Vote Nay on Whaling
In order to provide for the proper conservation of whale stocks, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) was created back in 1946. And, in 1986 the Commission banned commercial whaling by adopting a moratorium worldwide.
The IWC continues to meet each year to vote on the conditions for the moratorium. Year after year, the fate of the world's whales is put into the hands of the more than 70 nations who are members of the IWC.
While the majority of nations vote to continue the moratorium on whaling, many of the pro-whaling nations, like Japan, lobby heavily to persuade others to vote against the moratorium.
Japan's lobbying has bought the votes of many Caribbean countries. Japan uses generous fisheries aid packages to entice small, cash-strapped nations to support them. Japan's pro-whaling allies in the Eastern Caribbean countries are: Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Kitts and Nevis.
But, recently the Commonwealth of Dominica has come out and announced they will no longer be supporting Japan's agenda of reestablishing commercial whaling.
For many years The Commonwealth of Dominica has been a staunch ally of Japan at the International Whaling Commission annual meetings, voting with Japan in support of restarting commercial whaling.
But in 2008 Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced, "This year the Cabinet took a decision that Dominica shall abstain on the issue of commercial whaling; we are breaking a trend that we have maintained for a number of years," adding that the decision to change the island's pattern of voting was in the best interest of the country.
He kept his promise - Dominica did not attend the 2008 meeting of the IWC. In March 2009, speaking in Dominica's capital, Roseau, at the International Ocean Life Symposium, the Prime Minister reconfirmed that his government would no longer be supporting the whale-killing position of the Japanese government in the IWC. He said that his government would be acting in his country's "national interest."
This makes Dominica the only East Caribbean IWC member country that does not support Japan's drive to resume commercial whaling.
Planning a Trip? Make it Whale-Friendly
Greenpeace applauds Dominica's decision to renounce its support
for the killing of whales - living up to its own description as the
If you are going to spend your hard-earned cash on a vacation to
a Caribbean island, why not make it to one that has made the
commitment to ending whaling. Not only is the Dominica
whale-friendly, they also are ocean friendly having established two
Marine Reserves and are currently working on creating a third.
Dominica is an unusual place. It was shaped by volcanoes, has
black sand beaches and a world heritage site. The Island is
beautiful, having dramatic mountains, dozens of waterfalls, the
world's second largest boiling lake, natural hot springs and an
underwater world that rivals any in the Caribbean and perhaps the
"Scuba Diving Magazine" in their annual "Top 100 Issue" rated
Dominica as #1 for "Healthiest Marine Environment" and #3 for Top
Dive Destination, among other awards.
Dominica is sometimes called the "whale watching capitol of the
Caribbean": Deep sheltered bays along its western coastline provide
a haven for the sperm whale, which calves and breeds in this type
of habitat. A short boat ride brings visitors into contact with the
world's largest toothed animal in the calm turquoise Caribbean
Dominica is the only country in the world where the sperm whale
resides all year long, although sightings are most common between
November and March. Whale watching operators follow strict codes of
conduct on their excursions.
Dominica also offers hiking and sea turtle watching as well.
There are no big luxury chain hotels; accommodations are in small
hotels, guesthouses and cottages or apartments. Dominica has put
its long-term future, and the future of the whales, ahead of the
short-term gains of foreign aid and inappropriate development.
For additional information on Dominica, see their website: