The international Whaling Commission has denied Japan and Denmark an increase in the amount of whales included in their legal quota. Both Denmark and Japan are threatening to withdraw from the organization if the demands for an increased quota are not met. The threats come as a surprise considering that whale meat sales are on the decline.
Many consumers of whale meat have turned away from the products as the meat is now considered to be “distasteful” in many parts of the world.
According to the Associated Press (AP), Japan had been seeking permission to carry out small-scale whaling in some coastal communities at the conference, which ended Friday, and have said that they will consider withdrawing from the organization should their request continue to be blocked, the wire service said.
“Denmark issued a similar warning after commission rejected its request for a whaling quota for indigenous groups in Greenland. The commission voted 34-25 to reject the request for a quota of 1,300 whales over the next six years,” the AP added.
“The commission, however, approved the renewal of bowhead whale quotas for indigenous subsistence whaling in Alaska and Russia and for St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean. The six-year extension was approved at the IWC’s annual meeting in Panama City,” they added.
BBC News Environment Correspondent Richard Black said that Denmark and Greenland are currently weighing their options. Those options include setting quotas without the IWC’s consent or withdrawing entirely from the governing body, he said.
Also at the meeting, Black said that South Korea announced that they were getting set to allow some fishermen to hunt whales provided the marine mammals are being caught for scientific research. That proposal is similar to programs which have been in place in Japan since 1986, though the AP claims that some animal rights activists believe that it is a front for commercial whaling.
“A lack of consensus scuttled a proposal by Monaco to increase protection of whales, and the principality said it would take its case to the United Nations,” the AP said. “Another continuing issue is a proposal by European and Latin American countries, plus the U.S., to create a whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic.”
That proposal, which has been rejected at several past IWC meetings, was also shot down at the 2012 meeting. At last year’s meeting, Japan and several other pro-whaling nations walked out to protest the proposal, which would prohibit whale hunting in the Atlantic Ocean south of the Equator, the news organization said….
- International Whaling Commission Meeting Ends With Mixed Results – Huffington Post
- South Korea plans to resume whaling for research – Fox News