Jersey, 14 July – As the 63rd annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission came to a close in Jersey, a day that saw pro-whaling member nations leave the meeting to avoid voting on the creation of a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary, Greenpeace oceans campaigner Willie Mackenzie issued the following statement:
“Instead of the historic creation of a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary, which is backed by most member countries, the impasse created today by pro-whaling nations has caused this IWC meeting to end in acrimony. Latin American countries have waited a decade for this sanctuary, that has once again been blocked due to Japan and its allies”.
“While petty politics continue to prevent progress, no concerted international action can be taken by the IWC to conserve the world’s endangered whale populations.”
“Yesterday, the IWC adopted new rules to stop cash payment of member dues, which will hopefully mean a new era of transparency for the Commission.
“The move to ban cash payments means that at last the International Whaling Commission can be be dragged into the 21st Century and will make it difficult for pro-whaling nations to buy votes. This is the first welcome step towards the IWC functioning as an organization that works for the whales, and not the whalers.”
Greenpeace is opposed to all commercial whaling in all of the world’s oceans. Earlier this week, two Greenpeace activists unjustly convicted in September 2010 for exposing embezzlement and corruption inside Japan’s whaling industry had their conviction upheld in an appeal hearing.
For more information, visit www.greenpeace.org/international/iwc63