Save whales, not whaling

Feature story - 23 April, 2010
A proposal to keep the dying whaling industries on life support has just been unveiled by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) -- instead of a concrete plan to safeguard whales.

The IWC, meant to manage the world’s populations of great whales, has released a proposal to “Improve the Conservation of Whales” in advance of its upcoming annual meeting in June. Several countries including the US, which normally oppose whaling, have proposed a compromise that aims to reduce the total number of whales being slaughtered but would essentially make it easier to hunt whales commercially. It would legalise commercial whaling in international waters for the first time in 24 years.


The whales and not the whalers appear to be making all the concessions.

This propsal is a lengthy document that is meant to guide the IWC through a ten-year period to review its conservation efforts. While we're encouraged that the IWC is taking steps to improve the conservation of whales there is a much easier and more immediate solution. We can simply end commercial whaling, close the loopholes used to slaughter thousands of whales under the guise of science, and address the major threats facing whales today: climate change, bycatch, pollution and noise among other things.

Deal or no deal?

The proposal released today is a long way from being a good deal for both the whales and the future of the IWC. The Whaling Commission must take this proposal forward, end commercial whaling and transform into a body that conserves and not just manages whales.

The Washington Post reported:

"Environmental groups are lambasting the plan as a dangerous concession to pro-whaling nations. While some of the species targeted by the three nations, such as common and Antarctic minke whales, are numerous, others are more imperiled, such as fin, humpback and sei whales.

Greenpeace U.S. Oceans Campaigner Phil Kline said it was "outrageous to allow whaling in an internationally-recognized whale sanctuary" in the Southern Ocean. "Saying you are opposed to commercial whaling, but supporting quotas to kill whales is disingenuous and merely political posturing towards Japan. It is also a less than auspicious way to mark the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.""

Justice for whales

Fin whale

Endangered fin whales would be legally killed for commercial gain under this new plan.

We oppose commercial and so called "scientific" whaling and will continue to push for an end to the senseless whale hunts. We will be present at this year’s IWC meeting in Morocco. By giving voice to the millions of people who stand against whaling in the coming weeks and at the IWC meeting, we can inspire the action needed to protect whales from harpoons once and for all. There is no need for whaling and there is no market for whale meat.

Two years ago, we presented evidence detailing widespread corruption and embezzlement within Japan’s whaling industry. Instead of investigating these allegations, the Japanese government chose instead to put two Greenpeace activists, Junichi Sato and Toru Suzuki on trial for exposing the corruption. They both may pay a high price for their personal stances and actions to bring Japan’s senseless hunt to an end. IWC member countries should this year have the courage to make a deal that really works for the whales.

Support our anti whaling activists in Japan who are now on trial and facing up to 10 years in jail.