An overview of the controversial practice of commercial whaling

No species should be hunted to extinction, but if their numbers are healthy, then there is nothing wrong with hunting whales. Studies of intelligence have been conducted on dolphins, rather than whales, and even these cannot measure intelligence in any useful way.

An overview of the controversial practice of commercial whaling

Controversial Whaling Proposal Inches Forward at Washington Meeting 16 April Print A new proposal to overhaul global regulations on whaling seeks to find a middle ground through a combination of ten-year quotas on whale catches and stricter monitoring of the industry.

The so-called "peace package" has been debated intensely this week at a meeting of a small group of countries key to the debate - including hunting nations Japan, Iceland, and Norway and opponents such as Australia, New Zealand, and Germany - in Washington, DC.

While the proposal has received strong opposition from both proponents and opponents of whaling, the BBC reports that the initiative is "almost certain" to be presented to the International Whaling Commission IWC by 22 April - the deadline for submissions to be voted on at the Commission's annual meeting, set to kick off on 21 June in Agadir, Morocco.

To take effect, a proposal must be approved by 75 percent of the IWC's 88 member countries.

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Current ban ineffective Despite an international moratorium on commercial whaling that came into force inwhaling catches have increased almost six-fold over the past two decades. The world's three whaling nations - Iceland, Norway, and Japan - have long exploited loopholes in the international treaty by either opting out completely or claiming catches are for legitimate scientific research.

Similarly, the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species CITES has implemented a ban on international trade of whale products, but the three whaling countries have registered exemptions - which essentially allows the countries to trade among each other and other non-CITES members.

Trade in whale products made waves in recent weeks when a shipment of Icelandic whale meat, assumed to be en route to Japan, was intercepted by Greenpeace in a Dutch port. Imports of whale products to the Netherlands are illegal, but because the ultimate destination was Japan, the Dutch authorities allowed the shipment to pass through.

Still, the shipping agency has now refused to continue with the final leg of delivery. In other incidents, a shipment of whale meat from Iceland to Latvia was intercepted and a Los Angeles, US restaurant was closed after whale meat was discovered on their menu. DNA testing purported that some of the whale meat found in the restaurant was caught as a part of Japan's scientific research programme.

The new initiative being discussed at the Washington meeting proposes that a DNA monitoring system be implemented to allow for international tracking of all whaling catches. A step backward or a step forward? Because the proposal suggests lifting the moratorium on whaling in exchange for moderate quotas, some anti-whaling activists have come out strongly against the initiative.

On the side of the whaling nations, Japan is rumoured to be open to modest cutbacks. However, Iceland appears to be resolute against agreeing to quotas and, more importantly, a clause stipulating that any whales caught cannot be exported. Iceland is determined to continue exporting whale products to Japan as a core element of their industry.

Officials attending the closed negotiations in Washington say the terms of the deal will likely be subject to major changes, but that over the ten-year implementation period the deal would cut current catches roughly in half.

This would save some 5, whales from being slaughtered. It remains unclear what would happen after the ten-year period outlined in the proposal expires.

An overview of the controversial practice of commercial whaling

However, many studies show that despite support for whaling is high in Japan, demand for whale meat has been steadily declining in recent years. Some expect a finalised proposal to be released on 22 April to coincide with Earth Day.Overview.

The International Whaling Commission is an Inter-governmental Organisation whose purpose is the conservation of whales and the management of whaling. The legal framework of the IWC is the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. Japan wants to start commercial whaling again, and it's hoping a sweeping restructure of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) will help it do just that.

the practice of whaling. In , the International Whaling Commission enacted a global moratorium on commercial whaling with two exceptions being scientific research and aboriginal subsistence. In the mid ’s the Makah people decided to resume their whaling practices with rising whale populations and successfully killed their first whale in roughly 70 years in Full Title Name: Overview of International Whaling Commission.

Share | Angela Lang Place of Publication: This indefinite moratorium on commercial whaling was implemented as an effort to properly determine the status of whale populations and give depleted populations an opportunity to recover.

The whaling nations were granted a . – The International Whaling Commission’s policy of issuing special permits that allow member nations to harvest and kill whales for scientific purposes undermines global conservation efforts and “should end now,” a Duke University marine biologist told a U.S.

House of Representatives subcommittee on June Despite these clauses, Japan immediately lodged a timely objection to the moratorium and continued to engage in the practice of commercial whaling.

[FN77] Japan's objection effectively rendered the IWC powerless to enforce the moratorium against the country pursuant to the opt-out provision of the ICRW.

Overview of International Whaling Commission | Animal Legal & Historical Center