“Normalising” the IWC means Business as Usual

Press release - 15 February, 2007
After three days of meetings in Tokyo, the pro-whaling members of the International Whaling Commission have concluded that the best plan to move forward is to keep hunting more whales.

The Japanesegovernment this morning presented a new proposal for what they claim is “smallscale” coastal whaling, but rather than continue to call it science, it is nowbeing referred to as “community whaling”. However, the plan remains unaltered – to catch 220 whales, despitehaving virtually no market, no scientific justification, and no communitybenefit. 

“This is a clearsign that ‘normalisation of the IWC’ simply means continuing with the currentsituation catch as many whales aspossible,” said Junichi Sato, Greenpeace Japan whales campaigner. “No new ideas havecome from this meeting.  The onlyconcrete proposals are to have secret ballots at the IWC, to hold closedmeetings, to exclude NGO’s where possible, and to keep catching the same numberof whales.”

It is clear the IWC needs to be modernised to increase transparency, and to explore ways to protect whales for thefuture. The onus now clearly rests on the governments from other countries toseize the initiative, and make the IWC a body that works for the whales and notfor the whalers.

VVPR info: For more information and interviews in Tokyo, please contact Keiko Shirokawa: +81 90 3470 7884 Junichi Sato: +81 80 5088 2990 Shane Rattenbury: +81 906 172 1882