling Commission (IWC) has been engaged in a process to try and determine the organisation’s future. The IWC, established over sixty years ago to regulate the whaling industry, is deadlocked in an increasingly acrimonious dispute over its future direction, with the pro-whaling nations: Japan, Norway and Iceland, demanding an end to the 23 year old moratorium (ban) on commercial whaling, while anti-whaling nations and animal welfare, environmental and conservation groups want a permanent end to all commercial whaling.
During the ban, around 25,000 whales have been slaughtered by the defiant whaling nations and this year Japan, Norway and Iceland will kill over 2,500 whales between them, exploiting loopholes in the IWC Convention that allow whaling ‘under objection’ to the whaling moratorium (Norway and Iceland), or for so-called ‘scientific research’ (Japan).
However under the Chairmanship of the United States, the IWC has entered in to a process of negotiations that could see an end to the whaling ban, not whaling. A compromise “package” has emerged that would remove the whaling ban and allow the last three whaling nations – Japan, Iceland and Norway, to resume commercial whaling.
The compromise package favoured by the US will be discussed again at a special IWC intercessional meeting in Rome in early March before being presented to the IWC’s annual meeting in Madeira this June. It proposes to allow Japan to resume coastal whaling operations in exchange for a reduction in the hundreds of whales the country slaughters every year for alleged ‘research’ in Antarctic and north-Pacific waters. Antarctic waters were designated a whale sanctuary by the IWC in 1994.
The compromise deal is a response to Japan’s serial threat to leave the IWC if the whaling ban is not lifted, and it appears it is Japan that the US is most keen to placate. However, there seems no way that a deal could be struck with Japan alone, and that would open the door to renewed or expanding commercial whaling in other countries, including Iceland and Norway.
Campaign Whale has been fighting compromise proposals that would legitimise a resumption of commercial whaling for some fifteen years. The deal is shamefully supported by some well known ‘anti-whaling’ groups that have sort to justify compromise by arguing that whaling is 'out of control' and that such a deal 'would reduce the numbers of whales killed'. Campaign Whale does not accept this argument. Any deal that legitimises commercial whaling would see the rebirth of an industry we have fought over thirty years to end, would mean countless thousands more whales killed and no hope of ever ending this cruel, outdated and unnecessary industry.
Please save the whales President Obama!
This is the most critical time for the whales since whaling was banned over twenty years ago. Please contact the US Embassy in your country, or President Obama directly, or preferably both, asking that the US reverses its current whaling policy and reaffirms its support for whale conservation by:
Reaffirming the US’ opposition to commercial whaling
Opposing any compromise packages, including creating any new category of whaling, that would lift or undermine the IWC’s whaling moratorium
Using its considerable political and economic strength to take a lead in negotiating with the whaling nations to end commercial whaling
To press for the reformation of the IWC, creating a modern conservation organization dedicated to the global protection of whales.
Please do all you can, and invite friends, family and workmates to do the same. This really is the last stand for the whales! Please write, telephone, email or preferably all three! The contact details are:
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500
White House public comment line: 001- 202-456-1111
The US Ambassador in London:
US Ambassador Robert Holmes Tuttle
24 Grosvenor Square
London, W1A 1AE
To find the US Embassy in your country, please visit: http://www.embassyworld.com
This really is the last stand for the whales, please help them! Thank you.