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Proposal Could Legitimize Whaling of Endangered Species

The International Whaling Commission announced today that they have drafted a proposal that could ease restrictions on whaling in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. If adopted, the proposal would legitimize commercial whaling in the area, in spite of the IWC's complete ban since 1994.

The proposal comes in an effort to bring countries like Japan, Norway, and Iceland back to the bargaining table, in light of their whaling activities. Here's the word from World Wildlife Fund:
The IWC has had a moratorium on commercial whaling since 1986 but Iceland and Norway have legal objections to the moratorium and Japan continues to conduct commercial whaling using a loophole in the IWC which allows whales to be killed for “scientific purposes.” In an effort to bring this whaling under IWC’s control, the Chair of the IWC has proposed to give these countries official commercial whaling quotas for the next 10 years.
Still more perturbing is that the proposal spells open season for whale species listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature:
Both fin whales and sei whales are endangered species, yet this proposal would allow the commercial killing of 65 fin whales in the Southern Ocean and 500 Sei whales in the North Pacific over a ten year period. “Both fin and sei whale species were depleted to severely low levels by previous whaling that spun out of control, and remain endangered as a result. Allowing new commercial whaling on these species when they have yet to recover from previous whaling is management madness.”
IWC members will vote on whether to push forward with the proposal between June 21 and 25.

Is it just me, or does this proposal further legitimize the whaling industry?

Head to Treehugger for the full post.

Photo (cc) via Wikipedia commons.

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