When the dust settled from the recent debate between conservationists and the International Whaling Commission, they had decided to postpone making a decision about re-legalizing whaling, for one year.
The Chair and Vice Chair of the IWC, backed by Japan, Iceland and Norway, wanted to reverse trends and make commercial whaling legal again, according to National Geographic’s NatGeo NewsWatch. Luckily, non-whaling countries led the way in saying NO to the proposal to legalize commercial whaling and approve killing quotas in an international whale sanctuary around Antarctica.
You’d hope that after the Sea Shepherd Society and some leading North American media have shown the barbarism of whaling, coupled with our knowledge that whales are intelligent and increasingly rare animals, re-legalizing whaling would not be under consideration.
Native claims complicate matters such as this, and Greenlanders have been allowed to kill 200 of the common minke whale, but also 19 of the endangered fin whale, according to Repeating Islands.com. Add Humpbacks to the list – this year, Denmark offered to trade nine fin whales for nine humpbacks. Repeating Islands, a Caribbean based news service, is concerned that if this continues it may impact humpback whale watching in the Caribbean. Sadly, some of the whales end up as meat on supermarket shelves rather than frolicking in the sea.
An estimated 1.5 million whales were killed in the 20th century, and now some species such as the blue whale are threatened with extinction. With Japanese whaling ships killing whales in the Antarctica sanctuary, and then selling the whale meat, things need to change.
The Whaling Commission has postponed, for one year, making a decision about re-legalizing whaling. Let’s work with NGO’s, such as the International Fund for Animal Welfare, to ensure that whales that are still alive on our planet are preserved.