Plans are underway to gut the international whaling moratorium first approved in 1982 by the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
The secret IWC deal, originally negotiated by the Bush administration, would allow Japan, Norway and Iceland to continue their slaughter of whales despite the existing IWC moratorium on commercial whaling.
Japan has been flaunting the IWC treaty by issuing “scientific” permits as a cover for their ongoing commercial whaling operations. Norway and Iceland objected to the moratorium and have continued their whaling operations despite the international whaling moratorium.
New threat to whales exposed
A large coalition of international environmental and conservation organizations recently completed ananalysis of the newly proposed IWC deal and are uniformly opposing it.1
The deal, as currently formulated, would legitimize commercial whaling practices and would undermine historic efforts to end international whaling. None of the loopholes in the current IWC convention, such as use of scientific permits or objections, would be closed.
While the proposed deal reputedly includes safeguards in the form of quotas for whaling nations, the sham “quotas” actually do nothing to protect potentially endangered species of whales.
A recent scientific study published in Marine Mammal Science indicates that most “precipitous declines” in populations of whales (a decline of 50% or more in 15 years) would not be detected.
To anyone concerned about protecting our environment and the world’s oceans, this proposal is a chilling indictment of IWC’s backroom politics and a failure of U.S. leadership in efforts to protect whales and marine mammals.
The devastating impact of this new proposal would seriously undermine efforts to protect endangered whale populations.
This cynical deal would lift current restrictions and encourage other nations, such as South Korea and China, to begin whaling operations.
The IWC will meet in Morocco in June to vote on the secret deal, although the final wording of the agreement is still under wraps (especially the number of whales Japan, Norway and Iceland will get to kill).
The Obama administration needs to know that this proposed deal is unacceptable and a sell-out to all who are concerned about marine conservation and protecting our enviroment.
While the U.S. IWC representative Monica Medina professes not to officially support the proposed deal, insiders have knowledge that she in fact helped write the deal and is actively supporting it behind the scenes with other countries.
This duplicity undercuts the historic U.S.position of support for the moratorium on all commercial whaling.
It is not clear why the Obama Administration would risk its environmental reputation by lending its support for such a dangerous and disingenuous international agreement.
We call on the Obama Administration to reject the proposed deal, remove the current U.S. leadership for the IWC delegation and replace them with people dedicated to protecting whales, and instruct our new representative to block any agreement or administrative efforts to gut or limit the current international moratorium on commercial whaling.
Japan, Norway and Iceland are flagrantly violating international treaties and norms by continuing commercial whaling. The Obama Administration must denounce illegal whaling in the strongest terms, and join other anti-whaling countries to stop these countries illegal activities and truly protect the whales.
To lend your voice to our efforts to save whales worldwide, sign the petition, to be sent to the President. You can also contact President Obama at www.whitehouse.gov/contact or your Congressional representatives at www.congress.org. The White House telephone number for you to leave a message for President Obama is (202) 456-1111. Thank you.
International Marine Mammal Project
The David Brower Center
2150 Allston Way, Suite 460
Berkeley, CA 94704