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
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