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IWC 62 Marine Scientist Petition Against the Draft Proposal to Resume Commercial Whaling

IWC 62 Marine Scientist Petition Against the Draft Proposal to Resume Commercial Whaling

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Over 130 marine scientists from around the world signed a petition on June 15, 2010 asking the International Whaling Commission to drop a draft proposal to resume commercial whaling by granting quotas.
Over 130 marine scientists from around the world signed a petition on June 15, 2010 asking the International Whaling Commission to drop a draft proposal to resume commercial whaling by granting quotas.

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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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06/21/2010

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Marine Scientists Petition to the IWC
 
We the undersigned marine scientists respectfully call on the member nations of theInternational Whaling Commission (IWC) not to undermine the conservationachievements of the last few decades by again endorsing commercial whaling at theirnext meeting.We are aware that at its 62
nd
meeting in Agadir, Morocco, June 21
st
- 25th, the IWC willconsider a proposal to grant catch limits to the three member nations of the IWC – Japan,Norway and Iceland - that continue to take whales for commercial gain, using well-known loopholes in the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. Theproposal will even permit whaling in a Marine Protected Area (“sanctuary” in theterminology of the IWC) created specifically to protect whales in large parts of theirranges. We believe that to do so would be highly inappropriate and untimely and wouldagain risk the future of the whales.Whilst aware that some whale populations are showing signs of increase in the absence of whaling pressure, partly as a successful result of the global “moratorium” on commercialwhaling adopted in 1982, and partly from application of the management proceduresagreed in 1975, such increases are not a sufficient rationale to justify the IWC endorsingcommercial catches. There is no evidence that any of the few populations and speciesknown to be increasing have reached, or are anywhere near, the levels that might justifynon-zero catch limits under the IWC’s existing management and conservation policiesand procedures. Furthermore, whales inhabit marine ecosystems that are nowincreasingly impacted by human activities ranging from oil spills to the effects of persistent pollutants, climate change and increased ship traffic and other hazards; theseprovide further rationale for providing these remarkable animals of the global commonswith the highest possible levels of protection, including protecting them from commercialtakes.The lessons of the past show that commercial whaling has always been intractable tosustainable management, and we see no changes in the attitudes of the industry whichcontinues to favour extracting monetary value from the whales as fast as possible and, inthe process, evading and obstructing efforts to ensure full compliance with internationalregulations and transparent supervision. The long-lived and slow-breeding whales arealso difficult and expensive to monitor adequately. We are also growing increasinglyaware of the complexity of their population structures, behaviour and societies.Given the risks involved and that commercial whaling meets no essential human need, wecall on all the IWC governments to abandon experiments in the lethal use of whales andinstead refocus their efforts on the conservation of whale populations, on understandingtheir roles in the marine ecosystems of which they are important parts, and promoting,where appropriate, responsible non-lethal uses of them such as whale-watching.
 
Signatories:
1.
 
Sidney Holt D.Sc. Adviser to charity
Global Ocean
, Italy2.
 
Mark Peter Simmonds, International Director of Science, the Whale and DolphinConservation Society, UK3.
 
Professor Hal Whitehead, Dalhousie University, Canada4.
 
David Suzuki, Canada5.
 
Sylvia Earle, USA6.
 
Erich Hoyt, Senior Research Fellow, WDCS, the Whale and DolphinConservation Society, Scotland7.
 
Paul Spong, Director, Orca Lab, Canada8.
 
Mike Bossley, The Australian Dolphin Research Foundation9.
 
Bernd Würsig, Texas A&M University, USA10.
 
Alexandra Morton, Canada11.
 
Craig Matkin, USA12.
 
David Bain, USA13.
 
Brigitte M. Weiß, Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland14.
 
Rob Lott, The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, UK15.
 
Lindy Weilgart, Research Associate, Dalhousie University and Scientific Advisor,Okeanos Foundation, Canada16.
 
Margi Prideaux, Australia17.
 
Ingrid N. Visser, Senior Scientist, Orca Research Trust, New Zealand18.
 
Cara Miller, Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society International, FlindersUniversity, Australia19.
 
Sarah Dolman, The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Scotland20.
 
Stephen Palumbi, Director, Hopkins Marine Station, USA
 
21.
 
Robin W. Baird, Cascadia Research Collective, USA22.
 
L. Neil Frazer, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA23.
 
David K. Mellinger, Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies OregonState University, USA24.
 
David Ainley, LastOcean Trust, New Zealand25.
 
Tosca Ballerini, Old Dominion University, USA26.
 
Robert B. Dunbar, Stanford University, USA27.
 
Diego Narvaez, Old Dominion University, USA28.
 
Ida Ballerini, UK29.
 
Andrea Piñones, Old Dominion University, USA30.
 
James P. Barry, USA31.
 
Gerald Kooyman, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA32.
 
Kumaran Sathasivam, India33.
 
Nirmal Jivan Shah, Chief Executive, Nature, Seychelles34.
 
Tina Tin, France35.
 
Giacomo Tavecchia, Spain36.
 
Umer Waqas, Pakistan37.
 
Karsten Brensing, The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Germany38.
 
Andrew Willson, Environment Society of Oman39.
 
Kanjana Adulyanukosol, Senior Marine Biologist, Marine and Coastal ResourcesResearch Center (Upper Gulf ), Thailand40.
 
Joseph T. Eastman, Professor, Ohio University, USA41.
 
Peter Corkeron, USA42.
 
Robert Baldwin, Oman

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