Cetacean Society International

Whales Alive!

Vol. V No. 2 April 1996


UPDATE ON THE INTERNATIONAL WHALING COMMISSION

by Kate O'Connell, CSI Board


In the last edition of "Whales Alive!", we noted that Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown had certified the government of Japan for its scientific whaling program in the Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary. Unfortunately, President Clinton failed to heed the advice of Secretary Brown, and opted not to impose trade sanctions on Japan.

The Japanese will continue with their plans to increase the numbers of whales they take in supposed "research hunts" in both the Antarctic and the North Pacific, and fears are that they will expand the hunt to species other than minke whales.

It appears that Norway plans to begin its whale hunt sometime in late May, perhaps by the 21st, well in advance of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) annual meeting set for the last week in June in Aberdeen, Scotland. Once again, CSI will be ably represented by Dr. Carole Carlson. If the Norwegian hunt goes ahead, they will be in clear violation of the IWC's moratorium on commercial whaling.

Even if the Norwegians try to employ the loophole of scientific whaling, they are exploiting a stock of whales for which no population estimate exists. In spite of several years of meetings, members of the Scientific Committee still cannot agree upon an estimate for the Northeast Atlantic stock of minke whales hunted by the Norwegians.

CSI urges its members to contact President Clinton and call on him to impose sanctions on Norway if any hunt proceeds, particularly if any hunt occurs prior to the IWC meeting. Tell the President that Norway has failed to live up to its agreement to proceed in good faith and following the scientific expertise of the IWC, and that any whale hunt by Norway threatens the integrity of the International Whaling Commission.

Please write to: President Bill Clinton, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500. Or e-mail: president@whitehouse.gov


Go to next article: IWC Appeal: CSI Will Be There or: Table of Contents.

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