^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ J. Michael Williamson Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <http://whale.wheelock.edu> Associate Professor-Science Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215 voice: 617.734.5200, ext. 256 fax: 617.734.8666, or 617.566.7369 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Sat, 15 Mar 97 14:41:00 GMT From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Subject: VIC: Govt urged to rewrite wha VIC: Govt urged to rewrite whaling treaty MELBOURNE, March 15 AAP - A ban on commercial whaling could be achieved if the federal government could gather international support to rewrite the anachronistic International Whaling Convention, the government's whaling taskforce heard today. In Melbourne to hear submissions from groups including conservationists, and the Japanese government, taskforce chair Chris Puplick said suggestions included promoting whale watching rather than whale killing, trade bans on whale products, and international agreements. He said the taskforce, set up in November and due to report to Environment Minister Robert Hill by the end of April, had received 50 submissions, all but one from Japan in favour of the government's commitment to oppose commercial whaling. Project Jonah and Australian Conservation Foundation spokesman Geoff Mosely said the obvious option was to rewrite the International Whaling Convention (IWC). The convention's current moratorium on commercial whaling was motivated by a desire to preserve whale stocks for future hunting, he said. "Well, 50 years on, the main interest in whales is in terms of whale watching, so the convention in the way its written is an anachronism," Mr Mosely said. "This isn't a case of overturning a treaty, it's a case of making a treaty fit the new circumstances of the present day when people prefer to see whales go free." But Senator Hill said although he was waiting for the taskforce's recommendation on how to implement a ban, he felt the IWC was too far out of date to change. "My instinct is that it would be difficult to do it through the IWC," he told AAP. He said he did not know if it would be possible to rewrite the convention without the support of Japan and Norway, which both support whaling. However, he said he thought it would be possible to achieve a ban by some means even without their agreement.