The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is facing a revolt. The whaling nations of the North Atlantic, in defiance of the IWC, recently approved a quota of 10 humpback whales for Greenland.
The North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission (NAMMCO), established in 1992 to provide international competence on conservation and management of whale and seal stocks in the region, normally makes recommendations to the IWC.
But after the IWC rejected Greenland’s request for a quota of 10 humpback whales at the meeting in Chile earlier this year, the countries of the North Atlantic decided enough was enough in particular because the quota had been approved by the IWC science committee and the aboriginal subsistence committee.
The quota was refused at a plenary session with Australia, New Zealand and the European Union key protagonists.
Opening statements from Norway at the meeting of NAMMCO on 2-4 September included:
“The debate about management of marine mammals today is mostly emotional. It is disturbing that the attitude towards science as the basis for managing whale stocks is vanishing. This is especially important as we have based our management of wildlife in general on science. Also, we have to solve international conflicts in the environmental field (global warming, biological diversity, fishing, effects of pollution, etcetera) on a scientific basis. Whaling and sealing is not a major issue in this context, but the actions of governments in this matter may create an international precedent for similar actions in more important issues. We cannot accept that a legal activity conducted with the best practice in one country is not accepted in another country because of emotions.”
The decision by the IWC to block the request by Greenland for a quota of 10 humpback whales, a decision spearheaded by Australia and New Zealand, is indeed seen by many as irrational with comment that, “So, whales are not only considered special by Australians, but humpback are even more special. How is this?”
Fed-up, Greenland, a Danish Protectorate, has reportedly written to its government asking that it withdraw from the IWC.
You read it first at JenniferMarohasy.com/blog.
I’m leaving Tokyo for Sydney later today.