Saturday, June 23, 2012

Abuse Of Position?

When a country holds the position of Presidency of the EU, it's expected to conduct itself with integrity.
But according to Chris Butler-Stroud, CEO of Whale and Dolphin Conservation Soc., Denmark has again this year opposed a EU pro-conservation position on whaling and, without consulting other EU members, applied for a whaling quota increase for Greenland!
A recent report 'Breaking Ranks: Denmark goes it alone on whaling policy' says that although the EU has strict laws protecting cetaceans and outlawing commercial whaling/trade, Denmark has flicked it the bird.
Denmark, a member of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), is meant to represent its 5.5m Danish citizens, the majority of whom are opposed to commercial whaling. In addition it represents the 100,000 non-EU citizens of Greenland and the Faroe Islands, some of whom hold a very different perspective.
The European Commission insists all environmental positions be agreed by consensus. However Denmark has consistently tried to avoid this. It's even FUed the IWC's ban on commercial whaling, and supported commercial whaling by Norway, Iceland and Japan.
Historically the IWC has granted Greenland an 'aboriginal subsistence whaling' (ASW) quota based on its hunters' nutritional and cultural subsistence needs: this classification excludes commercial trade. But in recent years, the number of Greenland's subsistence whalers has significantly dropped, while Denmark's demand for more whales from Greenland has risen.
Denmark holds the EU Presidency role until the first days of this year's IWC meeting in will its attitude affect the European Union position and any IWC voting?
Chris Butler-Stroud feels Denmark needs to consider its reputation when supporting commercial whaling. In Europe, where the vast majority oppose whaling, it should be supporting those small communities that really qualify for ASW quotas...and not the bloodlust greed of Iceland, Norway and Japan.

PS: 06 July 2012 - The whole EU puts Denmark in its place, voting against extending indigenous whaling.

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