Monday, September 15, 2014

Battling For Whales Again

New Zealand is expecting a fight, over it's bid to have the World Court's ban on Japan's scientific whaling adopted by the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
The IWC meeting starting today in Slovenia will be decisive: it's the first since the ruling and there's not another until 2016.
It is in effect a battle over Antarctic whaling, because Japan has a new plan to resume commercial whaling next season which will also be presented to the IWC. The nasty Nippons have said they'll restart Southern Ocean whaling with a "redesigned scientific whaling programme" in the 2015/16 season which will meet the requirements of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
The ICJ ruled this annual expedition is a commercial activity masquerading as research. NZ wants to set that judgment into IWC stone, so no further illegal scientific whaling happens.
The resolution needs just a majority of 50% of countries plus one to pass. But, knowing the way Japan buys supporters' votes, it's likely the resolution will be hard-fought.
The debate will be a key test of NZ/Australia resolve, as well as other like-minded governments, to ensure the resolution is passed without watering-down. If successful, it'll prevent Japan from whaling in Antarctica until 2016/17 at the earliest.
Another country targeted at the IWC is Iceland, where commercial whaling was resumed in 2006, in addition to a "scientific programme" of research whaling. A proposal for a Sth.Atlantic whale sanctuary will also be put forward. And recent figures show Norway killed a record 729 whales so far this year, the highest since 1993 when it resumed whaling.

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