Saturday, June 26, 2010

The IWC fails to protect Humpbacks

June 25th

On the last day of its annual meeting the IWC has granted Greenland an annual quota of 9 Humpback whales for the next five years.

“We have failed the Humpbacks,” said Mick McIntyre reporting from the meeting in Agadir, Morocco. “This should never have been allowed to happen,” he said

“Humpback whales are an iconic species and we needed to do more to protect them,” he said

Greenland has an existing Aboriginal whaling quota of Fin whales, Bowhead whales and Minke whales and had requested to add Humpbacks to their annual hunt.

This request has been widely criticised as various reports have shown it does not meet the requirements set out by the IWC for Aboriginal subsistence hunting,

A recent NGO report outlined the commerciality of the hunt by tracking the whale meat through supermarkets in Greenland.

Under IWC rules whale meat caught under Aboriginal Subsistence quota can only be for local consumption

“It’s become clear this is a commercial hunt,” said McIntyre, After all their great work earlier in the meeting to defeat the chair’s compromise whaling package, the IWC needed to do more to save these Humpbacks.” He said

‘This sets a terrible precedent for the IWC’ he said

This is the first time since the commercial moratorium that the IWC has authorised the killing of Humpback whales.

The meeting concludes today,

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

International Whaling Commission (IWC)

IWC 62,

DAY 3 (JUNE 23, 2010)

Greetings from Agadir, Morocco,

The Whaling deal is dead

· The moratorium on commercial whaling remains in place today as the member countries of the IWC rejected a compromise whaling proposal.

· Two years of secret discussions followed by another day and a half of secret Commissioners’ negotiations in Agadir ended with the proposal not getting enough support.

This is a great victory for the whales

Had this compromise agreement been approved by the IWC, not only would the moratorium be lifted, but the abusive activities of Japan, Norway and Iceland would have received the stamp of approval from the IWC.

(Of course it is a hollow victory because as we speak the Japanese are in the North pacific killing the largest brained creature on the planet (Sperm whales) and in November will steam down to the Antarctic to take endangered Fin whales and Minke whales, but today’s victory was essential)

· In conclusion the chair indicated that The Future of the IWC agenda item will be kept open,

· This was to allow countries to decide what’s next regarding the “Future of the IWC”

· Minister Garrett and the entire OZ delegation deserve special recognition for their efforts to block this mad proposal,

· In addition the Latin block, Brazil, Chile, Argentina etc. were fabulous also.

· Obviously NZ and the USA have some major explaining to do about their promotion of this whaling proposal.

Other Agenda Items

· Whale Populations

Surprise, surprise the Scientific Committee still does NOT have an agreed abundance estimate for Antarctic minke whales.

(Which completely makes a mockery of Japan’s lethal research in the Antarctic)

There are two estimates that are currently miles apart

BUT both estimates show incredible decline in the Southern Minke population, (a HUGE concern)

A real worry is that there is talk about averaging out the two conflicting estimates if they can’t reconcile???????

· Safety at Sea

The Japanese wheeled out a PowerPoint on the “violent” attacks from Sea Shepherd

Interestingly they showed the video of the sinking of the Ady Gill, despite the incident still being investigated by the NZ and OZ governments.

Also Sir Geoffrey Palmer noted in his intervention that he was not comfortable talking about the Ady Gill incident as he did not want to unduly influence the ongoing trial of the New Zealand citizen Peter Bethune, who he said was sitting in a Japanese jail still waiting to go to trial.

The Japanese also applied pressure on the Netherlands (where the Sea Shepherd boats are registered)

The Netherlands responded by saying that they were overhauling their laws on ship registration,

It will be interesting to see whether this affects Sea Shepherds ability to register to the Netherlands.

· Southern Ocean Research Partnership (SORP)

Minister Garrett and the OZ delegation hosted reception at the end of the day’s meetings to highlight the research from the first SORP Antarctic cruise.

Very Important to recognize Australia’s huge investment in non-lethal research.

· Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling

Unfortunately Greenland’s request for Humpbacks is still on the table

And today they put forward their latest proposal.

As NGO reports have repeatedly shown the Greenland hunt has many commercial elements to it and therefore this latest request for Humpbacks must be rejected.

· The work continues

So at the end of Day 3 we can reflect on the good work that went into defeating the whaling package

We also know that the work continues tomorrow,

Making sure that the IWC continues to move forward as a conservation Convention

BUT also recognize that the IWC still remains unable to stop Japan using article 8 to conduct “so called” scientific whaling !!!

More on that tomorrow,

Its late,

I’m off to bed,

Thanks for all the messages of support

Whales Alive Forever



Mick McIntyre
Director, Whales Alive
Follow the Whales Alive BLOG

IWC live feed can be found at

ECO daily publication

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

International Whaling Commission (IWC)

IWC 62,

DAY 2 (JUNE 22, 2010)

Greetings from Agadir, Morocco,

DAY 2 for the Commissioners was spent behind closed doors
trying to hatch a deal for the whalers

Day 2 for the rest of us was spent trying to ascertain what was going on behind the closed doors, what the future of the world’s whales was going to look like. (SEE IWC ISSUED PRESS RELEASE BELOW)

· A press conference was held by WSPA, Norwegian Society for Protection of Animals and NOAH – for animal rights, highlighting the cruelty of whaling. Minister Garrett, spoke on the WSPA/Optus ‘Give whales a voice’ campaign.

· An event hosted by AVAAZ where Minister Garrett accepted an online petition signed by over one million people calling for an end to whaling, sign the petition

· Meanwhile publicity over new evidence of bribery and corruption at the IWC continues to circulate,

· This new evidence gives a member country of the IWC a perfect opportunity to raise this on the floor of the IWC, an opportunity to change the rules of procedure, to expose and eliminate this corruption.

IWC 62 plenary begins again at 0900 tomorrow (Wednesday)
We will no doubt see the latest ‘WHALING DEAL’ then.



Mick McIntyre
Director, Whales Alive


Japanese vote buying is the buzz of whaling meet

(AP) – 3 hours ago

AGADIR, Morocco — Accusations that Japan uses aid money and personal favors to buy votes have quietly circulated for years around the International Whaling Commission, which oversees the conservation of the whales that Japan regularly hunts.

Now, a sting operation by a London newspaper that secretly filmed officials from six developing countries negotiating for bribes has brought such allegations into the open, at least in the corridors of the commission's annual meeting.

The Sunday Times of London secretly filmed the officials talking with reporters who portrayed themselves as emissaries of a Swiss billionaire wanting anti-whaling votes at the IWC's meeting in Morocco.

The six indicated that any offer from the Swiss would have to top what Japan already gives them. Tanzania's top delegate was quoted as saying he had accepted trips to Japan, where he was offered free "massages" in his hotel room, which he said he declined.

For some of Japan's harshest critics, the Sunday Times catching officials on tape acknowledging they received benefits from Japan was proof of undue influence on the 88-nation commission, which in its most important meeting in decades is considering a proposal for a 10-year suspension of the 1986 ban on commercial whaling.


includes the following:

Negotiation sessions among ten groups took place during yesterday and are continuing today. The groups involved are the African nations, the Buenos Aires Group (of Latin American countries), the European Union, Iceland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway, small island developing states and two further groups – one comprising Australia, Israel, Monaco, New Zealand, Oman, and the USA, and the other comprising Denmark, the Russian Federation and Switzerland.

The groups reported to a private meeting of Commissioners this morning. All groups reported that their discussions so far had been very useful, had lead to a fuller understanding of respective views and been conducted in a very cordial and respectful manner. The opportunity for all countries to engage in negotiations was welcomed.

The Commission will reconvene in plenary tomorrow at 09.00 when a fuller report on progress with negotiations will be made and discussed. An NGO session is planned for the afternoon providing an additional opportunity for their input. It is anticipated that negotiations will continue during the week.

Monday, June 21, 2010

International Whaling Commission (IWC)

IWC 62,

DAY 1 report

Greetings from Agadir, Morocco,

IWC 62 opened this morning in Agadir, Morocco against a backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean and the local Moroccan dancers amongst confusion and/or anticipation over the future of the IWC.

The confusion and/or anticipation over

· will the IWC accept or reject the Chairs compromise proposal
(or more commonly known as the 10 year whaling free for all)

· Will Australia stay strong in their opposition to this compromise

· Will USA and NZ continue to sell out the whales by promoting this10 year whaling deal?

· Will Japan walk out of the IWC is the whaling deal is rejected

· Will Greenland /Denmark con the commission (and the EU) into an additional aboriginal quota of 10 Humpbacks?

· Will the IWC finally act on the vote buying corruption (following a series of exposes by the Sunday Times in the UK)

Well didn’t get much of a chance to find out

After the opening formalities the Acting Chair Anthony Liverpool (Antigua and Barbuda) “suspended” the meeting until Wednesday!!!

To allow for the Commissioners to meet behind closed doors (away from public scrutiny?!) to try and agree on the compromise proposal (whaling deal)

NZ and USA were continuing to lead the cause to try and find agreement on the whaling deal (how did it get to this ?)

So the meeting is now being held behind closed doors and a DEAL is being struck, will it succeed?

Well we have to be vigilant and make sure that enough countries vote against this shameful whaling package. Make no mistake this DEAL would spell the end of the Moratorium

And once we lose the moratorium it will take generations to stop commercial whaling again.

So hopefully at the end of tomorrow’s closed session we will know where the proposal stands.

And perhaps the meeting can resume in the public domain, with civil society participating.



Mick McIntyre
Director, Whales Alive
Follow the Whales Alive BLOG

IWC live feed can be found at

ECO daily publication

The IWC meeting got under way this morning
and immediately the chair suspended the meeting until Wednesday !!
This is to allow closed door meetings to try and finalise the 10 year whaling deal.
What a disgrace, more later, Mick

Whaling talks suspended as deadlock continues

By environment reporter Sarah Clarke

June 21st Updated 28 minutes ago

Within an hour of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) opening in Morocco, official talks were suspended for two days.

Representatives from more than 80 nations had gathered for the annual IWC meeting, set to be the most controversial in years.

But the deputy chair of the IWC has called for private talks to break the deadlock.

Australia is concerned by the development and says it "shuts down the official process which has been underway for two years".

The sticking point remains over a proposal to overturn a 24-year ban on commercial whaling.

Under the IWC draft proposal, which Australia is opposing, Japan would be allowed to catch 120 whales a year in its coastal waters.

Mick McIntyre from Whales Alive says the deal has split the anti-whaling nations.

"This is a deal that's being supported by what we once called our allies," he said.

"Pro-conservation countries like the US and New Zealand - how did this happen?"

Environment Protection Minister Peter Garrett says the Australian Government cannot accept the compromise.

"Australia must be successful in opposing this shabby deal," he said.

"If such a deal were to go through, Australians would need to resign themselves to watching the slaughter of whales in the Southern Ocean year after year over the next decade."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Greetings from Agadir, Morocco, where I am attending the annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

I arrived in Agadir after a long journey via the UK and immedialtey went into working groups discussing the future of the IWC,

it is shaping up to be a crucial meeting, it will decide the future of the worlds whales,
please keep informed, the whales need you,

Protect the whales not the whalers

International Whaling Commission meeting to decide the fate of the world’s whales

Media release 00/01

17 June 2010

A proposal due to be considered at the 62nd annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) next week would effectively lift the moratorium on commercial whaling. This would take us back to the dark days of commercial whaling, says Mick McIntyre, Director of Whales Alive.

“It is time that the IWC started protecting whales and not the whaling industry,” he said.

An IWC moratorium on commercial whaling has been in place since 1986. However Japan has successfully exploited a loophole in this ban to carry on its spurious so-called ‘scientific’ whaling program.

Since 1986 Japan, Norway and Iceland have slaughtered 35,000 whales.

“Governments are being asked to consider this new proposal which would legitimise whaling and give the whalers everything they could wish for and would see whales cruelly butchered on Australia’s doorstep in the IWC whale sanctuary in the Southern Ocean. It is incomprehensible that the member nations of the IWC would allow this proposal to succeed,” Mr McIntyre said today as he left Sydney today to attend the IWC meeting in Agadir.

“In return all Japan need do is agree to an IWC monitoring program. There is no long-term commitment to phase out whaling. The slaughter will continue unabated. Accepting this proposal would be a tragic day for whales and everything Australians believe in,” said Mr McIntyre.

Recently the Australian government has taken Japan to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague in a bid to stop it from using the legal loophole to whale in the Southern Ocean. According to documents submitted by Australia to the ICJ, Japan is allegedly breaching the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling under the guise of scientific research.

Mick McIntyre is the director of the Australian conservation group, Whales Alive a non-profit organisation dedicated to the protection and celebration of Whales and their fragile marine habitat. He has attended every IWC meeting as an observer since 1993.

McIntyre is available for comment on a daily basis direct from the IWC meeting in Agadir, Morocco which runs from June 21 – June 25.

Please contact Michael Young in Sydney, 0410 408 492

Mick in Morocco +212 6506229432