The plan would give the green light to Japan, Norway and Iceland to cruelly slaughter almost 1,400 whales next year, and close to 13,000 over the next ten years.
The IWC - out of touch
This proposal shows just how far out of touch the IWC is with modern values - it entirely misses the point that blasting whales with exploding harpoons is grossly inhumane. Moves to resuscitate the world’s dying whaling industries are a huge backwards step for animal welfare and conservation globally.
The proposal follows two years of negotiations to agree a future for the IWC and resolve conflict between anti-and pro-whaling nations. It will be voted on at the IWC annual meeting this June.
Why this proposal is a disaster
Animal welfare and conservation groups including The World Society for the Protection of Animals are united in opposing the proposal. If passed, it would:
- award, for the first time in over 25 years, commercial whaling quotas, wholly undermining the whaling ban
- mean international endorsement of unnecessary animal suffering
- set a precedent for other countries wishing to start commercial whaling
- allow commercial whaling in a designated whale sanctuary
- fail to properly address existing loopholes in the whaling ban so in 10 years the IWC faces the same deadlock
- demolish 20 years of IWC criticism of Japan, Norway and Iceland for their flouting of the whaling ban
- mean tax-payers in anti-whaling countries would be subsidizing commercial whaling
Norwegians make their views known
Last week week Norwegian animal welfare organizations Dyrebeskyttelsen Norge and NOAH – for dyrs rettigheter captured media and public attention when they handed Norwegian MP and leader of the Business and Industry Committee, Terje Aasland a petition of over 4,000 signatures from members of the Norwegian public opposed to their government’s whaling policy.
As this protest demonstrates, as well as being condemned by the international community, whaling also has considerable opposition from the public in Norway, and now is certainly not the time for the IWC to be adopting a proposal which would legitimize this outdated and unnecessary industry.
Saving the whaling ban
WSPA will be working hard to lobby governments before June to derail this dangerous deal, and instead encourage a healthy focus on the IWC’s future as a body to manage whale conservation and whale watching.