A Southern right whale Photo: AP file
politics

Proposal to create whale sanctuary in South Atlantic defeated

16 Comments

A proposal to create a whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic was defeated Tuesday at a meeting in Brazil of the International Whaling Commission, amid a clash between countries that think whales can be hunted sustainably and others that want more conservation measures.

Opponents of the plan argued the science didn't support the case for a sanctuary and said that it wasn't necessary because there isn't any commercial whaling occurring in the South Atlantic.

The measure received support from 39 countries Tuesday at the meeting in Florianopolis with 25 opposed - falling short of the three-quarters majority to pass.

Countries like Brazil, which proposed the measure, said it would have addressed threats to the mammals beyond whaling. Humane Society International called the defeat a "bitter disappointment" and said it would have helped protect whales from entanglement in fishing gear and ship strikes.

Edson Duarte, Brazil's environment minister, said he would not be deterred, even though the measure which has repeatedly been defeated.

"We will work in other meetings of this commission this year to ensure that the sanctuary will finally be created," said Duarte. "It so important for the conservation of whales in the entire world but especially in the South Atlantic."

But some have suggested that the conservation bloc won't be able to push through such measures until they compromise with those countries that are asking for the return of at least some commercial whaling.

The commission banned commercial whaling in the 1980s, but Japan is proposing this year to reinstitute it with catch limits. Japan has hunted whales for centuries as a traditionally cheaper alternative source of protein.

"The sanctuary had some merits," said Daven Joseph, ambassador-at-large for Antigua and Barbuda, which voted against the measure. But "the sanctuary is failing year after year because there is a lack of respect for the views of everyone in this organization."

Joseph said sustainable commercial whaling could provide an important food source in developing island nations, and other countries simply have a cultural preference for whale meat that should be respected.

Conservationists say commercial hunting has proved difficult to manage in the past and repeatedly threatened whale populations, while some countries say there is simply no place for it in the modern world.

But Joseph predicted progress on many conservation measures would remain deadlocked until more overtures were made to countries that want commercial whaling.

"I think that the ghost of Moby Dick is haunting a lot of countries" that had previously engaged in industrial whaling that led to the near extinction of some populations, said Joseph. "That does not mean that we should deprive people's cultural and nutritional preferences for whales, as long as we can guarantee that they can be taken in a sustainable manner."

Several indigenous people also spoke Tuesday in favor of their own subsistence hunting, which is allowed under commission rules. Catch limits for such hunting are up for renewal this year.

"Since childhood, I have been trained to hunt," Vladimir Piny, a native Chukchi whaling captain from northern Russia, said through a translator. "I cannot grow tomatoes or bananas - the Arctic would never allow me to do so."

© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

16 Comments
Login to comment

The commission banned commercial whaling in the 1980s, but Japan is proposing this year to reinstitute it with catch limits. Japan has hunted whales for centuries as a traditionally cheaper alternative source of protein.

Associated Press still going on with false information. The IWC imposed a "Moratorium" on commercial whaling that was voted in 1982 and went into effect in 1986. A moratorium means a temporary suspension. No country is trying to overturn a "ban", they are trying to "lift the moratorium".

The Moratorium reads;

"Notwithstanding the other provisions of paragraph 10, catch limits for the killing for commercial purposes of whales from all stocks for the 1986 coastal and the 1985/86 pelagic seasons and thereafter shall be zero. This provision will be kept under review, based upon the best scientific advice, and by 1990 at the latest the Commission will undertake a comprehensive assessment of the effects of this decision on whale stocks and consider modification of this provision and the establishment of other catch limits"

In other words, the IWC was to review it in 1990 but has failed to do so. It's now 28 years late but clearly any member has the right to a review as stipulated.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

I see nippon cash won out in the end huh?

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Terrible news.

But with a 39 to 25 result, we can be sure commercial whaling will not get the votes either.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Japan is requesting a 50/50 vote at the IWC. If it is instigated this vote will go through. Giving Japan some of what they want might work in favor of keeping the moratorium on commercial whaling. “Give then enough ripe and they will hang themselves”.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Why oh why are people not content until they've destroyed the whole planet, eaten everything in the ocean? People will be wondering why there'll be no more sushi.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Pukey2Today  11:15 am JST

Why oh why are people not content until they've destroyed the whole planet, eaten everything in the ocean? People will be wondering why there'll be no more sushi.

Good question.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2014-12-08/australian-tuna-export-china/5951132

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Here is another reason why whaling is actually beneficial compared to traditional farm meat.

Meat-free diets could cut our 'water footprint' in half, say scientists

https://phys.org/news/2018-09-meat-free-diets-footprint-scientists.html

Eating less meat through adopting a "healthy meat" diet could reduce water footprint by up to 35%, the authors say. An even greater saving can be made if meat is replaced by fish, lowering water footprint by 55%

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

The measure received support from 39 countries Tuesday at the meeting in Florianopolis with 25 opposed - falling short of the three-quarters majority to pass.

The International Whaling Commission does not look like a very democratic organisation to me. I tend to regard democracy as fifty/fifty (51% - 49%) not 75% - 25%.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

ossan:

That doesn't answer anything.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Is this a secret ballot or do we know who was for and who against?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The International Whaling Commission does not look like a very democratic organisation to me. I tend to regard democracy as fifty/fifty (51% - 49%) not 75% - 25%.

Who ever said it was a democracy? But at it's basic a democracy means - a system of running organizations, businesses, and groups in which each member is entitled to vote and take part in decisions. Nothing about votes being decided by a simple majority 51%-49%.

Also the 75%-25% rule was agreed to by each and every member. Requiring more than a simple majority to approve some proposals happens in many democratic systems. For example, in the US a constitution amendment requires a 2/3 majority.

Is this a secret ballot or do we know who was for and who against?

It is not a secret ballot. I don't know if anyone has reported the vote breakdown yet, but it might be on the IWC website.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Opponents of the plan argued the science didn't support the case for a sanctuary and said that it wasn't necessary because there isn't any commercial whaling occurring in the South Atlantic.

The why not keep it that way by putting a sanctuary? Would it really be that hard to make a zone where people can't hunt whales in an area where people they aren't being hunted already?

It sounds to me that the South Atlantic is the next target for whaling, if not already.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Also the 75%-25% rule was agreed to by each and every member.

If this is true then this commission is nothing more than a club. Is it really fit for purpose?

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Ex_ResToday  02:10 am JST

Also the 75%-25% rule was agreed to by each and every member.

If this is true then this commission is nothing more than a club. Is it really fit for purpose?

The purpose of the IWC is to regulate the whaling industry. That means taking whales. And application of conservation measures is to protect stocks for the benefit of the whaling industry.

The real question is why are nations that are against whaling under any circumstances even members of such an organization?

ThePBotToday  12:12 am JST

Opponents of the plan argued the science didn't support the case for a sanctuary and said that it wasn't necessary because there isn't any commercial whaling occurring in the South Atlantic.

The why not keep it that way by putting a sanctuary? Would it really be that hard to make a zone where people can't hunt whales in an area where people they aren't being hunted already?

It sounds to me that the South Atlantic is the next target for whaling, if not already.

And how do you know this? Are Iceland, Norway or Japan carrying out whaling in the South Atlantic? Establishment of Sanctuaries is based on population counts and data which forms the opinion of he IWC Scientific Committee. Not on some random notion such as yours.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Bolivia voted against this, as they have no access to any ocean why are they even there? Ahhh Japanese cash.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

If this is true then this commission is nothing more than a club. Is it really fit for purpose?

Well since its purpose when formed was to ensure whaling could continue and that purpose has been perverted, you may be right that it isn't fit for its purpose any more.

Bolivia voted against this, as they have no access to any ocean why are they even there? Ahhh Japanese cash.

Bolivia ISN'T a member of the IWC. So no vote and no Japanese cash.

In the meantime Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovack Republic and Hungary ARE all members and they voted for this, as they have no access to any ocean why are they there? Ahhh anti-whaler cash.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites