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IFAW IWC 62 Summary Briefing 6-21-10

IFAW IWC 62 Summary Briefing 6-21-10

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In this briefing document, prepared by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, an outline of how the International Whaling Commission has come to prepare a vote to resume commercial whaling is presented.
In this briefing document, prepared by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, an outline of how the International Whaling Commission has come to prepare a vote to resume commercial whaling is presented.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: International Fund for Animal Welfare on Jun 21, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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21st June 2010
A negotiation process to address the problems within the International Whaling Commission(IWC) started in 2007. Following discussion at two annual meetings and a number of intersessional meetings a proposal for a compromise solution was released by the Chair of theIWC on 22 April 2010. The proposal includes a table of catch limits that are to be fixed forten years and a number of changes to the IWC Schedule (in which binding decisions arerecorded). At present the number of whales killed by Iceland, Japan and Norway isdetermined by the whaling countries themselves rather than the IWC.When the 1982 moratorium on commercial whaling came into effect in 1986, a number of countries (Brazil, Chile, Peru, Spain, Republic of Korea and the former USSR) took thedecision to stop their commercial whaling activities and comply with the whaling ban.Norway and Iceland temporarily stopped but then re-started and Japan continued, conductingits whaling under the guise of science. Catches of whales for primarily commercial purposesare now happening in the North Atlantic, North Pacific and Southern Oceans with 1,516whales killed in these operations in 2009
.A decision on the proposal will be made at the IWC's annual meeting in Agadir, Morocco 21-25 June 2010. Binding decisions such as this require consensus or, if put to a vote, a three-quarters majority.The USA has strongly pushed the proposal in order to avoid the situation in 2002 when Japanblocked the USA quota for indigenous whaling by native communities for local consumptionbecause the USA would not back a request by Japan for its coastal commercial whaling. TheUSA indigenous whaling quota comes up for review in 2012. Other countries that havepushed the proposal include New Zealand, Sweden and Germany. Australia has opposed theproposal but did not submit a formal counter proposal by the 22 April 2010 IWC deadline.The proposal as currently drafted would authorise whaling for commercial purposes despitethe 1982 moratorium on commercial whaling and the 1994 Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuarydecisions. It also overrides previous IWC conservation decisions, such as the ban on factoryship whaling for species other than minke whales. Its effect is to tear up 60 years of IWCefforts to conserve whales.The proposal attempts to appeal to countries that have opposed commercial whaling in thepast by offering a reduction in the total number of whales killed in the short-term. The actualnumbers have yet to be agreed, but the numbers in the April 22 proposal would initially allowcatches of around 90% of the total whales killed in 2009. The proposal also suggests that theIWC could put greater efforts into other conservation problems facing whales apart from
The combined take by Iceland, Norway and Japan for the 2009/10 Southern Ocean season and 2009Northern Hemisphere season

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