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