IWC plan to end commercial whaling , allow Japan to keep hunting in Antartic

Peter Alford; 24/2/10

Commercial whaling would be reintroduced on a limited basis and Japan would be able to continue hunting in the Antarctic, under a proposal released today by International Whaling Commission chairman Cristian Maquieira. The Maquieira proposal cuts across Kevin Rudd’s demand for Japan to end its Southern Ocean scientific whaling program by November, before the scheduled start of the next summer hunt. Mr Rudd has threatened Japan with a lawsuit in the International Court of Justice if it does not accept his ultimatum. Greenpeace International today described the Maquieira plan as a “disaster” for whale conservation, “send(ing) shock waves through international ocean conservation efforts, making it vastly more difficult to protect other rapidly declining species such as tuna and sharks”. “The proposal rewards Japan for decades of reprehensible behaviour at the IWC and in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary,” said John Frizell, head of the Greenpeace whales campaign.