To hunt or not to hunt whales…. that is the question and it has been put on the agenda of the annual gathering of the International Whaling Commission by Japan.
And Tokyo is claiming a victory in a bid to get a twenty year moratorium on whaling reversed. .
On the face of it, the meeting in the Carribbean has gone the way of the pro-whaling nations.A vote by 33 to 32 has approved a statement saying that the whaling ban is no longer necessary.
Currently, Japan says it does uphold the IWC’s regulations and has done so since they came into force in 1986, but along with Iceland it uses a loophole to conduct scientific whaling. Norway is the only country that ignores the ban.
And still 2,000 whales are killed each year.
Bill Hogarth USA Commissioner:
“The bottom line is you want to save whales right now. The numbers are increasing; probably over 2000 whales being taken. A lot of them under various disguises but it is basically commercial.”
But Japan believes that whale numbers have risen sufficiently to allow hunting of certain species and that the commission should move more towards sustainable whaling: