Voting remains controversial at IWC.
Today Antigua and Barbuda, Mongolia, St Vincent and the
Grenadines, St Lucia, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis,
Guinea, Gabon, Benin, the Solomon Islands, Palau, Grenada and
Panama voted with Japan at the IWC to deny the Inuit people of
Alaska and the Chukotka people of Russia their aboriginal
subsistence whaling quota.
Never before in the history of the IWC has an aboriginal whaling
quota been denied.
"This is the most blatant example we have yet seen of the
Japanese government´s vote buying manipulating the IWC," says
Greenpeace oceans campaigner Richard Page.
"Aboriginal peoples are being held hostage so the government of
Japan can further its push to resume commercial whaling," Page
Aboriginal subsistence whaling is allowed by the IWC in order to
meet the basic nutritional needs of aboriginal people. The
government of Japan is likening aboriginal subsistence needs to
whaling carried out by Japanese coastal communities for commercial
"This is a cynical move by the government of Japan to hold the
IWC to ransom in order to try and get a coastal whaling quota of 50
Minke whales, that it had asked for and was refused earlier this
week. The IWC rightly sees Japan´s request for coastal whaling
quota as pure commercial whaling and has denied its request for 14
The IWC recognises two categories of whaling, aboriginal
subsistence whaling and commercial whaling.
Many countries spoke of this result as appalling and that it was
undermining of the democratic process of the IWC meeting.
The Russian delegate highlighted the hypocrisy, saying that
those countries, like Japan, which complain of double standards had
actually applied triple standards. He suggested that new member
Mongolia may have been "misorientated" in its voting.
The vote on whether to grant the Inuit and Chukotka people their
aboriginal whaling quota was defeated by a vote of 30 in favour, 14
against, with China abstaining. The vote failed to achieve the
necessary three quarters majority.
The Commissioners have now adjourned to a private meeting.