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Reflections on the International Whaling Commission’s June Meeting

by Phil Kline

July 15, 2010

Presiden Obama and his family

Sometimes doing nothing is a good outcome and this is exactly what the IWC did at it’s June meeting in Agadir, Morocco nothing. 

There was a real possibility that the decades old moratorium on commercial whaling could have been over turned at the recent IWC meeting, that did not happen.

The outcome from the IWC meeting was minor a victory for the whales as no new conservation measures were adopted either.

The killing by Japan, Norway and Iceland continues. However the world did not step back into the failed policies of past with the IWC again regulating commercial whaling.

We won one battle in Agadir but the larger battle to save our planet’s great whales goes on. Greenpeace will continue the fight to end all commercial whaling. One positive result of our advocacy is that we now have the Obama Administration working along side us, an outcome we can all be proud of.

“First and foremost, the United States continues to support the commercial whaling moratorium. We strongly oppose lethal scientific whaling – we strongly believe it unnecessary for modern whale conservation and management. In particular, the United States is concerned by whaling in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary, and by the increased international trade and black market trade in whale meat and whale products.” 

Delivered as part of the USA opening statement at the June 2010 IWC meeting in Agadir, Morocco. This statement is a direct result of all of the great advocacy work done by Greenpeace and other NGOs prior to the June IWC meeting. We now have a solid policy position from President Obama. WELL DONE EVERYONE!

Another surprise from our recent advocacy arrived this week in the mail, a thank you letter from President Obama. I want to share with you the thank you letter we received from the White House. Over the past couple of years Greenpeace’s whale campaign delivered a variety art work created by school children and others to the White House asking President Obama to “save the whales.”

The whale art took many different forms including post cards, photo contest album, oragami whales and a large the pile of crayon drawings from elementary school kids. Along with the thank you letter we also received a photo of the First Family (link), one of President Obama and one of their dog. Thank you everyone who took the time to create and send your whale art to the President. The whale art was obviously noticed by the White House.

Phil Kline

By Phil Kline

Phil is a senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace USA. He is a recognized expert on oceans policy domestically and internationally, and has represented Greenpeace U.S. at International Whaling Commission (IWC) meetings and Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meetings around the globe.

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