A Day Early and Years Too Late: International Whaling Commission ends prematurely

Press release - 25 June, 2009
The International Whaling Commission(IWC) meeting finished a day early today, having failed to achieve its core objective – modernising the Commission and securing a future for whales, said Greenpeace.

After twelve months of talking, during which whale hunting and trading of whale meat spiralled to levels not seen for years, all the IWC has achieved is another twelve months of talking, until the 2010 meeting in Agadir, Morocco.

"There is an urgent need for obvious and fundamental changes to the process if there is any hope that whales will not be left high and dry in the hot sands of Morocco this time next year," said Greenpeace International Whales campaign coordinator, Sara Holden.  "Clear signs of good faith, such as the immediate suspension of all whaling in the interim, must be given." Holden added.

A "miniaturised" working group will begin meeting tomorrow to re-start the " future" process and another intercessional meeting is already planned for October in Santiago, Chile - hosted by the newly elected Chair of the Commission, Ambassador Christian Maquiera. (1)

"Smaller does not necessarily mean better," warned Holden. "The only miniaturisation that counts is of number of whales killed. Greenpeace urges Ambassador Maquiera to take the giant strides needed to ensure the IWC is modernised to work for whales, not whalers."

Other contacts: Jo Kuper, Greenpeace International communications, +31 6 46 16 20 39

Sara Holden, Greenpeace International whales campaign coordinator, +31 6 15 00 74 06