A proposal brought by five African and South American countries to create a whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic has failed to gain the required support.
The backing of three quarters of the International Whaling Commission’s 88 members was necessary to realise the sanctuary.
Japan and 23 other countries opposed.
Nicolas Entrup is a consultant for the Swiss none profit group, Oceancare:“The question is will this new working group bring any change – and of course, the International Whaling Commission doesn’t have any teeth, there’s no compliance mechanism, no possibility to sanction a country. So it’s all about goodwill. And I doubt that Japan is ready. However, the international community has made a very clear statement – ‘We want to have an independent process.”
Advocates of whale hunting make use of a loophole in the the 70-year-old International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, which allows the practice of “scientific whaling,”
where the carcass of the whale is examined before the meat is sold and eaten.
Since 1986 over 16,000 whales have been killed in the name of science.
More than 24 thousand for commercial purposes and 10 thousand under the indigenous permits.
Japan’s whaling fleet sets sail twice a year in the North Pacific.
It is reported that Norway is hunting a higher proportion of breeding females, which could put the long-term survival of minke whales in the North Atlantic in severe danger.
In 2006, Iceland resumed commercial whaling, targeting minke and fin whales. In 2010 alone, 148 endangered fin whales and 60 minke whales were harpooned.
Anti-whaling nations did not come away from International Whaling Commission meeting in Slovenia empty handed.
A resolution was passed to ensure tighter scrutiny of Japan’s independent permission process for its so-called scientific whaling.
Critics believe Japan’s “scientific whaling” is pseudo science, and is clearly commercial whaling by another name.