Monday, June 27, 2011

IWC: Here We Go Again...

+ It’ll be a whale of a time next month!
The International Whaling Commission Roadshow hits UK’s Channel Islands 11-14 July 2011. This year, the agenda includes a pre-emptive measure from Japan preserving its commercial whaling option; a proposal for a Sth.Atlantic whale sanctuary (a longstanding objective of the Latin Americans); possible US trade sanctions against Iceland for undermining the IWC commercial whaling moratorium (Iceland kills minke and endangered fin whales and sells the meat to Japan, the Faroe Islands and other nations); and Australia’s legal challenge to Japan’s whaling in the Sthrn.Ocean Sanctuary.
Looming large over the meeting is Japan’s tsunami disaster: its whaling infrastructure suffered considerable damage, and long-term implications of this are unclear. What is clear is that radiation from it’s damaged reactors is being found in whales and the marine environment. Right now, Japanese “research” vessels led by Nisshan Maru, are in the Nth.Pacific on their 18th commercial whale hunt, planning to kill 260 whales, up to 100 of which may be minkes. And once again at IWC, they'll be offering all sorts of concessions in exchange for support. But never bribes - oh no!
+ ...meanwhile more blood is spilt in Faroe Island bays. On May 28th., approx.200 pilot whales were slaughtered and, only two days later, 70 more were killed. Statistically, the highest number of kills occur in July/August so sadly there’ll be more unnecessary deaths to come. Sea Shepherd's flagship Steve Irwin and the Brigitte Bardot are en route to the North Atlantic to defend the Faroe pilot whales.
What’s interesting this year is that current information on the grindadráp and the headcount seems harder to find. There were 14 hunts in 2010 which killed 1107 pilot whales, but I suspect some Faroese may be limiting immediate details on-line, to reduce the negative global publicity. Unfortunately for them, those in their own communities who do not support the grind’s brutality keep the world informed. I thank those brave people...and hope their commitment will not incur the wrath of their countrymen.

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Katie Currid said...
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